The Lost Hunter eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 516 pages of information about The Lost Hunter.

Magisaunikwa continued to cherish through a long life his love of peace.  He obtained a great influence over his own and the neighboring tribes, and succeeded in spreading widely his pacific views.  At the time of his death, which happened at an advanced age, the calumet of peace was everywhere smoked among the northern tribes, and their numbers had greatly increased.  Wampum-hair was universally honored, and regarded as the cause of this felicity.  But no wife ever cooked the venison in his lodge.  With the dream of his youth vanished all predilection for the softer sex.  He had loved and been disappointed.  Where he expected to meet gentleness he had found pride.  He looked for the yielding willow, and behold the inflexible oak!

But in Leelinau also a revolution had been effected.  Her whole being was transformed.  What devoted love that anticipated every wish was incapable of accomplishing, indifference achieved.  Her soul from that moment flew on the wings of desire after Magisaunikwa.  At first she thought his conduct caused by some temporary pique or resentment, and trusted to the power of her fascinations to restore him to her nets.  As time, however, wore on, her hopes became fainter, until the terrible conviction settled like a night upon her soul, that she had trifled with the noblest heart of her nation and driven it for ever away.  Then it was she felt the desolation no language can express.  A settled melancholy took possession of her.  Her eyes lost their fire, her lip its smile, and her voice the song.  She would wander alone, far away into the recesses of the forest, speaking to herself in low tones, and weeping at the remembrance of happy days.  Her health declined rapidly until she became too weak to leave without assistance the couch, where day after day reclined her fading form.  One soft summer morning she begged two of her mates to support her to the rock, whence she beheld the exploit of Wampum-hair.  She sank down, and removing, with her wasted hand, the long hair that had fallen over her eyes, gazed sadly on the foaming river.  With a wistful look she followed the course of the cataract from top to bottom, probably recalling at the moment her lover’s danger for her sake and her own repented scorn, then heavily sighed, and leaning her head on the bosom of one of her companions, expired.


  Wide o’er the brim with many a torrent swelled,
  And the mixed ruin of its banks o’erspread,
  At last the roused up river pours along: 
  Resistless, roaring, dreadful, down it comes
  From the rude mountain and the mossy wild.


The company expressed their acknowledgments to Bernard for the entertainment he had furnished, although they all seemed to consider the conduct of Wampum-hair inconsistent with his amiable character, and to pity the fate of Leelinau.

“The writer must have had some suspicion of the inconsistency himself,” said Bernard, “to judge from his attempt to obviate the difficulty, by ascribing a magic change in his hero, to the application of the child’s hand to the head, instead of as before, to the heart.  This part of the tale is slightly and unskillfully developed.”

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The Lost Hunter from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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