“No do any good,” returned Pigeonswing, coldly. “If can’t go alone, can’t go at all. Squaw no keep up when so many be on trail. No good to try canoe. Catch you in two days—p’raps one. Well, I go to sleep—can’t keep eye open all night.”
Hereupon, Pigeonswing coolly repaired to his skins, lay down, and was soon fast asleep. The bee-hunter was fain to do the same, the night being now far advanced; but he lay awake a long time, thinking of the hint he had received, and pondering on the nature of the danger which menaced the security of the family. At length, sleep asserted its power over even him, and the place lay in the deep stillness of night.
And stretching out, on either hand,
O’er all that wide and unshorn land,
Till weary of its gorgeousness,
The aching and the dazzled eye
Rests, gladdened, on the calm, blue sky.
No other disturbance occurred in the course of the night. With the dawn, le Bourdon was again stirring; and as he left the palisades to repair to the run, in order to make his ablutions, he saw Peter returning to Castle Meal. The two met; but no allusion was made to the manner in which the night had passed. The chief paid his salutations courteously; and, instead of repairing to his skins, he joined le Bourdon, seemingly as little inclined to seek for rest, as if just arisen from his lair. When the bee-hunter left the spring, this mysterious Indian, for the first time, spoke of business.
“My brother wanted to-day to show Injin how to find honey,” said Peter, as he and Bourdon walked toward the palisades, within which the whole family was now moving. “I nebber see honey find, myself, ole as I be.”
“I shall be very willing to teach your chiefs my craft,” answered the bee-hunter, “and this so much the more readily, because I do not expect to pracTYSE it much longer, myself; not in this part of the country, at least.”
“How dat happen?—expec’ go away soon?” demanded Peter, whose keen, restless eye would, at one instant, seem to read his companion’s soul, and then would glance off to some distant object, as if conscious of its own startling and fiery expression. “Now Br’ish got Detroit, where my broder go? Bess stay here, I t’ink.”
“I shall not be in a hurry, Peter; but my season will soon be up, and I must get ahead of the bad weather, you know, or a bark canoe will have but a poor time of it on Lake Huron. When am I to meet the chiefs, to give them a lesson in finding bees?”
“Tell by-’em-by. No hurry for dat. Want to sleep fuss. See so much better, when I open eye. So you t’ink of makin’ journey on long path. If can’t go to Detroit, where can go to?”
“My proper home is in Pennsylvania, on the other side of Lake Erie. It is a long path, and I’m not certain of getting safely over it in these troubled times. Perhaps it would be best for me, however, to shape at once for Ohio; if in that state I might find my way round the end of Erie, and so go the whole distance by land.”