Oak Openings eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 630 pages of information about Oak Openings.
Although the savage American is little addicted to abusing his power over female captives, and seldom takes into his lodge an unwilling squaw, the bee-hunter had experienced a good deal of uneasiness on the score of what might befall his betrothed.  Margery was sufficiently beautiful to attract attention, even in a town; and more than one fierce-looking warrior had betrayed his admiration that very day, though it was in a very Indian-like fashion.  Rhapsody, and gallant speeches, and sonnets, form no part of Indian courtship; but the language of admiration is so very universal, through the eyes, that it is sufficiently easy of comprehension.  It was possible that some chief, whose band was too formidable to be opposed, might take it into his head to wish to see a pale-face squaw in his wigwam; and, while it was not usual to do much violence to a female’s inclinations on such occasions, it was not common to offer much opposition to those of a powerful warrior.  The married tie, if it could be said to exist at all, however, was much respected; and it was far less likely that Margery, a wife, would thus be appropriated, than Margery, unmarried.  It is true, cases of unscrupulous exercise of power are to be found among Indians, as well as among civilized men, but they are rare, and usually are much condemned.

The bee-hunter, consequently, was well disposed to second Peter’s project.  As for Margery herself, she had half yielded all her objections to her lover’s unaided arguments, and was partly conquered before this reinforcement was brought into the field against her.  Peter’s motive was much canvassed, no one of them all being able to penetrate it.  Boden, however, had his private opinion on the subject, nor was it so very much out of the way.  He fancied that the mysterious chief was well disposed to Margery, and wished to put her as far as possible beyond the chances of an Indian wigwam; marriage being the step of all others most likely to afford her this protection.  Now this was not exactly true, but it was right enough in the main.  Peter’s aim was to save the life of the girl; her gentle attractions, and kind attentions to himself having wrought this much in her favor; and he believed no means of doing so as certain as forming a close connection for her with the great medicine-bee-hunter.  Judging of them by himself, he did not think the Indians would dare to include so great a conjurer in their schemes of vengeance, and was willing himself that le Bourdon should escape, provided Margery could go free and unharmed with him.  As for the bee-hunter’s powers, he had many misgivings; they might be dangerous to the red men, and they might not.  On this subject, he was in the painful doubts of ignorance, and had the wide area of conjecture open before his mind.  He saw; but it was “as in a glass, darkly.”

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Oak Openings from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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