NINE years after Mrs. Earnest and her boys were taken from their home near Ft. Bedford, they were released at Fort Detroit, and started back to find the old place.
As stated before she had saved some money. She bought a pony and rode back. One's imagination must supply material for this chapter for lack of facts. How different the home-coming from the going! Going in terror under threat of the tomahawk, weary and hungry and longing for her Father above to end it all; coming back with fond anticipation of meeting at least some of her children again! And more than all she could ride a pony instead of walk and carry her baby on her back. Talk about heroes! Here was one. Some of the greatest heroes have been uncrowned mothers.
Henry had grown to be a big strong boy, up in his teens, and likely walked the best part of the way back, while baby Mike was about eleven years old, and doubtless, rode the pony often, while his mother walked.
It must have been summer time when they came, for the marshy forests and streams would have been almost impassible in the winter. At the present time we can hardly realize what such a journey then was through the primitive forests. The most of the country around the lakes was covered with water part of the year. I saw forests in southern Michigan in April, 1907 covered with water, some places several feet deep.
No one knows if she had ever heard whether her other children h ad been killed by the Indians or not. She may have heard, as there were others in the fort from near Bedford County, at the same time, taken there later than she was, but no one knows. While they came back joyful and happy to be free, they had many hardships, stopping to rest and sleep often no doubt, where the wild beasts were near them. They may have come with other parties or they may have come alone. Not by the Indian trail that they went, but over the Allegheny Mountains, by the Forbes Road they came, and on down to the old town, which had grown larger - a few miles more -- imagine that meeting!
It is said by some that she came to the home of her son and told them who she was, and they told her he was at the barn. She went out there where they met and found each other.