The day previous to the Captain’s return Paul Guidon had visited the sloop, but Margaret could only prevail upon him to remain for a few minutes. He said something wanted him back at the wigwam. He appeared to be impressed by some invisible and irresistible power to return at once to the sad camping ground.
“Me: Paul!” he said to Margaret, “cannot stay long away from camp and my mother’s grave.” “Happy mother must be in the woods near wigwam.”
As far as Mrs. Godfrey could learn from the lone Indian his thoughts were something like the following:—
All the birds that used to sing so sweetly around the little birchen home and gaily fluttered from branch to branch, seemed to sit quietly and pour out their songs in mornful strains, and all about the spot the wind appeared to whistle a requiem for the departed squaw. And in the long and quiet hours of the darkness, he felt certain that old Mag’s spirit left the woods, and in never ceasing motion kept watch about the camp, and at regular intervals would pass within and kiss him when asleep.
The Indian from his habits of life, skimming in his canoe over the lonely and wooded river, or skipping from rock to rock on the lonely mountain side; in tracing the border of the roaring cataract, in pitching his tent along the edge of the flowing river or the sleeping lake; out on the prairie or in the midst of the dense forest; among the trees on the ocean shore, is most deeply impressed with the belief that the Great Chief is watching his actions from behind trees, out of the surface of the waters, from the tops of the mountains, and out of the bosom of the prairie. He thinks that the lightning is His spear, and the thunder His voice. He feels that a terrible something is all around him, and when death calls any of his tribe away supreme superstition takes firm hold of his very existence.
“Lo, the poor Indian!
whose untutored mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind.”
The poet, and the highly imaginative person, the wise and the good, seek the hills and the valleys, the dashing cataract, the forest and stream, the mountain range, the rocky coast and roaring ocean, and there drink in the grandeur of creation in those sublime scenes. In such places they feel a nearness to the Creator, and view His power and handiwork in a measure not always attainable in the ordinary scenes of everyday life. Such persons admire with reverential awe the greatness of God and feel His love.
The Indian, in superstitious dread, lives in ignorance of His greatness, His ways and His love.
Paul Guidon visited the sloop the next morning, and Captain Godfrey welcomed him on board and invited him to remain during the day and assist in refitting the vessel. The Indian did not refuse in words to do so, but his looks and movements plainly indicated his disinclination to remain.
Margaret approached him and said, “Paul, you will stay with me and help us get the vessel all ready to sail away, won’t you?” He took her hand, pressed it tightly, and then let it fall at her side. She knew she had won him, and was well aware that she could lead him as a child.