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conciled to her lot, but at last she grew contented and even cheerful. Sagitto instructed her in his own language ; and under his direction, she acquired the art of decorating her person according to the peculiar fashion of his tribe. Her habits were at length almost entirely assimilated with those of the Indians; and as the reader has, perhaps, already anticipated, she became the bride of Sagitto. Her young affections were entirely his—she loved him with all a woman's fondness. He, strange as it
may appear, was the only object before whom she bowed in adoration. His image was shrined too deeply in her heart, ever to be obscured. If he was thoughtful or gloomy, she was never satisfied until she had inspired him with cheerfulness and good humour. She was as a ministering angel ever ready to soften his rugged sor
For hours she has sat in the pale light of the moon, pouring out her soul in all the fervour and eloquence of song to charm away the Manitou of evil from the bosom of her devoted lord.
Five months, only, had elapsed during their matrimonial existence, when Sagitto and his followers were drawn into another contest with the whites. Orania remained at home. After an absence of nearly a whole summer, the chief found himself obliged to fight a desperate battle. His enemies were very strong, and he had but little hope of success; still there was no alternative. The contest commenced ; but it was of short duration. The whites, actuated by a revengeful spirit, pressed madly on their foes, and overpowered them in an instant. Sagitto was their prisoner. He and the remnant of his band were securely bound. That night, they encamped upon
At sunset, the following day, the prisoners were to be shot. The next morning, Sagitto was upon his feet. He was leaning against a tree, to which he had
been fastened by his captors. He was silent and meditative. He communed entirely with his own thoughts For a long time he had been gazing towards the east. His abstraction was observed by Colonel
one of the principal officers, who approached him.
“What do you see ?” he asked with a tender solicitude peculiar to this excellent man.
“ A mountain," significantly replied the chief.
“A mountain ? And why do you look upon it so earnestly ?"
“ It is my home. In the moon of flowers,* many years ago, I burnt one of your villages. We took many scalps. One of your daughters I carried away. She was beautiful as the magnolia, and her voice sweeter than the songsparrow. She is my wife.”
“ And you wish to see her ?”
6 You say I am to die? Would a paleface see the wife of his bosom, before he goes to the Great Spirit ?”
“We will send for her to the Camp,” said Col. N
“No," cried the chief with emotion, She is your enemy. She wears the red paint.'t She is terrible as the hissing of the Great Serpent! Are you mad ? would you take away her life?
her life? I would talk to her in my own weegewam.
“ The fox, if it once escapes, never returns,' said the officer.
“ The palefaces talk with their own hearts. A chief would not disgrace his tribe with a lie. The Great Spirit would be offended. Why do you doubt? Was I ever guilty of deceit? Bid me
free. Tell me, without asking a pledge, that I am no longer your prisoner.
May is called by the Indians the moon of Howers. + An emblem of war.
And what would I do? Would I bury the tomahawk? Would I forget my wrongs ? Would I quietly smoke the calumet of peace ? Would your midnight slumbers be undisturbed? No! The warwhoop should ring in your ears. Our knives would reek with your blood, and our mantles be covered with your scalps. But, if I depart, with the promise to return, rely on my word. Shall I
The chief was unbound.
“ An hour before sunset,” said Col. N—,"you will hear the sound of the wardrum. This will be the signal for your return."
Sagitto walked slowly away. In a few moments he was lost among the trees. He journeyed on to the home of Orania. She met him in the forest where she was gathering flowers. She beheld her long absent lord, and flew to his embrace.
“Oh, Sagitto, you have at last returned. My heart is full of joy. But you were unkind, very unkind to leave me so long. Oh, I had such a fearful dream ? I thought you were dead, and that I was scattering flowers upon your grave. Are you well? Do not frown upon me. How mournful you look. Will you not kiss me, Sagitto? There ! once more. Now, are you better? If you
would smile-but for a moment !"
66 Orania !” said the chief, after a long pause, “a messenger of the Great Spirit has whispered to you the truth. Your dream is true. I am doomed to death by your white brethren."
66 What madness is this? Are you not with your dear Orania ? Tell me the truth? The white men doom you to death? They dare not do it! By the great and good Wahconda !* I repeat, they dare not do it!"
* The Supreme Being.
“ Orania, you are deceived. I am their prisoner. I pledged my word to return an hour before sunset.”
“ Then there must be no violation of promises. But I will accompany you. You shall not perish alone. I will show the palefaces that I have no woman's heart.” The chief clasped his bride still closer to his breast, and for a long time they were conscious only of each other's presence.
A little before the appointed hour, they were both in sight of their enemy's camp. The drum beat. This was the signal for Sagitto's appearance. Every eye was looking anxiously around. He walked forward with a bold and majestic step. Orania hung upon his arm. In Col. N-the commanding officer, she recognised her brother. But she made not known the secret. She sought not the acquaintance of those who were preparing to shed her husband's blood. She looked upon all
present, with a calm and sullen indifference. She was asked no questions ; for the paint, with which she was accustomed to daub her face, prevented, perhaps, a surmise as to the reality of her person. Sagitto and his wife were ordered to take their stations at the western extremity of the camp. The six other Indian prisoners were led out, and placed at a distance of about fifty yards. A body of twenty men, armed with muskets, advanced in regular order, and stood before them. The word was given, and they fired.
The work of death was complete. One of the unhappy wretches sprung several feet into the air. Col. N-approached the chief, who had been looking, unmoved, upon this scene of slaughter.
6 You see,” he said, “the dreadful extremity to which we are sometimes driven."
I see," replied the chief. “ Are you ready?"
“ Ready!” he answered. Sagitto embraced his wife, and took his stand near the spot where his followers had just been offered up to the vengeance of the usurpers. A dozen muskets were levelled at his person. Col. N. stood at a distance, with his sword drawn, ready to pronounce the word 66 Fire.” Orania walked boldly forward, and clutched him violently by the arm.
“ Hold !” she cried, “or a sister's curse shall rest upon you for ever !"
“Woman, away! I know you not," he replied.
“ But you shall know me," she exclaimed, and in a spirit of phrenzy she tore off the ornaments of her person; and spoke confusedly and hurriedly of a hundred different circumstances, that tended to prove her his only sister. The evidence was irresistible; and he paused a moment to receive her embrace. Still he was inexorable in his purpose. The chief was represented to be the husband of his sister ; but in this, according to the summary code of frontier warfare, he could find no reason why he should not be dealt with as his crimes deserved. He lifted his hand as a signal for the men to fire, while Orania hung convulsively about his neck to prevent, if possible, the fatal command. It was too late. A moment, and Sagitto was no more.
Orania survived him but a few months. She returned to her kindred race; but she languished away like the autumnal flower. The spell that bound her to the earth was broken. The birds had lost their melody—the moon, and the stars, their lustre—and the rivers and mountains no longer had a charm ; and when the light of Paukannewah* glowed over the silent midnight, and the dancing spiritst arose from the bosom of the arctic zone, the unhappy Orania departed to the land of dreams.
* Ursa Major.
+ The Aurora Borealis.