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   Chapter 58 No.58

The Chainbearer; Or, The Littlepage Manuscripts By James Fenimore Cooper Characters: 33806

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


"How far that little candle throws his beams,

So shines a good deed in a naughty world."

-Shakespeare.

* * *

I have said that my narrative of the manner in which justice is sometimes meted out among us was not without its effect on even that rude band of selfish and envious rioters: rude, because setting at naught reason and the law; and selfish, because induced so to do by covetousness, and the desire to substitute the tenants for those whom they fancied to be better off in the world than they were themselves. A profound stillness succeeded; and after the bundles of calico had whispered one with another for a moment or two, they remained quiet, seemingly indisposed, just then at least, to molest us any farther. I thought the moment favorable, and fell back to my old station, determined to let things take their own course. This change, and the profound stillness that succeeded, brought matters back to the visit of the Indians, and its object.

During the whole time occupied by the advance of the "Injins," the men of the prairies and Susquesus had continued nearly as motionless as so many statues. It is true that the eyes of Flintyheart were on the invaders, but he managed to take good heed of them without betraying any undue uneasiness or care. Beyond this, I do affirm that I scarce noted a single sign of even vigilance among these extraordinary beings; though Manytongues afterward gave me to understand that they knew very well what they were about; and then I could not be watching the red-men the whole time. Now that there was a pause, however, everybody and thing seemed to revert to the original visit, as naturally as if no interruption had occurred. Manytongues, by the way of securing attention, called on the Injins, in an authoritative voice, to offer no interruption to the proceedings of the chiefs, which had a species of religious sanctity, and were not to be too much interfered with, with impunity.

"So long as you keep quiet, my warriors will not molest you," he added; "but if any man amongst you has ever been on the prer-ies, he must understand enough of the nature of a redskin to know that when he's in 'airnest he is in 'airnest. Men who are on a journey three thousand miles in length, don't turn aside for trifles, which is a sign that serious business has brought these chiefs here."

Whether it was that this admonition produced an effect, or that curiosity influenced the "disguised and armed," or that they did not choose to proceed to extremities, or that all three considerations had their weight, is more than I can say; but it is certain the whole band remained stationary, quiet and interested observers of what now occurred, until an interruption took place, which will be related in proper time. Manytongues, who had posted himself near the centre of the piazza, to interpret, now signified to the chiefs that they might pursue their own purposes in tranquillity. After a decent pause, the same young warrior who had "called up" Jaaf, in the first instance, now rose again, and with a refinement in politeness that would be looked for in vain in most of the deliberative bodies of civilized men, adverted to the circumstance that the negro had not finished his address, and might have matter on his mind of which he wished to be delivered. This was said simply, but distinctly; and it was explained to the negro by Manytongues, who assured him not one among all the chiefs would say a word until the last person "on his legs" had an opportunity of finishing his address. This reserve marks the deportment of those whom we call savages; men that have their own fierce, and even ruthless customs, beyond all controversy, but who possess certain other excellent qualities that do not appear to flourish in the civilized state.

It was with a good deal of difficulty that we got old Jaaf up again; for, though a famous grumbler, he was not much of an orator. As it was understood that no chief would speak, however, until the black had exhausted his right, my dear Patt had to go, and laying one of her ivory-looking hands on the shoulder of the grim old negro, persuade him to rise and finish his speech. He knew her, and she succeeded; it being worthy of remark, that while this aged black scarce remembered for an hour what occurred, confounding dates fearfully, often speaking of my grandmother as Miss Dus, and as if she were still a girl, he knew every one of the family then living, and honored and loved us accordingly, at the very moments he would fancy we had been present at scenes that occurred when our great-grandparents were young people. But to the speech-

"What all them fellow want, bundle up in calico, like so many squaw?" growled out Jaaf, as soon as on his legs, and looking intently at the Injins, ranged as they were in a line four deep, quite near the piazza. "Why you let 'em come, Masser Hugh, Masser Hodge, Masser Malbone, Masser Mordaunt-which you be here, now, I don't know, dere so many, and it so hard to 'member ebberyt'ing? Oh! I so ole!-I do won'er when my time come! Dere Sus, too, he good for nuttin' at all. Once he great walker-great warrior-great hunter-pretty good fellow for redskin; but he quite wore out. Don't see much use why he lib any longer. Injin good for nuttin' when he can't hunt. Sometime he make basket and broom; but they uses better broom now, and Injin lose dat business. What dem calico debbil want here, eh, Miss Patty? Dere redskin, too-two, t'ree, four-all come to see Sus. Won'er nigger don't come to see me! Ole black good as ole red-man. Where dem fellow get all dat calico, and put over deir faces? Masser Hodge, what all dat mean?"

"These are anti-renters, Jaaf," my uncle coldly answered. "Men that wish to own your Master Hugh's farms, and relieve him from the trouble of receiving any more rent. They cover their faces, I presume, to conceal their blushes, the modesty of their nature sinking under the sense of their own generosity."

Although it is not very probable that Jaaf understood the whole of the speech, he comprehended a part; for, so thoroughly had his feelings been aroused on this subject, a year or two earlier, when his mind was not quite so much dimmed as at present, that the impression made was indelible. The effect of what my uncle said, nevertheless, was most apparent among the Injins, who barely escaped an outbreak. My uncle has been blamed for imprudence, in having resorted to irony on such an occasion; but, after all, I am far from sure good did not come of it. Of one thing I am certain; nothing is ever gained by temporizing on the subject of principles; that which is right, had better always be freely said, since it is from the sacrifices that are made of the truth, as concession to expediency, that error obtains one half its power. Policy, or fear, or some other motive, kept the rising ire of the Injins under, however, and no interruption occurred, in consequence of this speech.

"What you want here, fellow?" demanded Jaaf, roughly, and speaking as a scold would break out on some intrusive boy. "Home wid ye!-get out! Oh! I do grow so ole!-I wish I was as I was when young for your sake, you varmint! What you want wid Masser Hugh's land?-why dat you t'ink to get gentle'em's property, eh? 'Member 'e time when your fadder come creepin' and beggin' to Masser Morder, to ask just little farm to lib on, and be he tenant, and try to do a little for he family, like; and now come, in calico bundle, to tell my Masser Hugh dat he shan't be masser of he own land. Who you, I want to knew, to come and talk to gentle'em in dis poor fashion? Go home-get out-off wid you, or you hear what you don't like."

Now, while there was a good deal of "nigger" in this argument, it was quite as good as that which was sometimes advanced in support of the "spirit of the institutions," more especially that part of the latter which is connected with "aristocracy" and "poodle usages." The negro had an idea that all his "massers," old and young, were better than the rest of the human race; while the advocates of the modern improvement seem to think that every right is concentrated in the lower half of the great "republican family." Every gentleman is no gentleman; and every blackguard, a gentleman, for one postulate of their great social proposition; and, what is more, every man in the least elevated above the mass, unless so elevated by the mass, who consequently retain the power to pull him down again, has no rights at all, when put in opposition to the cravings of numbers. So that, after all, the negro was not much more out of the way, in his fashion of viewing things, than the philosophers of industrious honesty! Happily, neither the reasoning of one of these parties, nor that of the other, has much influence on the actual state of things. Facts are facts, and the flounderings of envy and covetousness can no more shut men's eyes to their existence, and prove that black is white, than Jaaf's long-enduring and besetting notion that the Littlepages are the great of the earth, can make us more than what we certainly are. I have recorded the negro's speech, simply to show some, who listen only to the misstatements and opinions of those who wish to become owners of other men's farms, that there are two sides to the question; and, in the way of argument, I do not see but one is quite as good as the other.

One could hardly refrain from smiling, notwithstanding the seriousness of the circumstances in which we were placed, at the gravity of the Indians during the continuance of this queer episode. Not one of them all rose, turned round, or manifested the least impatience, or even curiosity. The presence of two hundred armed men, bagged in calico, did not induce them to look about them, though their previous experience with this gallant corps may possibly have led them to hold it somewhat cheap.

The time had now come for the Indians to carry out the main design of their visit to Ravensnest, and Prairiefire slowly arose to speak. The reader will understand that Manytongues translated, sentence by sentence, all that passed, he being expert in the different dialects of the tribes, some of which had carried that of the Onondagoes to the prairies. In this particular, the interpreter was a somewhat remarkable man, not only rendering what was said readily and without hesitation, but energetically and with considerable power. It may be well to add, however, that in writing out the language I may have used English expressions that are a little more choice, in some instances, than those given by this uneducated person.

"Father," commenced Prairefire, solemnly, and with a dignity that it is not usual to find connected with modern oratory; the gestures he used being few, but of singular force and significance-"Father, the minds of your children are heavy. They have travelled over a long and thorny path, with moccasons worn out, and feet that were getting sore; but their minds were light. They hoped to look at the face of the Upright Onondago, when they got to the end of the path. They have come to the end of that path, and they see him. He looks as they expected he would look. He is like an oak that lightning may burn, and the snows cover with moss, but which a thousand storms and a hundred winters cannot strip of its leaves. He looks like the oldest oak in the forest. He is very grand. It is pleasant to look on him. When we see him, we see a chief who knew our fathers' fathers, and their fathers' fathers. That is a long time ago. He is a tradition, and knows all things. There is only one thing about him, that ought not to be. He was born a red-man, but has lived so long with the pale-faces, that when he does go away to the happy hunting-grounds, we are afraid the good spirits will mistake him for a pale-face, and point out the wrong path. Should this happen, the red-men would lose the Upright of the Onondagoes, forever. It should not be. My father does not wish it to be. He will think better. He will come back among his children, and leave his wisdom and advice among the people of his own color. I ask him to do this.

"It is a long path, now, to the wigwams of red-men. It was not so once, but the path has been stretched. It is a very long path. Our young men travel it often, to visit the graves of their fathers, and they know how long it is. My tongue is not crooked, but it is straight; it will not sing a false song-it tells my father the truth. The path is very long. But the pale-faces are wonderful! What have they not done? What will they not do? They have made canoes and sledges that fly swift as the birds. The deer could not catch them. They have wings of fire, and never weary. They go when men sleep. The path is long, but it is soon travelled with such wings. My father can make the journey, and not think of weariness. Let him try it. His children will take good care of him. Uncle Sam will give him venison, and he will want nothing. Then, when he starts for the happy hunting-grounds, he will not mistake the path, and will live with red-men forever."

A long, solemn pause succeeded this speech, which was delivered with great dignity and emphasis. I could see that Susquesus was touched with this request, and at the homage paid his character, by having tribes from the prairies-tribes of which he had never even heard through traditions in his younger days-come so far to do justice to his character; to request him to go and die in their midst. It is true, he must have known that the fragments of the old New York tribes had mostly found their way to those distant regions; nevertheless, it could not but be soothing to learn that even they had succeeded in making so strong an impression in his favor, by means of their representations. Most men of his great age would have been insensible to feelings of this sort. Such, in a great degree, was the fact with Jaaf; but such was not the case with the Onondago. As he said in his former speech to his visitors, his mind dwelt more on the scenes of his youth, and native emotions came fresher to his spirit, now, than they had done even in middle age. All that remained of his youthful fire seemed to be awakened, and he did not appear that morning, except when compelled to walk and in his outward person, to be a man who had seen much more than his threescore years and ten.

As a matter of course, now that the chiefs from the prairies had so distinctly made known the great object of their visit, and so vividly portrayed their desire to receive back, into the bosom of their communities, one of their color and race, it remained for the Onondago to let the manner in which he viewed this proposition be known. The profound stillness that reigned around him must have assured the old Indian how anxiously his reply was expected. It extended even to the "disguised and armed," who, by this time, seemed to be as much absorbed in the interest of this curious scene as any of us who occupied the piazza. I do believe that anti-rentism was momentarily forgotten by all parties-tenants as well as landlords, Landlords as well as tenants. I dare say, Prairiefire had taken his seat three minutes ere Susquesus arose; during all which time, the deep stillness, of which I have spoken, prevailed.

"My children," answered the Onondago, whose voice possessed just enough of the hollow tremulousness of age to render it profoundly impressive, but who spoke so distinctly as to be heard by all present-"My children, we do not know what will happen when we are young-all is young, too, that we see. It is when we grow old, that all grows old with us. Youth is full of hope; but age is full of eyes, it sees things as they are. I have lived in my wigwam alone, since the Great Spirit called out the name of my mother, and she hurried away to the happy hunting-grounds to cook venison for my father, who was called first. My father was a great warrior. You did not know him. He was killed by the Delawares, more than a hundred winters ago.

"I have told you the truth. When my mother went to cook venison for her husband, I was left alone in my wigwam."

Here a long pause succeeded, during which Susquesus appeared to be struggling with his own feelings, though he continued erect, like a tree firmly rooted. As for the chiefs, most of them inclined their bodies forward to listen, so intense was their interest; here and there one of their number explaining in soft guttural tones, certain passages in the speech to some other Indians, who did not fully comprehend the dialect in which they were uttered. After a time, Susquesus proceeded: "Yes, I lived alone. A young squaw was to have entered my wigwam and staid there. She never came. She wished to enter it, but she did not. Another warrior had her promise, and it was right that she should keep her word. Her mind

was heavy at first, but she lived to feel that it is good to be just. No squaw has ever lived in any wigwam of mine. I do not think ever to be a father: but see how different it has turned out! I am now the father of all red-men! Every Indian warrior is my son. You are my children! I will own you when we meet on the pleasant paths beyond the hunts you make to-day. You will call me father, and I will call you sons.

"That will be enough. You ask me to go on the long path with you, and leave my bones on the prairies. I have heard of those hunting-grounds. Our ancient traditions told us of them. 'Toward the rising sun,' they said, 'is a great salt lake, and toward the setting sun, great lakes of sweet water. Across the great salt lake is a distant country, filled with pale-faces, who live in large villages, and in the midst of cleared fields. Toward the setting sun were large cleared fields, too, but no pale-faces, and few villages.' Some of our wise men thought these fields were the fields of red-men following the pale-faces round after the sun; some thought they were fields in which the pale-faces were following them. I think this was the truth. The red-man cannot hide himself in any corner where the pale-faces will not find him. The Great Spirit will have it so. It is his will; the red-man must submit.

"My sons, the journey you ask me to make is too long for old age. I have lived with the pale-faces, until one-half of my heart is white; though the other half is red. One-half is filled with the traditions of my fathers, the other half is filled with the wisdom of the stranger. I cannot cut my heart in two pieces. I must all go with you, or all stay here. The body must stay with the heart, and both must remain where they have now dwelt so long. I thank you, my children, but what you wish can never come to pass.

"You see a very old man, but you see a very unsettled mind. There are red traditions and pale-face traditions. Both speak of the Great Spirit, but only one speak of his Son. A soft voice has been whispering in my ear, lately, much of the Son of God. Do they speak to you in that way on the prairies? I know not what to think. I wish to think what is right; but it is not easy to understand."

Here Susquesus paused; then he took his seat, with the air of one who is at a loss how to explain his own feelings. Prairiefire waited a respectful time for him to continue his address, but perceiving that he rose not, he stood up himself, to request a further explanation.

"My father has spoken wisdom," he said, "and his children have listened. They have not heard enough; they wish to hear more. If my father is tired of standing, he can sit; his children do not ask him to stand. They ask to know where that soft voice came from, and what it said?"

Susquesus did not rise, now, but he prepared for a reply. Mr. Warren was standing quite near him, and Mary was leaning on his arm. He signed for the father to advance a step or two, in complying with which, the parent brought forth the unconscious child also.

"See, my children," resumed Susquesus. "This is a great medicine of the pale-faces. He talks always of the Great Spirit, and of his goodness to men. It is his business to talk of the happy hunting-ground, and of good and bad pale-faces. I cannot tell you whether he does any good or not. Many such talk of these things constantly among the whites, but I can see little change, and I have lived among them, now, more than eighty winters and summers-yes, near ninety. The land is changed so much that I hardly know it; but the people do not alter. See, there; here are men-pale-faces in calico bags. Why do they run about, and dishonor the red-man by calling themselves Injins? I will tell you."

There was now a decided movement among the "virtuous and industrious," though a strong desire to hear the old man out, prevented any violent interruption at that time. I question if ever men listened more intently, than we all lent our faculties now, to ascertain what the Upright of the Onondagoes thought of anti-rentism. I received the opinions he expressed with the greater alacrity, because I knew he was a living witness of most of what he related, and because I was clearly of opinion that he knew quite as much of the subject as many who rose in the legislative halls to discuss the subject.

"These men are not warriors," continued Susquesus. "They hide their faces and they carry rifles, but they frighten none but the squaws and pappooses. When they take a scalp, it is because they are a hundred, and their enemies one. They are not braves. Why do they come at all? What do they want? They want the land of this young chief. My children, all the land, far and near, was ours. The pale-faces came with their papers, and made laws, and said 'It is well! We want this land. There is plenty farther west for you red-men. Go there, and hunt, and fish, and plant your corn, and leave us this land.' Our red brethren did as they were asked to do. The pale-faces had it as they wished. They made laws, and sold the land, as the red-men sell the skins of beavers. When the money was paid, each pale-face got a deed, and thought he owned all that he had paid for. But the wicked spirit that drove out the red-man is now about to drive off the pale-face chiefs. It is the same devil, and it is no other. He wanted land then, and he wants land now. There is one difference, and it is this. When the pale-face drove off the red-man there was no treaty between them. They had not smoked together, and given wampum, and signed a paper. If they had, it was to agree that the red-man should go away, and the pale-face stay. When the pale-face drives off the pale-face, there is a treaty; they have smoked together, and given wampum, and signed a paper. This is the difference. Indian will keep his word with Indian; pale-face will not keep his word with pale-face."

Susquesus stopped speaking, and the eye of every chief was immediately, and for the first time that morning, turned on the "disguised and armed"-the "virtuous and hard-working." A slight movement occurred in the band, but no outbreak took place; and, in the midst of the sensation that existed, Eaglesflight slowly arose. The native dignity and ease of his manner more than compensated for his personal appearance, and he now seemed to us all one of those by no means unusual instances of the power of the mind to overshadow, and even to obliterate, the imperfections of the body. Before the effect of what Susquesus had just said was lost, this eloquent and much-practised orator began his address. His utterance was highly impressive, being so deliberate, with pauses so well adjusted, as to permit Manytongues to give full effect to each syllable he translated.

"My brethren," said Eaglesflight, addressing the Injins and the other auditors, rather than any one else, "you have heard the words of age. They are the words of wisdom. They are the words of truth. The Upright of the Onondagoes cannot lie. He never could. The Great Spirit made him a just Indian; and, as the Great Spirit makes an Indian, so he is. My brethren, I will tell you his story; it will be good for you to hear it. We have heard your story; first from the interpreter, now from Susquesus. It is a bad story. We were made sorrowful when we heard it. What is right, should be done; what is wrong, should not be done. There are bad red-men, and good red-men; there are bad pale-faces, and good pale-faces. The good red-men and good pale-faces do what is right; the bad, what is wrong. It is the same with both. The Great Spirit of the Indian and the Great Spirit of the white man are alike; so are the wicked spirits. There is no difference in this.

"My brethren, a red-man knows in his heart when he does what is right, and when he does what is wrong. He does not want to be told. He tells himself. His face is red, and he cannot change color. The paint is too thick. When he tells himself how much wrong he has done, he goes into the bushes, and is sorry. When he comes out he is a better man.

"My brethren, it is different with a pale-face. He is white, and uses no stones for paint. When he tells himself that he has done wrong, his face can paint itself. Everybody can see that he is ashamed. He does not go into the bushes; it would do no good. He paints himself so quickly that there is no time. He hides his face in a calico bag. This is not good, but it is better than to be pointed at with the finger.

"My brethren, the Upright of the Onondagoes has never run into the bushes because he was ashamed. There has been no need of it. He has not told himself he was wicked. He has not put his face in a calico bag; he cannot paint himself, like a pale-face.

"My brethren, listen; I will tell you a story. A long time ago everything was very different here. The clearings were small, and the woods large. Then the red-men were many, and the pale-faces few. Now it is different. You know how it is, to-day.

"My brethren, I am talking of what was a hundred winters since. We were not born, then. Susquesus was then young, and strong, and active. He could run with the deer, and battle with the bear. He was a chief, because his fathers were chiefs before him. The Onondagoes knew him and loved him. Not a war-path was opened that he was not the first to go on it. No other warrior could count so many scalps. No young chief had so many listeners at the council-fire. The Onondagoes were proud that they had so great a chief, and one so young. They thought he would live a long time, and they should see him, and be proud of him for fifty winters more.

"My brethren, Susquesus has lived twice fifty winters longer; but he has not lived them with his own people. No; he has been a stranger among the Onondagoes all that time. The warriors he knew are dead. The wigwams that he went into have fallen to the earth with time; the graves have crumbled, and the sons' sons of his companions walk heavily with old age. Susquesus is there; you see him; he sees you. He can walk; he speaks; he sees: he is a living tradition! Why is this so? The Great Spirit has not called him away. He is a just Indian, and it is good that he be kept here, that all red-men may know how much he is loved. So long as he stays no red-men need want a calico bag.

"My brethren, the younger days of Susquesus, the Trackless, were happy. When he had seen twenty winters, he was talked of in all the neighboring tribes. The scalp notches were a great many. When he had seen thirty winters, no chief of the Onondagoes had more honor, or more power. He was first among the Onondagoes. There was but one fault in him. He did not take a squaw into his wigwam. Death comes when he is not looked for; so does marriage. At length my father became like other men, and wished for a squaw. It happened in this way.

"My brethren, red-men have laws, as well as the pale-faces. If there is a difference, it is in keeping those laws. A law of the red-men gives every warrior his prisoners. If he bring off a warrior, he is his; if a squaw, she is his. This is right. He can take the scalp of the warrior; he can take the squaw into his wigwam, if it be empty. A warrior named Waterfowl, brought in a captive girl of the Delawares. She was called Ouithwith, and was handsomer than the humming-bird. The Waterfowl had his ears open, and heard how beautiful she was. He watched long to take her, and he did take her. She was his, and he thought to take her into his wigwam when it was empty. Three moons passed, before that could be. In the meantime, Susquesus saw Ouithwith, and Ouithwith saw Susquesus. Their eyes were never off each other. He was the noblest moose of the woods, in her eyes; she was the spotted fawn, in his. He wished to ask her to his wigwam; she wished to go.

"My brethren, Susquesus was a great chief; the Waterfowl was only a warrior. One had power and authority, the other had neither. But there is authority among red-men beyond that of the chief. It is the red-man's law. Ouithwith belonged to the Waterfowl, and she did not belong to Susquesus. A great council was held, and men differed. Some said that so useful a chief, so renowned a warrior as Susquesus, ought to be the husband of Ouithwith, some said her husband ought to be the Waterfowl, for he had brought her out from among the Delawares. A great difficulty arose on this question, and the whole six nations took part in it. Many warriors were for the law, but most were for Susquesus. They loved him, and thought he would make the best husband for the Delaware girl. For six moons the quarrel thickened, and a dark cloud gathered over the path that led among the tribes. Warriors who had taken scalps in company, looked at each other, as the panther looks at the deer. Some were ready to dig up the hatchet for the law; some for the pride of the Onondagoes, and the humming-bird of the Delawares. The squaws took sides with Susquesus. Far and near, they met to talk together, and they even threatened to light a council-fire, and smoke around it, like warriors and chiefs.

"Brethren, things could not stand so another moon. Ouithwith must go into the wigwam of the Waterfowl, or into the wigwam of Susquesus. The squaws said she should go into the wigwam of Susquesus; and they met together, and led her to his door. As she went along that path, Ouithwith looked at her feet with her eyes, but her heart leaped like the bounding fawn, when playing in the sun. She did not go in at the door. The Waterfowl was there, and forbade it. He had come alone; his friends were but few, while the heads and arms of the friends of Susquesus were as plenty as the berries on the bush.

"My brethren, that command of the Waterfowl's was like a wall of rock before the door of the Trackless's wigwam. Ouithwith could not go in. The eyes of Susquesus said 'no,' while his heart said 'yes.' He offered the Waterfowl his rifle, his powder, all his skins, his wigwam; but Waterfowl would rather have his prisoner, and answered, 'no.' 'Take my scalp,' he said; 'you are strong and can do it; but do not take my prisoner.'

"My brethren, Susquesus then stood up, in the midst of the tribe, and opened his mind. 'The Waterfowl is right,' he said. 'She is his, by our laws; and what the laws of the red-man say, the red-man must do. When the warrior is about to be tormented, and he asks for time to go home and see his friends, does he not come back at the day and hour agreed on? Shall I, Susquesus, the first chief of the Onondagoes, be stronger than the law? No-my face would be forever hid in the bushes, did that come to pass. It should not be-it shall not be. Take her, Waterfowl; she is yours. Deal kindly by her, for she is as tender as the wren when it first quits the nest. I must go into the woods for awhile. When my mind is at peace, Susquesus will return.'

"Brethren, the stillness in that tribe, while Susquesus was getting his rifle, and his horn, and his best moccasons, and his tomahawk, was like that which comes in the darkness. Men saw him go, but none dare follow. He left no trail, and he was called the Trackless. His mind was never at peace, for he never came back. Summer and winter came and went often before the Onondagoes heard of him among the pale-faces. All that time the Waterfowl lived with Ouithwith in his wigwam, and she bore him children. The chief was gone, but the law remained. Go you, men of the pale-faces, who hide your shame in calico bags, and do the same. Follow the example of an Indian-be honest, like the Upright of the Onondagoes!"

While this simple narrative was drawing to a close, I could detect the signs of great uneasiness among the leaders of the "calico bags." The biting comparison between themselves and their own course, and an Indian and his justice, was intolerable to them, for nothing has more conduced to the abuses connected with anti-rentism than the wide-spread delusion that prevails in the land concerning the omnipotency of the masses. The error is deeply rooted which persuades men that fallible parts can make an infallible whole. It was offensive to their self-conceit, and menacing to their success. A murmur ran through the assembly, and a shout followed. The Injins rattled their rifles, most relying on intimidation to effect their purpose; but a few seemed influenced by a worse intention, and I have never doubted that blood would have been shed in the next minute, the Indians now standing to their arms, had not the sheriff of the county suddenly appeared on the piazza, with Jack Dunning at his elbow. This unexpected apparition produced a pause, during which the "disguised and armed" fell back some twenty yards, and the ladies rushed into the house. As for my uncle and myself, we were as much astonished as any there at this interruption.

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