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Women and the World of Dime Novels

Adeline Rushford

Example of:
The independent woman
The indians’ captive
The sundered lover

Featured in:
Big-Rifle Nick

Big-Rifle Nick

Adeline Rushford is a captive of the Indians, and her lover, Jack Wilson, is on a mission to rescue her. The Indians who hold Adeline are allies with the British troops. This alliance makes Adeline's captivity doubly horrible, as she supports the American revolutionaries. Capt. James Lundy, a British officer staying with the Indians, ignores her political sympathies and forces his presence and desires on Adeline, offering her release from captivity in exchange for marrying him.

"As my affianced bride I could demand you from the Indians, and they would dare not refuse my request. …"
"Then let me remain in bondage. I am not afraid to die." 

Shortly thereafter the Indians capture Jack and take him to the same camp where they are holding Adeline. Jack tells James that he searching for Adeline, and James lies, telling Jack that she is not there. He offers, however, to intercede for Jack with the Indians on the condition that Jack provide information about some of his fellow revolutionaries. Jack refuses, and the Indians allow him to depart after running the gauntlet. With Jack safely out of the way, James returns to wooing Adeline, and Adeline continues to refuse him.

"I offer you my hand and heart, which many a fair lady in England would be but too happy to accept."
"Then you had better take them to England, for I cannot accept, so why persecute me further?" 

Meanwhile, Adeline has been looking for an opportunity to escape. When James' corporal is shot by an unseen gunman, Adeline flees. Escaping through the woods, she is found by an Indian brave who intends to return her to the camp. Adeline is fully determined against a second captivity and takes a drastic step to prevent it.

The captor's knife was sticking in his belt, and the maiden could place her hand upon it. Concentrating all her strength she drew it suddenly forth, and with a reverse motion plunged it into the side of the savage.  (83-84)

Though she continues her flight through the forest, the Indians recapture her. She does not have long to wait before one of Jack's companions successfully infiltrates the Indian camp and rescues her. Adeline and Jack joyfully reunite in the woods, and when they return to civilization Adeline's father, who is immensely grateful for Jack's efforts in rescuing his daughter, insists that Adeline and Jack get married. 

Of course, the young folks did not rebel against the wish, and in early Autumn they were made one.  (99)

Adeline Rushford