From the 1961 Journal of Duncan Blood: Cross River



The Cross River is a victim of memory, much like everything else in the town.

Today, the River is looked upon fondly. A magnificent waterway which leads one to the Atlantic Ocean and the world beyond. Colorful entries in church histories and personal memoirs record how ships and boats would come up the river from the Atlantic and dock in the marina, while others recollect taking the same waterway out to the sea to travel along the coast.

These are true memories, of course. Beautiful memories.

But they are not the only ones which exist.

My memories stretch back to when we first carved the town out of the wilderness.

When I was eleven years old, long before the birth of our nation, Cross still suffered from attacks by raiding parties of nearby tribes. After a particularly brutal raid, my father and my uncles decided they had suffered enough.

I accompanied them on a raid against a branch of the Wampanoag tribe which had attacked us. The fight, like so many raids, was short and vicious. Only a few people were killed, but the other eighty-one members of the tribe were taken back to Cross. We held them there for several days while we invited members of the other local tribes to attend us.

Dignitaries from the tribes did so, unaware of the prisoners we had.

When they arrived, my father asked if we would be right in seeking revenge upon a tribe which refused our offers of peace. He was mocked by the gathered dignitaries for his weakness.

My father expected this response, and when he heard it, he nodded.

I was in one of the boats that brought the prisoners out to the center of the river. I had helped to tie stones around their necks.

I helped to push them into the water.

We drowned all our prisoners in the peaceful waters of the Cross River, and no more were we mocked.

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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