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sounding in his own ears like the faint sigh of some budding flower. With equal ill success did he aim to struggle with his limbs. He was too tightly grasped, in every part, to stir in the slightest degree a single member. He saw the fond search, meanwhile, which his comrade maintained, and his heart yearned the more in fondness for the youth. But it was with consummate horror that he saw him depart as night came on. Miserable, indeed, were his feelings that night. The voice of the Gray Demon alone kept him company, and he and his one-eyed wife made merry with his condition, goading him the livelong night with speeches of cruel gibe and mischievous reflection, such as the following:
«• There is no hope for you, Conattee, till some one takes your place. Some one must sit in your lap, whom you are willing to leave behind you, before you can get out of mine,' was the speech of the Gray Demon, who, perched upon Conattee's shoulders, bent his huge knotty head over him, while his red eyes looked into the half-hidden ones of the environed hunter, and glared upon him with the exultation of the tyrant at last secure of his prey. Night passed away at length, and, with the dawn, how was the hopeless heart of Conattee refreshed as he again saw Selonee appear! He then remembered the words of Tustenuggee, which told him that he could not escape until some one sat in his lap whom he was willing to leave behind him. The fancy rose in his mind that Selonee would do this ; but could it be that he would consent to leave his friend behind him? Life was sweet, and great was the temptation. At one moment he almost wished that Selonee would draw nigh and seat himself after his fatigue. As if the young hunter knew his wish, he drew nigh at that instant; but the better feelings in Conattee's heart grew strong as he approached, and, striving to twist and writhe in his bondage, and laboring at the same time to call out in warning to his friend, he manifested the noble resolution not to avail himself of his friend's position to relieve his own; and, as if the warning of Conattee had really reached the understanding of Selonee, the youth retraced his steps, and once more hurried away from the place of danger. With his final departure the fond hopes of the prisoner sunk within him; and when hour after hour had gone by without the appearance of any of his people, and without any sort of change in his condition, he gave himself up utterly for lost. The mocks and jeers of the Gray Demon and his one-eyed squaw filled his ears all night, and the morning brought him nothing but flat despair. He resigned himself to his fate with the resolution of one who, however unwilling he might be to perish in such a manner, had yet faced death too frequently not to yield him a ready defiance now.” — Ist Ser., pp. 137 – 140.
Selonee made many wry faces at his destiny. He resolved to try one desperate effort to find and restore his friend. How he fared, and what the upshot of the whole adventure was, are seen in the conclusion of the seventh and the beginning of the eighth chapter.
“She was too well satisfied with the exchange with which for: tune had provided her, to suffer its gift to be lost so easily ; and when Selonee darted from the cabin in such fearful haste, she readily conjectured his determination. She hurried after him with all possible speed, little doubting that those thunders — could she overiake him — with which she had so frequently overawed the pliant Conattee would possess an effect not less influential upon his more youthful successor. Macourah was gaunt as a greyhound, and scarcely less fleet of foot. Besides, she was as tough as a gray-squirrel in his thirteenth year. She did not despair of overtaking Selonee, provided she suffered him not to know that she was upon his trail. Her first movements, therefore, were marked with caution. Having watched his first direction, she divined his aim to return to the hunting grounds where he had lost or slain his companion; and these hunting.grounds were almost as well known to herself as to him.
With a rapidity of movement, and tenacity of purpose, which could only be accounted for by a reference to that wild passion which Selonee had unconsciouly inspired in her bosom for himself, she followed his departing footsteps; and when, the next day, he heard her shouts behind him, he was absolutely confounded. But it was with a feeling of surprise and not of dissatisfaction that he heard her voice. He - good youth — regarding Conattee as one of the very worthiest of the Catawba warriors, seemed to have been impressed with an idea that such also was the opinion of his wise. He little dreamed that she had any real design upon himself; and believed that to show her the evidences which were to be seen, which led to the fate of her husband, might serve to convince her that not only he was not the murderer, but that Conattee might not, indeed, be murdered at all. He coolly waited her approach, therefore, and proceeded to renew his state. ments, accompanying his narrative with the expression of the hope which he entertained of again restoring her husband to herself and the nation. But she answered his speech only with upbraidings and entreaties; and when she failed, she proceeded to thump him lustily with the wand by which she had compelled him to follow her to the lodge the day before. But Selonee was in no humor to obey the laws of the nation now. The feeling of degradation which had followed in his mind, from the moment
VOL. LXIII. No. 133.
when he left the spot where he had stood up for death, having neither fear nor shame, was too fresh in his consciousness to suf. fer him to yield a like acknowledgment to it now; and, though sorely tempted to pummel the Jezebel, in return for the lusty thwacks which she had already inflicted upon his shoulders, he forbore, in consideration of his friend, and contented himself with simply setting forward on his progress, determined to elude her pursuit by an exercise of all his vigor and elasticity. Selonee was hardy as the grisly bear, and fleeter than the wild turkey; and Macourah, virago as she was, soon discovered the difference in the chase when Selonee put forth his strength and spirit. She followed with all her pertinacity, quickened as it was by an increase of fury at that presumption which had ventured to disobey her commands; but Selonee fled faster than she pursued, and every additional moment served to increase the space between them. The hunter lost her from his heels at length, and deemed himself fortunate that she was no longer in sight and hearing, when he again approached the spot where his friend had so mysteriously disappeared. Here he renewed his search with a painful care and minuteness, which the imprisoned Conattee all the while beheld. Once more Selonee crawled beneath those sprawling limbs and spreading arms that wrapped up in their solid and coarse rinds the person of the warrior. Once more he emerged from the spot disappointed and hopeless. This he had hardly done, when, to the great horror of the captive, and the an. noyance of Selonee, the shrill shrieks and screams of the too well known voice of Macourah rang through the forests. Selonee dashed forward as he heard the sounds, and when Macourah reached the spot, which she did unerringly in following his trail, the youth was already out of sight.
“I can go no further,' cried the woman ;-'a curse on him and a curse on Conattee, since in losing one I have lost both. I am too faint to follow. As for Selonee, may the one-eyed witch of Tustenuggee take him for her dog.'
“ With this delicate imprecation, the virago seated herself in a state of exhaustion upon the inviting bed of moss which formed the lap of Conattee. This she had no sooner done, than the branches relaxed their hold upon the limbs of her husband. The moment was too precious for delay, and sliding from under her with an adroitness and strength which were beyond her powers of prevention, and, indeed, quite too sudden for any effort at resistance, she had the consternation to behold her husband starting up in full life before her, and, with the instinct of his former condition, preparing to take to flight. She cried to him, but he fled the faster, she strove to follow him, but the branches which had
relaxed their hold upon her husband had resumed their contracted grasp upon her limbs. The brown bark was already forming above her on every hand, and her tongue, allotted a brief term of liberty, was alone free to assail him. She had spoken but few words when the bark encased her jaws, and the ugly thorn of the vine which had so distressed Conattee had taken its place at their portals.
“ The husband looked back but once, when the voice ceased; then, with a shivering sort of joy that his own doom had undergone a termination, which he now felt to be doubly fortunate, he made a wide circuit, that he might avoid the fatal neighbour. hood, and pushed on in pursuit of his friend, whom his eyes, even when he was surrounded in the tree, had followed in his flight. It was no easy task, however, to overtake Selonee, flying, as he did, from the supposed pursuit of the termagant. Great, however, was the joy of the young warriors when they did encounter, and long and fervent was their mutual embrace. Conattee described his misfortunes, and related the manner in which he was taken ; showed how the bark had encased his limbs, and how the intricate magic had even engrossed his knife, and the wolf-skin which had been the trophy of his victory. But Conattee said not a word of his wife and her entrapment, and Selonee was left in the convic. tion that his companion owed his escape from the toils to some hidden change in the tyrannical mood of Tustenuggee, or the one-eyed woman, his wife.
“But the skin and the knife, Conattee, let us not leave them,' said Selonee, ' let us go back and extricate them from the tree.'
“ Conattee showed some reluctance. He soon said, in the words of Macbeth, which he did not use, however, as a quotation, • I'll go no more.' But Selonee, who ascribed this reluctance to very natural apprehensions of the demon from whose clutches he had just made his escape, declared his readiness to undertake the adventure, if Conattee would only point out to his eyes the par. ticular excrescence in which the articles were inclosed. When the husband perceived that his friend was resolute, he made a merit of necessity.
"• If the thing is to be done,' said he, why should you have the risk ? I myself will do it. It would be a woman-fear, were I to shrink from the danger. Let us go.'
“ The process of reasoning by which Conattee came to this de. termination was a very sudden one, and one, too, that will not be hard to comprehend by every husband in his situation. It was his fear, that, if Selonee undertook the business, an unlucky or misdirected stroke of his knife might sever a limb, or remove some portions of the bark which did not merit or need removal.
Conattee trembled at the very idea of the revelations which might follow such an unhappy result
. Strengthening himself, therefore, with all his energies, he went forward with Selonee to the spot, and while the latter looked on and witnessed the operation, he proceeded, with a nicety and care which amused and surprised Selonee, to the excision of the swollen scab upon the tree in which he had seen his wolf-skin encompassed. While he performed the operation, which he did as cautiously as if it had been the extraction of a mote from the eye of a virgin, the beldam in the tree, conscious of all his movements, and at first flattered with the hope that he was working for her extrication, maintained the most ceaseless efforts of her tongue and limbs, but without avail. Her slight breathing, which Conattee knew where to look for, more like the sighs of an infant zephyr than the efforts of a human bosom, denoted to his ears an overpowering but fortunately suppressed volcano within ; and his heart leaped with a new joy, which had been unknown to it for many years before, when he thought that he was now safe, and, he trusted, for ever, from any of the tortures which he had been fain to endure patiently so long. When he had finished the operation by which he had reobtained his treasures, he ventured upon an impertinence which spoke surprisingly for his sudden acquisition of confidence ; and looking up through the little aperture in the bark, from whence he had seen every thing while in the same situation, and from whence he concluded she was also suffered to see, he took a peep, a quick, quizzical, and taunting peep, at those eyes which he had not so dared to offend before. He drew back suddenly from the contact, so suddenly, indeed, that Selonee, who saw the proceeding, but had no idea of the truth, thought he had been stung by some insect, and questioned him accordingly.
66. Let us be off, Selonee,' was the hurried answer, we have nothing to wait for now.'
“Yes,' replied Selonee, and I had forgotten to say to you that your wife, Macourah, is on her way in search of you. I left her but a little ways behind, and thought to find her here. I suppose she is tired, however, and is resting by the way.'
“Let her rest,' said Conattee, which is an indulgence much greater than any she ever accorded me. She will find me out soon enough, without making it needful that I should go in search of her. Come.'"
1st Ser., pp. 141 - 147. The Snake of the Cabin is a tale of vulgar villany, well told, but not superior in material to criminal reports which may be read daily in the newspapers. One of the best pieces in the collection is the story of Oakatibbé, or the