When the King of Tars saw that sight,
Wood he was for wrath aplight:
In hand he hent a spear,
And to the Soudan he rode full right;
With a dunt of much might,
Adown he gan him bear.
OLD ENGLISH METRICAL ROMANCE.
Only the accidental absence of the Knight saved him from the indignity to which his household was subjected. Well were the measures of his enemies taken, and the time chosen, for it was reasonable to suppose, that after so long a journey, he would certainly be found at his domicile the first night. His erratic habits were well known, and it was this knowledge which induced the choice of the time for the arrest, and indeed had assisted to deepen suspicions, in a suspicious community, against him. It would not have suited the purposes of Spikeman to wait, and thus afford the Knight an opportunity to present himself in town. He chose to bring in Sir Christopher as a criminal, knowing that having committed his associates thus far, to an act of violence, they would not be likely to rest until they had expelled Sir Christopher from the colony.
At the time Spikeman was rifling his house, and injuriously treating its inmates, the Knight, unsuspicious of harm, was lying in the wigwam of Sassacus, which was distant but a mile or two from his own residence. Lying on his side, with his head supported on one hand by the elbow resting on the ground, he was addressing the Sagamore, who, seated in Indian fashion, with the soothing pipe at his lips, was listening to his discourse. A flickering fire sent up now and then a bright flame, by means of which the two became ever and anon more distinctly discernible to each other, while in the intervals, there was only light enough to distinguish the outlines of their persons. Even through the studied apathy of the Pequot, it was obvious that the subject possessed considerable interest for him, for occasionally he would remove his pipe from his mouth, and gaze fixedly on the ground, as if lost in profound thought.
“Wonderful, O chief,” he said, after the Knight had ceased speaking, “are the things which thou hast told, and I believe, because the white men are very strange, and I have never caught thee in a lie. Truly, as thou sayest, are the red men children, and the white men exceed them in wisdom, even as the beaver the wolf. The wise beaver is warm in his lodge, when the wolf howls for hunger and cold in the forest. The white man is the beaver, and the red man the wolf. The Great Spirit made them so, for so it pleased him, and so they must remain.”
“Nay,” said the Knight. “There was a time when the white race was like thine own, without that knowledge which makes them so powerful.”
“And can the chief say why the Great Spirit gave Owanux the wisdom which he denied to us?”
“That is a question I cannot answer, any more than why thy skin is red and mine white; but the Christian religion was the means whereby the change was effected.”