“After he has sung in the ear of the flower of the Pale-faces.”

“The Lord forgive the desperate villain!” exclaimed the old man in English. “There are none so tender, or so young, or so innocent, as to escape his ravenous wishes. But hard words and cold looks will profit nothing; therefore it will be wise to speak him fair. Let Mahtoree open his mouth.”

“Would my father cry out, that the women and children should hear the wisdom of chiefs! We will go into the lodge and whisper.”

As the Teton ended, he pointed significantly towards a tent, vividly emblazoned with the history of one of his own boldest and most commended exploits, and which stood a little apart from the rest, as if to denote it was the residence of some privileged individual of the band. The shield and quiver at its entrance were richer than common, and the high distinction of a fusee, attested the importance of its proprietor. In every other particular it was rather distinguished by signs of poverty than of wealth. The domestic utensils were fewer in number and simpler in their forms, than those to be seen about the openings of the meanest lodges, nor was there a single one of those high-prized articles of civilised life, which were occasionally bought of the traders, in bargains that bore so hard on the ignorant natives. All these had been bestowed, as they had been acquired, by the generous chief, on his subordinates, to purchase an influence that might render him the master of their lives and persons; a species of wealth that was certainly more noble in itself, and far dearer to his ambition.

The old man well knew this to be the lodge of Mahtoree, and, in obedience to the sign of the chief, he held his way towards it with slow and reluctant steps. But there were others present, who were equally interested in the approaching conference, whose apprehensions were not to be so easily suppressed. The watchful eye and jealous ears of Middleton had taught him enough to fill his soul with horrible forebodings. With an incredible effort he succeeded in gaining his feet, and called aloud to the retiring trapper—

“I conjure you, old man, if the love you bore my parents was more than words, or if the love you bear your God is that of a Christian man, utter not a syllable that may wound the ear of that innocent—”

Exhausted in spirit and fettered in limbs, he then fell, like an inanimate log, to the earth, where he lay like one dead.

Paul had however caught the clue and completed the exhortation, in his peculiar manner.

“Harkee, old trapper,” he shouted, vainly endeavouring at the same time to make a gesture of defiance with his hand; “if you ar’ about to play the interpreter, speak such words to the ears of that damnable savage, as becomes a white man to use, and a heathen to hear. Tell him, from me, that if he does or says the thing that is uncivil to the girl, called Nelly Wade, that I’ll curse him with my dying breath; that I’ll pray for all good Christians in Kentucky to curse him; sitting and standing; eating and drinking; fighting, praying, or at horse-races; in-doors and out-doors; in summer or winter, or in the month of March; in short I’ll—ay, it ar’ a fact, morally true—I’ll haunt him, if the ghost of a Pale-face can contrive to lift itself from a grave made by the hands of a Red-skin!”

Having thus ventured the most terrible denunciation he could devise, and the one which, in the eyes of the honest bee-hunter, there seemed the greatest likelihood of his being able to put in execution, he was obliged to await the fruits of his threat, with that resignation which would be apt to govern a western border-man who, in addition to the prospects just named, had the advantage of contemplating them in fetters and bondage. We shall not detain the narrative, to relate the quaint morals with which he next endeavoured to cheer the drooping spirits of his more sensitive companion, or the occasional pithy and peculiar benedictions that he pronounced, on all the bands of the Dahcotahs, commencing with those whom he accused of stealing or murdering, on the banks of the distant Mississippi, and concluding, in terms of suitable energy, with the Teton tribe. The latter more than once received from his lips curses as sententious and as complicated as that celebrated anathema of the church, for a knowledge of which most unlettered Protestants are indebted to the pious researches of the worthy Tristram Shandy. But as

  By PanEris using Melati.

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