But Cranstoun, apparently heedless of the laugh that followed this—as indeed it did every—narration of the anecdote, was not to be shaken from his equanimity. He continued silent and unmoved, as if he had not heard a word of the conclusion.
“Poor Cranstoun,” exclaimed the joyous De Courcy, in a strain of provoking banter, “what an unfortunate leap that was of yours; and how delighted you must have felt when you again stepped on terra firma.”
“I don’t wonder at his leap being unfortunate,” observed Middlemore, all eyes fixed upon him in expectation of what was to follow, “for Julia D’Egville can affirm that, while paying his court to her, he had not chosen a leap year.”
While all were as usual abusing the far strained pun, a note was brought in by the head waiter and handed to the punster. The officer read it attentively, and then, with an air of seriousness which in him was remarkable, tossed it across the table to Captain Molineux, who, since the departure of Henry Grantham, had been sitting with his arms folded, apparently buried in profound thought, and taking no part either in the conversation or the laughter which accompanied it. A faint smile passed over his features, as, after having read, he returned, it with an assentient nod to Middlemore. Shortly afterwards, availing himself of the opportunity afforded by the introduction of some fresh topic of conversation, he quitted his seat, and whispering something in the ear of Villiers, left the mess room. Soon after, the latter officer disappeared from the table, and in a few moments his example was followed by Middlemore.
The dinner party at Colonel D’Egville’s was composed in a manner to inspire an English exclusive with irrepressible honor. At the suggestion of General Brock, Tecumseh had been invited, and, with him, three other celebrated Indian chiefs, whom we beg to introduce to our readers under their familiar names—Split-log—Round-head—and Walk-in-the-water—all of the formidable nation of the Hurons. In his capacity of superintendant of Indian affairs, Colonel D’Egville had been much in the habit of entertaining the superior chiefs, who, with a tact peculiar to men of their sedate and serious character, if they displayed few of the graces of European polish, at least gave no manifestation of an innate vulgarity. As it may not be uninteresting to the reader to have a slight sketch of the warriors, we will attempt the portraiture.
The chief Split-log, who indeed should rather have been named Split-ear, as we shall presently show, was afflicted with an aldermanic rotundity of person, by no means common among his race, and was one, who from his love of ease and naturally indolent disposition, seemed more fitted to take his seat in the council than to lead his warriors to battle. Yet was he not, in reality, the inactive character be appeared, and more than once, subsequently, he was engaged in