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the old man. "What I have done He has seen. His eyes are alway open. That which has been well done will He remember; wherein I have been wrong will He not forget to chastise, though He will do the same in mercy. No, my son, a pale-face may not sing his own praises, and hope to have them acceptable before his God!"
9. A little disappointed, the young partisan stepped modestly back, making way for the recent comers to approach. Middleton took one of the meager hands of the trapper, and struggling to command his voice, he succeeded in announcing his presence. The old man listened like one whose thoughts were dwelling on a věry different subject; but when the other had succeeded in making him understand that he was present, an expression of joyful recognition passed over his faded features. "I hope you have not so soon forgotten those whom you so materially served!" Middleton concluded. "It would pain me to think my hold on your memory was so light."
10. "Little that I have ever seen is forgotten," returned the trapper: "I am at the close of many weary days, but there is not one among them all that I could wish to overlook. I remember with the whole of your company; ay, and your gran'ther, that went before you. I am glad that you have come back upon these plains; for I had need of one who speaks the English, since little faith can be put in the traders of these regions. Will you do a favor to an old and dying man?" "Name it," said Middleton; "it shall be done." "It is a far journey to send such trifles," resumed the old man, who spoke at short intervals, as strength and breath permitted; “a far and weary journey is the same; but kindnèssès and friendships are things not to be forgotten. There is a settlement among the Otsego hills”
11. “I know the place," interrupted Middleton, observing that he spoke with increasing difficulty; "proceed to tell me what you would have done." "Take this rifle, and pouch, and horn, and send them to the person whose name is graven on the plates of the stock,-a trader cut the letters with his knife,-for it is long that I have intended to send him such a token of my love!" 66 It shall be so. Is there more that you could wish?" "Little else have I to bestow. My traps I give to son; for honestly and kindly has he kept his faith.
my Indian Let him
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 blessèd prairies 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 blessed 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 my 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 hound. 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. The truth
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 forgetfulness, two young Indians removed the skin with the same delicacy of feeling that had induced them to attempt the pious fraud.
133. DEATH OF THE OLD TRAPPER.
HE dog 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 a 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 åddress 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 prairies." "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 an 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 beneath; 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 have lived in his tribe. The rifle might bring the value of such a thing-but then I know it will give the boy pleasure 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 dangers, 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 more. 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-worn 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 cach 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 lineäments 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, gaze seemed fastened on the clouds which hung around the western horiʼzon, 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 either 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, together with the clear and uncommon force of