Arrowhead had long been in communication with the French, though this was the first occasion on which he had entirely thrown aside the mask. He no longer intended to trust himself among the English, for he had discovered traces of distrust, particularly in Pathfinder; and, with Indian bravado, he now rather wished to blazon than to conceal his treachery. He had led the party of warriors in the attack on the island, subject, however, to the supervision of the Frenchman who has been mentioned, though June declined saying whether he had been the means of discovering the position of a place which had been thought to be so concealed from the enemy or not. On this point she would say nothing; but she admitted that she and her husband had been watching the departure of the Scud at the time they were overtaken and captured by the cutter. The French had obtained their information of the precise position of the station but very recently; and Mabel felt a pang when she thought that there were covert allusions of the Indian woman which would convey the meaning that the intelligence had come from a pale-face in the employment of Duncan of Lundie. This was intimated, however, rather than said; and when Mabel had time to reflect on her companion’s words, she found room to hope that she had misunderstood her, and that Jasper Western would yet come out of the affair freed from every injurious imputation.
June did not hesitate to confess that she had been sent to the island to ascertain the precise number and the occupations of those who had been left on it, though she also betrayed in her naive way that the wish to serve Mabel had induced her principally to consent to come. In consequence of her report, and information otherwise obtained, the enemy was aware of precisely the force that could be brought against them. They also knew the number of men who had gone with Sergeant Dunham, and were acquainted with the object he had in view, though they were ignorant of the spot where he expected to meet the French boats. It would have been a pleasant sight to witness the eager desire of each of these two sincere females to ascertain all that might be of consequence to their respective friends; and yet the native delicacy with which each refrained from pressing the other to make revelations which would have been improper, as well as the sensitive, almost intuitive, feeling with which each avoided saying aught that might prove injurious to her own nation. As respects each other, there was perfect confidence; as regarded their respective people, entire fidelity. June was quite as anxious as Mabel could be on any other point to know where the Sergeant had gone and when he was expected to return; but she abstained from putting the question, with a delicacy that would have done honor to the highest civilization; nor did she once frame any other inquiry in a way to lead indirectly to a betrayal of the much-desired information on that particular point: though when Mabel of her own accord touched on any matter that might by possibility throw a light on the subject, she listened with an intentness which almost suspended respiration.