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[397] settlers generally resorted at night to the fortified houses, taking thither their flocks and herds and such household valuables as were most likely to strike the fancy or minister to the comfort or vanity of the heathen marauders. False alarms were frequent. The smoke of a distant fire, the bark of a dog in the deep woods, a stump or bush taking in the uncertain light of stars and moon the appearance of a man, were sufficient to spread alarm through the entire settlement, and to cause the armed men of the garrison to pass whole nights in sleepless watching. It is said that at Haselton's garrison-house the sentinel on duty saw, as he thought, an Indian inside of the paling which surrounded the building, and apparently seeking to gain an entrance. He promptly raised his musket and fired at the intruder, alarming thereby the entire garrison. The women and children left their beds, and the men seized their guns and commenced firing on the suspicious object; but it seemed to bear a charmed life, and remained unharmed. As the morning dawned, however, the mystery was solved by the discovery of a black quilted petticoat hanging on the clothes'-line, completely riddled with balls.

As a matter of course, under circumstances of perpetual alarm and frequent peril, the duty of cultivating their fields, and gathering their harvests, and working at their mechanical avocations was dangerous and difficult to the settlers. One instance will serve as an illustration. At the garrison-house of Thomas Dustin, the husband of the far-famed Mary Dustin, (who, while a captive of

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