[Footnote 9: Americans, or Big Knives. We would remark here, that we have made use altogether of the Shawanoe dialect; that being most common among all the Ohio tribes, save the Wyandots or Hurons, who spoke an entirely different language.]
[Footnote 10: Great Spirit.]
THE ENCAMPMENT OF THE RENEGADE.
It was about ten o’clock on the evening in question, and Simon Girty was seated by a fire, around which lay stretched at full length some six or eight dark Indian forms, and near him, on the right, two of another sex and race. He was evidently in some deep contemplation; for his hat and rifle were lying by his side, his hands were locked just below his knees, as if for the purpose of balancing his body in an easy position, and his eyes fixed intently on the flame, that, waving to and fro in the wind, threw over his ugly features a ruddy, flickering light, and extended his shadow to the size and shape of some frightful monster. The clouds of the late storm had entirely passed away, and through the checkered openings in the trees overhead could be discerned a few bright stars, which seemed to sparkle with uncommon brilliancy, owing to the clearness of the atmosphere. All beyond the immediate circle lighted by the fire, appeared dark and silent, save the solemn, almost mournful, sighing of the wind, as it swept among the tree-tops and through the branches of the surrounding mighty forest.
What the meditations of the renegade were, we shall not essay to tell; but doubtless they were of a gloomy nature; for after sitting in the position we have described, some moments, without moving, he suddenly started, unclasped his hands, and looked hurriedly around him on every side, as if half expecting, yet fearful of beholding, some frightful phantom; but he apparently saw nothing to confirm his fears; and with a heavy sigh, he resumed his former position.
What were the thoughts of that dark man, as he sat there?—he whose soul had been steeped in crime!—he whose hands had long been made red with the blood of numberless innocent victims! Who shall say what guilty deeds of the past might have been harrowing up his soul to fear and even remorse? Who shall say he was not then and there meditating upon death, and the dread eternity and judgment that must quickly follow dissolution? Who shall say he was not secretly repenting of that life of crime, which had already drawn down the curses of thousands upon his head? Something of the kind, or something equally powerful, must have been at work within him; for his features ever and anon, by their mournful contortions—if we may be allowed the phrase—gave visible tokens of one in deep agony of mind. It would be no pleasant task to analyze and lay bare the secret workings of so dark a spirit, even had we power to do it; and so we will leave his thoughts, whether good or evil, to himself and his God.