It is 1781, and thirteen-year-old Betsy Zane is bored with trying to act like a lady and being cooped up with her great-aunt. Her heart and soul yearn for the freedom of living with her brothers at the family homestead along the Ohio River. When her great-aunt dies, Betsy leaves Philadelphia and returns to her home in the western wilderness. But it's not easy for a young lady to find freedom on the frontier. Her brothers and even a dashing young soldier have other ideas about ladylike behavior. Little does anyone know that this young lady will soon risk her life in the final battle of the American Revolution.
Betsy Zane was a real pioneer girl, and this story for younger readers is based on her most famous accomplishment, performed during the Revolutionary War in the "West." I have read the fictional and factual stories, including a transcript of inquiry, and the story in any form never ceases to make me proud to be an American, respectful and proud of those who went into the unknown wilderness and made our country.
Today, young people are considered "children"--basically of no use unless and until they are graduated from high school or college; but Betty Zane was about 14 and proved her mettle during a wartime siege at what is now Wheeling, W.Va., during the American Revolution. She was a true heroine and today her statue graces her place of rest.
There were two buildings at Ft. Henry in which the settlers were taking refuge. Wave after wave of indians came at them, and the pioneers fired away until there was no gunpowder left in one building. How could they get more? Nobody wanted to lose his/her scalp for lack of powder, and of course, the enemy was waiting for a chance to kill anybody who came out the door.
Finally Betty said she was the fastest runner in the settlement and she would go for more powder from the other building. The danger was that if the indians realized she had a pocket full of gunpowder and shot her, she would blow up!
The indians watched warily as she ran swiftly to the building. She did not appear to be armed, nor was she a "warrior," but a young girl. She filled her apron with powder and sped back to her own building with no injury, saving those settlers' lives.
Project Gutenberg has the Zane Grey story about his relative, Elizabeth Zane, for free. I read it when I was about 10.
Wikipedia also has the story at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Zane
Ancestry.com has a page at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~abrown/bzane.html