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I must show it to Arrowhead, who may be running past a port without knowing it. It is probable there is a camboose, where there is a smoke."
As he concluded, the uncle drew a hand from his bosom, touched the male Indian, who was standing near him, lightly on the shoulder, and pointed out a thin line of vapour that was stealing slowly out of the wilderness of leaves, at a distance of about a mile, and was diffusing itself in almost imperceptible, threads of humidity, in the quivering atmo. sphere. The Tuscarora was one of those noble-looking warriors that were oftener met with among the aborigines of this continent a century since, than to-day; and, while he had mingled sufficiently with the colonists to be familiar with their habits, and even with their language, he had lost little, if any, of the wild grandeur and simple dignity of a chief. Between him and the old seaman the intercourse had been friendly, but distant, for the Indian had been too much accus. tomed to mingle with the officers of the different military posts he had frequented, not to understand that his present companion was only a subordinate. So imposing, indeed, had been the quiet superiority of the 'Tuscarora's reserve, that Charles Cap, for so was the seaman named, in his most dogmatical or facetious moments, had not ventured on familiarity, in an in. tercourse that had now lasted more than a week. The sight of the curling smoke, however, had struck the latter like the sudden appearance of a sail at sea, and, for the first time since they met, he ventured to touch the warrior, as has been related.
The quick eye of the Tuscarora instantly caught a sight of the smoke, and for quite a minute, he stood, slightly raised on tiptoe, with distended nostrils, like the buck that scents a taint in the air, and a gaze as riveted as that of the trained pointer, while he waits his master's aim. Then falling back on his feet, a low exclamation, in the soft tones that form so singular a contrast to its harsher cries, in the Indian warrior's voice, was barely audible; otherwise, he was undisturbed. His countenance was calm, and his quick, dark, eagle eye moved, over the leafy panorama, as if to take in at a glance every circumstance that might enlighten bis mind. That the long journey they had attempted to make through a broad belt ot' wilderness, was necessarily attended with danger, both
uncle and niece well knew; though neither could at once de termine whether the sign that others were in their vicinity was the harbinger of good or evil.
“ There must be Oneidas, or Tuscaroras, near us, Arrow, head," said Cap, addressing his Indian companion by his conventional English name; “ will it not be well to join company with them, and get a comfortable berth for the night in their wigwam ?"
“No wigwam there," Arrowhead answered, in his un. moved manner — " too much tree."
“ But Indians must be there; perhaps some old mess-mates of your own, Master Arrowhead.” i No Tuscarora
no Mohawk — pale-face fire."
“ The devil it is! well, Magnet, this surpasses a seaman's philosophy—we old sea-dogs can tell a soldier's from a sail. or's quid, or a lubber's nest from a mate's hammock; but I do not think the oldest admiral in his majesty's fleet can tell a king's smoke from a collier's !”
The idea that human beings were in their vicinity in that ocean of wilderness, had deepened the flush on the blooming cheek and brightened the eye of the fair creature at his side, but she soon turned with a look of surprise to her relative, and said hesitatingly, for both had often admired the Tuscarora's knowledge, or we might almost say, instinct
“ A pale-face's fire! Surely, uncle, he cannot know that!"
“ Ten days since, child, I would have sworn to it; but, now, I hardly know what to believe. May I take the liberty of asking, Arrowhead, why you fancy that smoke, now, a pale-face's smoke, and not a red-skin's ?”
66 Wet wood," returned the warrior, with the calmness with which the pedagogue right point out an arithmetical demonstration to his puzzled pupil. " Much wet — much smoke; much water-black smoke.”
“ But, begging your pardon, Master Arrowhead, the smoke is not black, nor is there much of To my eye, now, it is as light and fanciful a smoke as ever rose from a captain's teakettle, when nothing was left to make the fire, but a few chips from the dunnage.”
“ Too much water," returned Arrowhead, with a slight nod of the head : “ Tuscarora too cunning to make fire with
water ; pale-face too much book, and burn any thing; much book, little know.”
“Well, that's reasonable, I allow,” said Cap, who was no devotee of learning : “he means that as a hit at your reading, Magnet, for the Chief has sensible notions of things in his own way. How far, now, Arrowhead, do you make us by your calculation, from the bit of a pond, that you call the Great Lake, and towards which we have been so many days shaping our course ?"
The Tuscarora looked at the seaman with quiet superiority, as he answered
“Ontario, like heaven; one sun, and the great traveller will know it."
“Well, I have been a great traveller, I cannot deny, but of all my v'y’ges this has been the longest, the least profitable, and the farthest inland. If this body of fresh water is so nigh, Arrowhead, and at the same time so large, one might think a pair of good eyes would find it out, for, apparently, every thing within thirty miles is to be seen from this Tookout."
“Look," said Arrowhead, stretching an arm before him with quiet grace ;
66 Ontario !” “ Uncle, you are accustomed to cry land ho!' but not 'water ho!' and you do not see it,” cried the niece, laughing as girls will laugh at their own idle conceits.
“How now, Magnet, dost suppose that I shouldn't know my native element, if it were in sight ?”
But, Ontario is not your native element, dear uncle, for you come from the salt water, while this is fresh.”
“That might make some difference to your young mariner, but none in the world to the old one. I should know water, child, were I to see it in China."
“Ontario," repeated the Arrowhead, with emphasis, again stretching his hand towards the north-west.
Cap looked at the Tuscarora, for the first time since their acquaintance, with something like an air of contempt, thougo he did not fail to follow the direction of the chief's eye and arm, both of which were directed, to all appearance, toward a vacant point in the heavens, a short distance above the plain of leaves.
“Ay, ay; this is much as I expected, when I left the coast
to come in search of a fresh-water pond,” resumed Cap, shrug, ging his shoulders like one whose mind was made up, and who thought no more need be said. “ Ontario may be there, or, for that matter, it may be in my pocket. Well, I suppose there will be room enough, when we reach it, to work our
But, Arrowhead, if there be pale-faces in our neigh. bourhood, I confess I should like to get within hail of them.”
The Tuscarora now gave a quiet inclination of his head, and the whole party descended from the roots of the uptorn tree, in silence. When they had reached the ground, Arrowhead intimated his intention to go towards the fire, and ascertain who had lighted it, while he advised his wife and the two others to return to a canoe, which they had left in the adjacent stream, and await his return.
“Why, chief, this might do on soundings, and in an offing where one knew the channel,” returned old Cap, “ but in an unknown region like this, I think it unsafe to trust the pilot alone too far from the ship: so, with your leave, we will not part company."
“What my brother want?" asked the Indian, gravely, though without taking offence at a distrust that was sufficiently plain.
“ Your company, Master Arrowhead, and no more. I will go with you, and speak these strangers."
The Tuscarora assented without difficulty, and again he directed his patient and submissive little wife, who seldom turned her full rich black eye on him, but to express equally her respect, her dread, and her love, to proceed to the boat. But, here, Magnet raised a difficulty. Although spirited, and of unusual energy under circumstances of trial, she was but woman, and the idea of being entirely deserted by her two male protectors, in the midst of a wilderness, that her senses iad just told her was seemingly illimitable, became so keenly painful that she expressed a wish to accompany her uncle.
“ The exercise will be a relief, dear sir, after sitting so long in the canoe,” she added, as the rich blood slowly returned o a cheek that had paled, in spite of her efforts to be calm and there may be females with the strangers.
“Come, then, child—it is but a cable's length, and we shall return an hour before the sun sets."
With this permission, the girl, whose real name was Mabel Dunham, prepared to be of the party, while the Dew-of-June
as the wife of Arrowhead was called, passively went her way towards the canoe, too much accustomed to obedience, solitude, and the gloom of the forest, to feel apprehension.
The three who remained in the wind-row, now picked their way around its tangled maze, and gained the margin of the woods, in the necessary direction. A few glances of the eye sufficed for Arrowhead, but old Cap deliberately set the smoke by a pocket-compass, before he trusted himself within the shadows of the trees.
“ This steering by the nose, Magnet, may do well enough for an Indian, but your thorough-bred knows the virtue of the needle,” said the uncle, as he trudged at the heels of the light stepping Tuscarora. " America would never have been discovered, take my word for it, if Columbus had been nothing but nostrils. Friend. Arrowhead, didst ever see a machine like this?"
The Indian turned, cast a glance at the compass, which Cap held in a way to direct his course, and gravely answered—
“ A pale-face eye. The Tuscarora see in his head. The salt-water (for so the Indian styled his companion) all eye now; no tongue.'
“He means, uncle, that we had needs be silent; perhaps he distrusts the persons we are about to meet."
“Ay-t is an Indian's fashion of going to quarters. You perceive he has examined the priming of his rifle, and it may be as well, if I look to that of my own pistols.
Without betraying alarm at these preparations, to which she had become accustomed by her long journey in the wil. derness, Mabel followed with a step as light and elastic as that of the Indian, keeping close in the rear of her companions. For the first half mile, no other caution beyond a rigid silence was observed, but as the party drew to the spot, where the fire was known to be, much greater care became necessary.
The forest, as usual, had little to intercept the view, below the branches, but the tall straight trunks of trees. Every thing belonging to vegetation, had struggled towards the light, and beneath the leafy canopy one walked, as it might be, through a vast natural vault, that was upheld by myriads of rustic columns. These columns, or trees, however, often served to conceal the adventurer, the hunter, or the foe, and