He toppled forward and plunged into the pool. The grease from his body floated up, and made a scum on the surface.
Then I broke off the arrow and pulled it out of my arm, putting the pieces in my pocket. The water cleared, and I could see him lying in the cool blue depths, his eyes staring, his mouth open, and a little dark eddy about his forehead.
I came out of the wood a new being. My wounded arm and my torn and inflamed limbs were forgotten. I held my head high, and walked like a free man. It was not that I had slain my enemy and been delivered from deadly peril, nor had I any clearer light on my next step. But I had suddenly got the conviction that God was on my side, and that I need not fear what man could do unto me. You may call it the madness of a lad whose body and spirit had been tried to breaking-point. But, madness or no, it gave me infinite courage, and in that hour I would have dared every savage on earth.
I found some Indians at the edge of the wood, and told one who spoke Powhatan the issue of the fight. I flung the broken arrow on the ground.
“That is my token,” I said. “You will find the other in the pool below the cascade.”
Then I strode towards the tents, looking every man I passed squarely in the eyes. No one spoke, no one hindered me; every face was like a graven image.
I reached the teepee in which I had spent the night, and flung myself down on the rude couch. In a minute I was sunk in a heavy sleep.
I woke to see two men standing in the tent door. One was the chief Onotawah, and the other a tall Indian who wore no war paint.
They came towards me, and the light fell on the face of the second. To my amazement I recognized Shalah. He put a finger on his lip, and, though my heart clamoured for news, I held my peace.
They squatted on a heap of skins and spoke in their own tongue. Then Shalah addressed me in English.
“The maiden is safe, brother. There will be no more fighting at the stockade. Those who assaulted us were of my own tribe, and yesterday I reasoned with them.”
Then he spoke to the chief, and translated for me.
“He says that you have endured the ordeal of the stake, and have slain your enemy in fight, and that now you will go before the great Sachem for his judgment. That is the custom of our people.”
He turned to Onotawah again, and his tone was high and scornful. He spoke as if he were the chief and the other were the minion, and, what was strangest of all, Onotawah replied meekly. Shalah rose to his feet and strode to the door, pointing down the glen with his hand. He seemed to menace the other, his nostrils quivered with contempt, and his voice was barbed with passion. Onotawah bowed his head and said nothing.
Then he seemed to dismiss him, and the proud chief walked out of the teepee like a disconsolate schoolboy.