“I am unable to fix the exact time;” said the Knight; “but the young moon that looks now like the eye brow of Mesandowit, will probably not be round before we shall meet again.”
They parted at these words, and while Sir Christopher and Philip turned their faces homeward, the Taranteen pursued the same direction in which they had been traveling. Fatigued with the distance they had come, it was now with a more leisurely pace the two proceeded, and, walking for the most part in silence, the sun had risen before they reached home.
When shaws beene sheene and shrads full
And leaves both large and longe,
Itt is merrye walking in the faire forrest,
To hear the small birdes songe.
BALLAD OF ROBIN HOOD AND GUY OF GISBORNE.
The project of Governor Winthrop of sending an embassy to the Taranteens met with general favor among his councillors. All agreed that war with the ferocious savages was, if possible, to be avoided under any circumstances, but especially now when the English must appear to the natives to be stained with the crime of a dastardly breach of faith and murder unparalleled in atrocity. The conduct of Winthrop in returning a bold defiance to their threats, was also approved, (for in treating with them, an exhibition of a want of confidence would be considered a confession of weakness, and only serve to precipitate the calamity to be avoided,) but it complicated the difficulty, if that were possible, and embarrassed any attempt at reconciliation. The Taranteens were felt to occupy a position of great advantage, and likely to attract the sympathy of the Indians generally, and even to unite tribes before hostile to one another against the perfidious Owanux. To the Taranteens no blame could be attached. They had been guilty of no breach of faith; they had acted like brave and honorable men. Even after the outrage upon them they had respected their wild code of honor, nor would commence hostilities, until like the snake, whose warning rattles they sent, they had apprised the enemy of their intention. But the challenge had been given and accepted, and a state of war initiated. Soon might their war-parties be expected to fill the forests, cutting off stragglers and attacking any bodies of men which they should deem inferior in strength to their own. Hence the danger of traveling in the woods, and especially of attempting to penetrate into that remote region, the habitation of the hostile tribe, was greatly increased. Where was the man daring enough to encounter the peril unless supported by a military force, which would give the embassy more the appearance of a foray than of a tender of peace? Such an armed band would only invite attack. Besides it was inconvenient, and indeed of the highest detriment to the colony, to take off so many able-bodied men as would be necessary for the purpose, from the cultivation of the fields, and those other industrial pursuits upon which the existence of the colonists depended, even though they should all return safe to their homes—a result by no means to be expected.