Ohio History Journal

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The Black Hand

The Black Hand.                  455


the rock was in mute appeal and forcibly reminded the wayfarer in

a way at once forcible, as it was poetical, that thus far and no

farther should the waves of unglutted vengeance roll. The hand

marked the portal of a sanctuary which was sacred to the

savage, whose lust for blood rose above every other considera-

tion in his narrow but intense, isolated but eventful life.






"An unremembered Past

Broods like a presence, midst

These cliffs and hills."

Many moons ago, long before the pale face came across

the Great Water to this land, here upon the bank of the Pataskala,

was the lodge of the great chief Powkongah, whose daughter

Ahyomah was fair as the dawn and graceful as the swan that

floats on the lake. Her eyes were soft and shy as the eyes of a

young deer, her voice sweet and low as the note of the cooing

dove. Two braves were there who looked upon her with eyes of

love, and each was fain to lead her from the lodge of her father,

that she might bring light and joy and contentment to his own.

At last said the chief, her father, "No longer shall ye contend for

the hand of Ahyomah, my daughter. Go ye now forth upon the

war path, and when three moons have passed see that ye come

hither once more, and then I swear by the Great Spirit that to

him who shall carry at his belt the greatest number of scalps

shall be given the hand of Ahyomah, my daughter."   Three

months had waxed greater and grown less ere the warriors re-

turned. Then, upon the day appointed, behold, all the tribe gath-

ered to view the counting of the scalps. First stepped forth Wa-

cousta, a grim visaged warrior, who had long parted company

with fleet-footed youth, and walked soberly with middle man-

hood. From his belt he took his trophies, one by one, and laid

them at the feet of the chief, while from behind the lodge door

Ahyomah, unseen by all, looked fearfully forth upon the scene.

With each fresh scalp the clouds settled more and more darkly