“Then, turning from her to the maiden of his choice, he exclaimed:
“’But Omemee, the loving, the tender, the kind-hearted, thou art my heart’s choice!’
“Saying this, the handsome hunter opened his arms, and Omemee sprang toward him. For a moment he held her in his arms; then he said:
“’I am Wakontas, and to the beautiful home of Wakontas thou shalt be taken.’
“Then there was a wonderful transformation; as quickly as a butterfly bursts from its chrysalis, so suddenly was Omemee transformed into a beautiful dove and the hunter as quickly assumed the same lovely form. Together they arose into the air, and flew away to the unknown but beautiful home of Wakontas, in the land of perpetual sunshine.”
The Startling Placard—What Happened to the Little Runaways—The Rescue—Mary Tells Them the Legend of the Swallows—How Some Cruel Men were Punished who Teased an Orphan Boy.
When Mary entered the children’s bedroom one bright, pleasant morning she was amazed at finding both of the beds empty and a piece of foolscap paper pinned to the dressing table. The writing on it was beyond her power to read. She remembered now that the children had begged her not to come very early in the morning to wake them up, and as their requests were as a law she had lingered as long as she dared, and indeed had only gone to call them when her mistress had asked the reason for their nonappearance. Not until she had shown the paper, with its inscription, to the kitchen maid, who could read English, did its full meaning burst upon her. Of course, she was very much troubled, and yet such was her loyalty to the children that she hesitated about letting the parents know what had occurred. She was fully aware that she could not long keep the startling news from them, and yet she was still resolved that never should any information be imparted by her that might bring down upon them any punishment, no matter how much deserved.
It was a long, rough trail through the primitive forest to the wigwam of Souwanas. How long the children had been away she could not tell. Mary, with Indian shrewdness, had felt their beds, and had found them both quite cold, so she knew the little mischiefs had been off at least an hour. She interrogated not only the maid in the kitchen but also Kennedy, the man of all work, outside. Neither of them had seen or heard anything of the children, and as they did not share Mary’s ideas the escapade of the children was soon known.
The parents were naturally alarmed when they heard the news. At once the father, accompanied by Kennedy and the dogs, Jack and Cuffy, started off on the trail of the runaways. The intelligent dogs, having been shown a couple of garments recently worn by the missing boy and girl and being told to find them, at once took up the trail in the direction of the wigwam of Souwanas, running with such rapidity that if they had not been restrained by the voice of their master they would very quickly have left him and his Indian attendant far behind.