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This is the story of Corporal Darius Olin, touching his adventure in the Temple of the Avengers, at some unknown place in Upper Canada, on the night of August 12, 1813, and particularly the ordeals of the sword, the slide, and the bayonet to which Captain Ramon Bell was subjected that night, as told to Adjutant Asarius Church, at Sackett's Harbor, New York:--
"Soon es I see whut wus up, I gin a powerful lift on thet air shackle-chain. I felt 'er give 'n' bust. A couple o' men clim' int' the seat front uv us, 'n' the hosses started hell bent. I sot up with my hands 'hind uv me 'n the wagin. I kep' 'em there tight 'n' stiff, es ef the iron wus holdin' uv 'em. Could n't git no chance t' say nuthin' t' Ray. Hustled us upstairs, 'n' when we come in t' thet air big room they tuk him one way an' me 'nother.
"Didn't hev no idee where I wus. Felt 'em run a chain through my arms, careful, efter they sot me down. I sot still fer mebbe five minutes. Seemed so ev'rybody'd gone out o' the place. Could n't hear nuthin' nowhere. I le' down the chain jest es ca-areful es I could, 'n' tuk off the blindfold. 'Twas all dark; could n't see my hand afore me. Crep' 'long the floor. See 't was covered with sawdust. Tuk off m' boots, 'n' got up on m' feet, 'n' walked careful. Did n' dast holler t' Ray. Cal'lated when the squabble come I 'd be ready t' dew business. All t' once I felt a slant 'n the floor. 'T was kind o' slip'ry, 'n' I begun t' slide. Feet went out from under me 'n' sot me down quick. Tried t' ketch holt o' suthin'. Could n't hang on; kep' goin' faster. Fust I knew I 'd slid int' some kind uv a box. Let me down quicker 'n scat over thet air grease a little ways. I out with my tew hands 'n' bore ag'in' the sides o' th' box powerful 'n' stopped myself. Then I up with these here feet o' mine. See the top o' the box wa'n't much more 'n a foot above me. Tried t' crawl up ag'in. Couldn't mek it. Dum thing slanted luk Tup's Hill. Hung on awhile, cipherin' es hard es I knew how. Hearn suthin' go kerslap. Seem so the hull place trembled. Raised up my head, 'n' peeked over my stumick down the box. A bar o' light stuck in away down. Let myself go careful till I c'u'd see my nose in it. Then I got over on my shoulder 'n' braced on the sides o' the box, back 'g'in' one side 'n' knees 'g'in' t'other. See 't was a knot-hole where the light come in, 'bout es big es a man's wrist. Peeked through, 'n' see a lot o' lights 'n' folks, 'n' hearn 'em talkin'. Ray he stud on a platform facin' a big, powerful-lookin' cuss. Hed their coats 'n' vests off, 'n' sleeves rolled up, 'n' swords ready. See there wus goin' t' be a fight. Hed t' snicker--wa'n' no way I c'u'd help it, fer, Judas Priest! I knew dum well they wa'n't a single one of them air Britishers c'u'd stan' 'fore 'im. Thet air mis'able spindlin' devil I tol' ye 'bout--feller et hed the women--he stud back o' Ray. Hed his hand up luk thet. 'Fight!' he says, 'n' they got t' work, 'n' the crowd begun t' jam up 'n' holler. The big feller he come et Ray es ef he wus goin' t' cut him in tew. Ray he tuk it easy 'n' rassled the sword of the big chap round 'n' round es ef it wus tied t' hisn. Fust I knew he med a quick lunge 'n' pricked 'im 'n the arm. Big chap wus a leetle shy then. Did n't come up t' the scratch es smart 'n' sassy es he'd orter. Ray he went efter 'im hammer 'n' tongs. Thet air long slim waist o' hisn swayed 'n' bent luk a stalk o' barley. He did luk joemightyful han'some--wish 't ye c'u'd 'a' seen 'im thet air night. Hair wus jest es shiny es gold 'n the light o' them candles. He 'd feint, an' t' other 'd dodge. Judas Priest! seemed so he put the p'int o' the sword all over thet air big cuss. C'u'd 'a' killed 'im a dozen times, but I see he did n't want t' dew it. Kep' prickin' 'im ev'ry lunge 'n' druv 'im off the boards--tumbled 'im head over heels int' the crowd. Them air devils threw up their hats 'n' stomped 'n' hollered powerful, es ef 't were mighty fun t' see a man cut t' pieces. Wall, they tuk up another man, quicker 'n the fust, but he wa'n' nowhere near s' big 'n' cordy. Wa'n't only one crack o' the swords in thet air fight. Could n't hardly say Jack Robinson 'fore the cuss hed fell. Ray hurt him bad, I guess, for they hed t' pick 'im up 'n' carry 'im off luk a baby. Guess the boy see 't he hed a good many to lick, 'n' hed n't better waste no power a-foolin'. All t' once thet air low-lived, spindlin', mis'able devil he come t' the edge o' the platform 'n' helt up his hand. Soon 's they stopped yellin' he says; 'Gentlemen,' he says, 'sorry t' tell ye thet the man fer the next bout hes got away. We left him securely fastened up 'n the fust chamber. Have hed the building searched, but ain't able t' find him. He must hev gone down the slide. I am sorry to say we hev no more Yankees. If this man fights any more it will hev t' be a Britisher thet goes ag'in' 'im. Is there a volunteer?'
"Ray he runs up 'n' says suthin' right 'n his ear. Could n't hear whut 'twus. Did n' set well. T' other feller he flew mad, 'n' Ray he fetched 'im a cuff, luk thet, with the back uv his hand. Ye see, he did n' know he hed been a-fightin' Yankees, 'n' he did n' like the idee. 'Gentlemen,' says he, 'I 'll fight anybody, but ef this chap ain't a coward, he 'll fight me himself.' T'other feller he off with his coat 'n' vest es quick es a flash 'n' picked up a sword. 'Fight, then, ye cub!' says he; an' they flew at each other hell bent fer 'lection. He wa'n' no fool with a sword, nuther, I can tell ye, thet air spindlin' cuss. I see Ray hed his han's full. But he wus jest es cool es a green cowcumber, eggzac'ly. Kep' a-cuffin' t' other sword, 'n' let 'im hit 'n' lunge 'n' feint es much es he pleased. See he wus jest a-gettin' his measure, 'n' I knew suthin' wus goin' t' happen purty quick. Fust I knew he ketched Ray by the shirtsleeve with the p'int uv 'is sword 'n' ripped it t' the collar. Scairt me so I bit my tongue watchin' uv 'em. They got locked, 'n' both swords came up t' the hilts t'gether with a swish 'n' a bang luk thet. The blades clung, 'n' they backed off. Then Ray he begun t' feint 'n' lunge 'n' hustle 'im. Quicker 'n scat he gin 'im an awful prick 'n the shoulder. I c'u'd see the blood come, but they kep' a-goin' back 'n' forth 'n' up 'n' down desperit. The red streak on thet air feller's shirt kep' a-growin'. Purty quick one side uv 'im wus red an' t' other white. See he wus gettin' weaker 'n' weaker. Ray c'u'd 'a' split 'im t' the navel ef he'd only hed a min' tew. All t' once he med a jab at Ray, 'n' threw up 'is han's, 'n' went back a step er tew, luk a boss with th' blin' staggers, 'n' tumbled head over heels in thet air open grave. There wus hell t' pay fer a minute. Lot on 'em clim' over the row o' lights, yellin' luk wildcats, 'n' hauled thet air mis'able cuss out o' the grave, 'n' stud 'im up, 'n' gin 'im a drink o' liquor. In half a minute he up with his han'kerchief 'n' waved it over 'is head t' mek 'em keep still. Soon 's they wus quiet he up 'n' he says: 'Gentlemen,' says he, 'this 'ere chap hes stood the test o' the sword. Are ye satisfied?' 'We are,' says they--ev'ry British son uv a gun they wus there up 'n' hollered, 'Then,' says he, 'giv' 'im th' slide.'
"Ray he put down 'is sword 'n' picked up 'is coat 'n' vest. Then they grabbed th' lights, 'n' thet 's th' last I see on' em there. Purty quick 'twus all dark. Hearn 'em comin' upstairs 'n goin' 'cross th' floor over my head. 'Gun t' think o' myself a leetle bit then. Knowed I was in thet air slide, an' hed t' le' go purty quick. Hed n't no idee where it went tew, but I cal'lated I wus middlin' sure t' know 'fore long. Knowed when I le' go I wus goin' t' dew some tall slippin' over thet air greased bottom. See a light come down th' box 'n a minute. Hearn somebody speakin' there et the upper end.
"'This 'ere's th' las' test o' yer courage,' says a man, says he; 'few comes here alive 'n' sound es you be. Ye wus a doomed man. Ye 'd hev been shot at daylight, but we gin ye a chance fer yer life. So fur ye 've proved yerself wuthy. Ef ye hold yer courage, ye may yit live. Ef ye flinch, ye 'll land in heaven. Ef yer life is spared, remember how we honor courage.'
"Then they gin 'im a shove, 'n' I hearn 'im a-comin'. I flopped over 'n' le' go. Shot away luk a streak o' lightnin'. Dum thing grew steeper 'n' steeper. Jes' hel' up my ban's 'n' let 'er go lickitty split. Jerushy Jane Pepper! jes' luk comin' down a greased pole. Come near tekin' my breath away--did sart'n. Went out o' thet air thing luk a bullet eggzac'ly. Shot int' the air feet foremust. Purty fair slidin' up in the air 'most anywheres, ye know. Alwus come down by the nighest way. 'T was darker 'n pitch; could n't see a thing, nut a thing. Hearn Ray come out o' the box 'bove me. Then I come down k'slap in th' water 'n' sunk. Thought I 'd never stop goin' down. 'Fore I come up I hearn Ray rip int' th' water nigh me. I come up 'n' shook my head, 'n' waited. Judas Priest! thought he wus drownded, sart'n. Seemed so I 'd bust out 'n' cry there 'n th' water waitin' fer thet air boy. Soon es I hearn a flop I hed my han's on 'im.
"'Who be you?' says he.
"'D'ri,' says I.
"'Tired out,' says he; 'can't swim a stroke. Guess I 'll hev t' go t' th' bottom.'"
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