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The Chainbearer; Or, The Littlepage Manuscripts By James Fenimore Cooper Characters: 33517

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


"No toil in despair,

No tyrant, no slave,

No bread-tax is there,

With a maw like the grave."

* * *

All this was so suddenly done as scarce to leave us time to think. There was one instant, notwithstanding, while two Injins were assisting Mary Warren to jump from the wagon, when my incognito was in great danger. Perceiving that the young lady was treated with no particular disrespect, I so far overcame the feeling as to remain quiet, though I silently changed my position sufficiently to get near her elbow, where I could and did whisper a word or two of encouragement. But Mary thought only of her father, and had no fears for herself. She saw none but him, trembled only for him, dreaded and hoped for him alone.

As for Mr. Warren himself, he betrayed no discomposure. Had he been about to enter the desk, his manner could not have been more calm. He gazed around him, to ascertain if it were possible to recognize any of his captors, but suddenly turned his head away, as if struck with the expediency of not learning their names, even though it had been possible. He might be put on the stand as a witness against some misguided neighbor, did he know his person. All this was so apparent in his benevolent countenance, that I think it struck some among the Injins, and still believe it may have had a little influence on their treatment of him. A pot of tar and a bag of feathers had been brought into the road when the gang poured out of the bushes, but whether this were merely accidental, or it had originally been intended to use them on Mr. Warren, I cannot say. The offensive materials soon and silently disappeared, and with them every sign of any intention to offer personal injury.

"What have I done that I am thus arrested in the public highway, by men armed and disguised, contrary to law?" demanded the divine, as soon as the general pause which succeeded the first movement invited him to speak. "This is a rash and illegal step, that may yet bring repentance."

"No preachee now," answered Streak o' Lightning; "preachee for meetin', no good for road."

Mr. Warren afterward admitted to me that he was much relieved by this reply, the substitution of the word "meeting" for "church" giving him the grateful assurance that this individual, at least, was not one of his own people.

"Admonition and remonstrance may always be useful when crime is meditated. You are now committing a felony, for which the State's Prison is the punishment prescribed by the laws of the land, and the duties of my holy office direct me to warn you of the consequences. The earth itself is but one of God's temples, and his ministers need never hesitate to proclaim his laws on any part of it."

It was evident that the calm severity of the divine, aided, no doubt, by his known character, produced an impression on the gang, for the two who had still hold of his arms released them, and a little circle was now formed, in the centre of which he stood.

"If you will enlarge this circle, my friends," continued Mr. Warren, "and give room, I will address you here, where we stand, and let you know my reasons why I think your conduct ought to be--"

"No, no-no preachee here," suddenly interrupted Streak o' Lightning; "go to village, go to meetin'-'us'-preachee there-Two preacher, den.-Bring wagon and put him in. March, march; path open."

Although this was but an "Injin" imitation of Indian sententiousness, and somewhat of a caricature, everybody understood well enough what was meant. Mr. Warren offered no resistance, but suffered himself to be placed in Miller's wagon, with my uncle at his side, without opposition. Then it was, however, that he bethought himself of his daughter, though his daughter had never ceased to think of him. I had some little difficulty in keeping her from rushing into the crowd and clinging to his side. Mr. Warren rose, and, giving her an encouraging smile, bade her be calm, told her he had nothing to fear, and requested that she would enter his own wagon again and return home, promising to rejoin her as soon as his duties at the village were discharged.

"Here is no one to drive the horse, my child, but our young German acquaintance. The distance is very short, and if he will thus oblige me he can come down to the village with the wagon, as soon as he has seen you safe at our own door."

Mary Warren was accustomed to defer to her father's opinions, and she so far submitted, now, as to permit me to assist her into the wagon, and to place myself at her side, whip in hand, proud of and pleased with the precious charge thus committed to my care. These arrangements made, the Injins commenced their march, about half of them preceding, and the remainder following the wagon that contained their prisoner. Four, however, walked on each side of the vehicle, thus preventing the possibility of escape. No noise was made, and little was said; the orders being given by signs and signals, rather than by words.

Our wagon continued stationary until the party had got at least a hundred yards from us, no one giving any heed to our movements. I had waited thus long for the double purpose of noting the manner of the proceedings among the Injins, and to obtain room to turn at a spot in the road a short distance in advance of us, and which was wider than common. To this spot I now walked the horse, and was in the act of turning the animal's head in the required direction, when I saw Mary Warren's little gloved hand laid hurriedly on the reins. She endeavored to keep the head of the horse in the road.

"No, no," said the charming girl, speaking earnestly, as if she would not be denied, "we will follow my father to the village. I may not, must not, cannot quit him."

The time and place were every way propitious, and I determined to let Mary Warren know who I was. By doing it I might give her confidence in me at a moment when she was in distress, and encourage her with the hope that I might also befriend her father. At any rate, I was determined to pass for an itinerant Dutch music-grinder with her no longer.

"Miss Mary, Miss Warren," I commenced, cautiously, and with quite as much hesitation and diffidence of feeling as of manner, "I am not what I seem-that is, I am no music-grinder."

The start, the look, and the alarm of my companion, were all eloquent and natural. Her hand was still on the reins, and she now drew on them so hard as actually to stop the horse. I thought she intended to jump out of the vehicle, as a place no longer fit for her.

"Be not alarmed, Miss Warren," I said, eagerly, and, I trust, so earnestly as to inspire a little confidence. "You will not think the worse of me at finding I am your countryman instead of a foreigner, and a gentleman instead of a music-grinder. I shall do all you ask, and will protect you with my life."

"This is so extraordinary!-so unusual. The whole country appears unsettled! Pray, sir, if you are not the person whom you have represented yourself to be, who are you?"

"One who admires your filial love and courage-who honors you for them both. I am the brother of your friend, Martha-I am Hugh Littlepage!"

The little hand now abandoned the reins, and the dear girl turned half round on the cushion of the seat, gazing at me in mute astonishment! I had been cursing in my heart the lank locks of the miserable wig I was compelled to wear, ever since I had met with Mary Warren, as unnecessarily deforming and ugly, for one might have as well a becoming as a horridly unbecoming disguise. Off went my cap, therefore, and off went the wig after it, leaving my own shaggy curls for the sole setting of my face.

Mary made a slight exclamation as she gazed at me, and the deadly paleness of her countenance was succeeded by a slight blush. A smile, too, parted her lips, and I fancied she was less alarmed.

"Am I forgiven, Miss Warren," I asked; "and will you recognize me for the brother of your friend?"

"Does Martha-does Mrs. Littlepage know of this?" the charming girl at length asked.

"Both; I have had the happiness of being embraced by both my grandmother and my sister. You were taken out of the room yesterday by the first, that I might be left alone with the last, for that very purpose!"

"I see it all now; yes, I thought it singular then, though I felt there could be no impropriety in any of Mrs. Littlepage's acts. Dearest Martha! how well she played her part, and how admirably she has kept your secret!"

"It is very necessary. You see the condition of the country, and will understand that it would be imprudent in me to appear openly, even on my own estate. I have a written covenant authorizing me to visit every farm near us, to look after my own interests; yet it may be questioned if it would be safe to visit one among them all, now that the spirits of misrule and covetousness are up and doing."

"Replace your disguise at once, Mr. Littlepage" said Mary, eagerly; "do-do not delay an instant."

I did as desired, Mary watching the process with interested and, at the same time, amused eyes. I thought she looked as sorry as I felt myself when that lank, villanous wig was again performing its office.

"Am I as well arranged as when we first met, Miss Warren? Do I appear again the music-grinder?"

"I see no difference," returned the dear girl, laughing. How musical and cheering to me were the sounds of her voice in that little burst of sweet, feminine merriment. "Indeed, indeed, I do not think even Martha could know you now, for the person you the moment before seemed."

"My disguise is, then, perfect. I was in hopes it left a little that my friends might recognize, while it effectually concealed me from my enemies."

"It does-oh! it does. Now I know who you are, I find no difficulty in tracing in your features the resemblance to your portrait in the family gallery, at the Nest. The eyes, too, cannot be altered without artificial brows, and those you have not."

This was consoling; but all that time Mr. Warren and the party in front had been forgotten. Perhaps it was excusable in two young persons thus situated, and who had now known each other a week, to think more of what was just then passing in the wagon, than to recollect the tribe that was marching down the road, and the errand they were on. I felt the necessity, however, of next consulting my companion as to our future movements. Mary heard me in evident anxiety, and her purpose seemed unsettled, for she changed color under each new impulse of her feelings.

"If it were not for one thing," she answered, after a thoughtful pause, "I should insist on following my father."

"And what may be the reason of this change of purpose?"

"Would it be altogether safe for you, Mr. Littlepage, to venture again among those misguided men?"

"Never think of me, Miss Warren. You see I have been among them already undetected, and it is my intention to join them again, even should I first have to take you home. Decide for yourself."

"I will, then, follow my father. My presence may be the means of saving him from some indignity."

I was rejoiced at this decision, on two accounts; of which one might have been creditable enough to me, while the other, I am sorry to say, was rather selfish. I delighted in the dear girl's devotion to her parent, and I was glad to have her company as long as possible that morning. Without entering into a very close analysis of motives, however, I drove down the road, keeping the horse on a very slow gait, being in no particular hurry to quit my present fair companion.

Mary and I had now a free, and in some sense, a confidential dialogue. Her manner toward me had entirely changed; for while it maintained the modesty and retenue of her sex and station, it displayed much of that frankness which was the natural consequence of her great intimacy at the Nest, and, as I have since ascertained, of her own ingenuous nature. The circumstance, too, that she now felt she was with one of her own class, who had opinions, habits, tastes, and thoughts like her own, removed a mountain of restraint, and made her communications natural and easy. I was near an hour, I do believe, in driving the two miles that lay between the point where the Injins had met and the village, and in that hour Mary Warren and I became better acquainted than would have been the case, under ordinary circumstances, in a year.

In the first place, I explained the reasons and manners of my early and unexpected return home, and the motives by which I had been governed in thus coming in disguise on my own property. Then I said a little of my future intentions, and of my disposition to hold out to the last against every attempt on my rights, whether they might come from the open violence and unprincipled designs of those below, or the equally unprincipled schemes of those above. A spurious liberty and political cant were things that I despised, as every intelligent and independent man must; and I did not intend to be persuaded I was an aristocrat, merely because I had the habits of a gentleman, at the very moment when I had less political influence than the hired laborers in my own service.

Mary Warren manifested a spirit and an intelligence that surprised me. She expressed her own belief that the proscribed classes of the country had only to be true to themselves to be restored to their just rights, and that on the very principle by which they were so fast losing them. The opinions she thus expressed are worthy of being recorded.

"Everything that is done in that way," said this gentle, but admirable creature, "has hitherto been done on a principle that is quite as false and vicious as that by which they are now oppressed. We have had a great deal written and said, lately, about uniting people of property, but it has been so evidently with an intention to make money rule, and that in its most vulgar and vicious manner, that persons of right feelings would not unite in such an effort; but it does seem to me, Mr. Littlepage, that if the gentlemen of New York would form themselves into an association in defence of their rights, and for nothing else, and let it be known that they would not be robbed with impunity, they are numerous enough and powerful enough to put down this anti-rent project by the mere force of numbers. Thousands would join them for the sake of principles, and the country might be left to the enjoyment of the fruits of liberty, without getting any of the fruits of its cant."

This is a capital idea, and might easily be carried out. It requires nothing but a little self-denial, with the conviction of the necessity of doing something, if the downward tendency is to be ever checked short of civil war, and a revolution that is to let in despotism in its more direct form; despotism, in the indirect, is fast appearing among us, as it is.

"I have heard of a proposition for the legislature to appoint special commissioners, who are to settle all the difficulties between the landlords and the tenants," I remarked, "a scheme in the result of which some people profess to have a faith. I regard it as only one of the many projects that have been devised to evade the laws and institutions of the country, as they now exist."

Mary Warren seemed thoughtful for a moment; then her eye and face brightened as if she were struck with some thought suddenly; after which the color deepened on her cheek, and she turned to me as if half doubting, and yet half desirous of giving utterance to the idea that was uppermost.

"You wish to say something, Miss Warren?"

"I dare say it will be very silly-and I hope you won't think it pedantic in a girl, but really it does look so to me-what difference would there be between such a commission and the Star-Chamber judges of the Stuarts, Mr. Littlepage?"

"Not much in general principles, certainly, as both would be the instruments of tyrants; but a very important one in a great essential. The Star-Chamber courts were legal, whereas this commission would be flagrantly illegal; the adoption of a special tribunal to effect certain purposes that could exist only in the very teeth of the constitution, both in its spirit and its letter. Yet this project comes from men who prate about the 'spirit of the institutions,' which they clearly understand to be their own spirit, let that be what it may."

"Providence, I trust, will not smile on such desperate efforts to do wrong!" said Mary Warren, solemnly.

"One hardly dare look into the inscrutable ways of a Power that has its motives so high beyond our reach. Providence permits much evil to be done, and is very apt to be, as Frederick of Prussia expressed it,

on the side of strong battalions, so far as human vision can penetrate. Of one thing, however, I feel certain, and that is, that they who are now the most eager to overturn everything to effect present purposes, will be made to repent of it bitterly, either in their own persons, or in those of their descendants."

"That is what is meant, my father says, by visiting 'the sins of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generations.' But there is the party, with their prisoners, just entering the village. Who is your companion, Mr. Littlepage?-One hired to act as an assistant?"

"It is my uncle himself. You have often heard, I should think, of Mr. Roger Littlepage?"

Mary gave a little exclamation at hearing this, and she almost laughed. After a short pause she blushed brightly, and turned to me as she said-

"And my father and I have supposed you, the one a pedler, and the other a street-musician!"

"But beddlars and moosic-grinders of goot etications, as might be panished for deir bolitics."

Now, indeed, she laughed out, for the long and frank dialogue we had held together made this change to broken English seem as if a third person had joined us. I profited by the occasion to exhort the dear girl to be calm, and not to feel any apprehension on the subject of her father. I pointed out how little probable it was that violence would be offered to a minister of the gospel, and showed her, by the number of persons that had collected in the village, that it was impossible he should not have many warm and devoted friends present. I also gave her permission to, nay, requested she would, tell Mr. Warren the fact of my uncle's and my own presence, and the reasons of our disguises, trusting altogether to the very obvious interest the dear girl took in our safety, that she would add, of her own accord, the necessary warning on the subject of secrecy. Just as this conversation ended we drove into the hamlet, and I helped my fair companion to alight.

Mary Warren now hastened to seek her father, while I was left to take care of the horse. This I did by fastening him to the rails of a fence, that was lined for a long distance by horses and wagons drawn up by the wayside. Surprisingly few persons in the country, at this day, are seen on horseback. Notwithstanding the vast difference in the amount of the population, ten horsemen were to be met with forty years ago, by all accounts, on the highways of the State, for one to-day. The well-known vehicle, called a dearborn, with its four light wheels and mere shell of a box, is in such general use as to have superseded almost every other species of conveyance. Coaches and chariots are no longer met with, except in the towns; and even the coachee, the English sociable, which was once so common, has very generally given way to a sort of carriage-wagon, that seems a very general favorite. My grandmother, who did use the stately-looking and elegant chariot in town, had nothing but this carriage-wagon in the country; and I question if one-half of the population of the State would know what to call the former vehicle, if they should see it.

As a matter of course, the collection of people assembled at Little Nest on this occasion had been brought together in dearborns, of which there must have been between two and three hundred lining the fences and crowding the horse-sheds of the two inns. The American countryman, in the true sense of the word, is still quite rustic in many of his notions; though, on the whole, less marked in this particular than his European counterpart. As a rule, he has yet to learn that the little liberties which are tolerated in a thinly peopled district, and which are of no great moment when put in practice under such circumstances, become oppressive and offensive when reverted to in places of much resort. The habits of popular control, too, come to aid in making them fancy that what everybody does in their part of the country can have no great harm in it. It was in conformity with this tendency of the institutions, perhaps, that very many of the vehicles I have named were thrust into improper places, stopping up the footways, impeding the entrances to doors, here and there letting down bars without permission, and garnishing orchards and pastures with one-horse wagons. Nothing was meant by all these liberties beyond a desire to dispose of the horses and vehicles in the manner easiest to their owners. Nevertheless, there was some connection between the institutions and these little liberties which some statesmen might fancy existed in the spirit of the former. This, however, was a capital mistake, inasmuch as the spirit of the institutions is to be found in the laws, which prohibit and punish all sorts of trespasses, and which are enacted expressly to curb the tendencies of human nature! No, no, as my uncle Ro says, nothing can be less alike, sometimes, than the spirit of institutions and their tendencies.

I was surprised to find nearly as many females as men had collected at the Little Nest on this occasion. As for the Injins, after escorting Mr. Warren as far as the village, as if significantly to admonish him of their presence, they had quietly released him, permitting him to go where he pleased. Mary had no difficulty in finding him, and I saw her at his side, apparently in conversation with Opportunity and her brother, Seneca, as soon as I moved down the road, after securing the horses. The Injins themselves kept a little aloof, having my uncle in their very centre; not as a prisoner, for it was clear no one suspected his character, but as a pedler. The watches were out again, and near half of the whole gang seemed busy in trading, though I thought that some among them were anxious and distrustful.

It was a singular spectacle to see men who were raising the cry of "aristocracy" against those who happened to be richer than themselves, while they did not possess a single privilege or power that, substantially, was not equally shared by every other man in the country, thus openly arrayed in defiance of law, and thus violently trampling the law under their feet. What made the spectacle more painful was the certainty that was obtained by their very actions on the ground, that no small portion of these Injins were mere boys, led on by artful and knavish men, and who considered the whole thing as a joke. When the laws fall so much into disrepute as to be the subjects of jokes of this sort, it is time to inquire into their mode of administration. Does any one believe that fifty landlords could have thus flown into the face of a recent enactment, and committed felony openly, and under circumstances that had rendered their intentions no secret, for a time long enough to enable the authorities to collect a force sufficient to repress them? My own opinion is, that had Mr. Stephen Rensselaer, and Mr. William Rensselaer, and Mr. Harry Livingston, and Mr. John Hunter, and Mr. Daniel Livingston, and Mr. Hugh Littlepage, and fifty more that I could name, been caught armed and disguised, in order to defend the rights of property that are solemnly guaranteed in these institutions, of which it would seem to be the notion of some that it is the "spirit" to dispossess them, we should all of us have been the inmates of States' prisons, without legislators troubling themselves to pass laws for our liberation! This is another of the extraordinary features of American aristocracy, which almost deprives the noble of the every-day use and benefit of the law. It would be worth our while to lose a moment in inquiring into the process by which such strange results are brought about, but it is fortunately rendered unnecessary by the circumstance that the principle will be amply developed in the course of the narrative.

A stranger could hardly have felt the real character of this meeting by noting the air and manner of those who had come to attend it. The "armed and disguised" kept themselves in a body, it is true, and maintained, in a slight degree, the appearance of distinctness from "the people," but many of the latter stopped to speak to these men, and were apparently on good terms with them. Not a few of the gentler sex, even, appeared to have acquaintances in the gang; and it would have struck a political philosopher from the other hemisphere with some surprise, to have seen the "people" thus tolerating fellows who were openly trampling on a law that the "people" themselves had just enacted! A political philosopher from among ourselves, however, might have explained the seeming contradiction by referring it to the "spirit of the institutions." If one were to ask Hugh Littlepage to solve the difficulty, he would have been very apt to answer that the "people" of Ravensnest wanted to compel him to sell lands which he did not wish to sell, and that not a few of them were anxious to add to the compulsory bargains conditions as to price that would rob him of about one-half of his estate; and that what the Albany philosophers called the "spirit of the institutions," was, in fact, a "spirit of the devil," which the institutions were expressly designed to hold in subjection!

There was a good deal of out-door management going on, as might be seen by the private discussions that were held between pairs, under what is called the "horse-shedding" process. This "horse-shedding" process, I understand, is well known among us, and extends not only to politics, but to the administration of justice. Your regular "horse-shedder" is employed to frequent taverns where jurors stay, and drop hints before them touching the merits of causes known to be on the calendars; possibly contrives to get into a room with six or eight beds, in which there may accidentally be a juror, or even two, in a bed, when he drops into a natural conversation on the merits of some matter at issue, praises one of the parties, while he drops dark hints to the prejudice of the other, and makes his own representations of the facts in a way to scatter the seed where he is morally certain it will take root and grow. All this time he is not conversing with a juror, not he; he is only assuming the office of the judge by anticipation, and dissecting evidence before it has been given, in the ear of a particular friend. It is true there is a law against doing anything of the sort; it is true there is law to punish the editor of a newspaper who shall publish anything to prejudice the interests of litigants; it is true the "horse-shedding process" is flagrantly wicked, and intended to destroy most of the benefits of the jury system; but, notwithstanding all this, the "spirit of the institutions" carries everything before it, and men regard all these laws and provisions, as well as the eternal principles of right, precisely as if they had no existence at all, or as if a freeman were above the law. He makes the law, and why should he not break it? Here is another effect of the "spirit of the institutions."

At length the bell rang, and the crowd began to move toward the "meetin'-'us'." This building was not that which had been originally constructed, and at the raising of which I have heard it said, my dear old grandmother, then a lovely and spirited girl of nineteen, had been conspicuous for her coolness and judgment, but a far more pretending successor. The old building had been constructed on the true model of the highest dissenting spirit-a spirit that induced its advocates to quarrel with good taste as well as religious dogmas, in order to make the chasm as wide as possible-while in this, some concessions had been made to the temper of the times. I very well remember the old "meetin'-'us'," at the "Little Nest," for it was pulled down to give place to its more pretending successor after I had attained my sixteenth year. A description of both may let the reader into the secret of our rural church architecture.

The "old Neest meetin'-'us'," like its successor, was of a hemlock frame, covered with pine clapboards, and painted white. Of late years, the paint had been of a most fleeting quality, the oil seeming to evaporate, instead of striking in and setting, leaving the coloring matter in a somewhat decomposed condition, to rub off by friction and wash away in the rains. The house was a stiff, formal parallelogram, resembling a man with high shoulders, appearing to be "stuck up." It had two rows of formal, short and ungraceful windows, that being a point in orthodoxy at the period of its erection. It had a tower, uncouth, and in some respects too large and others too small, if one can reconcile the contradiction; but there are anomalies of this sort in art, as well as in nature. On top of this tower stood a long-legged belfry, which had got a very dangerous, though a very common, propensity in ecclesiastical matters; in other words, it had begun to "cant." It was this diversion from the perpendicular which had suggested the necessity of erecting a new edifice, and the building in which the "lecture" on feudal tenures and aristocracy was now to be delivered.

The new meeting-house at Little Nest was a much more pretending edifice than its predecessor. It was also of wood, but a bold diverging from "first principles" had been ventured on, not only in the physical, but in the moral church. The last was "new-school;" as, indeed, was the first. What "new-school" means, in a spiritual sense, I do not exactly know, but I suppose it to be some improvement on some other improvement of the more ancient and venerable dogmas of the sect to which it belongs. These improvements on improvements are rather common among us, and are favorably viewed by a great number under the name of progress; though he who stands at a little distance can, half the time, discover that the parties in progress very often come out at the precise spot from which they started.

For my part, I find so much wisdom in the Bible-so profound a knowledge of human nature, and of its tendencies-counsel so comprehensive and so safe, and this solely in reference to the things of this life, that I do not believe everything is progress in the right direction because it sets us in motion on paths that are not two thousand years old! I believe that we have quite as much that ought to be kept, as of that which ought to be thrown away; and while I admit the vast number of abuses that have grown up in the old world, under the "spirit of their institutions," as our philosophers would say, I can see a goodly number that are also growing up here, certainly not under the same "spirit," unless we refer them both, as a truly wise man would, to our common and miserable nature.

The main departure from first principles, in the sense of material things, was in the fact that the new meeting-house had only one row of windows, and that the windows of that row had the pointed arch. The time has been when this circumstance would have created a schism in the theological world; and I hope that my youth and inexperience will be pardoned, if I respectfully suggest that a pointed arch, or any other arch in wood, ought to create another in the world of taste.

But in we went, men, women and children; uncle Ro, Mr. Warren, Mary, Seneca, Opportunity, and all, the Injins excepted. For some reason connected with their policy, those savages remained outside, until the whole audience had assembled in grave silence. The orator was in, or on, a sort of stage, which was made, under the new-light system in architecture, to supersede the old, inconvenient, and ugly pulpit, supported on each side by two divines, of what denomination I shall not take on myself to say. It will be sufficient if I add, Mr. Warren was not one of them. He and Mary had taken their seats quite near the door, and under the gallery. I saw that the rector was uneasy the moment the lecturer and his two supporters entered the pulpit and appeared on the stage; and at length he arose, and, followed by Mary, he suddenly left the building. In an instant I was at their side, for it struck me indisposition was the cause of so strange a movement. Fortunately, at this moment, the whole audience rose in a body, and one of the ministers commenced an extempore prayer.

At that instant, the Injins had drawn themselves up around the building, close to its sides, and under the open windows, in a position that enabled them to hear all that passed. As I afterward learned, this arrangement was made with an understanding with those within, one of the ministers having positively refused to address the throne of grace so long as any of the tribe were present. Well has it been said, that man often strains at a gnat, and swallows a camel!

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