James Dyer was among the Indians about two years. He sometimes accompanied a trading party on a visit to Fort Pitt, now Pittsburg. On the last trip he resolved to attempt his escape.
He eluded the Indians, slipped into the cabin of a trader, and the woman within hid the boy behind a large chest, piling over him a mass of furs. In trying to find him the Indians came into the hut and threw off the skins one by one. until he could see the light through the openings among them. But fortunately for his purpose the Indians thought it not worth while to make the search thorough. After remaining a while at the old home in Pennsylvania, the young man returned to Fort Seybert, and for more than forty years was one of the most prominent citizens of the county.
James Dyer is said to have been instrumental in effecting the recovery of his sister, Sarah Hawes, whose captivity lasted three and a half years. She thought better of the Indians than of the French who sometimes visited the village.
There was usually an abundance to eat, but in time of scarcity colt steak was prominent on the Indian bill of fare, and to this she demurred. But Killbuck asked her why she should have prejudice against an animal that eats only clean food, when all palefaces were fond of eating the flesh of the hog, an animal that searches in all manner of filth for something to eat. Her captivity worked some change in her appearance and manner, and when she returned her little daughter was not for a while willing to own her, but at length accepted the fact of identity. Her hasband died either before her return or shortly afterward, and she then married Robert Davis.