Oak Openings eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 630 pages of information about Oak Openings.
obtaining the means of crossing the stream, should the strangers proceed in the desired direction.  To counteract this design, he ran down to a spot on the beach where there was no rice-plant, and showing himself to the strangers, invited them to land on the south side, which was much the nearest, and in other visible respects quite as convenient as the opposite bank of the river.  One of the strangers soon made a gesture with an arm, implying assent, and the bows of this strange canoe were immediately turned toward the spot where the bee-hunter stood.

As the canoe drew near, the whole party, including Pigeonswing, came to the margin of the water to receive the strangers.  Of the last, there were three; one paddling at each end of the light bark, and a third seated in its centre, doing nothing.  As the bee-hunter had his glass, with which he examined these visitors, he was soon questioned by his companions concerning their character and apparent purposes.

“Who are they, Bourdon?” demanded the impatient Margery—­“and why do they come here?”

“The last is a question they must answer for themselves, but the person paddling in the bows of the canoe seems to be a white man, and a soldier—­or a half-soldier, if one may judge from his dress.  The man in the middle of the canoe is white, also.  This last fellow seems to be a parson—­yes, he is a clergyman, though pretty well used up in the wilderness, as to dress.  The third man is a red-skin, beyond all doubt.”

“A clergyman!” repeated Margery, in surprise.  “What should a clergyman be doing here?”

“There are missionaries scattered about among the savages, I suppose you know, and this is probably one of them.  A body can tell one of these parsons by his outside, as far as he can see him.  The poor man has heard of the war, most likely, and is trying to get back into the settlements, while his scalp is safe on his head.”

“Don’t hurt him” put in the Chippewa, pointedly.  “Know mean well—­ talk about Great Spirit—­Injin don’t scalp sich medicine-men—­if don’t mind what he say, no good to take his scalp.”

“I’m glad to hear this, Pigeonswing, for I had begun to think no man’s scalp was safe under your fingers.  But what can the so’ger be doing down this-away?  A body would think there was business enough for all the so’gers up at the garrison, at the head of the lake.  By the way, Pigeonswing, what has become of your letter to the captain at Fort Dearborn, to let him know of the war?”

“Chaw him up, like so much ’baccy,” answered the Chippewa—­“yes, chaw him up, lest Pottawattamie get hold on him, and ask one of King George’s men to read him.  No good to hab letter in sich times.”

“The general who employed you to carry that letter, will scarce thank you for your care.”

“Yes, he do—­t’ank all same—­pay all same—­letter no use now.”

“How can you know that?  The letter might be the means of preventing the garrison from falling into the enemy’s hands.”

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Oak Openings from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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