“I suppose I did,” answered the corporal, who was as firm as a rock. “You meant to ask me if I saw fire?”
“I did. The red men have lighted their council fire in this spot, and have met to talk around it. Well, let ’em hearken to each other’s thoughts, if they will; we shall be neither the better nor the worse for it.”
“I don’t know that. When the commander-in-chief calls together his principal officers, something usually comes of it. Who knows but this very council is called in order to take opinions on the subject of besieging or of storming our new garrison? Prudent soldiers should always be ready for the worst.”
“I have no fear, so long as Peter is with us. That chief is listened to by every red-skin; and while we have him among us there will be little to care for. But we are getting near to the bottom and must work our way through these bushes with as little noise as possible. I will keep the dog quiet.”
The manner in which that sagacious animal now behaved was truly wonderful. Hive appeared to be quite as much aware of the necessity of extreme caution as either of the men, and did not once attempt to precede his master his own length. On one or two occasions he actually discovered the best passages, and led his companions through them with something like the intelligence of a human being. Neither growl nor bark escaped him; on the contrary, even the hacking breathing of an impatient dog was suppressed, precisely as if the animal knew how near he was getting to the most watchful ears in the world.