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Page:Samuel Scoville -Abraham Lincoln, His Story.djvu/20

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bers boarding in a similar cabin, which had but one room sixteen feet square, where lived a father, mother, ten children, three dogs, and two cats. It was so cold at night that he slept on his shoes in order to prevent them from freezing too stiff to be worn the next day.

One morning in the year 1784 this first Abraham Lincoln started with his three sons, Mordecai, Josiah, and Thomas, to work at a little clearing near the cabin. Suddenly from a near-by thicket sounded the crack of a rifle, and this first Kentucky Lincoln fell back dead. Josiah ran to the stockade for help. Mordecai dashed back to the cabin and took down his father's rifle just as an Indian, in full war paint, reached Thomas, a little boy of six, who had stayed by his father's body. It was necessary to shoot quick and straight to save his brother's life. Aiming through a loophole at a white string of wampum on the Indian's breast, Mordecai dropped him dead while Thomas escaped into the cabin. From there Mordecai fought off the other Indians until help came from the stockade.

The sight of his father's death turned this oldest boy Mordecai into an Indian-hunter, and he spent his life in stalking and killing Indians wherever he could find them. Thomas, the father of Abraham Lincoln, grew up a