Oak Openings eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 630 pages of information about Oak Openings.

“Elkfoot got belt from Canada fadder,” commenced the Chippewa, with a sententious allusion to the British propensity to keep the savages in pay.  “Know he got him know he keep him.”

“And you, Pigeonswing—­by your manner of talking I had set you down for a king’s Injin, too.”

Talk so—­no feel bit so.  My heart Yankee.”

“And have you not had a belt of wampum sent you, as well as the rest of them?”

“Dat true—­got him—­don’t keep him.”

“What! did you dare to send it back?”

“Ain’t fool, dough young.  Keep him; no keep him.  Keep him for Canada fadder; no keep him for Chippewa brave.”

“What have you then done with your belt?”

“Bury him where nobody find him dis war.  No—­Waubkenewh no hole in heart to let king in.”

Pigeonswing, as this young Indian was commonly called in his tribe, in consequence of the rapidity of his movement when employed as a runner, had a much more respectable name, and one that he had fairly earned in some of the forays of his people, but which the commonalty had just the same indisposition to use as the French have to call Marshal Soult the Duc de Dalmatie.  The last may be the most honorable title, but it is not that by which he is the best known to his countrymen.  Waubkenewh was an appellation, notwithstanding, of which the young Chippewa was justly proud; and he often asserted his right to use it, as sternly as the old hero of Toulouse asserted his right to his duchy, when the Austrians wished to style him “le Marechal Duc Soult,”

“And you are friendly to the Yankees, and an enemy to the red-coats?”

Waubkenewh grasped the hand of le Bourdon, and squeezed it firmly.  Then he said, warily: 

“Take care—­Elkfoot friend of Blackbird; like to look at Canada belt.  Got medal of king, too.  Have Yankee scalp, bye’m by.  Take care—­must speak low, when Elkfoot near.”

“I begin to understand you, Chippewa; you wish me to believe that you are a friend to America, and that the Pottawatamie is not.  If this be so, why have you held the speech that you did last night, and seemed to be on a war-path against my countrymen?”

“Dat good way, eh?  Elkfoot den t’ink me his friend dat very good in war-time.”

“But is it true, or false, that Mackinaw is taken by the British?”

“Dat true too—­gone, and warrior all prisoner.  Plenty Winnebago, plenty Pottawatamie, plenty Ottowa, plenty redskin, dere.”

“And the Chippewas?”

“Some Ojebway, too”—­answered Pigeonswing, after a reluctant pause.  “Can’t all go on same path this war.  Hatchets, somehow, got two handle—­one strike Yankee; one strike King George.”

“But what is your business here, and where are you now going if you are friendly to the Americans?  I make no secret of my feelings—­I am for my own people, and I wish proof that you are a friend, and not an enemy.”

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Oak Openings from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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