Pathfinder; or, the inland sea eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 536 pages of information about Pathfinder; or, the inland sea.

“Feature!  Who looks for features in an Indian?  No, no, boy; ’tis the paint that speaks, and none but a Delaware would wear that paint:  them are his colors, Jasper, just as your craft on the lake wears St. George’s Cross, and the Frenchers set their tablecloths to fluttering in the wind, with all the stains of fish-bones and venison steaks upon them.  Now, you see the eye, lad, and it is the eye of a chief.  But, Eau-douce, fierce as it is in battle, and glassy as it looks from among the leaves,” —­ here the Pathfinder laid his fingers lightly but impressively on his companion’s arm, —­ “I have seen it shed tears like rain.  There is a soul and a heart under that red skin, rely on it; although they are a soul and a heart with gifts different from our own.”

“No one who is acquainted with the chief ever doubted that.”

“I know it,” returned the other proudly, “for I have consorted with him in sorrow and in joy:  in one I have found him a man, however stricken; in the other, a chief who knows that the women of his tribe are the most seemly in light merriment.  But hist!  It is too much like the people of the settlements to pour soft speeches into another’s ear; and the Sarpent has keen senses.  He knows I love him, and that I speak well of him behind his back; but a Delaware has modesty in his inmost natur’, though he will brag like a sinner when tied to a stake.”

The Serpent now reached the shore, directly in the front of his two comrades, with whose precise position he must have been acquainted before leaving the eastern side of the river, and rising from the water he shook himself like a dog, and made the usual exclamation —­ “Hugh!”

CHAPTER VI.

These, as they change, Almighty Father, these,
Are but the varied God. 
THOMSON.

As the chief landed he was met by the Pathfinder, who addressed him in the language of the warrior’s people:  “Was it well done, Chingachgook,” said he reproachfully, “to ambush a dozen Mingos alone?  Killdeer seldom fails me, it is true; but the Oswego makes a distant mark, and that miscreant showed little more than his head and shoulders above the bushes, and an onpractysed hand and eye might have failed.  You should have thought of this, chief —­ you should have thought of this!”

“The Great Serpent is a Mohican warrior —­ he sees only his enemies when he is on the war-path, and his fathers have struck the Mingos from behind, since the waters began to run.”

“I know your gifts, I know your gifts, and respect them too.  No man shall hear me complain that a red-skin obsarved red-skin natur’.  But prudence as much becomes a warrior as valor; and had not the Iroquois devils been looking after their friends who were in the water, a hot trail they would have made of yourn.”

“What is the Delaware about to do?” exclaimed Jasper, who observed at that moment that the chief had suddenly left the Pathfinder and advanced to the water’s edge, apparently with an intention of again entering the river.  “He will not be so mad as to return to the other shore for any trifle he may have forgotten?”

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Pathfinder; or, the inland sea from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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