Spectre though I be,
I am not sent to scare thee or deceive;
But in reward of thy fidelity.
It would be difficult to say which evinced the most satisfaction, when Mabel sprang to her feet and appeared in the centre of the room, our heroine, on finding that her visitor was the wife of Arrowhead, and not Arrowhead himself, or June, at discovering that her advice had been followed, and that the blockhouse contained the person she had so anxiously and almost hopelessly sought. They embraced each other, and the unsophisticated Tuscarora woman laughed in her sweet accents as she held her friend at arm’s length, and made certain of her presence.
“Blockhouse good,” said the young Indian; “got no scalp.”
“It is indeed good, June,” Mabel answered, with a shudder, veiling her eyes at the same time, as if to shut out a view of the horrors she had so lately witnessed. “Tell me, for God’s sake, if you know what has become of my dear uncle! I have looked in all directions without being able to see him.”
“No here in blockhouse?” June asked, with some curiosity.
“Indeed he is not: I am quite alone in this place; Jennie, the woman who was with me, having rushed out to join her husband, and perishing for her imprudence.”
“June know, June see; very bad, Arrowhead no feel for any wife; no feel for his own.”
“Ah, June, your life, at least, is safe!”
“Don’t know; Arrowhead kill me, if he know all.”
“God bless and protect you, June! He will bless and protect you for this humanity. Tell me what is to be done, and if my poor uncle is still living?”
“Don’t know. Saltwater has boat; maybe he go on river.”
“The boat is still on the shore, but neither my uncle nor the Quartermaster is anywhere to be seen.”
“No kill, or June would see. Hide away! Red man hide; no shame for pale-face.”
“It is not the shame that I fear for them, but the opportunity. Your attack was awfully sudden, June!”
“Tuscarora!” returned the other, smiling with exultation at the dexterity of her husband. “Arrowhead great warrior!”
“You are too good and gentle for this sort of life, June; you cannot be happy in such scenes?”
June’s countenance grew clouded, and Mabel fancied there was some of the savage fire of a chief in her frown as she answered, —
“Yengeese too greedy, take away all hunting-grounds; chase Six Nation from morning to night; wicked king, wicked people. Pale-face very bad.”
Mabel knew that, even in that distant day, there was much truth in this opinion, though she was too well instructed not to understand that the monarch, in this, as in a thousand other cases, was blamed for acts of which he was most probably ignorant. She felt the justice of the rebuke, therefore, too much to attempt an answer, and her thoughts naturally reverted to her own situation.