Bumpus’s last cry before being smothered was, “Down with the black varmints!” and Corrie’s last shout was, “Hooray!”
Thus fell—despite the undignified manner of their fall—a couple of as great heroes as were ever heard of in the annals of war; not excepting even those of Homer himself.
Now, good reader, this maybe all very well for us to describe, and for you to read, but it was a terrible thing for Poopy to witness. Being bound hand and foot, she was compelled to look on; and, to say truth, she did look on with uncommon interest. When her friends fell, however, she expressed her regrets and fears in a subdued shriek, for which she received a sounding slap on the cheek from a young savage who had chosen for himself the comparatively dangerous post of watching her, while his less courageous friends were fighting.
Strange to say, Poopy did not shed more tears (as one might have expected) on receiving such treatment. She had been used to that sort of thing, poor child. Before coming to the service of her little mistress, she had been brought up (it would be more strictly correct to say that she had been kicked, and cuffed, and pinched, and battered up) by a step-mother, whose chief delight was to pull out handfuls of her woolly hair, beat her nose flat (which was adding insult to injury, for it was too flat by nature), and otherwise to maltreat her. When, therefore, Poopy received the slap referred to, she immediately dried her eyes and looked humble. But she did not by any means feel humble. No; a regard for truth compels us to state that, on this particular occasion, Poopy acted the part of a hypocrite. If her hands had been loose, and she had possessed a knife just then—we are afraid to think of the dreadful use to which she would have put it.
The natives spent a considerable time in securely binding their three captives, after which they bore them into the cavern.
Here they kindled a torch, and held a long palaver as to what was to be done with the prisoners. Some counseled instant death, others advised that they should be kept as hostages.
The debate was so long and fierce, that the day had begun to break before it was concluded. It was at length arranged that they should be conveyed alive to their village, there to be disposed of according to the instructions of their chiefs.
Feeling that they had already delayed too long, they placed the prisoners on their shoulders, and bore them swiftly away.
Poor Corrie and his sable friend were easily carried, coiled up like sacks, each on the shoulders of a stalwart savage; but Bumpus, who had required eight men to bind him, still remained unconvinced of his vincibility. He struggled so violently on the shoulders of the four men who bore him, that Keona, in a fit of passion, tinged no doubt with revenge, hit him such a blow on the head with the handle of an ax as caused his brains to sing, and a host of stars to dance before his eyes.