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Without Warning

I alone am left to tell the fate of my fellow travelers-------For many days an ominous presence had hung in the still air as we wearily made our way against the current of an unnamed river. We had dared to intrude into the mysterious wilderness, to risk our lives in exchange for the wealth that lay beyond the barrier mountains. Pulling our canoes, laden with furs and hides, upon the bank near the mouth of a creek, we fell exhausted to rest before continuing our journey toward the fort and safety------Without warning a band of painted warriors broke through the morning fog, their shouts and screams shattering the silence. A hundred hooves split the surface of the shallow stream and they were upon us.