I own none of these characters - although I feel sort of a fond attachment to them. Please read and review.

If she hadn't looked up just then, the line of movement in the distant trees would never have caught her eye. She often wondered, later, what would have happened if she hadn't seen it- if she had looked up a second later, or earlier, or not all.

"Children!" Rebecca Boone said sharply and they all had miraculously turned to her. Even little Rose sitting in her basket turned at the sound of her mother's voice. They were a mile from their cabin picking blackberries from the thick bushes that grew near the river. Jemima would soon be leaving to go to Philadelphia, and they were trying to enjoy the remaining days they had together. Daniel had gone on a hunting trip, but they expected him to return home in just a few days. Then, the three of them would head to Philadelphia together, but only two of them would return home.

"Listen to me. There's a war party coming this way. Can you see them?"

Straining to see, Israel said, "I see 'em, Ma. I don't know what they are. They aren't Shawnee."

"Alright, now, you do as I say. Don't argue. There's no time. Go along the berry bushes. When you get to the river bank, get in. Hide in the reeds. Stay low. Stay silent. Whatever you do, even if they come near, don't run."

"Ma, what are you going to do?" Mima asked worried.

"Remember what your Pa's taught you - hide twice as long as you think you ought. Then get to the fort. Mima, let's tie Rose to you with your apron." Working quickly they made a sling with her apron. She lifted her chubby 1 1/2 year old and handed her to her older sister. Kissing Rose's soft red hair, she said, "Don't worry. God watches us all." Meeting Mima's eyes she said, "Be careful. Keep her head above water. Hurry now. Go children. There's no time." They moved carefully along the bushes. Mima first, followed by Katie Grace, and Israel trailed behind hesitating.

"Ma!" He whispered.

"Don't come after me." She said sternly. "Don't try and protect me. You watch over the girls. Keep them safe." He nodded, his blue eyes wide.

She watched him go, and wanted to run to them all and gather them in her arms. She wanted to bring them all close to her and kiss them. There wasn't any time.

They were still coming. The warriors were much too close and they could all hear them now. The children weren't yet hidden. Fear rising in her, she fought panic and praying, she did the only thing she could to save them- she ran wide out into the open away from the children, and straight towards the war party.