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stand before me.” Middleton explained to the chief what the trapper had said, and relinquished his own place to the other.
12. “Pawnee,” continued the old man, alway changing his language to suit the person he addressed, and not unfrequently according to the ideas he expressed, “it is a custom of my people for the father to leave his blessing with the son before he shuts his eyes forever. This blessing I give to you : take it ; for the prayers of a Christian man will never make the path of a just warrior to the blessed prāiries either longer or more tangled. May the God of a white man look on your deeds with friendly eyes, and may you never commit an act that shall cause him to darken his face. I know not whether we shall ever meet again.
13. “There are many traditions concerning the place of Good Spirits. It is not for one like me, old and inexperienced though I am, to set up my opinions against a nation's. You believe in the blessèd prairies, and I have faith in the sayings of my fathers. If both are true, our parting will be final ; but if it should
prove that the same meaning is hid under different words, we shall yet stand together, Pawnee, before the face of your Wahcondah, who will then be no other than
God. 14. “There is much to be said in favor of both religions, for each seems suited to its own people, and no doubt it was so intended. I fear I have not altogether followed the gifts of my color, inasmuch as I find it a little painful to give up forever the use of the rifle, and the comforts of the chase. But then the fault has been my own, seeing that it could not have been His. Ay, Hector," he continued, leaning forward a little, and feeling for the ears of the hound,“ our parting has come at last, dog, and it will be a long hunt. You have been an honest, and a bold, and a faithful houňd. Pawnee, you can not slay the pup on my grave, for where a Christian dog falls there he lies forever ; but you can be kind to him after I am gone, for the love you bear his master."
15. “The words of my father are in my ears," returned the young partisan, making a grave and respectful gesture of assent. “Do you hear what the chief has promised, dog ?" demanded the trapper, making an effort to attract the notice of the insensible effigy of his hound. Receiving no answering look, nor hearing any friendly whine, the old man felt for the mouth, and endeavored to force his hand between the cold lips.
then flashed upon him, although he was far from perceiving the whole extent of the deception. Falling back in his seat, he hung his head, like one who felt a severe and unexpected shock. Profiting by this momentary forgětfulness, two young Indians removed the skin with the same delicacy of feeling that had induced them to attempt the pious fraud.
THE dög is dead,” muttered the trapper, after a pause of many
minutes ; “ a hound has his time as well as a man; and well has he filled his days! Captain," he added, making an effort to wave his hand for Middleton, “I am glad you have come ; for though kind, and well meaning according to the gifts of their color, these Indians are not the men to lay the head of & white man in his grave. I have been thinking, too, of this dog at
my feet : it will not do to set forth the opinion that a Christian can expect to meet his hound again ; still there can be little harm in placing what is left of so faithful a servant nigh the bones of his master." It shall be as you desire." "I'm glad you think with me in this matter. In order, then, to save labor, lay the pup at my feet; or, for that matter, put him side by side. A hunter need never be ashamed to be found in company with his dog !" "I charge myself with your wish.
2. The old man made a long, and apparently a musing pause. At times he raised his eyes wistfully, as if he would again address Middleton, but some innate feeling appeared alway to suppress his words. The other, who observed his hesitation, inquired in a way most likely to encourage him to proceed, whether there was aught else that he could wish to have done. “I am without kith or kin in the wide world !" the-trapper answered : “when I am gone there will be an end of my race. We have never been chiefs ; but honest, and useful in our way, I hope it can not be denied we have alway proved ourselves. My father lies buried near the sea, and the bones of his son will whiten on the prāiries." "Name the spot, and your remains shall be placed by the side of your father," interrupted Middleton.
3. “Not so, not so, Captain. Let me sleep where I have lived
-beyond the din of the settlements! Still I see no need why the grave
of honest man should be hid, like a red-skin in his ambushment. I paid a man in the settlements to make and put a graven stone at the head of my father's resting-place. It was of the value of twelve beaver-skins, and cunningly and curiously was it carved! Then it told to all comers that the body of such a Christian lay benēath ; and it spoke of his manner of life, of his years, and of his honesty. When we had done with the Frenchers, in the old war, I made a journey to the spot, in order to see that all was rightly performed, and glad I am to say, the workman had not forgotten his faith.” 4. “And such a stone you would have at your grave ?”
“I! no, no, I have no son but Hard-Heart, and it is little that an Indian knows of white fashions and usages. Besides, I am his debtor already, seeing it is so little I have done since I bave lived in his tribe. The rifle might bring the value of such a thing-but then I know it will give the boy pléasure to hang the piece in his hall, for many is the deer and the bird that he has seen it destroy. No, no, the gun must be sent to him whose name is graven on the stock !"
5. “But there is one who would gladly prove his affection in the way you wish; he who owes you not only his own deliverance from so many dāngers, but who inherits a heavy debt of gratitude from his ancestors. The stone shall be put at the head of your grave.” The old man extended his emaciated hand, and gave the other a squeeze of thanks. “I thought you might be willing to do it, but I was backward in asking the favor," he said, “seeing that you are not of my kin. Put no boastful words on the same, but just the name, the age, and the time of the death, with something from the holy book ; no more, no
My name will then not be altogether lost on ’arth ; I need no more.”
6. Middleton intimated his assent, and then followed a pause that was only interrupted by distant and broken sentences from the dying man. He appeared now to have closed his accounts with the world, and to await merely for the final summons to quit it. Middleton and Hard-Heart placed themselves on the opposite sides of his seat, and watched with melancholy solicitude the variations of his countenance.
7. For two hours there was no věry sensible alteration. The
expression of his faded and time-wörn features was that of a calm and dignified repose. From time to time he spoke, uttering some brief sentence in the way of advice, or asking some simple questions concerning those in whose fortunes he still took a friendly interest. During the whole of that solemn and anxious period, each individual of the tribe kept his place, in the most self-restrained patience. When the old man spoke, all bent their heads to listen ; and when his words were uttered, they seemed to ponder on their wisdom and usefulness.
8. As the flame drew nigher to the socket, his voice was hushed ; and there were moments when his attendants doubted whether he still belonged to the living. Middleton, who watched each wavering expression of his weather-beaten visage with the interest of a keen observer of human nature, softened by the tenderness of personal regard, fancied he could read the workings of the old man's soul in the strong lineaments of his countenance. Perhaps what the enlightened soldier took for the delusion of mistaken opinion did actually occur—for who has returned from that unknown world to explain by what forms, and in what manner, he was introduced into its awful precincts ? Without pretending to explain what must ever be a mystery to the quick, we shall simply relate facts as they occurred.
9. The trapper had remained nearly motionless for an hour. His eyes alone had occasionally opened and shut. When opened, his
gaze seemed fastened on the clouds which hung around the western hori'zon, reflecting the bright colors, and giving form and loveliness to the glorious tints of an American sunset. The hour—the calm beauty of the season-the occasion-all conspired to fill the spectators with solemn awe. Suddenly, while musing on the remarkable position in which he was placed, Middleton felt the hand, which he held, grasp his own with incredible power, and the old man, supported on ēither side by his friends, rose upright to his feet. For a moment he looked about him, as if to invite all in his presence to listen (the lingering remnant of human frailty), and then, with a fine military elevation of the head, and with a voice that might be heard in every part of that numerous assembly, he pronounced the word—“HERE!"
10. A movement so entirely unexpected, and the air of grandeur and humility which were so remarkably united in the mien of the trapper, togěther with the clear and uncommon force of his utterance, produced a short period of confusion in the faculties of all present. When Middleton and Hard-Heart, each of whom had involuntarily extended a hand to support the form of the old man, turned to him again, they found that the subject of their interest was removed forever beyond the necessity of their care. They mournfully placed the body in its seat, and the voice of the old Indian, who arose to announce the termination of the scene to the tribe, seemed a sort of echo from that invisible world to which the meek spirit of the trapper had just departed. “A valiant, a just, and a wise warrior has gone on the path which will lead him to the blessed grounds of his people!" he said. “When the voice of the Wahcondah called him, he was ready to answer. Go, my children ; remember the just chief of the pale-faces, and clear your own tracks from briers !"
11. The grave was made beneath the shade of some noble oaks. It has been carefully watched to the present hour by the Pawnees of the Loup, and is often shown to the traveler and the trader as a spot where a just white man sleeps. In due time the stone was placed at its head, with the simple inscription which the trapper had himself requested. The only liberty taken by Middleton was to add—“May NO WANTON HAND EVER DISTURB HIS REMAINS.'
JAMES FENNIMORE COOPER.
JAMES FENNIMORE COOPER, the celebrated American novelist, was born at Burlington, New Jersey, in 1789. His father, Judge William Cooper, born in Pennsylvania, became possessed, in 1785, of a large tract of land near Otsego Lake, in the State of New York, where, in the spring of 1786, he erected the first house in Cooperstown. In 1795 and 1799 he was elected to represent that district in Congress. Here the novelist chiefly passed his boyhood to his thir. teenth year, and became perfectly conversant with frontier life. At that early age he entered Yale College, where he remained three years, when he obtained a midshipman's commission and entered the navy. He passed the six following years in that service, and thus became master of the second great field of his future literary career. In 1811 he resigned his commission, married Miss De. lancey, a descendant of one of the oldest and most influential families in Amer. ica, and settled down to a home life in Westchester, near New York, where he resided for a short time before removing to Cooperstown. Here he wrote his first book, “Precaution.” This was followed, in 1821, by “The Spy," one of tho best of all historical romances. It was almost immediately republished in all parts of Europe. It was followed, two years later, by “The Pioneers.” “The Pilot,” the first of his sea novels, next appeared. It is one of the most remark. able novels of the time, and everywhere obtained instant and high applause. In 1826 he visited Europe, where his reputation was already well established as one of the greatest writers of romantic fiction which our age has produced. He passed several years abroad, and was warmly welcomed in every country he visited. His literary activity was not impaired by his change of scene, as sev