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freedom and warmth she had been far from manifesting while held to the bosom of Jasper-" God bless you, dearest Pathfinder! You will come to us hereafter. We shall see you again. When old, you will come to our dwelling, and let me be a daughter to you?"
"Yes-that's it"-returned the guide, almost gasping for breath: "I'll try to think of it in that way. You're more befitting to be my daughter, than to be my wife you are. Farewell, Jasper. Now we'll go to the canoe; it's time you were on board."
The manner in which Pathfinder led the way to the shore, was solemn and calm. As soon as he reached the canoe, he again took Mabel by the hands, held her at the length of his own arms, and gazed wistfully into her face, until the unbidden tears rolled out of the fountains of feeling, and trickled down his rugged cheeks in streams.
"Bless me, Pathfinder;" said Mabel, kneeling reverently at his feet. "Oh! at least bless me, before we part.”
That untutored, but noble-minded being, did as she desired; and, aiding her to enter the canoe, seemed to tear himself away as one snaps a strong and obstinate cord. Before he retired, however, he took Jasper by the arm, and led him a little aside, when he spoke as follows:
"You're kind of heart, and gentle by natur', Jasper; but we are both rough and wild, in comparison with that dear creatur'. Be careful of her, and never show the roughness of man's natur' to her soft disposition. You'll get to understand her, in time; and the Lord who governs the lake and the forest alike—who looks upon virtue with a smile, and upon vice with a frown-keep you happy, and worthy to be so !"
Pathfinder made a sign for his friend to depart; and he stood leaning on his rifle, until the canoe had reached the side of the Scud. Mabel wept as if her heart would break; nor did her eyes once turn from the open spot in the glade, where the form of the Pathfinder was to be seen, until the cutter had passed a point that completely shut out the island. When last in view, the sinewy frame of this extraordinary man was as motionless as if it were a statue set up in that solitary place, to commemorate the scenes of which it had so lately been the witness.
"Oh! let me only breathe the air,
Pathfinder was accustomed to solitude; but, when the Scud had actually disappeared, he was almost overcome with a sense of his loneliness. Never before had he been conscious of his isolated condition in the world; for his feelings had gradually been accustoming themselves to the blandishments and wants of social life; particularly as the last were connected with the domestic affections. Now, all had vanished, as it might be, in one moment; and he was left equally without companions, and without hope. Even Chingachgook had left him, though it was but temporarily, still his presence was missed at the precise instant which might be termed the most critical in our hero's life.
Pathfinder stood leaning on his rifle, in the attitude described in the last chapter, a long time after the Scud had disappeared. The rigidity of his limbs seemed permanent; and none but a man accustomed to put his muscles to the severest proof, could have maintained that posture, with its marble-like inflexibility, for so great a length of time. length, he moved away from the spot; the motion of the body being preceded by a sigh that seemed to heave up from the very depths of his bosom.
It was a peculiarity of this extraordinary being, that his senses and his limbs, for all practical purposes, were never at fault, let the mind be pre-occupied with other interests, as much as it might. On the present occasion, neither of these great auxiliaries failed him; but, though his thoughts were exclusively occupied with Mabel, her beauty, her preference of Jasper, her tears and her departure, he moved in a direct ine to the spot where June still remained, which was the grave of her husband. The conversation that followed passed in the language of the Tuscaroras, which Pathfinder spoke fluently; but, as that tongue is understood only by the ex
tremely learned, we shall translate it freely into the English, preserving, as far as possible, the tone of thought of each interlocutor, as well as the peculiarities of manner.
June had suffered her hair to fall about her face, had taken a seat on a stone that had been dug from the excavation made by the grave, and was hanging over the spot that contained the body of Arrowhead, unconscious of the presence of any other. She believed, indeed, that all had left the island but herself, and the tread of the guide's moccasined foot was too noiseless, rudely to undeceive her.
Pathfinder stood gazing at the woman, for several minutes, in mute attention. The contemplation of her grief, the recollection of her irreparable loss, and the view of her desolation, produced a healthful influence on his own feelings; his reason telling him how much deeper lay the sources of grief, in a young wife, who was suddenly and violently deprived of her husband, than in himself.
“Dew of June," he said, solemnly, but with an earnestness that denoted the strength of his sympathy-" you are not alone in your sorrow. Turn, and let your eyes look upon a friend."
"June has no longer any friend" the woman answered: "Arrowhead has gone to the happy hunting-grounds, and there is no one left to care for June. The Tuscaroras would chase her from their wigwams; the Iroquois are hateful in her eyes, and she could not look at them. No!-leave June to starve over the grave of her husband."
"This will never do-this will never do. 'Tis ag'in reason and right. You believe in the Manitou, June ?" "He has hid his face from June, because he is angry. He has left her alone, to die.”
"Listen to one, who has had a long acquaintance with red natur', though he has a white birth, and white gifts. When the Manitou of a pale-face' wishes to produce good in a paleface heart, he strikes it with grief, for it is in our sorrows, June, that we look with the truest eyes into ourselves, and with the farthest-sighted eyes too, as respects right. The Great Spirit wishes you well, and he has taken away the chief, lest you should be led astray, by his wily tongue, and get to be a Mingo in your disposition, as you were already in your company.'
"Arrowhead was a great chief!" returned the woman, proudly.
"He had his merits, he had; and he had his demerits, too. But, June, you're not desarted, nor will you be soon. Let your grief out-let it out, according to natur', and when the proper time comes, I shall have more to say to you."
Pathfinder now went to his own canoe, and he left the island. In the course of the day, June heard the crack of his rifle, once or twice; and as the sun was setting, he re appeared, bringing her birds ready cooked, and of a delicacy and flavour that might have tempted the appetite of an epicure. This species of intercourse lasted a month, June obstinately refusing to abandon the grave of her husband, all that time, though she still accepted the friendly offerings of her protector. Occasionally they met and conversed, Pathfinder sounding the state of the woman's feelings; but the interviews were short, and far from frequent. June slept in one of the huts, and she laid down her head in security, for she was conscious of the protection of a friend, though Pathfinder invariably retired at night, to an adjacent island, where he had built himself a hut.
At the end of the month, however, the season was getting to be too far advanced to render her situation pleasant to June. The trees had lost their leaves, and the nights were becoming cold and wintry. It was time to depart.
At this moment, Chingachgook re-appeared. He had a long and confidential interview on the island, with his friend. June witnessed their movements, and she saw that her guardian was distressed. Stealing to his side, she endeavoured to soothe his sorrow, with a woman's gentleness, and with a woman's instinct.
"Thank you, June - thank you"-he said—“'t is well meant, though it's useless. But it is time to quit this place. To-morrow, we shall depart. You will go with us, for now you've got to feel reason.".
June assented in the meek manner of an Indian woman, and she withdrew to pass the remainder of her time, near the grave of Arrowhead. Regardless of the hour and the season, the young widow did not pillow her head during the whole of that autumnal night. She sat near the spot that held the remains of her husband, and prayed, in the man
ner of her people, for his success on the endless path on which he had so lately gone, and for their reunion in the land of the just. Humble and degraded as she would have seemed in the eyes of the sophisticated and unreflecting, the image of God was on her soul, and it vindicated its divine origin by aspirations and feelings that would have surprised those who, feigning more, feel less.
In the morning the three departed; Pathfinder earnest and intelligent in all he did, the Great Serpent silent and imitative, and June meek, resigned, but sorrowful. They went in two canoes, that of the woman being abandoned. Chingachgook led the way, and Pathfinder followed, the course being up stream. Two days they paddled westward, and as many nights they encamped on islands. Fortunately the weather became mild, and when they reached the lake, it was found smooth, and glassy as a pond. It was the Indian summer, and the calms, and almost the blandness of Juné, slept in the hazy atmosphere.
On the morning of the third day, they passed the mouth of the Oswego, where the fort and the sleeping ensign invited them in vain to enter. Without casting a look aside, Chingachgook paddled past the dark waters of the river, and Pathfinder still followed, in silent industry. The ramparts were crowded with spectators; but Lundie, who knew the persons of his old friends, refused to allow them to be even hailed.
It was noon, when Chingachgook entered a little bay, where the Scud lay at anchor, in a sort of road-stead. A small, ancient clearing was on the shore, and near the margin of the lake, was a log dwelling, recently and completely, though rudely fitted up. There was an air of frontier com fort, and of frontier abundance around the place, though it was necessarily wild and solitary. Jasper stood on the shore; and when Pathfinder landed, he was the first to take him by the hand. The meeting was simple, but very cordial. No questions were asked, it being apparent that Chingachgook had made the necessary explanations. Pathfinder never squeezed his friend's hand more cordially, than in this interview; and he even laughed cordially in his face, as he told him how happy and well he appeared.
"Where is she, Jasper-where is she?" the guide at