[Lincoln sits on log, near fire, and begins to roast some ears of corn which the boys have stacked near by. The young people beckon Lincoln. He shakes his head, watches them, smiling. A Virginia Reel is started at left. Lincoln, who is still seated on log, and those who are dancing the reel, are so absorbed that they are oblivious of a group of Indians stalking down from right. The Indians draw near to Lincoln, and stand motionless, watching the dance, their beads and headgear glittering in the sun, their blankets a brilliant blotch of color against the green. When the dance ends, Lincoln and his companions are aware of the Indians. But the Indians, although their desire is to trade the skins and furs they are carrying, cross to left, feigning entire indifference, and seat themselves in a semicircle. Red Plume in passing Lincoln has given him a grave “How!” to which Lincoln has returned “How!” with equal gravity. The settlers stand in a group at right, a little towards the background, watching the Indians. The Indians continue to sit in a grave circle. An old Indian smokes. Two of the Indian maidens appear to chatter. Finally Dark Cloud rises with a bundle of skins in his hand. The young settlers come down to right foreground. Dark Cloud puts the bundle of skins on the ground. Asks them, by gesture: “What will they give?”
Tom Bush offers a penknife for one of the skins. Dark Cloud stands with arms haughtily folded. Tom Bush adds a gay handkerchief to the penknife. Dark Cloud shakes his head, and stalks back to his circle. Sits with his brother Indians. Much conferring and shaking of heads. Equal pantomime on part of settlers. Lincoln is keenly watching the scene, but still apart from it all. Suddenly Red Plume rises and, with slow dignity, approaches Lincoln.
(with indicatory pantomime).
Red Plume know Lincoln. Lincoln heap square. Lincoln heap just. Honest
[Lincoln rises, and comes to center foreground. Dark Cloud rises from his circle and brings skins. He stands at Lincoln’s left. The other Indians rise slowly, cross, and stand behind Dark Cloud. At Lincoln’s right stands Tom Bush, and back of Tom Bush the youthful settlers. They have gathered together things they wish to trade, such as a fine blanket that was brought with the picnic blankets, hatchets, etc. Tom Bush is the first to start the trading. He adds to the handkerchief and penknife which he showed before a small hatchet. Both Dark Cloud and Tom Bush, after they have laid their possessions on the grass, look at Lincoln. Lincoln nods. The trade is made. Through all that follows Lincoln stands center, as a court of appeal. No trades are consummated until he has given the signal of an affirmative nod.
The Indians offer furs of various descriptions.
Francois trades off his red sash to Red Plume.