Oak Openings
James Fenimore Cooper

Part 4 out of 9

thank you for your care."

"Yes, he do--t'ank all same--pay all same--letter no use now."

"How can you know that? The letter might be the means of preventing
the garrison from falling into the enemy's hands."

"Got dere, already. Garrison all kill, scalp, or prisoner.
Pottawattamie talk tell me DAT"

"Is this possible! Mackinaw and Chicago both gone, already! John
Bull must have been at work among the savages a long time, to get
them into this state of readiness!"

"Sartain--work long as can 'member. ALWAY somebody talkin' for great
Montreal Fadder among red men."

"It must be as you say, Chippewa--but, here are our visitors--let us
see what we can make of THEM"

By this time, the canoe was so near as to render it easy to
distinguish countenances and dress, without the aid of the glass--so
near, indeed, that a swift-moving boat, like the canoe, might be
expected soon to reach the shore. The truth of the observation of
the bee-hunter was confirmed, as the strangers approached. The
individual in the bows of the canoe was clearly a soldier, in a
fatigue-dress, and the musket between his legs was one of those
pieces that government furnishes to the troops of the line. The man
in the middle of the boat could no more be mistaken than he in its
bows. Each might be said to be in uniform--the well-worn, nay,
almost threadbare black coat of the "minister," as much denoting him
to be a man of peace, as the fatigue-jacket into "batteries"; to all
of which innovations, bad as they may be, and useless and uncalled
for, and wanton as they are, we are much more willing to submit,
than to the new-fangled and lubberly abomination of saying "ON a
steamboat," or "ON a ship."

While le Bourdon was so much astounded at hearing the terrible name
of Onoah, which was familiar enough to him, neither of his white
companions betrayed any emotion. Had the Indian been termed
"Scalping Peter," it is probable that both Dorothy and Margery would
have screamed, if not actually fled; but they knew nothing of the
appellation that was given to this mysterious chief, in the language
of the red men. To this circumstance, therefore, was it owing that
the utterance of his name did not produce a general commotion. The
bee-hunter observed, nevertheless, a great change in the demeanor of
the Chippewa, the instant the missionary had uttered the ominous
word, though he did not seem to be alarmed. On the contrary, Boden
fancied that his friend Pigeonswing was pleased, rather than
terrified, at ascertaining the character of their visitor, though he
no longer put himself forward, as had been the case previously; and
from that moment the young warrior appeared to carry himself in a
more subdued and less confident manner than was his wont. This
unexpected demeanor on the part of his friend, somewhat confounded
le Bourdon, though it in a degree relieved his apprehensions of any
immediate danger. All this time, the conversation between the
missionary and the corporal went on in as quiet and composed a
manner, as if each saw no ground for any other uneasiness than that
connected with the fall of Mackinaw.

"Yes, sir," returned the soldier, "Onoah is a good guide, and a
great hand at a council-fire; but these is war-times, and we must
stand to our arms, each accordin' to his edication and temper--you,
sir, with preachin' and prayin', and I with gun and baggonet."

"Ah! corporal, the preaching and praying would be of quite as much
account with you men of war, as your arms and ammunition, if you
could only be made to think so. Look at Fort Dearborn! It was
defended by human means, having its armed band, and its guns and
swords, and captains and corporals; yet you have seen their pride
lowered, their means of defence destroyed, and a large part of your
comrades massacred. All this has been done to armed men, while the
Lord has brought ME, an unarmed and humble teacher of his word,
safely out of the hands of the Philistines, and placed me here in
safety, on the shores of the Kalamazoo."

"For that matter, Mr. Amen, the Lord has done the same by ME, with a
musket on my shoulder and a baggonet by my side," returned the
literal corporal. "Preachin' may be good on some marches; but arms
and ammunition answers well enough on others. Hearken to the Hebrew,
who knows all the ways of the wilderness, and see if he don't give
you the same opinion." "The Hebrew is one of the discarded of the
Lord, as he is one chosen of the Lord!" returned the missionary. "I
agree with you, however, that he is as safe an adviser, for a human
adviser, as can be easily found; therefore will I consult him. Child
of the seed of Abraham," he added, turning to Onoah, "thou hast
heard the tidings from Mackinaw; we cannot think, any longer, of
pursuing our journey in that direction; whither, then, wouldst thou
advise that we shall direct our steps? I ask this question of THEE
first, as an experienced and sagacious dweller in the wilderness: at
a more fitting time, I intend to turn to the Lord, and seek divine
aid for the direction of our footsteps."

"Aye," observed the corporal, who entertained a good deal of respect
for the zealous, but slightly fanatical missionary, though he
believed an Indian was always safe to consult in matters of this
sort, "try BOTH--if one staff should fail, it may be well to have
another to lean on. A good soldier always keeps a part of his troops
for a reserve. I motto of his coat of arms; the "gare a qui la
touchc," or "noli me tangere," of his device."

The head was shaved, as is usual with a warrior, carrying only the
chivalrous scalp-lock, but the chief was not in his paint. The
outline of this celebrated savage's features was bold and eagle-
like; a comparison that his steady, calm, piercing eye well
sustained. The chin was full and expanded, the lips compressed and
firm, the teeth were short, but even and sound, his smile courteous,
and, at times, winning.

In the way of attire, Onoah was simply dressed, consulting the
season and his journey. He had a single eagle's feather attached to
the scalp-lock, and wore a belt of wampum of more than usual value,
beneath which he had thrust his knife and tomahawk; a light, figured
and fringed hunting-shirt of cotton covered his body, while leggings
of deerskin, with a plain moccasin of similar material, rose to his
knee. The latter, with the lower part of a stout sinewy thigh, was
bare. He also carried a horn and pouch, and a rifle of the American
rather than of the military fashion that is, one long, true, and
sighted to the deviation of a hair.

On landing, Peter (for so he was generally called by the whites,
when in courtesy they omitted the prefix of "Scalping") courteously
saluted the party assembled around the bow of the canoe. This he did
with a grave countenance, like a true American, but in simple
sincerity, so far as human eye could penetrate his secret feelings.
To each man he offered his hand, glancing merely at the two females;
though it may be questioned if he ever before had looked upon so
perfect a picture of female loveliness as Margery at that precise
instant presented, with her face flushed with excitement, her
spirited blue eye wandering with curiosity, and her beautiful mouth
slightly parted in admiration.

"Sago, sago!" said Peter, in his deep, guttural enunciation,
speaking reasonably good English. "Sago, sago all, ole and young,
friend come to see you, and eat in your wigwam--which head--chief,

"We have neither wigwam nor chief here," answered le Bourdon, though
he almost shrunk from taking the hand of one of whom he had heard
the tales of which this savage had been the hero; "we are common
people, and have no one among us who holds the States' commission. I
live by taking honey, of which you are welcome to all you can want,
and this man is a helper of the sutlers at the garrisons. He was
travelling south to join the troops at the head of the lake, and I
was going north to Mackinaw, on my way in, toward the settlements."

"Why is my brother in such haste?" demanded Peter, mildly. "Bees get
tired of making honey?"

"The times are troubled, and the red men have dug up the hatchet; a
pale-face cannot tell when his wigwam is safe."

"Where my brodder wigwam?" asked Peter, looking warily around him.
"See he an't here; where is he?"

"Over in the openings, far up the Kalamazoo. We left it last week,
and had got to the hut on the other shore, when a party of
Pottawattamies came in from the lake, and drove us over here for

On hearing this, Peter turned slowly to the missionary, raising a
finger as one makes a gesture to give emphasis to his words.

"Tole you so," said the Indian. "Know dere was Pottawattamie dere.
Can tell 'em great way off."

"We fear them, having women in our party," added the bee-hunter,
"and think they might fancy our scalps."

"Dat like enough; all Injin love scalp in war-time. You Yankee, dey
Br'ish; can't travel on same path now, and not quarrel. Must not let
Pottawattamie catch you."

"How are we to help it, now you have come in? We had all the canoes
on this side of the river, and were pretty safe, but should you
cross and place your canoe in their hands, there is nothing to
prevent them from doing what they please with us. If you will
promise not to cross the river till we can get out well on the lake,
we may shift our ground, however, and leave no trail."

"Muss cross over--yes, muss cross over, else Pottawattamie t'ink it
strange--yes, muss cross over. Shan't touch canoe, dough."

"How can you help it, if they be so minded? You are but a single
man, and they are twenty."

On hearing this, Corporal Flint pricked up his ears, and stood if
possible more erect than ever, for he considered himself a part of a
man at least, and one moreover who had served in all the wars of the
west, from the great battle of St. Glair to that of Mad Anthony. He
was spared the necessity of a reply, however, for Peter made a
significant gesture which as much as told him that he would take
that office on himself.

"No need be afeard," said Peter, quietly. "Know Pottawattamie--know
all chief. Nobody touch canoe of Onoah when he say don't touch him."

"Yet they are Injins of the British, and I see you here in company
with a soldier of Uncle Sam."

"No matter; Onoah go just where he please. Sometime to
Pottawattamie; sometime to Iroquois. All Ojebways know Onoah. All
Six Nation know him well. All Injin know him. Even Cherokee know him
now, and open ears when he speak. Muss cross river, and shake hand
with Crowsfeather."

There was nothing boastful, or vaunting, in Peter's manner while he
thus announced his immunity or power, but he alluded to it in a
quiet, natural way, like one accustomed to being considered a
personage of consequence. Mankind, in general, make few allowances
for the influence of habit; the sensibilities of the vainglorious
themselves being quite as often wounded by the most natural and
direct allusions of those who enjoy advantages superior to their
own, as by those that are intended to provoke comparisons. In the
present instance, however, no such feeling could exist, the Indian
asserting no more than his extended reputation would fully maintain.

When Peter had thus expressed himself, the missionary thought it
meet to add a few words in explanation. This he did, however, aside,
walking a little apart with the bee-hunter, in order so to do. As
for Gershom, no one seemed to think him of sufficient importance to
throw away any interest or care on him.

"You can trust to Peter, friend bee-hunter," the missionary
observed, "for what he promises he will perform. I know him well,
and have put myself altogether in his hands. If he says that the
Pottawattamies are not to have his canoe, the Pottawattamies will
not get it. He is a man to be depended on."

"Is not this, then, Scalping Peter, who bears so terrible a name on
all this frontier?" demanded le Bourdon.

"The same; but do not disturb yourself with names: they hurt no one,
and will soon be forgotten. A descendant of Abraham, and of Isaac,
and of Jacob, is not placed in the wilderness by the hand of divine
power for no purpose; since he is here, rely on it, it is for good."

"A descendant of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob! Is not Peter, then,
a red-skin and an Injin?"

"Certainly; though no one knows his tribe but himself. I know it,
friend bee-hunter, and shortly shall proclaim it throughout the
length and breadth of the land. Yes, it has been given to me to make
this important discovery, though I sometimes think that Peter
himself is really as ignorant as all around him of the tribe to
which he properly belongs."

"Do you wish to keep it a secret from me, too? I own that, in my
eyes, the tribe of a red-skin goes a good way in making up my
opinions of the man. Is he a Winnebagoe?"

"No, my friend, the Winnebagoes have no claims on him at all."

"Nor a Pottawattamie, Ottawa, or Ojebway of any sort?"

"He is none of these. Peter cometh of a nobler tribe than any that
beareth such names."

"Perhaps he is an Injin of the Six Nations? They tell me that many
such have found their way hither since the war of the revolution."

"All that may be true, but Peter cometh not of Pottawattamie,
Ottawa, nor Ojebway."

"He can hardly be of the Sacs or the Foxes; he has not the
appearance of an Injin from a region so far west"

"Neither, neither, neither," answered Parson Amen, now so full of
his secret as fairly to let it overflow. "Peter is a son of Israel;
one of the lost children of the land of Judea, in common with many
of his red brethren-mind, I do not say ALL, but with MANY of his red
brethren--though he may not know exactly of what tribe himself. This
last point has exercised me greatly, and days and nights have I
pondered over the facts. Turn to Genesis XLIX and 14th, and there
will you find all the authorities recorded. 'Zebulon shall dwell at
the haven of the sea.' That refers to some other red brother, nearer
to the coast, most clearly. 'Issachar is a strong ass, crouching
down between two burdens'; 'and bowed his shoulder to bear, and
became a servant unto tribute.' That refers, most manifestly, to the
black man of the Southern States, and cannot mean Peter. 'Dan shall
be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path.' There is the red man
for you, drawn with the pencil of truth! 'Gad, a troop shall
overcome him.' Here, corporal, come this way and tell our new friend
how Mad Anthony with his troopers finally routed the red-skins. You
were there, and know all about it. No language can be plainer: until
the 'long-knives and leather-stockings' came into the woods, the red
man had his way. Against THEM he COULD not prevail."

"Yes," returned Corporal Flint, who delighted in talking of the
wars, "it was very much as Parson Amen says. The savages, by their
nimbleness and artifices, would first ambush us, and then break away
from our charges, until the gin'ral bethought him of bringing
cavalry into the wilderness. Nobody ever thought of such a plan,
until old Anthony invented it. As soon as we got the fire of the
savages, at the Mawmee, we charged with the baggonet, and put 'em
up; and no sooner was they up, than away went the horse into them,
flourishing the 'long knife' and pressing the heel of the 'leather-
stocking' into the flanks of their beasts. Mr. Amen has found a
varse in Scriptur's that does come near to the p'int, and almost
foretells our victory, and that, too, as plain as it stood in
dispatches, arterward, from headquarters."

"'Gad, a TROOP shall overcome him,'" put in the missionary,

"That's it--that's it; there was just one troop on 'em, and not a
man more! Mad Anthony said a troop would answer, arter we had put
the red-skins up out of their ambushes, or any other bushes; and so
it did. I must acknowledge that I think more of the Scriptur's than
ever, since Parson Amen read to me that varse."

"Hearken unto this, friend bee-hunter," added the missionary, who by
this time had fairly mounted his hobby, and fancied he saw a true
Israelite in every other Indian of the west, "and tell me if words
were ever more prophetic--'Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf; in the
morning he shall devour his prey, and at night he shall divide the
spoil.' The art of man could not draw a more faithful picture of
these Indians."

Boden was not much skilled in sacred lore, and scarce knew what to
make of all this. The idea that the American Indians were the
descendants of the lost tribes of Israel was entirely new to him;
nor did he know anything to boast of, touching those tribes, even in
their palmiest days, and while in possession of the promised land;
still he had some confused recollection of that which he had read
when a child--what American has not?--and was enabled to put a
question or two, in return for the information now received. "What,
do you take the savages of America for Jews?" he asked,
understanding the general drift of the missionary's meaning.

"As sure as you are there, friend bee-hunter, though you are not to
suppose that I think Peter Onoah of the tribe of Benjamin. No, I
turn to the 21st verse for the tribe of Peter Naphthali--Naphthalis,
the root of his stock. 'Naphthali is a hind, let loose: he giveth
goodly words.' Now, what can be plainer than this? A hind let loose
is a deer running at large, and, by a metaphor, that deer includes
the man that hunts him. Now, Peter has been--nay, is still--a
renowned hunter, and is intended to be enumerated among the hinds
let loose; 'he giveth goodly words,' would set that point at rest,
if anything were wanting to put it beyond controversy, for Onoah is
the most eloquent speaker ear ever listened to! No one, that has
ever heard him speak, can doubt that he is the one who 'giveth
goodly words.'"

To what other circumstance the well-intentioned missionary would
next have alluded, in the course of this demonstration of a theory
that had got to be a favorite with him, is more than can now be
related, since the Indian himself drew near, and put an end to the
conversation. Peter had made up his mind to cross the river at once;
and came to say as much to his companions, both of whom he intended
to leave behind him. Le Bourdon could not arrest this movement,
short of an appeal to force; and force he did not like to use,
doubting equally its justice and its prudence.


There is no other land like thee, No dearer shore; Thou art the
shelter of the free; The home, the port of liberty Thou hast been,
and shall ever be Till time is o'er. Ere I forget to think upon My
land, shall mother curse the son She bore.

The independent, not to say controlling, manner of Peter, would seem
to put all remonstrances and arguments at defiance, Le Bourdon soon
had occasion to see that both the missionary and the corporal
submitted to his wishes, and that there was no use in gainsaying
anything he proposed. In all matters he did as he pleased; his two
companions submitting to his will as completely as if one of them
had seen in this supposed child of Israel, Joshua, the son of Nun,
and the other even Aaron, the high-priest, himself.

Peter's preparations were soon made. Everything belonging to the
missionary and the corporal was removed from the canoe, which then
contained only the extra clothing and the special property of the
Indian himself. As soon as ready, the latter quietly and fearlessly
paddled away, his canoe going easily and swiftly down before the
wind. He had no sooner got clear of the rice, than the bee-hunter
and Margery ran away to the eminence, to watch his movements, and to
note his reception among the Pottawattamies. Leaving them there, we
shall accompany the canoe, in its progress toward the northern

At first, Peter paddled quietly on, as if he had no other object
before him than the passage of the river. When quite clear of the
rice, however, he ceased, and undid his bundle of clothes, which
were carefully put away in the knapsack of a soldier. From this
repository of his effects, the chief carefully drew forth a small
bundle, on opening which, no less than seven fresh human scalps
appeared. These he arranged in order on a wand-like pole, when,
satisfied with the arrangement, he resumed the paddle. It was
apparent, from the first, that the Pottawattamies on the north shore
had seen the strange canoe when it entered the river, and they now
collected in a group, at the ordinary landing beneath the chiente,
to await its approach. Peter ceased his own exertion, as soon as he
had got within a hundred yards of the beach, took the scalp-pole in
his hand, arose, and permitted the canoe to drift down before the
wind, certain it would take the desired direction, from the
circumstance of his having placed it precisely to windward of the
landing. Once or twice he slowly waved the pole in a way to draw
attention to the scalps, which were suspended from its end, each
obvious and distinct from its companions.

Napoleon, when he returned from the campaign of Austerlitz; or
Wellington, when he entered the House of Commons to receive the
thanks of its speaker, on his return from Spain; or the chief of all
the battles of the Rio Bravo del Norte; or him of the valley of
Mexico, whose exploits fairly rival those of Cortes himself, could
scarcely be a subject of greater interest to a body of spectators,
assembled to do him honor, than was this well-known Indian, as he
drew near to the Pottawattamies, waving his scalps, in significant
triumph! Glory, as the homage paid by man to military renown is
termed, was the common impulse with them all. It is true, that,
measured by the standards of reason and right, the wise and just
might find motives for appreciating the victories of those named
differently from the manner in which they are usually regarded
through the atmosphere of success; but in the common mind it was all
glory, alike. The name of "Onoah" passed in murmurs of admiration,
from mouth to mouth; for, as it appeared, the person of this
renowned Indian was recognized by many on the shore, some time ere
he reached it himself.

Crowsfeather, and the other chiefs, advanced to meet the visitor;
the young men standing in the background, in respectful admiration.
Peter now stepped from the canoe, and greeted each of the principal
men with the courteous gravity of a savage. He shook hands with
each, calling one or two by name, a proof of the parties having met
before; then the following dialogue occurred. All spoke in the
tongue of the Pottawattamies, but, as we have had occasion to remark
on previous occasions, it is to be presumed that the reader would
scarcely be able to understand what was said, were we to record it,
word for word, in the language in which it was uttered. In
consequence of this difficulty, and for other reasons to which it
may not be necessary to allude, we shall endeavor to translate that
which passed, as closely as the English idioms will permit us so to

"My father is very welcome!" exclaimed Crowsfeather, who, by many
degrees, exceeded all his companions in consideration and rank. "I
see he has taken many scalps as is his practice, and that the pale-
faces are daily getting to be fewer. Will the sun ever rise on that
day when their wigwams will look like the branches of the oak in
winter? Can my father give us any hope of seeing that hour?"

"It is a long path from the salt-lake out of which the sun rises, to
that other salt-lake in which it hides itself at night. The sun
sleeps each night beneath water, but it is so hot that it is soon
dried when it comes out of its bed in the morning. This is the Great
Spirit's doings, and not ours. The sun is his sun; the Indians can
warm themselves by it, but they cannot shorten its journey a single
tomahawk handle's length. The same is true of time; it belongs to
the Manitou, who will lengthen or shorten it, as he may see fit. We
are his children, and it is our duty to submit. He has not forgotten
us. He made us with his own hand, and will no more turn us out of
the land than a father will turn his child from the wigwam."

"We hope this is so; but it does not seem thus to out poor weak
eyes, Onoah. We count the pale-faces, and every summer they grow
fast as the grass on the prairies. We can see more when the leaf
falls than when the tree is in bud; and, then, more when the leaf is
in bud than when it falls. A few moons will put a town where the
pine stood, and wigwams drive the wolves from their homes. In a few
years we shall have nothing but dogs to eat, if the pale-face dogs
do not eat us."

"Squaws are impatient, but men know how to wait. This land was given
to the red man by the Great Spirit, as I have often told you, my
children; if he has let in the pale-faces for a few winters, it is
to punish us for having done wrong. Now that we are sorry for what
we have done, he will help us to drive away the strangers, and give
us the woods again to hunt in by ourselves. Have not messengers from
our Great Father in Montreal been among the Pottawattamies to
strengthen their hearts?"

"They are always whispering in the ears of our tribes. I cannot
remember the time when whispers from Montreal have not been among
us. Their blankets are warm, their fire-water is strong, their
powder is good, and their rifles shoot well; but all this does not
stop the children of Uncle Sam from being more at night than they
were in the morning. The red men get tired of counting them. They
have become plentier than the pigeons in the spring. My father has
taken many of their scalps, but the hair must grow after his knife,
their scalps are so many."

"See!" rejoined Peter, lowering his pole so that all might examine
his revolting trophies, "these come from the soldiers at the head of
the lake. Blackbird was there with his young men; no one of them all
got as many scalps! This is the way to stop the white pigeon from
flying over us in such flocks as to hide and darken the sun."

Another murmur of admiration passed through the crowd, as each young
warrior bent forward to count the number of the scalps, and to note,
by signs familiar to themselves, the ages, sex, and condition of the
different victims. Here was another instance among a hundred others
of which they had heard, of the prowess of the mysterious Onoah, as
well as of his inextinguishable hatred of the race, that was slowly,
but unerringly, supplanting the ancient stock, causing the places
that once knew the people of their tribes "to know them no more." As
soon as this little burst of feeling had subsided, the conversation
went on.

"We have had a pale-face medicine-man among us, Onoah," continued
Crowsfeather, "and he has so far blinded us that we know not what to

The chief then recounted the leading events of the visit of the bee-
hunter to the place, stating each occurrence fairly, as he
understood it, and as fairly confessing that even the chiefs were at
a loss to know what to make of the affair. In addition to this
account, he gave the mysterious Onoah the history of the prisoner
they had taken, the death of Elks-foot, their intention to torture
that very morning the Chippewa they had captured, and his flight,
together with the loss of their young man, and the subsequent escape
of their unknown enemies, who had taken away all of their own
canoes. How far the medicine-man had anything to do with the other
events of his narrative, Crowsfeather very candidly admitted he
could not even conjecture. He was still at a loss whether to set
down the conjurer for a pretender, or as a real oracle. Peter,
however, was less credulous even than the chiefs. He had his
superstitious notions, like all uneducated men, but a clear head and
quick intellect placed him far above the weaknesses of the red man
in general. On receiving a description of the person of the unknown
"medicine-man," he at once recognized the bee-hunter. With an Indian
to describe, and an Indian to interpret or apply, escape from
discovery was next to impossible.

Although Onoah, or the "Tribeless," as he was also frequently called
by the red men, from the circumstance of no one's knowing to what
particular section of the great Indian family he belonged, perfectly
understood that the bee-hunter he had seen on the other shore was
the individual who had been playing the part of a conjurer among
these Pottawattamies, he was very careful not to reveal the fact to
Crowsfeather. He had his own policy, and was fully aware of all the
virtue there is in mystery and reserve. With an Indian, these
qualities go farther even than with a white man; and we of the
Caucasian race are not entirely exempt from the folly of being
deceived by appearances. On the present occasion Peter kept his
knowledge to himself, still leaving his red brethren in doubt and
uncertainty; but he took care to be right in his own opinions by
putting as many questions as were necessary for that purpose. Once
assured of this fact, he turned to other subjects of even greater
interest to himself and his companions.

The conference which now took place between the "Tribeless" and
Crowsfeather was held apart, both being chiefs of too much
importance to be intruded on at a moment like that. The two chiefs
exhibited a very characteristic picture while engaged in this
conference. They seated themselves on a bank, and drawing their legs
partially under them, sat face to face, with their heads less than
two feet asunder, occasionally gesticulating with dignity, but each
speaking in his turn with studied decorum. Crowsfeather was highly
painted, and looked fierce and warlike, but Onoah had nothing
extraordinary about him, with the exception of the decorations and
dress already described, unless it might be his remarkable
countenance. The face of this Indian ordinarily wore a thoughtful
cast, an expression which it is not unusual to meet with in a
savage; though at times it lighted up, as it might be with the heat
of inward fires, like the crater giving out its occasional flames
beneath the hues of a saddened atmosphere. One accustomed to study
the human face, and to analyze its expressions, would possibly have
discovered in that countenance lines of deep artifice, together with
the traces of a profound and constitutional enthusiasm. He was bent,
at that very moment, on a scheme worthy of the loftiest spirit
living; the regeneration and union of the people of his race, with a
view to recover the possessions they had yielded to the pale-faces;
but it was a project blended with the ferocity and revenge of a
savage-noble while ferocious.

Not idly had the whites, scattered along that frontier, given the
sobriquet of "Scalping" to Peter, As his pole now showed, it had
been earned in a hundred scenes of bloody vengeance; and so great
had been his success, that the warrior, prophet, and councillor, for
all these characters were united in his single person, began to
think the attainment of his wishes possible. As a matter of course,
much ignorance of the power of the Anglo-Saxon race on this
continent. was blended with these opinions and hopes; but it was
scarcely an ignorance exceeding that of certain persons of far
higher pretensions in knowledge, who live in another hemisphere, and
who often set themselves up as infallible judges of all things
connected with man and his attributes. Peter, the "Tribeless," was
not more in fault than those who fancied they saw the power of this
great republic in the gallant little band collected at Corpus
Christi, under its indomitable chief, and who, march by march, nay,
foot by foot, as it might be, have perseveringly predicted the halt,
the defeat, the disasters, and final discomfiture, which it has not
yet pleased Divine Providence to inflict on this slight effort of
the young Hercules, as he merely moves in his cradle. Alas, the
enemy that most menaces the overthrow of this new and otherwise
invincible exhibition of human force, is within; seated in the
citadel itself; and must be narrowly watched, or he will act his
malignant purpose, and destroy the fairest hopes that ever yet
dawned on the fortunes of the human race!

The conference between the chiefs lasted fully an hour. Crowsfeather
possessed much of the confidence of Peter, and, as for Onoah,
neither Tecumseh, nor his brother the Prophet, commanded as much of
the respect of Crowsfeather as he did himself. Some even whispered
that the "Tribeless" was the individual who lay behind all, and that
the others named merely acted as he suggested, or advised. The
reader will obtain all the insight into the future that it is
necessary now to give him, by getting a few of the remarks made by
the two colloquists, just before they joined the rest of the party.

"My father, then, intends to lead his pale-faces on a crooked path,
and take their scalps when he has done with them," said
Crowsfeather, who had been gravely listening to Peter's plans of
future proceeding; "but who is to get the scalp of the Chippewa?"

"One of my Pottawattamie young men; but not until I have made use of
him. I have a medicine-priest of the pale-faces and a warrior with
me, but shall not put their scalps on my pole until they have
paddled me further. The council is to be first held in the Oak
Openings"--we translate this term freely, that used by Peter meaning
rather "the open woods of the prairies"--"and I wish to show my
prisoners to the chiefs, that they may see how easy it is to cut off
all the Yankees. I have now four men of that people, and two squaws,
in my power; let every red man destroy as many, and the land will
soon be clear of them all!"

This was uttered with gleamings of ferocity in the speaker's face,
that rendered his countenance terrible. Even Crowsfeather quailed a
little before that fierce aspect; but the whole passed away almost
as soon as betrayed, and was succeeded by a friendly and deceptive
smile, that was characteristic of the wily Asiatic rather than of
the aboriginal American.

"They cannot be counted," returned the Pottawattamie chief, as soon
as his restraint was a little removed by this less terrific aspect
of his companion, "if all I hear is true. Blackbird says that even
the squaws of the pale-faces are numerous enough to overcome all the
red men that remain."

"There will be two less, when I fasten to my pole the scalps of
those on the other side of the river," answered Peter, with another
of his transient, but startling gleams of intense revenge. "But no
matter, now: my brother knows all I wish him to do. Not a hair of
the head of any of these pale-faces must be touched by any hand but
mine. When the time comes, the knife of Onoah is sure. The
Pottawattamies shall have their canoes, arid can follow us up the
river. They will find us in the Openings, and near the Prairie
Round. They know the spot; for the red men love to hunt the deer in
that region. Now, go and tell this to your young men; and tell them
that corn will not grow, nor the deer wait to be killed by any of
your people, if they forget to do as I have said. Vengeance shall
come, when it is time."

Crowsfeather communicated all this to his warriors, who received it
as the ancients received the words of their oracles. Each member of
the party endeavored to get an accurate notion of his duty, in order
that he might comply to the very letter with the injunctions
received. So profound was the impression made among all the red men
of the north-west by the previous labors of the "Tribeless" to
awaken a national spirit, and so great was their dread of the
consequences of disobedience, that every warrior present felt as if
his life were the threatened penalty of neglect or disinclination to

No sooner, however, had Crowsfeather got through with his
communication, than a general request was made that the problem of
the whiskey-spring might be referred to Onoah for solution. The
young men had strong hopes, not-withstanding all that had passed,
that this spring might yet turn out to be a reality. The scent was
still there, strong and fragrant, and they could not get rid of the
notion that "fire-water" grew on that spot. It is true, their faith
had been somewhat disturbed by the manner in which the medicine-man
had left them, and by his failure to draw forth the gushing stream
which he had impliedly promised, and in a small degree performed;
nevertheless little pools of whiskey had been found on the rock, and
several had tasted and satisfied themselves of the quality of the
liquor. As is usual, that taste had created a desire for more, a
desire that seldom slumbered on an Indian palate when strong drinks
were connected with its gratification.

Peter heard the request with gravity, and consented to look into the
matter with a due regard to his popularity and influence. He had his
own superstitious views, but among them there did not happen to be
one which admitted the possibility of whiskey's running in a stream
from the living rock. Still he was willing to examine the charmed
spot, scent the fragrant odor, and make up his own estimate of the
artifices by which the bee-hunter had been practising on the
untutored beings into whose hand chance had thrown him.

While the young men eagerly pointed out the precise spots where the
scent was the strongest, Peter maintained the most unmoved gravity.
He did not kneel to smell the rocks, like the other chiefs, for this
an innate sense of propriety told him would be undignified; but he
made his observations closely, and with a keen Indian-like attention
to every little circumstance that might aid him in arriving at the
truth. All this time, great was the awe and deep the admiration of
the lookers-on. Onoah had succeeded in creating a moral power for
himself among the Indians of the northwest which much exceeded that
of any other red man of that region. The whites scarcely heard of
him, knew but little of his career, and less of his true character,
for both were shrouded in mystery. There is nothing remarkable in
this ignorance of the pale-faces of the time. They did not
understand their own leaders; much less the leaders of the children
of the openings, the prairies, and the forest. At this hour, what is
really known by the mass of the American people of the true
characters of their public men? No nation that has any claim to
civilization and publicity knows less, and for several very obvious
reasons. The want of a capital in which the intelligence of the
nation periodically assembles and whence a corrected public opinion
on all such matters ought constantly to flow, as truth emanates from
the collisions of minds, is one of these reasons. The extent of the
country, which separates men by distances that no fact can travel
over without incurring the dangers of being perverted on the road,
is another. But the most fatal of al he influences that tend to
mislead the judgment of the American citizen, is to be found in the
abuse of a machinery that was intended to produce an exactly
contrary effect. If the tongue was given to man to communicate ideas
to his fellows, so has philosophy described it as "a gift to conceal
his thoughts." If the press was devised to circulate truth, so has
it been changed into a means of circulating lies. One is easily,
nay, more easily, sent abroad on the four winds of the heavens than
the other. Truth requires candor, impartiality, honesty, research,
and industry; but a falsehood, whether designed or not, stands in
need of neither. Of that which is the most easily produced, the
country gets the most; and it were idle to imagine that a people who
blindly and unresistingly submit to be put, as it might be, under
the feet of falsehood, as respects all their own public men, can
ever get very accurate notions of those of other nations.

Thus was it with Onoah. His name was unknown to the whites, except
as a terrible and much-dreaded avenger of the wrongs of his race.
With the red men it was very different. They had no "forked tongues"
to make falsehood take the place of truth; or if such existed they
were not believed. The Pottawattamies now present knew all about
Tecumseh, [Footnote: A "tiger stooping for his prey."] of whom the
whites had also various and ample accounts. This Shawanee chief had
long been active among them, and his influence was extended far and
near. He was a bold, restless, and ingenious warrior; one, perhaps,
who better understood the art of war, as it was practised among red
men, than any Indian then living. They knew the name and person,
also, of his brother Elkswatawa, [Footnote: "A door opened."] or the
Prophet, whose name has also become incorporated with the histories
of the times. These two chiefs were very powerful, though scarce
dwelling regularly in any tribe; but their origin, their careers,
and their characters were known to all, as were those of their
common father, Pukeesheno, [Footnote: "I light from fly--"] and their
mother, Meethetaske.[Footnote: "A turtle laying her eggs in the
sand."] But with Onoah it was very different. With him the past was
as much of a mystery as the future. No Indian could say even of what
tribe he was born. The totem that he bore on his person belonged to
no people then existing on the continent, and all connected with
him, his history, nation, and family, was conjecture and fancy.

It is said that the Indians have traditions which are communicated
only to a favored few, and which by them have been transmitted from
generation to generation. An enlightened and educated red man has
quite recently told us in person, that he had been made the
repository of some of these traditions, and that he had thus
obtained enough of the history of his race to be satisfied that they
were not derived from the lost tribes of Israel, though he declined
communicating any more. It is so natural to resort to secrecy in
order to extend influence, that we can have no difficulty In
believing the existence of the practice; there probably being no
other reason why Free Masonry or Odd Fellowship should have recourse
to such an expedient, but to rule through the imagination in
preference to the judgment. Now Peter enjoyed all the advantages of
mystery. It was said that even his real name was unknown, that of
Onoah having been given in token of the many scalps he took, and
that of Wa-wa-nosh, which he also sometimes bore, having been
bestowed on him by adoption in consequence of an act of favor
extended to him from an Ojebway of some note, while that of Peter
was clearly derived from the whites. Some of his greatest admirers
whispered that when the true name of the "Tribeless" should get to
be known, his origin, early career, and all relating to him would at
once become familiar to every red man. At present, the Indians must
rest content with what they saw and understood. The wisdom of Wa-wa-
nosh made itself felt in the councils; his eloquence no speaker has
equalled for ages; as for his vengeance on the enemies of his race,
that was to be estimated by the scalps he had taken. More than this
no Indian was to be permitted to know, until the mission of this
oracle and chief was completed.

Had one enlightened by the education of a civilized man been there,
to watch the movements and countenance of Peter as he scented the
whiskey, and looked in vain for the cause of the odor, and for a
clew to the mystery which so much perplexed the Pottawattamies, he
would probably have discovered some reason to distrust the sincerity
of this remarkable savage's doubts. If ever Peter was an actor, it
was on that occasion. He did not, in the least, fall into any of the
errors of his companions; but the scent a good deal confounded him
at first. At length he came to the natural conclusion, that this
unusual odor was in some way connected with the family he had left
on the other shore; and from that moment his mind was at ease.

It did not suit the views of Peter, however, to explain to the
Pottawattamies that which was now getting to be so obvious to
himself. On the contrary, he rather threw dust into the eyes of the
chiefs, with a view to bring them also under the influence of
superstition. After making his observations with unmoved gravity, he
promised a solution of the whole affair when they should again meet
in the Openings, and proposed to recross the river. Before quitting
the shore Peter and Crowsfeather had a clear understanding on the
subject of their respective movements; and, as soon as the former
began to paddle up against the wind, the latter called his young men
together, made a short address, and led them into the woods, as if
about to proceed on a march of length. The party, notwithstanding,
did not proceed more than a mile and a half, when it came to a halt,
and lighted a fire in order to cook some venison taken on the way.

When Peter reached the south shore, he found the whole group
assembled to receive him. His tale was soon told. He had talked with
the Pottawattamies, and they were gone. The canoes, however, must be
carried to the other shore and left there, in order that their
owners might recover their property when they returned. This much
had Peter promised, and his pale-face friends must help him to keep
his word. Then he pointed to the Openings as to their place of
present safety. There they would be removed from all immediate
danger, and he would accompany them and give them the countenance
and protection of his name and presence. As for going south on the
lake, that was impossible, so long as the wind lasted, and it was
useless even could it be done. The troops had all left Chicago, and
the fort was destroyed.

Parson Amen and Corporal Flint, both of whom were completely deluded
by Peter, fancying him a secret friend of the whites, in consequence
of his own protestations to that effect and the service he had
already rendered them, in appearance at least, instantly acquiesced
in this wily savage's proposal. It was the best, the wisest, nay,
the only thing that now could be done. Mackinaw was gone, as well as
Chicago, and Detroit must be reached by crossing the peninsula,
instead of taking the easier but far more circuitous route of the
lakes. Gershom was easily enough persuaded into the belief of the
feasibility, as well as of the necessity, of this deviation from his
original road, and he soon agreed to accompany the party.

With le Bourdon the case was different. He understood himself and
the wilderness. For him the wind was fair, and there was no
necessity for his touching at Mackinaw at all. It is true, he
usually passed several days on that pleasant and salubrious island,
and frequently disposed of lots of honey there; but he could
dispense with the visit and the sales. There was certainly danger
now to be apprehended from the Ottawas, who would be very apt to be
out on the lake after this maritime excursion against the fort; but
it was possible even to elude their vigilance. In a word, the bee-
hunter did not believe in the prudence of returning to the Openings,
but thought it by far the wisest for the whole party to make the
best of its way by water to the settlements. All this he urged
warmly on his white companions, taking them aside for that purpose,
and leaving Peter and Pigeonswing together while he did so.

But Parson Amen would as soon have believed that his old
congregation in Connecticut was composed of Philistines, as not to
believe that the red men were the lost tribes, and that Peter, in
particular, was not especially and elaborately described in the Old
Testament. He had become so thoroughly possessed by this crotchet as
to pervert everything that he saw, read, or heard, into evidence, of
some sort or other, of the truth of his notions. In this respect
there was nothing peculiar in the good missionary's weakness, it
being a failing common to partisans of a theory, to discover proofs
of its truths in a thousand things in which indifferent persons can
find even no connection with the subject at all. In this frame of
mind the missionary would as soon think of letting go his hold on
the Bible itself, as think of separating from an Indian who might
turn out any day to be a direct representative of Abraham, and
Isaac, and Jacob. Not to speak irreverently, but to use language
that must be familiar to all, the well-meaning missionary wished to
be in at the death.

Corporal Flint, too, had great faith in Peter. It was a part of the
scheme of the savage to make this straight for-ward soldier an
instrument in placing many scalps in hit power; and though he had
designed from the first to execute his bloody office on the corporal
himself, he did not intend to do so until he had made the most of
him as a stool-pigeon. Here were four more pale-faces thrown in his
power, principally by means of the confidence he had awakened in the
minds of the missionary and the soldier; and that same confidence
might be made instrumental in adding still more to the number. Peter
was a sagacious, even a far-seeing savage, but he labored under the
curse of ignorance. Had his information been of a more extended
nature, he would have seen the utter fallacy of his project to
destroy the pale-faces altogether, and most probably would have
abandoned it.

It is a singular fact that, while such men as Tecumseh, his brother
the Prophet, and Peter, were looking forward to the downfall of the
republic on the side of the forest, so many, who ought to have been
better informed on such a subject, were anxiously expecting, nay
confidently predicting it, from beyond the Atlantic. Notwithstanding
these sinister soothsayers, the progress of the nation has, by a
beneficent Providence, been onward and onward, until it is scarcely
presumptuous to suppose that even England has abandoned the
expectation of classing this country again among her dependencies.
The fortunes of America, under God, depend only on herself. America
may destroy America; of that there is danger; but it is pretty
certain that Europe united could make no serious impression on her.
Favored by position, and filled with a population that we have ever
maintained was one of the most military in existence, a truth that
recent events are hourly proving to be true, it much exceeds the
power of all the enemies of her institutions to make any serious
impression on her. There is an enemy who may prove too much for her;
it exists in her bosom; and God alone can keep him in subjection,
and repress his desolation.

These were facts, however, of which Wa-wa-nosh, or Onoah, was as
ignorant as if he were an English or French minister of state, and
had got his notions of the country from English or French
travellers, who wished for what they predicted. He had heard of the
towns and population of the republic; but one gets a very imperfect
notion of any fact of this sort by report, unless previous
experience has prepared the mind to make the necessary comparisons,
and fitted it to receive the images intended to be conveyed. No
wonder, then, that Peter fell into a mistake common to those who had
so many better opportunities of forming just opinions, and of
arriving at truths that were sufficiently obvious to all who did not
wilfully shut their eyes to their existence.


Hearest thou voices on the shore
That our ears perceive no more,
Deafened by the cataract's roar?

Bear, through sorrow, wrong, and ruth,
In thy heart the dew of youth,
On thy lips the smile of truth.

From all that has been stated, the reader will, probably, be
prepared to learn that Boden did not succeed in his effort to
persuade Gershom, and the other Christians, to accompany him on his
voyage round by Lake Huron. Corporal Flint was obdurate, and Parson
Amen confiding. As for Gershom, he did not like the thought of
retracing his steps so soon, and the females were obliged to remain
with the husband and brother.

"You had better get out of the river while all the canoes are on
this side," said Margery, as she and le Bourdon walked toward the
boats in company, the council having ended, and everything beginning
to assume the appearance of action. "Remember you will be quite
alone, and have a long, long road to travel!"

"I do remember all this, Margery, and see the necessity for all of
us getting back to the settlements as fast as we can. I don't half
like this Peter; his name is a bad one in the garrisons, and it
makes me miserable to think that you may be in his power."

"The missionary and the corporal, as well as my brother, seem
willing to trust him--what can two females do, when their male
protector has made up his mind in such a matter?"

"One who would very gladly be your protector, pretty Margery, has
not made up his mind to the prudence of trusting Peter at all. Put
yourself under my care, and my life shall be lost, or I will carry
you safe to your friends in Detroit."

This might be deemed tolerably explicit; yet was it not sufficiently
so to satisfy female scruples, or female rights. Margery blushed,
and she looked down, while she did not look absolutely displeased.
But her answer was given firmly, and with a promptitude that showed
she was quite in earnest.

"I cannot quit Dorothy, placed as she is--and it is my duty to die
with brother," she said.

"Have you thought enough of this, Margery? may not reflection change
your mind?"

"This is a duty on which a girl is not called to reflect; she must
FEEL, in a matter of conscience."

The bee-hunter fairly sighed, and from a very resolute he became a
very irresolute sort of person. As was natural to one in his
situation, he let out the secret current his thoughts had taken, in
the remarks which followed.

"I do not like the manner in which Peter and Pigeonswing are now
talking together," he said. "When an Injin is so earnest, there is
generally mischief brewing. Do you see Peter's manner?"

"He seems to be telling the young warrior something that makes both
forget themselves. I never saw two men who seem so completely to
forget all the rest of the world as them two savages! What can be
the meaning, Bourdon, of so much fierce earnestness?"

"I would give the world to know-possibly the Chippewa may tell me.
We understand each other tolerably well, and, just as you spoke, he
gave me a secret sign that I have a right to think means confidence
and friendship. That savage is either a fast friend, or a thorough

"Is it safe to trust any of them, Bourdon? No--no--your best way
will be to go down the lakes, and get back to Detroit as soon as you
can. Not only your property, but your LIFE, is at risk."

"Go, and leave you here, Margery--here, with a brother whose failing
you know as well as I do, and who may, at any moment, fall back into
his old ways! I should not be a man to do it!"

"But brother can get no liquor, now, for it is all emptied. When
himself for a few days, Gershom is a good protector, as well as a
good provider. You must not judge brother too harshly, from what you
have seen of him, Bourdon."

"I do not wish to judge him at all, Margery. We all have our
failin's, and whiskey is his. I dare say mine are quite as bad, in
some other way. It's enough for me, Margery, that Gershom is your
brother, to cause me to try to think well of him. We must not trust
to there being no more liquor among us; for, if that so'ger is
altogether without his rations, he's the first so'ger I ever met
with who was!"

"But this corporal is a friend of the minister, and ministers ought
not to drink!"

"Ministers are like other men, as them that live much among 'em will
soon find out. Hows'ever, if you WILL stay, Margery, there is no
more to be said. I must cache [Footnote: A Western term, obviously
derived from cacher, to conceal. Cache is much used by the Western
adventurers.] my honey, and get the canoe ready to go up stream
again. Where you go, Margery, I go too, unless you tell me that you
do not wish my company."

This was said quietly, but in the manner of one whose mind was made
up. Margery scarce knew how to take it. That she was secretly
delighted, cannot be denied; while, at the same time, that she felt
a generous and lively concern for the fortunes of le Bourdon, is
quite as certain. As Gershom just then called to her to lend her
assistance in preparing to embark, she had no leisure for
expostulation, nor do we know that she now seriously wished to
divert the bee-hunter from his purpose.

It was soon understood by every one that the river was to be
crossed, in order that Gershom might get his household effects,
previously to ascending the Kalamazoo. This set all at--work but the
Chippewa, who appeared to le Bourdon to be watchful and full of
distrust. As the latter had a job before him, that would be likely
to consume a couple of hours, the others were ready for a start long
before he had his hole dug. It was therefore arranged that the bee-
hunter should complete his task, while the others crossed the
stream, and went in quest of Gershom's scanty stock of household
goods. Pigeonswing, however, was not to be found, when the canoes
were ready, and Peter proceeded without him. Nor did le Bourdon see
anything of his friend until the adventurers were fairly on the
north shore, when he rejoined le Bourdon, sitting on a log, a
curious spectator of the latter's devices to conceal his property,
but not offering to aid him in a single movement. The bee-hunter too
well understood an Indian warrior's aversion to labor of all sorts,
unless it be connected with his military achievements, to be
surprised at his companion's indifference to his own toil. As the
work went on, a friendly dialogue was kept up between the parties.

"I didn't know, Pigeonswing, but you had started for the openings,
before us," observed le Bourdon. "That tribeless old Injin made
something of a fuss about your being out of the way; I dare say he
wanted you to help back the furniture down to the canoes."

"Got squaw--what he want--better to do dat?"

"So you would put that pretty piece of work on such persons as
Margery and Dolly!"

"Why not, no? Bot' squaw-bot know how. Dere business to work for

"Did you keep out of the way, then, lest old Peter should get you at
a job that is onsuitable to your manhood?"

"Keep out of way of Pottawattamie," returned the Chippewa; "no want
to lose scalp-radder take his'n."

"But Peter says the Pottawattamies are all gone, and that we have no
longer any reason to fear them; and this medicine-priest tells us,
that what Peter says we can depend on for truth."

"Dat good medicine-man, eh? T'ink he know a great deal, eh?"

"That is more than I can tell you, Pigeonswing; for though I've been
a medicine-man myself, so lately, it is in a different line
altogether from that of Parson Amen's."

As the bee-hunter uttered this answer, he was putting the last of
his honey-kegs into the cache, and as he rose from completing the
operation, he laughed heartily, like one who saw images in the
occurrences of the past night, that tended to divert himself, if
they had not the same effect on the other spectators.

"If you medicine-man, can tell who Peter be? Winnebagoe, Sioux, Fox,
Ojebway, Six Nations all say don't know him. Medicine-man ought to
know--who he be, eh?"

"I am not enough of a medicine-man to answer your question,
Pigeonswing. Set me at finding a whiskey-spring, or any little job
of that sort, and I'll turn my back to no other whiskey-spring
finder on the whole frontier; but, as for Peter, he goes beyond my
calculations, quite. Why is he called Scalping Peter in the
garrisons, if he be so good an Injin, Chippewa?"

"You ask question--you answer. Don't know, 'less he take a good many
scalps. Hear he do take all he can find--den hear he don't."

"But you take all you can find, Pigeonswing; and that which is good
in you, cannot be so bad in Peter."

"Don't take scalp from friend. When you hear Pigeonswing scalp
FRIEND, eh?"

"I never did hear it; and hope I never shall. But when did you hear
that Peter is so wicked?"

"S'pose he don't, 'cause he got no friend among pale-face. Bes' take
care of dat man?"

"I'm of your way of thinking, myself, Chippewa; though the corporal
and the priest think him all in all. When I asked Parson Amen how he
came to be the associate of one who went by a scalping name, even he
told me it was all name; that Peter hadn't touched a hair of a human
head, in the way of scalping, since his youth, and that most of his
notions and ways were quite Jewish, The parson has almost as much
faith in Peter, as he has in his religion; I'm not quite sure he has
not even more."

"No matter. Bes' always for pale-face to trust pale-face, and Injin
to trust Injin. Dat most likely to be right."

"Nevertheless, I trust YOU Pigeonswing; and, hitherto, you have not
deceived me!"

The Chippewa cast a glance of so much meaning on the bee-hunter,
that the last was troubled by it. For many a day did le Bourdon
remember that look; and painful were the apprehensions to which it
gave birth. Until that morning, the intercourse between the two had
been of the most confidential character; but something like a fierce
hatred was blended in that look. Could it be that the feelings of
the Chippewa were changed? and was it possible that Peter was in any
way connected with this alteration in looks and sentiments? All
these suspicions passed through le Bourdon's mind, as he finished
his cache; and sufficiently disagreeable did he find it to entertain
them. The circumstances, however, did not admit of any change of
plan; and, in a few minutes, the two were in the canoe, and on their
way to join their companions.

Peter had dealt fairly enough with those who accompanied him. The
Pottawattamies were nowhere to be seen, and Gershom led the corporal
to the place where his household goods had been secreted, in so much
confidence, that both the men left their arms behind them. Such was
the state of things when le Bourdon reached the north shore. The
young man was startled, when his eyes fell on the rifles; but, on
looking around, there did not really appear to be any sufficient
reason why they might not be laid aside for a few minutes.

The bee-hunter, having disposed of all his honey, had now a nearly
empty canoe; accordingly, he received a portion of Gershom's
effects; all of which were safely transported from their place of
concealment to the water side. Their owner was slowly recovering the
use of his body and mind, though still a little dull, from his
recent debauch. The females supplied his place, however, in many
respects; and two hours after the party had landed, it was ready
again to proceed on its journey into the interior. The last article
was stowed in one of the canoes, and Gershom announced his
willingness to depart.

At this moment, Peter led the bee-hunter aside, telling his friends
that he would speedily rejoin them. Our hero followed his savage
leader along the foot of the declivity, in the rear of the hut,
until the former stopped at the place where the first, and principal
fire of the past night, had been lighted. Here Peter made a sweeping
gesture of his hand, as if to invite his companion to survey the
different objects around. As this characteristic gesture was made,
the Indian spoke.

"My brother is a medicine-man," he said. "He knows where whiskey
grows--let him tell Peter where to find the spring."

The recollection of the scene of the previous night came so fresh
and vividly over the imagination of the bee-hunter, that, instead of
answering the question of the chief, he burst into a hearty fit of
laughter. Then, fearful of giving offence, he was about to apologize
for a mirth so ill-timed, when the Indian smiled, with a gleam of
intelligence on his swarthy face, that seemed to say, "I understand
it all," and continued--

"Good--the chief with three eyes"--in allusion to the spy--glass
that le Bourdon always carried suspended from his neck--"is a very
great medicine-man; he knows when to laugh, and when to look sad.
The Pottawattamies were dry, and he wanted to find them some whiskey
to drink, but could not--our brother, in the canoe, had drunk it
all. Good."

Again the bee-hunter laughed; and though Peter did not join in his
mirth, it was quite plain that he understood its cause. With this
good-natured sort of intelligence between them, the two returned to
the canoes; the bee-hunter always supposing that the Indian had
obtained his object, in receiving his indirect admission, that the
scene of the previous night had been merely a piece of ingenious
jugglery. So much of a courtier, however, was Peter, and so entire
his self-command, that on no occasion, afterward, did he ever make
any further allusion to the subject.

The ascent of the river was now commenced. It was not a difficult
matter for le Bourdon to persuade Margery, that her brother's canoe
would be too heavily loaded for such a passage, unless she consented
to quit it for his own. Pigeonswing took the girl's place, and was
of material assistance in forcing the light, but steady craft, up
stream. The three others continued in the canoe in which they had
entered the river. With this arrangement, therefore, our adventurers
commenced this new journey.

Every reader will easily understand, that ascending such a stream as
the Kalamazoo was a very difficult thing from descending it. The
progress was slow, and at many points laborious. At several of the
"rifts," it became necessary to "track" the canoes up; and places
occurred at which the only safe way of proceeding was to unload them
altogether, and transport boats, cargoes, and all, on the shoulders
of the men, across what are called, in the language of the country,
"portages," or "carrying-places." In such toil as this, the corporal
was found to be very serviceable; but neither of the Indians
declined to lend their assistance, in work of this manly character.
By this time, moreover, Gershom had come round, and was an able-
bodied, vigorous assistant, once more. If the corporal was the
master of any alcohol, he judiciously kept it a secret; for not a
drop passed any one's lips during the whole of that toilsome

Although the difficult places in the river were sufficiently
numerous, most of the reaches were places having steady, but not
swift currents toward the lake. In these reaches the paddles, and
those not very vigorously applied, enabled the travellers to advance
as fast as was desirable; and such tranquil waters were a sort of
resting-places to those who managed the canoes. It was while
ascending these easy channels, that conversation most occurred; each
speaker yielding, as was natural, to the impulses of the thoughts
uppermost in his mind. The missionary talked much of the Jews; and,
as the canoes came near each other, he entered at large, with their
different occupants, into the reasons he had for believing that the
red men of America were the lost tribes of Israel. "The very use of
the word 'tribes,'" would this simple-minded, and not very profound
expounder of the word of God, say, "is one proof of the truth of
what I tell you. Now, no one thinks of dividing the white men of
America into 'tribes.' Who ever heard of the 'tribe' of New England,
or of the 'tribe' of Virginia, or of the 'tribe' of the Middle
States? [Footnote: The reader is not to infer any exaggeration in
this picture. There is no end to the ignorance and folly of sects
and parties, when religious or political zeal runs high. The writer
well remembers to have heard a Universalist, of more zeal than
learning, adduce, as an argument in favor of his doctrine, the
twenty-fifth chapter and forty-sixth verse of St. Matthew, where we
are told that the wicked "shall go away into ever-lasting
punishment; but the righteous into Vis eternal"; by drawing a
distinction between the adjectives, and this so much the more,
because the Old Testament speaks of "everlasting hills," and
"everlasting valleys "; thus proving, from the Bible, a substantial
difference between "everlasting" and "eternal." Now, every Sophomore
knows that the word used in Matthew is the same in both cases, being
"aionion," or "existing forever."] Even among the blacks, there are
no tribes. There is a very remarkable passage in the sixty-eighth
Psalm, that has greatly struck me, since my mind has turned to this
subject; 'God shall wound the head his enemies.' saith the Psalmist,
'and the hairy scalp of such a one as goeth on still in his
wickedness.' Here is a very obvious allusion to a well-known, and
what we think, a barbarous practice of the red men; but, rely on it,
friends, nothing that is permitted on earth is permitted in vain.
The attentive reader of the inspired book, by gleaning here and
there, can collect much authority for this new opinion about the
lost tribes; and the day will come, I do not doubt, when men will
marvel that the truth hath been so long hidden from them. I can
scarcely open a chapter, in the Old Testament, that some passage
does not strike me as going to prove this identity, between the red
men and the Hebrews; and, were they all collected together, and
published in a book, mankind would be astonished at their lucidity
and weight. As for scalping, it is a horrid thing in our eyes, but
it is honorable with the red men; and I have quoted to you the words
of the Psalmist, in order to show the manner in which divine wisdom
inflicts penalties on sin. Here is plain justification of the
practice, provided always that the sufferer be in the bondage of
transgression, and obnoxious to divine censure. Let no man,
therefore, in the pride of his learning, and, perhaps, of his
prosperity, disdain to believe things that are so manifestly taught
and foretold; but let us all bow in humble submission to the will of
a Being who, to our finite understanding, is so perfectly

We trust that no one of our readers will be disposed to deride
Parson Amen's speculations on this interesting subject, although
this may happen to be the first occasion on which he has ever heard
the practice of taking scalps justified by Scripture. Viewed in a
proper spirit, they ought merely to convey a lesson of humility, by
rendering apparent the wisdom, nay the necessity, of men's keeping
them-selves within the limits of the sphere of knowledge they were
designed to fill, and convey, when rightly considered, as much of a
lesson to the Puseyite, with abstractions that are quite as
unintelligible to himself as they are to others; to the high-wrought
and dogmatical Calvinist, who in the midst of his fiery zeal,
forgets that love is the very essence of the relation between God
and man; to the Quaker, who seems to think the cut of a coat
essential to salvation; to the descendant of the Puritan, who
whether he be Socinian, Calvinist, Universalist, or any other "1st,"
appears to believe that the "rock" on which Christ declared he would
found his church was the "Rock of Plymouth"; and to the unbeliever,
who, in deriding all creeds, does not know where to turn to find one
to substitute in their stead. Humility, in matters of this sort, is
the great lesson that all should teach and learn; for it opens the
way to charity, and eventually to faith, and through both of these
to hope; finally, through all of these, to heaven.

The journey up the Kalamazoo lasted many days, the ascent being
often so painful, and no one seeming in a hurry. Peter waited for
the time set for his council to approach, and was as well content to
remain in his canoe, as to "camp out" in the openings. Gershom never
was in haste, while the bee-hunter would have been satisfied to pass
the summer in so pleasant a manner, Margery being seated most of the
time in his canoe. In his ordinary excursions, le Bourdon carried
the mastiff as a companion; but, now that his place was so much
better filled, Hive was suffered to roam the woods that lined most
of the river-banks, joining his master from time to time at the
portages or landings. As for the missionary and the corporal,
impatience formed no part of their present disposition. The first
had been led, by the artful Peter, to expect great results to his
theory from the assembly of chiefs which was to meet in the
"openings"; and the credulous parson was, in one sense, going as
blindly on the path of destruction, as any sinner it had ever been
his duty to warn of his fate, was proceeding in the same direction
in another. The corporal, too, was the dupe of Peter's artifices.
This man had heard so many stories to the Indian's prejudice, at the
different posts where he had been stationed, as at first to render
him exceedingly averse to making the present journey in his company.
The necessity of the case, as connected with the preservation of his
own life after the massacre of Fort Dearborn, and the influence of
the missionary, had induced him to overlook his ancient prejudices,
and to forget opinions that, it now occurred to him, had been
founded in error. Once fairly within the influence of Peter's wiles,
a simple-minded soldier like the corporal, was soon completely made
the Indian's dupe. By the time the canoe reached the mouth of the
Kalamazoo, as has been related, each of these men placed the most
implicit reliance on the good faith and friendly feelings of the
very being whose entire life, both sleeping and waking thoughts,
were devoted, not only to his destruction, but to that of the whole
white race on the American continent. So bland was the manner of
this terrible savage, when it comported with his views to conceal
his ruthless designs, that persons more practised and observant than
either of his two companions might have been its dupes, not to say
its victims. While the missionary was completely mystified by his
own headlong desire to establish a theory, and to announce to the
religious world where the lost tribes were to be found, the corporal
had aided in deceiving himself, also, by another process. With him,
Peter had privately conversed of war, and had insinuated that he was
secretly laboring in behalf of his great father at Washington, and
against the other great father down at Montreal. As between the two,
Peter professed to lean to the interests of the first; though, had
he laid bare his in-most soul, a fiery hatred of each would have
been found to be its predominant feeling. But Corporal Flint fondly
fancied he was making a concealed march with an ally, while he thus
accompanied one of the fiercest enemies of his race.

Peter is not to be judged too harshly. It is always respectable to
defend the fireside, and the land of one's nativity, although the
cause connected with it may be sometimes wrong. This Indian knew
nothing of the principles of colonization, and had no conception
that any other than its original owners--original so far as his
traditions reached--could have a right to his own hunting-grounds.
Of the slow but certain steps by which an overruling Providence is
extending a knowledge of the true God, and of the great atonement
through the death of his blessed Son, Peter had no conception; nor
would it probably have seemed right to his contracted mind, had he
even seen and understood this general tendency of things. To him,
the pale-face appeared only as a rapacious invader, and not a
creature obeying the great law of his destiny, the end of which is
doubtless to help knowledge to abound, until it shall "cover the
whole earth as the waters cover the sea." Hatred, inextinguishable
and active hatred, appeared to be the law of this man's being; and
he devoted all the means, aided by all the intelligence he
possessed, to the furtherance of his narrow and short-sighted means
of vengeance and redress. In all this, he acted in common with
Tecumseh and his brother, though his consummate art kept him behind
a veil, while the others were known and recognized as open and
active foes. No publication speaks of this Peter, nor does any
orator enumerate his qualities, while the other two chiefs have been
the subjects of every species of descriptive talent, from that of
the poet to that of the painter.

As day passed after day, the feeling of distrust in the bosom of the
bee-hunter grew weaker and weaker, and Peter succeeded in gradually
worming himself into his confidence also. This was done, moreover,
without any apparent effort. The Indian made no professions of
friendship, laid himself out for no particular attention, nor ever
seemed to care how his companions regarded his deportment. His
secret purposes he kept carefully smothered in his own breast, it is
true; but, beyond that, no other sign of duplicity could have been
discovered even by one who knew his objects and schemes. So profound
was his art, that it had the aspect of nature. Pigeonswing alone was
alive to the danger of this man's company; and he knew it only by
means of certain semi-confidential communications received in his
character of a red man. It was no part of Peter's true policy to
become an ally to either of the great belligerents of the day. On
the contrary, his ardent wish was to see them destroy each other,
and it was the sudden occurrence of the present war that had given a
new impulse to his hopes, and a new stimulus to his efforts, as a
time most propitious to his purposes. He was perfectly aware of the
state of the Chippewa's feelings, and he knew that this man was
hostile to the Pottawattamies, as well as to most of the tribes of
Michigan; but this made no difference with him. If Pigeonswing took
the scalp of a white man, he cared not whether it grew on an English
or an American head; in either case it was the destruction of his
enemy. With such a policy constantly in view, it cannot be matter of
surprise that Peter continued on just as good terms with Pigeonswing
as with Crowsfeather. But one precaution was observed in his
intercourse with the first. To Crowsfeather, then on the war-path in
quest of Yankee scalps, he had freely communicated his designs on
his own white companions, while he did not dare to confide to the
Chippewa this particular secret, since that Indian's relations with
the bee-hunter were so amicable as to be visible to every observer.
Peter felt the necessity of especial caution in his communication
with this savage, therefore; and this was the reason why the
Chippewa was in so much painful uncertainty as to the other's
intentions. He had learned enough to be distrustful, but not enough
to act with decision.

Once, and once only, during their slow passage up the Kalamazoo, did
the bee-hunter observe something about Peter to awaken his original
apprehensions. The fourth day after leaving the mouth of the river,
and when the whole party were resting after the toil of passing a
"carrying-place," our hero had observed the eyes of that tribeless
savage roaming from one white face to another, with an expression in
them so very fiendish, as actually to cause his heart to beat
quicker than common. The look was such a one as le Bourdon could not
remember to have ever before beheld in a human countenance. In point
of fact, he had seen Peter in one of those moments when the pent
fires of the volcano, that ceaselessly raged within his bosom, were
becoming difficult to suppress; and when memory was busiest in
recalling to his imagination scenes of oppression and wrong, that
the white man is only too apt to forget amid the ease of his
civilization, and the security of his power. But the look, and the
impression produced by it on le Bourdon, soon passed away, and were
forgotten by him to whom it might otherwise have proved to be a most
useful warning.

It was a little remarkable that Margery actually grew to be attached
to Peter, often manifesting toward the chief attentions and feelings
such as a daughter is apt to exhibit toward a father. This arose
from the high and courteous bearing of this extraordinary savage. At
all times, an Indian warrior is apt to maintain the dignified and
courteous bearing that has so often been remarked in the race, but
it is very seldom that he goes out of his way to manifest attention
to the squaws. Doubtless these men have the feelings of humanity,
and love their wives and offspring like others; but it is so
essential a part of their training to suppress the exhibition of
such emotions, that it is seldom the mere looker-on has occasion to
note them. Peter, however, had neither wife nor child; or if they
existed, no one knew where either was to be found. The same mystery
shrouded this part of his history as veiled all the rest. In his
hunts, various opportunities occurred for exhibiting to the females
manly attentions, by offering to them the choicest pieces of his
game, and pointing out the most approved Indian modes of cooking the
meats, so as to preserve their savory properties. This he did
sparingly at first, and as a part of a system of profound deception;
but day by day, and hour after hour, most especially with Margery,
did his manner become sensibly less distant, and more natural. The
artlessness, the gentle qualities, blended with feminine spirit as
they were, and the innocent gayety of the girl, appeared to win on
this nearly remorseless savage, in spite of his efforts to resist
her influence. Perhaps the beauty of Margery contributed its share
in exciting these novel emotions in the breast of one so stern. We
do not mean that Peter yielded to feelings akin-to love; of this, he
was in a manner incapable; but a man can submit to a gentle regard
for woman that shall be totally free from passion. This sort of
regard Peter certainly began to entertain for Margery; and like
begetting like, as money produces money, it is not surprising that
the confidence of the girl herself, as well as her sympathies,
should continue to increase in the favor of this terrible Indian.

But the changes of feeling, and the various little incidents to
which we have alluded, did not occur in a single moment of time. Day
passed after day, and still the canoes were working their way up the
winding channels of the Kalamazoo, placing at each setting sun
longer and longer reaches of its sinuous stream between the
travellers and the broad sheet of Michigan. As le Bourdon had been
up and down the river often, in his various excursions, he acted as
the pilot of the navigation; though all worked, even to the
missionary and the Chippewa. On such an expedition, toil was not
deemed to be discreditable to a warrior, and Pigeonswing used the
paddle and the pole as willingly, and with as much dexterity, as any
of the party.

It was only on the eleventh day after quitting the mouth of the
river, that the canoes came to in the little bay where le Bourdon
was in the habit of securing his light bark, when in the openings.
Castle Meal was in full view, standing peacefully in its sweet
solitude; and Hive, who, as he came within the range of his old
hunts, had started off, and got to the spot the previous evening,
now stood on the bank of the river to welcome his master and his
friends to the chiente. It wanted a few minutes of sunset as the
travellers landed, and the parting rays of the great luminary of our
system were glancing through the various glades of the openings,
imparting a mellow softness to the herbage and flowers. So far as
the bee-hunter could perceive, not even a bear had visited the place
in his absence. On ascending to his abode and examining the
fastenings, and on entering the hut, storehouse, etc., le Bourdon
became satisfied that all the property he had left behind was safe,
and that the foot of man--he almost thought of beast too--had not
visited the spot at all during the last fortnight.


Hope in your mountains, and hope in your streams,
Bow down in their worship, and loudly pray;
Trust in your strength, and believe in your dreams,
But the wind shall carry them all away.

The week which succeeded the arrival of our party at Chateau au
Miel, or Castle Meal, as le Bourdon used to call his abode, was one
of very active labor. It was necessary to house the adventurers, and
the little habitation already built was quite insufficient for such
a purpose. It was given to the females, who used it as a private
apartment for themselves, while the cooking, eating, and even
sleeping, so far as the males were concerned, were all done beneath
the trees of the openings. But a new chiente was soon constructed,
which, though wanting in the completeness and strength of Castle
Meal, was sufficient for the wants of these sojourners in the
wilderness. It is surprising with how little of those comforts which
civilization induces us to regard as necessaries we can get along,
when cast into the midst of the western wilds. The female whose foot
has trodden, from infancy upward, on nothing harder than a good
carpet-who has been reared amid all the appliances of abundance and
art, seems at once to change her nature, along with her habits, and
often proves a heroine, and an active assistant, when there was so
much reason to apprehend she might turn out to be merely an
encumbrance. In the course of a life that is now getting to be well
stored with experience of this sort, as well as of many other
varieties, we can recall a hundred cases of women, who were born and
nurtured in affluence and abundance, who have cheerfully quitted the
scenes of youth, their silks and satins, their china and plate,
their mahogany and Brussels, to follow husbands and fathers into the
wilderness, there to compete with the savage, often for food, and
always for the final possession of the soil!

But in the case of Dorothy and Blossom, the change had never been of
this very broad character, and habit had long been preparing them
for scenes even more savage than that into which they were now cast.
Both were accustomed to work, as, blessed be God! the American woman
usually works; that is to say, within doors, and to render home
neat, comfortable, and welcome. As housewives, they were expert and
willing, considering the meagreness of their means; and le Bourdon
told the half-delighted, half-blushing Margery, ere the latter had
been twenty-four hours in his chiente, that nothing but the presence
of such a one as herself was wanting to render it an abode fit for a
prince! Then, the cooking was so much improved! Apart from
cleanliness, the venison was found to be more savory; the cakes were
lighter; and the pork less greasy. On this subject of grease,
however, we could wish that a sense of right would enable us to
announce its utter extinction in the American kitchen; or, if not
absolutely its extinction, such a subjection of the unctuous
properties, as to bring them within the limits of a reasonably
accurate and healthful taste. To be frank, Dorothy carried a
somewhat heavy hand, in this respect; but pretty Margery was much
her superior. How this difference in domestic discipline occurred,
is more than we can say; but of its existence there can be no doubt
There are two very respectable sections of the civilized world to
which we should imagine no rational being would ever think of
resorting in order to acquire the art of cookery, and these are
Germany and the land of the Pilgrims. One hears, and reads in those
elegant specimens of the polite literature of the day, the letters
from Washington, and from various travellers, who go up and down
this river in steamboats, or along that railway, gratis, much in
honor of the good things left behind the several writers, in the
"region of the kock"; but, woe betide the wight who is silly enough
to believe in all this poetical imagery, and who travels in that
direction, in the expectation of finding a good table! It is
extraordinary that such a marked difference does exist, on an
interest of this magnitude, among such near neighbors; but, of the
fact, we should think no intelligent and experienced man can doubt.
Believing as we do, that no small portion of the elements of
national character can be, and are, formed in the kitchen, the
circumstance may appear to us of more moment than to some of our
readers. The vacuum left in cookery, between Boston and Baltimore
for instance, is something like that which exists between Le
Verrier's new planet and the sun.

But Margery could even fry pork without causing it to swim in
grease, and at a venison steak, a professed cook was not her
superior. She also understood various little mysteries, in the way
of converting their berries and fruits of the wilderness into
pleasant dishes; and Corporal Flint soon affirmed that it was a
thousand pities she did not live in a garrison, which, agreeably to
his view of things, was something like placing her at the comptoir
of the Cafe de Paris, or of marrying her to some second Vatel.

With the eating and drinking, the building advanced pari passu.
Pigeonswing brought in his venison, his ducks, his pigeons, and his
game of different varieties, daily, keeping the larder quite as well
supplied as comported with the warmth of the weather; while the
others worked on the new chiente. In order to obtain materials for
this building, one so much larger than his old abode, Ben went up
the Kalamazoo about half a mile, where he felled a sufficient number
of young pines, with trunks of about a foot in diameter, cutting
them into lengths of twenty and thirty feet, respectively. These
lengths, or trunks, were rolled into the river, down which they
slowly floated, until they arrived abreast of Castle Meal, where
they were met by Peter, in a canoe, who towed each stick, as it
arrived, to the place of landing. In this way, at the end of two
days' work, a sufficient quantity of materials was collected to
commence directly on the building itself.

Log-houses are of so common occurrence, as to require no particular
description of the one now put up, from us. It was rather less than
thirty feet in length, and one-third narrower than it was long. The
logs were notched, and the interstices were filled by pieces of the
pine, split to a convenient size. The roof was of bark, and of the
simplest construction, while there was neither door nor window;
though one aperture was left for the first, and two for the last.
Corporal Flint, however, was resolved that not only a door should be
made, as well as shutters for the windows, but that the house
should, in time, be picketed. When le Bourdon remonstrated with him
on the folly of taking so much unnecessary pains, it led to a
discussion, in which the missionary even felt constrained to join.

"What's the use--what's the use?" exclaimed le Bourdon a little
impatiently, when he found the corporal getting to be in earnest in
his proposal. "Here have I lived, safely, two seasons in Castle
Meal, without any pickets or palisades; and yet you want to turn
this new house into a regular garrison!"

"Aye, Bourdon, that was in peaceable times; but these is war times.
I've seen the fall of Fort Dearborn, and I don't want to see the
fall of another post this war. The Pottawattamies is hostile, even
Peter owns; and the Pottawattamies has been here once, as you say
yourself, and may come ag'in."

"The only Pottawattamie who has ever been at this spot, to my
knowledge, is dead, and his bones are bleaching up yonder in the
openings. No fear of him, then."

"His body is gone," answered the corporal; "and what is more the
rifle is gone with it. I heard that his rifle had been forgotten,
and went to collect the arms left on the field of battle, but found
nothing. No doubt his friends have burned, or buried, the chief, and
they will be apt to take another look in this quarter of the
country, having l'arnt the road."

Boden was struck with this intelligence, as well as with the
reasoning, and after a moment's pause, he answered in a way that
showed a wavering purpose.

"It will take a week's work, to picket or palisade the house," he
answered, "and I wish to be busy among the bees, once more."

"Go to your bees, Bourdon, and leave me to fortify and garrison, as
becomes my trade. Parson Amen, here, will tell you that the children
of Israel are often bloody-minded and are not to be forgotten."

"The corporal is right," put in the missionary; "the corporal is
quite right. The whole history of the ancient Jews gives us this
character of them; and even Saul of Tarsus was bent on persecution
and slaughter, until his hand was stayed by the direct manifestation
of the power of God. I can see glimmerings of this spirit in Peter,
and this at a moment when he is almost ready to admit that he's a
descendant of Israel."

"Is Peter ready to allow that?" asked the bee-hunter, with more
interest in the answer than he would have been willing to allow.

"As good as that-yes, quite as good as that. I can see, plainly,
that Peter has some heavy mystery on his mind; sooner, or later, we
shall learn it. When it does come out, the world may be prepared to
learn the whole history of the Ten Tribes!"

"In my judgment," observed the corporal, "that chief could give the
history of twenty, if he was so minded,"

"There were but ten of them, brother Flint--but ten; and of those
ten he could give us a full and highly interesting account. One of
these days, we shall hear it all; in the mean time, it may be well
enough to turn one of these houses into some sort of a garrison."

"Let it, then, be Castle Meal," said le Bourdon; "surely, if any one
is to be defended and fortified in this way, it ought to be the
women. You may easily palisade that hut, which is so much stronger
than this, and so much smaller."

With this compromise, the work went on. The corporal dug a trench
four feet deep, encircling the "castle," as happy as a lord the
whole time; for this was not the first time he had been at such
work, which he considered to be altogether in character, and
suitable to his profession. No youthful engineer, fresh from the
Point, that seat of military learning to which the republic is even
more indebted for its signal successes in Mexico, than to the high
military character of this population-no young aspirant for glory,
fresh from this useful school, could have greater delight in laying
out his first bastion, or counter-scarp, or glacis, than Corporal
Flint enjoyed in fortifying Castle Meal. It will be remembered that
this was the first occasion he was ever actually at the head of the
engineering department Hitherto, it had been his fortune to follow;
but now it had become his duty to lead. As no one else, of that
party, had ever been employed in such a work on any previous
occasion, the corporal did not affect to conceal the superior
knowledge with which he was overflowing. Gershom he found a ready
and active assistant; for, by this time, the whiskey was well out of
him; and he toiled with the greater willingness, as he felt that the
palisades would add to the security of his wife and sister. Neither
did Parson Amen disdain to use the pick and shovel; for, while the
missionary had the fullest reliance in the fact that the red men of
that region were the descendants of the children of Israel, he
regarded them as a portion of the chosen people who were living
under the ban of the divine displeasure, and as more than usually
influenced by those evil spirits, whom St. Paul mentions as the
powers of the air. In a word, while the good missionary had all
faith in the final conversion and restoration of these children of
the forests, he did not overlook the facts of their present
barbarity, and great propensity to scalp. He was not quite as
efficient as Gershom, at this novel employment, but a certain inborn
zeal rendered him both active and useful. As for the Indians,
neither of them deigned to touch a tool. Pigeonswing had little
opportunity for so doing, indeed, being usually, from the rising to
the setting sun, out hunting for the support of the party; while
Peter passed most of his time in ruminations and solitary walks.
This last paid little attention to the work about the castle, either
knowing it would, at any moment, by an act of treachery, be in his
power to render all these precautions of no avail; or, relying on
the amount of savage force that he knew was about to collect in the
openings. Whenever he cast a glance on the progress of the work, it
was with an eye of great indifference; once he even carried his
duplicity so far, as to make a suggestion to the corporal, by means
of which, as he himself expressed it, in his imperfect English--
"Injin no get inside, to use knife and tomahawk." This seeming
indifference, on the part of Peter, did not escape the observation
of the bee-hunter, who became still less distrustful of that
mysterious savage, as he noted his conduct in connection with the
dispositions making for defence.

Le Bourdon would not allow a tree of any sort to be felled anywhere
near his abode. While the corporal and his associates were busy in
digging the trench, he had gone to a considerable distance, quite
out of sight from Castle Meal, and near his great highway, the
river, where he cut and trimmed the necessary number of burr-oaks
for the palisades. Boden labored the more cheerfully at this work,
for two especial reasons. One was the fact that the defences might
be useful to himself, hereafter, as much against bears as against
Indians; and the other, because Margery daily brought her sewing or
knitting, and sat on the fallen trees, laughing and chatting, as the
axe performed its duties. On three several occasions Peter was
present, also, accompanying Blossom, with a kindness of manner, and
an attention to her pretty little tastes in culling flowers, that
would have done credit to a man of a higher school of civilization.

The reader is not to suppose, however, because the Indian pays but
little outward attention to the squaws, that he is without natural
feeling, or manliness of character. In some respects his chivalrous
devotion to the sex is, perhaps, in no degree inferior to that of
the class which makes a parade of such sentiments, and this quite as
much from convention and ostentation, as from any other motive. The
red man is still a savage beyond all question, but he is a savage
with so many nobler and more manly qualities, when uncorrupted by
communion with the worst class of whites, and not degraded by
extreme poverty, as justly to render him a subject of our
admiration, in self-respect, in dignity, and in simplicity of
deportment. The Indian chief is usually a gentleman; and this,
though he may have never heard of Revelation, and has not the
smallest notion of the Atonement, and of the deep obligations it has
laid on the human race.

Amid the numberless exaggerations of the day, one of particular
capacity has arisen connected with the supposed character of a
gentleman. Those who regard all things through the medium of
religious feeling, are apt to insist that he who is a Christian, is
necessarily a gentleman; while he can be no thorough gentleman, who
has not most of the qualities of the Christian character. This
confusion in thought and language, can lead to no really useful
result, while it embarrasses the minds of many, and renders the
expression of our ideas less exact and comprehensive than they would
otherwise be.

We conceive that a man may be very much of a Christian, and very
little of a gentleman; or very much of a gentleman, and very little
of a Christian. There is, in short, not much in common between the
two characters, though it is possible for them to become united in
the same individual. That the finished courtesies of polished life
may wear some of the aspects of that benevolence which causes the
Christian "to love his neighbor as himself," is certainly true,
though the motives of the parties are so very different as to
destroy all real identity between them. While the moving principle
of a gentleman is self-respect, that of a Christian is humility. The
first is ready to lay down his life in order to wipe away an
imaginary dishonor, or to take the life of another; the last is
taught to turn the other cheek, when smitten. In a word, the first
keeps the world, its opinions and its estimation, ever uppermost in
his thoughts; the last lives only to reverence God, and to conform
to his will, in obedience to his revealed mandates. Certainly, there
is that which is both grateful and useful in the refined deportment
of one whose mind and manners have been polished even in the schools
of the world; but it is degrading to the profoundly beautiful
submission of the truly Christian temper, to imagine that anything
like a moral parallel can justly be run between them.

Of course, Peter had none of the qualities of him who sees and feels
his own defects, and relies only on the merits of the atonement for
his place among the children of light, while he had so many of those
qualities which depend on the estimate which man is so apt to place
on his own merits. In this last sense, this Indian had a great many
of the essentials of a gentleman; a lofty courtesy presiding over
all his intercourse with others, when passion or policy did not
thrust in new and sudden principles of action. Even the missionary
was so much struck with the gentleness of this mysterious savage's
deportment in connection with Margery, as at first to impute it to a
growing desire to make a wife of that flower of the wilderness. But
closer observation induced greater justice to the Indian in this
respect Nothing like the uneasiness, impatience, or distrust of
passion could be discerned in his demeanor; and when Parson Amen
perceived that the bee-hunter's marked devotion to the beautiful
Blossom rather excited a benevolent and kind interest in the
feelings of Peter, so far at least as one could judge of the heart
by external appearances, than anything that bore the fierce and
uneasy impulses of jealousy, he was satisfied that his original
impression was a mistake.

As le Bourdon flourished his axe, and Margery plied her needles,
making a wholesome provision for the coming winter, the mysterious
Indian would stand, a quarter of an hour at a time, immovable as a
statue, his eyes riveted first on one, and then on the other. What
passed at such moments in that stern breast, it exceeds the
penetration of man to say: but that the emotions thus pent within
barriers that none could pass or destroy, were not always ferocious
and revengeful, a carefully observant spectator might possibly have
suspected, had such a person been there to note all the signs of
what was uppermost in the chiefs thoughts. Still, gleamings of
sudden, but intense ferocity did occasionally occur; and, at such
instants, the countenance of this extraordinary being was truly
terrific. Fortunately, such bursts of uncontrollable feeling were
transient, being of rare occurrence, and of very short duration.

By the time the corporal had his trenches dug, le Bourdon was
prepared with his palisades, which were just one hundred in number,
being intended to enclose a space of forty feet square. The men all
united in the transportation of the timber, which was floated down
the river on a raft of white pine, the burr-oak being of a specific
gravity that fresh water would not sustain. A couple of days,
however, sufficed for the transportation by water, and as many more
for that by land, between the place of landing and Castle Meal. This
much accomplished, the whole party rested from their labors, the day
which succeeded being the Sabbath.

Those who dwell habitually amid the haunts of men, alone thoroughly
realize the vast importance that ought to be attached to the great
day of rest. Men on the ocean, and men in the forest, are only too
apt to overlook the returns of the Sabbath; thus slowly, but
inevitably alienating themselves more and more from the dread Being
who established the festival, as much in his own honor as for the
good of man. When we are told that the Almighty is jealous of his
rights, and desires to be worshipped, we are not to estimate this
wish by any known human standard, but are ever to bear in mind that
it is exactly in proportion as we do reverence the Creator and Ruler
of heaven and earth that we are nearest, or farthest, from the
condition of the blessed. It is probably for his own good, that the
adoration of man is pleasing in the eyes of God.

The missionary, though a visionary and an enthusiast, as respected
the children of Israel, was a zealous observer of his duties. On
Sundays, he never neglected to set up his tabernacle, even though it
were in a howling wilderness, and went regularly through the worship
of God, according to the form of the sect to which he belonged. His
influence, on the present occasion, was sufficient to cause a
suspension of all labor, though not without some remonstrances on
the part of the corporal. The latter contended that, in military
affairs, there was no Sunday known, unless it might be in peaceable
times, and that he had never heard of intrenchments "resting from
their labors," on the part of either the besieger or the besieged.
Work of that sort, he thought, ought to go on, day and night, by
means of reliefs; and, instead of pausing to hold church, he had
actually contemplated detailing fatigue parties to labor through,
not only that day, but the whole of the succeeding night.

As for Peter, he never offered the slightest objection to any of
Parson Amen's sermons or prayers. He listened to both with unmoved
gravity, though no apparent impression was ever made on his
feelings. The Chippewa hunted on the Sabbaths as much as on any
other day; and it was in reference to this fact that the following
little conversation took place between Margery and the missionary,
as the party sat beneath the oaks, passing a tranquil eventide at

"How happens it, Mr. Amen," said Margery, who had insensibly adopted
the missionary's sobriquet, "that no red man keeps the Sabbath-day,
if they are all descended from the Jews? This is one of the most
respected of all the commandments, and it does not seem natural"--
Margery's use of terms was necessarily influenced by association and
education-"that any of that people should wholly forget the day of

"Perhaps you are not aware, Margery, that the Jews, even in
civilized countries, do not keep the same Sabbath as the
Christians," returned the missionary. "They have public worship on a
Saturday, as we do on a Sunday. Now, I did think I saw some signs of
Peter's privately worshipping yesterday, while we were all so busy
at our garrison. You may have observed how thoughtful and silent the
chief was in the middle of the afternoon."

"I DID observe it," said the bee-hunter, "but must own I did not
suspect him of holding meeting for any purposes within himself. That
was one of the times when I like the manners and behavior of this
Injin the least."

"We do not know--we do not know--perhaps his spirit struggled with
the temptations of the Evil One. To me he appeared to be
worshipping, and I set the fact down as a proof that the red men
keep the Jewish Sabbath."

"I did not know that the Jews keep a Sabbath different from our own,
else I might have thought the same. But I never saw a Jew, to my
knowledge. Did you, Margery?"

"Not to know him for one," answered the girl; and true enough was
the remark of each. Five-and-thirty years ago, America was
singularly not only a Christian but a Protestant nation. Jews
certainly did exist in the towns, but they were so blended with the
rest of the population, and were so few in number, as scarcely to
attract attention to them as a sect. As for the Romanists, they too
had their churches and their dioceses; but what untravelled American
had then ever seen a nun? From monks, Heaven be praised, we are yet
spared; and this is said without any prejudice against the
denomination to which they usually belong. He who has lived much in
a country where that sect prevails, if a man of a particle of
liberality, soon learns that piety and reverence for God, and a deep
sense of all the Christian obligations, can just as well, nay
better, exist in a state of society where a profound submission to
well-established dogmas is to be found, than in a state of society
where there is so much political freedom as to induce the veriest
pretenders to learning to imagine that each man is a church and a
hierarchy in his own person! All this is rapidly changing. Romanists
abound, and spots that half a century since, appeared to be the most
improbable place in the world to admit of the rites of the priests
of Rome, now hear the chants and prayers of the mass-books. All this
shows a tendency toward that great commingling of believers, which
is doubtless to precede the final fusion of sects, and the predicted

On the Monday that succeeded the Sabbath mentioned, the corporal had
all his men at work, early, pinning together his palisades, making
them up into manageable bents, and then setting them up on their
legs. As the materials were all there, and quite ready to be put
together, the work advanced rapidly; and by the time the sun drew
near the western horizon once more, Castle Meal was surrounded by
its bristling defences. The whole was erect and stay-lathed, waiting
only for the earth to be shovelled back into the trench, and to be
pounded well down. As it was, the palisades offered a great increase
of security to those in the chiente, and both the females expressed
their obligations to their friends for having taken this important
step toward protecting them from the enemy. When they retired for
the night, everything was arranged, so that the different members of
the party might know where to assemble within the works. Among the
effects of Gershom, were a conch and a horn; the latter being one of
those common instruments of tin, which are so much used in and about
American farm-houses, to call the laborers from the field. The conch
was given to the men, that, in case of need, they might sound the
alarm from without, while the horn, or trumpet of tin, was suspended
by the door of the chiente, in order that the females might have
recourse to it, at need.

About midnight, long after the whole party had retired to rest, and
when the stillness of the hours of deepest repose reigned over the
openings, the bee-hunter was awoke from his sleep by an unwonted
call. At first, he could scarce believe his senses, so plaintive,
and yet so wild, was the blast. But there could be no mistake: it
was the horn from the chiente, and, in a moment, he was on his feet.
By this time, the corporal was afoot, and presently all the men were
in motion. On this occasion, Gershom manifested a readiness and
spirit that spoke equally well for his heart and his courage. He was
foremost in rushing to the assistance of his wife and sister, though
le Bourdon was very close on his heels.

On reaching the gate of the palisade, it was found closed, and
barred within; nor did any one appear, until Dorothy was summoned,
by repeated calls, in the well-known voice of her husband. When the
two females came out of the chiente, great was their wonder and
alarm! No horn had been blown by either of them, and there the
instrument itself hung, on its peg, as quiet and mute as if a blast
had never been blown into it The bee-hunter, on learning this
extraordinary fact, looked around him anxiously, in order to
ascertain who might be absent. Every man was present, and each
person stood by his arms, no one betraying the slightest
consciousness of knowing whence the unaccountable summons had

"This has been done by you, corporal, in order to bring us together,
under arms, by way of practice," le Bourdon at length exclaimed.

"False alarms is useful, if not overdone; especially among raw
troops," answered Flint, coolly; "but I have given none to-night. I
will own I did intend to have you all out in a day or two by way of
practice, but I have thought it useless to attempt too much at once.
When the garrison is finished, it will be time enough to drill the
men to the alarm-posts."

"What is your opinion, Peter?" continued le Bourdon. "You understand
the wilderness, and its ways. To what is this extr'or'nary call
owing? Why have we been brought here, at this hour?"

"Somebody blow horn, most likely," answered Peter, in his unmoved,
philosophical manner. "'Spose don't know; den can't tell. Warrior


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