And with him thousand phantoms joined
Who prompt to deeds accursed the mind,
And those the fiends who, near allied,
O’er Nature’s wounds and wrecks preside;
While Vengeance, in the lurid air,
Lifts his right arm, exposed and bare.
Ohquamehud, with all his burning passion for revenge, dared not undertake anything against his enemy, in opposition to the commands of the Manito. After the signal interposition, as he conceived it to be, in favor of Holden at the cabin of the latter, he thought it not prudent to renew the attempt at the same place. The terror of that moment was too deeply impressed to allow him to hazard its repetition. But the power of that Manito might not extend elsewhere, and there were other Manitos who, perhaps, were more powerful, and might be more propitious. He would endeavor to conciliate one of them, and so arrive at the accomplishment of his wishes.
It has been observed that the falls of the Yaupaae were a favorite place of resort for the Solitary. Especially at this season of the year (for it was now the delicious month of June, the loveliest of the twelve) did he love to haunt its neighborhood. There was something in the wild scenery, in the dash and tumult of the water, and in its ceaseless shout, that harmonized well with his feelings in their various moods. His was a grand soul, and felt itself allied to the grandeur of nature. As the air, driven through the pipes of a mighty organ, issues out in solemn concords and divine harmonies, of power to lift the spirit on wings of cherubim and seraphim above “the mists of this dim spot which men call earth” and recall its contemplations to its heavenly origin, so these sights and sounds, playing through the soul of the Solitary, chased away whatever would clog its upward flight, soothing while they elevated, and bridging over the chasm that separates the lower from the upper spheres. This habit of Holden was well known to the Indian, for he had often seen the Solitary musing on a rock that overhung the falls. The retirement of the place, likewise, was favorable to the purpose of an assassin. It was seldom in those days, except tempted by its romance, that a person visited the spot. There were other reasons, also, that had an influence over the superstitious mind of the Indian, in determining his choice.
A child of nature, cradled in her wild bosom and reared in her arms, he, too, felt her awful charms. He could not listen to the voice of the majestic torrent, or gaze upon the grey rocks without a reverent admiration. And in proportion to this feeling was his awe of the Manito who presided over the scene. How prodigious must be His power! The irresistible sweep of the cataract resembled his strength; its roar, his voice; and the hoary rocks were indicative of his age. Could he obtain the favor of so mighty a Being—could