This terminated the discussion, as a matter of course. It was solemnly decided that all the pale-faces then in the Openings should be cut off. In acquiescing in this decision, Peter had no mental reservations. He was quite sincere. When, after sitting two hours longer, in order to arrange still more important points, the council arose, it was with his entire assent to the decision. The only power he retained over the subject was that of directing the details of the contemplated massacre.
Why is that graceful female here
With yon red hunter of the deer?
Of gentle mien and shape, she seems
For civil halls design’d;
Yet with the stately savage walks,
As she were of his kind.
The family at Castle Meal saw nothing of any Indian until the day that succeeded the council. Gershom and Dorothy received the tidings of their sister’s marriage with very little emotion. It was an event they expected; and as for bride-cake and ceremonies, of one there was none at all, and of the other no more than has been mentioned. The relatives of Margery did not break their hearts on account of the neglect with which they had been treated, but received the young couple as if one had given her away, and the other “had pulled off her glove,” as young ladies now express it, in deference to the act that generally gives the coup de grace to youthful female friendships. On the Openings, neither time nor breath is wasted in useless compliments; and all was held to be well done on this occasion, because it was done legally. A question might have been raised, indeed, whether that marriage had taken place under the American, or under the English flag; for General Hull, in surrendering Detroit, had included the entire territory of Michigan, as well as troops present, troops absent, and troops on the march to join him. Had he been in possession of Peter’s ruthless secret, which we happen to know he was not, he could not have been more anxious to throw the mantle of British authority around all of his race on that remote frontier, than he proved himself to be. Still, it is to be presumed that the marriage would have been regarded as legal; conquered territories usually preserving their laws and usages for a time, at least. A little joking passed, as a matter of course; for this is de rigueur in all marriages, except in the cases of the most cultivated; and certainly neither the corporal nor Gershom belonged to the elite of human society.
About the hour of breakfast Pigeonswing came in, as if returning from one of his ordinary hunts. He brought with him venison, as well as several wild ducks that he had killed in the Kalamazoo, and three or four prairie hens. The Chippewa never betrayed exultation at the success of his exertions, but on this occasion he actually appeared sad. Dorothy received his game, and as she took the ducks and other fowls, she spoke to him.