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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesSatanstoe; Or, The Littlepage Manuscripts: A Tale Of The Colony - Chapter 25
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Satanstoe; Or, The Littlepage Manuscripts: A Tale Of The Colony - Chapter 25 Post by :automate Category :Long Stories Author :James Fenimore Cooper Date :May 2012 Read :2792

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Satanstoe; Or, The Littlepage Manuscripts: A Tale Of The Colony - Chapter 25

CHAPTER XXV

"Thou tremblest; and the whiteness in thy cheek
Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand."

SHAKSPEARE.


Curiosity induced me to follow the Indian, in order to watch his movements. Susquesus proceeded a short distance from the hut, quitting the knoll entirely, until he reached lower land, where a foot-print would be most likely to be visible, when he commenced a slow circuit of the place, with eyes fastened on the earth, as the nose of the hound follows the scent. I was so much interested in the Onondago's manner, as to join him, falling-in in his rear, in order not to interfere with his object.

Of foot-marks there were plenty, more particularly on the low, moist ground, where we were; but they all appeared, to me, to have no interest with the Indian. Most of our party wore moccasins; and it was not easy to see how, under such circumstances, and amid such a maze of impressions, it could be possible for any one to distinguish a hostile from a friendly trail. That Susquesus thought the thing might be done, however, was very evident by his perseverance, and his earnestness.

At first, my companion met with no success, or with nothing that he fancied success; but, after making half the circuit of the hut, keeping always a hundred yards distant from it, he suddenly stopped; stooped quite to the earth; then arose, and, sticking a broken knot into the ground, as a mark, he signed to me to keep a little on one side, while he turned at right angles to his former course, and moved inwards towards our dwelling. I followed slowly, watching his movements, step by step.

In this manner we reached the hut, deviating from a direct line, in order to do so. At the hut, itself, Susquesus made a long and minute examination; but even I could see, that the marks here were so numerous, as to baffle even him. After finishing his search at this point, the Indian turned, and went back to the place where he had stuck the knot in the ground. In doing this, however, he followed his own trail, returning by precisely the same deviating course as that by which he had come. This, alone, would have satisfied me that he saw more than I did; for, to own the truth, I could not have done the same thing.

When we reached the knot, Susquesus followed that (to me invisible) trail outside of the circle, leading off into the forest in a direct line from the hut and spring. I continued near him, although neither had spoken during the whole of this examination, which had now lasted quite half an hour. As it was getting dark, however, and Jaap showed the signal that our supper was ready, I thought it might be well, at length, to break the silence.

"What do you make of all this, Trackless?" I inquired. "Do you find any signs of a trail?"

"Good trail"--Susquesus answered; "new trail, too Look like Huron!"

This was startling intelligence, certainly; yet, much as I was disposed to defer to my companion's intelligence in such matters, in general, I thought he must be mistaken in his fact. In the first place, though I had seen many foot-prints near the hut, and along the low land on which the Indian made his circuit, I could see none where we then were. I mentioned this to the Indian, and desired him to show me, particularly, one of the signs which had led him to his conclusion.

"See," said Susquesus, stooping so low as to place a finger on the dead leaves that ever make a sort of carpet to the forest, "here been moccasin--that heel; this toe."

Aided, in this manner, I could discover a faint foot-print, which might, by aid of the imagination, be thus read; though the very slight impression that was to be traced, might almost as well be supposed anything else, as it seemed to me.

"I see what you mean, Susquesus; and, I allow, it _may be a foot-print," I answered; "but then it may also have been left by anything else, which has touched the ground just at that spot. It may have been made by a falling branch of a tree."

"Where branch?" asked the Indian, quick as lightning.

"Sure enough; that is more than I can tell you. But I cannot suppose _that a Huron foot-print, without more evidence than you now give."

"What you call that?--this--that--t'other?" added the Indian, stepping quickly back, and pointing to four other similar, but very faint impressions on the leaves; "no see him, eh?--Just leg apart, too!"

This was true enough; and now my attention was thus directed, and my senses were thus aided, I confess I did discover certain proofs of footsteps, that would, otherwise, have baffled my most serious search.

"I can see what you mean, Susquesus," I said, "and will allow that this line of impressions, or marks, does make them look more like footsteps. At any rate, most of our party wear moccasins as well as the red-men, and how do you know that some of the surveyors have not passed this way?"

"Surveyor no make such mark. Toe turn in."

This was true, too. But it did not follow that a foot-print was a Huron's, merely because it was Indian. Then, where were the enemy's warriors to come from, in so short a time as had intervened between the late battle and the present moment? There was little question all the forces of the French, pale-face and red-man, had been collected at Ticonderoga to meet the English; and the distance was so great as almost to render it impossible for a party to reach this spot so soon, coming from the vicinity of the fortress after the occurrence of the late events. Did not the lake interpose an obstacle, I might have inferred that parties of skirmishers would be thrown on the flanks of the advancing army, thus bringing foes within a lessened distance of us; but, there was the lake, affording a safe approach for more than thirty miles, and rendering the employment of any such skirmishers useless. All this occurred to me at the moment, and I mentioned it to my companion as an argument against his own supposition.

"No true," answered Susquesus, shaking his head. "That trail--he Huron trail, too. Don't know red-man to say so."

"But red-men are human as well as pale-faces. It must be seventy miles from this spot to the foot of Lake George, and your conjecture would make it necessary that a party should have travelled that distance in less than twenty-four hours, and be here some time before us."

"We no travel him, eh?"

"I grant you that, Trackless; but we came a long bit of the road in a canoe, each and all of us sleeping, and resting ourselves, in turns. These Hurons must have come the whole distance by land."

"No so. Huron paddle canoe well as Onondago. Lake there--canoe plenty. Why not come?"

"Do you suppose, Trackless, that any of the French Indians would venture on the lake while it was covered with our boats, as was the case last night?"

"What 'our boat' good for, eh? Carry wounded warrior--carry runaway warrior--what he care? T'ink Huron 'fraid of boat? Boat got eye, eh? Boat see; boat hear, boat shoot, eh?"

"Perhaps not; but those who were in the boats can do all this, and would be apt, at least, to speak to a strange canoe."

"Boat speak my canoe, eh? Onondago canoe, strange canoe, too."

All this was clear enough, when I began to reflect on it. It was certainly possible for a canoe with two or three paddles, to go the whole length of the lake in much less time than we had employed in going two-thirds of the distance; and a party landing in the vicinity of William-Henry, could certainly have reached the spot where we then were, several hours sooner than we had reached it ourselves. Still, there existed all the other improbabilities on my side of the question. It was improbable that a party should have proceeded in precisely this manner; it was still more improbable that such a party, coming on a war-path, from a distant part of the country, should know exactly where to find our hut. After a moment's pause, and while we both slowly proceeded to join our companion, I suggested these objections to the Onondago.

"Don't know Injin," answered the other, betraying more earnestness of manner than was usual with him, when he condescended to discuss any of the usages of the tribes, with a pale-face. "He fight first; then he want scalp. Ever see dead horse in wood--well, no crow there, eh? Plenty crow, isn't he? Just so, Injin. Wounded soldier carry off, and Injin watch in wood, behind army, to get scalp. Scalp good, after battle. Want him, very much. Wood full of Huron, along path to Albany. Yengeese down in heart; Huron up. Scalp so good, t'ink of nuttin' else."

By this time we had reached the hut, where I found Guert and Dirck already at their supper. I will own that my appetite was not as good as it might have been, but for the Onondago's conjectures and discoveries; though I took a seat, and began to eat with my friends. While at the meal, I communicated to my companions all that had passed, particularly asking of Guert, who had a respectable knowledge of the bush, what he thought of the probabilities of the case.

"If hostile red-skins have really been here, lately," the Albanian answered, "they have been thoroughly cunning devils; for not an article in or about the hut has been disturbed. I had an eye to that myself, the moment we arrived; for I have thought it far from unlikely that the Hurons would be out, on the road between William-Henry and the settlements, trying to get scalps from the parties that would be likely to be sent to the rear with wounded officers."

"In which case our friend Bulstrode might be in danger?"

"He must take his chance, like all of us. But, he will probably be carried to Ravensnest, as the nearest nest for him to nestle in. I don't half like this trail, however, Corny; it is seldom a red-skin of the Onondago's character, makes a mistake in such a matter!"

"It is too late, now, to do anything to-night," Dirck observed. "Besides, I don't think any great calamity is likely to befall any of us, or Doortje would have dropped some hint about it. These fortune-tellers seldom let anything serious pass without a notice of some sort or other. You see, Corny, we went through all this business at Ty, without a scratch, which is so much in favour of the old woman's being right."

Poor Dirck! that prediction had made a deep impression on his character, and on his future life. A man's faith must be strong, to fancy that a negative of this nature could carry with it any of the force of a positive, affirmative prediction. Nevertheless, Dirck had spoken the truth, in one respect. It was too late to do anything that night, and it only remained to prepare to take our rest as securely as possible.

We consulted on the subject, calling on the Indian to aid us. After talking the matter over, it was determined to remain where we were, securing the door, and bringing everybody within the building; for the negroes and the Indians had been much in the habit of sleeping about, under brush covers that they had erected for themselves. It was thought that, having once visited the hut, and finding it empty, the enemy, if enemy there were, would not be very likely to return to it immediately, and that wo might consider our selves as comparatively safe, from that circumstance alone. Then, there were all the chances that the trail might have been left by friendly, instead of hostile Indians, although Susquesus shook his head in the negative, whenever this was mentioned. At all events, we had but a choice of three expedients--to abandon the Patent, and seek safety in flight; to 'camp out;' or to shut ourselves up in our fortress. Of the first, no one thought for a moment; and of the two others, we decided on the last, as far the most comfortable, and, on the whole, as the safest.

An hour after we had come to this determination, I question if either of the five knew anything about it. I never slept more profoundly in my life, and my companions subsequently gave the same account of their several conditions. Fatigue, and youth, and health, gave us all refreshing sleep; and, as we lay down at nine, two o'clock came after so much time totally lost in the way of consciousness. I say two o'clock; for my watch told me that was just the hour, when the Indian awoke me, by shaking my shoulder. One gets the habits of watchfulness in the woods, and I was on my feet in an instant.

Dark as it was, for it was deep night, I could distinguish that Susquesus was alone stirring, and that he had unbarred the door of our cabin. Indeed, he passed through that open space, into the air of the forest, the moment he perceived I was conscious of what I was about. Without pausing to reflect, I followed, and soon stood at his side, some fifteen or twenty feet from the hut.

"This good place to hear," said the Indian, in a low suppressed tone. "Now, open ear."

What a scene was that, which now presented itself to my senses! I can see it, at this distance of time, after years of peaceful happiness, and years of toil and adventure. The morning, or it might be better to say the night, was not very dark in itself; but the gloom of the woods being added to the obscurity of the hour, it lent an intensity of blackness to the trunks of the trees, that gave to each a funereal and solemn aspect. It was impossible to see for any distance, and the objects that were visible were only those that were nearest at hand. Notwithstanding, one might imagine the canopied space beneath the tops of the trees, and fancy it, in the majesty of its gloomy vastness. Of sounds there were literally none, when the Indian first bade me listen. The stillness was so profound, that I thought I heard the sighing of the night air among the upper branches of the loftier trees. This might have been mere imagination; nevertheless, all above the summits of the giant oaks, maples and pines, formed a sort of upper world as regarded us; a world with which we had little communication, during our sojourn in the woods below. The raven, and the eagle, and the hawk, sailed in that region, above the clouds of leaves beneath them, and occasionally stooped, perhaps, to strike their quarry; but, to all else, it was inaccessible, and to a degree invisible.

But, my present concern is with the world I was in; and, what a world it was! Solemn, silent, dark, vast and mysterious. I listened in vain, to catch the footstep of some busy squirrel, for the forest was alive with the smaller animals, by night quite as much as by day; but everything, at that moment, seemed stilled to the silence of death.

"I can hear nothing, Trackless," I whispered--"Why are you out here?"

"You hear, soon--wake me up, and I hear twice. Soon come ag'in."

It did soon come again. It was a human cry, escaping from human lips in their agony! I heard it once only; but, should I live to be a hundred, it would not be forgotten. I often hear it in my sleep, and twenty times have I awoke since, fancying that agonizing call was in my ears. It was long, loud, piercing, and the word 'help' was as distinct as tongue could make it.

"Great God!" I exclaimed--"some one is set upon, and calls for aid in his extremity. Let us arouse our friends, and go to his assistance. I cannot remain here, Susquesus, with such a cry in my ears."

"Best go, t'ink too," answered the Onondago. "No need call, though; two better than four. Stop minute."

I did remain stationary that brief space, listening with agonized uncertainty, while the Indian entered the hut, and returned, bringing out his rifle and my own. Arming ourselves, and shutting the door of the cabin, to exclude the night-air, at least, Susquesus led off, with his noiseless step, in a south-west direction, or that in which we had heard the sound.

Our march was too swift and earnest to admit of discourse. The Onondago had admonished me to make as little noise as possible; and, between the anxiety I felt, and the care taken to comply, there was, indeed, but little opportunity for conversing. My feelings were wrought up to a high pitch; but my confidence in my companion being great, I followed in his footsteps, as diligently as my skill would allow. Susquesus rather trod on air than walked; yet I kept close at his heels, until we had gone, as I should think, fully half a mile in the direction from which that awful cry had come. Here Susquesus halted, saying to me, in a low voice--

"No far from here--best stop."

I submitted, in all things, to the directions of my Indian guide. The latter had selected the dark shadows of two or three young pines for our cover, where, by getting within their low branches, we were completely concealed from any eye that was distant from us eight or ten feet. No sooner were we thus posted, than the Onondago pointed to the trunk of a fallen tree, and we took our seats silently on it. I observed that my companion kept his thumb on the cock of his rifle, while his fore-finger was passed around the trigger. It is scarcely necessary to say that I observed the same precaution.

"This good," said Susquesus, in a voice so low and soft that it could not attract more attention than a whisper; "this very good--hear him ag'in, soon; then know."

A stifled groan _was heard, and that almost as soon as my companion ceased to speak. I felt my blood curdle at these frightful evidences of human suffering; and an impulse of humanity caused me to move, as if about to rise. The hand of Trackless checked the imprudence.

"No good," he said, sternly. "Sit still. Warrior know how to sit still."

"But, Heavenly Providence! There is some one in agony, quite near us, man. Did you not hear a groan Trackless?"

"To be sure, hear him.--What of that? Pain make groan come, alway, from pale-face."

"You think, then, it is a white-man who suffers? if so, it must be one of our party, as there is no one else near us. If I hear it again, I must go to his relief, Onondago."

"Why you behave like squaw? What of little groan? Sartain, he pale-face; Injin never groan on war-path. Why he groan, you t'ink? Cause Huron meet him. That reason he groan. You groan, too, no sit still. Injin know time to shoot--know time not to shoot."

I had every disposition to call aloud, to inquire who needed succour; yet the admonitions of my companion, aided as they, were by the gloomy mysteries of that vast forest, in the hour of deepest night, enabled me to command the impulse. Three times, notwithstanding, was that groan repeated; and, as it appeared to me, each time more and more faintly. I thought, too, when all was still in the forest--when we sat ourselves in breathless expectation of what might next reach our ears--attentive to each sighing of the night-air, and distrustful even of the rustling leaf--that the last groan of all, though certainly the faintest of any we had heard, was much the nearest. Once, indeed, I heard, or fancied I heard, the word 'water,' murmured in a low, smothered tone, almost in my ear. I thought, too, I knew the voice; that it was familiar to me; though I could not decide, in the state of my feelings, exactly to whom, it belonged.

In this manner we passed what, to me, were two of the most painful hours of my life, waiting the slow return of light. My own impatience was nearly ungovernable; though the Indian sat, the whole of that time, seemingly as insensible as the log which formed his seat, and almost as motionless. At length this intensely anxious, and even physically painful watch, drew near its end. Signs of day gleamed through the canopy of leaves, and the rays of dull light appeared to struggle downward, rendering objects dimly discernible.

It was not long ere we could ascertain that we had so completely covered ourselves, as to be in a position where the branches of the pines completely shut out the view of objects beyond. This was favourable to reconnoitring, however, previously to quitting our concealment, and enabled us to have some care of ourselves while attending to the duties of humanity.

Susquesus used the greatest caution in looking around before he left the cover. I was close at his side, peeping through such openings as offered; for my curiosity was so intense, that I almost forgot the causes for apprehension. It was not long before I heard the familiar Indian interjection, "hugh!" from my companion; a proof that something had caught his eye, of a more than ordinarily exciting character. He pointed in the way I was to look, and there, indeed, I beheld one of those frightful instances of barbarous cruelty, that the usages of savage warfare have sanctioned, as far back as our histories extend, among the forest warriors of this continent. The tops of two saplings had been brought down near each other, by main force, the victim's hands attached firmly to upper branches of each, and the trees permitted to fly back to their natural positions, or as near them as the revolting means of junction would allow. I could scarce believe my senses, when my sight first revealed the truth. But there hung the victim, suspended by his arms, at an elevation of at least ten or fifteen feet from the earth. I confess I sincerely hoped he was dead, and the motionless attitude of the body gave me reason to think it might be so. Still, the cries for "help," uttered wildly, hopelessly, in the midst of a vast and vacant forest, the groans extorted by suffering, must have been his. He had probably been thus suspended and abandoned, while alive!

Even the Onondago could not restrain me, after I fully saw and understood the nature of the cruelty which had been exercised on the miserable victim who was thus suspended directly before my eyes, and I broke out of the cover, ready, I am willing to confess, to pull trigger on the first hostile red-man I saw. Fortunately for myself, most probably, the place had long been deserted. As the back of the sufferer was towards me, I could not tell who he was; but his dress was coarse, and of the description that belongs to the lowest class. Blood had flowed freely from his head, and I made no doubt he had been scalped; though the height at which he hung, and the manner in which his head had fallen forward upon his breast, prevented me front ascertaining the fact at once, by the aid of sight. Thus much did I perceive, however, ere the Indian joined me.

"See!" said Susquesus, whose quick eye never let anything escape it long, "told you so; Huron been here."

As this was said, the Indian pointed significantly at the naked skin, which was visible between the heavy, coarse shoes of the victim, and the trowsers he wore, when I discovered it was black. Moving quickly in front, so as to get a view of the face, I recognised the distorted features of Petrus, or Pete, Guert Ten Eyck's negro. This man had been left with the surveyors, it will be remembered, and he had either fallen into the hands of his captors, while at the hut, engaged in his ordinary duties, or he had been met in the forest while going to, or coming from those he served, and had thus been treated. We never ascertained the facts, which remain in doubt to this hour.

"Give me your tomahawk, Trackless," I cried, as soon as horror would permit me to speak, "that I may cut down this sapling, and liberate the unfortunate creature!"

"No good--better so," answered the Indian. "Bear--wolf can't get him, now. Let black-skin hang--good as bury--no safe stay here long. Look round and count Huron, then go."

"Look round and count the Hurons," I thought to myself; "and in what manner is this to be done?" By this time, however, it was sufficiently light to see foot-prints, if any there were, and the Onondago set about examining such traces of what had passed at that terrible spot, as might be intelligible to one of his experience.

At the foot of a huge oak, that grew a few yards from the fatal saplings, we found the two wooden, covered pails in which we knew Pete had been accustomed to carry food to Mr. Traverse and the chain-bearers. They were empty, but whether the provisions they unquestionably had contained fell to the share of those for whom they were intended, or to that of the captors, we never learned. No traces of bones, potato-skins, or other fragments were discovered; and, if the Hurons had seized the provisions, they doubtless transferred them to their own repositories, without stopping to eat. Susquesus detected proof that the victim had been seated at the foot of the oak, and that he had been seized at that spot. There were the marks of many feet there, and some proofs of a slight scuffle. Blood, too, was to be traced on the leaves, from the foot of the oak, to the place where poor Pete was suspended; a proof that he had been hurt, previously to being abandoned to his cruel fate.

But the point of most interest with Trackless was to ascertain the number of our foes. This might be done, in some measure, according to his view of the matter, by means of the foot-prints. There was no want of such signs, the leaves being much disturbed in places, though after a short but anxious search, my companion thought it wisest to repair to the hut, lest those it contained might be surprised in their sleep. He gave me to understand that the enemy did not appear to be numerous at that spot, three or four at most, though it was quite possible, nay highly probable, that they had separated, and that their whole force was not present at this miserable scene.

It was broad daylight when we came in sight of the hut again, and I perceived Jaap was up and busy with his pots and kettles near the spring. No one else was visible, and we inferred that Guert and Dirck were still on their pallets. We took a long and distrustful survey of the forest around the cabin, from the height where we stood, ere we ventured to approach it any nearer. Discovering no signs of danger, and the forest being quite clear of underbrush or cover of any sort, large trees excepted, for some distance from the hut, we then advanced without apprehension. This open character of the woods near our dwelling was felt to be a very favourable circumstance, rendering it impossible for an enemy to get very near us by daylight, without being seen. It was owing to the fact that we had used so much of the smaller timber, in our own operations, while the negroes had burned most of the underbrush for fuel.

Sure enough, I found my two friends fast asleep, and certainly much exposed. When aroused and told all that had occurred to me and the Indian, their surprise was great, nor was their horror less. Jaap, who, missing us on rising, supposed we had gone in pursuit of game, had followed us into the hut, and heard my communications. His indignation was great, at the idea of one of his own colour's being thus treated, and I heard him vowing vengeance between his set teeth, in terms that were by no means measured.

"By St. Nicholas!" exclaimed Guert, who had now finished dressing, and who accompanied me out into the open air, M my poor fellow shall be revenged, if the rifle will do it! Scalped, too, do you say, Corny?"

"As far as we could ascertain, suspended as he was from the tree. But, scalped he must be, as an Indian never permits a dead captive to escape this mutilation."

"And you have been out in the forest three hours, you tell me, Corny?--You and Trackless?"

"About that time, I should judge. The heart must have been of stone, that could resist those cries!"

"I do not blame you, Littlepage, though it would have been kinder, and wiser, had you taken your friends with you. We must stick together, in future, let what may happen. Poor Petrus! I wonder Doortje should have hinted nothing of that nigger's fate!"

We then held a long consultation on the subject of our mode of proceeding, next. It is unnecessary to dwell on this conference, as its conclusions will be seen in the events of the narrative; but it was brought to a close by a very sudden interruption, and that was the sound of an axe in the forest. The blows came in the direction of the scene of Pete's murder, and we had collected our rifles, and were preparing to move towards the suspected point, when we saw Jaap staggering along, coming to the hut, beneath the load of his friend's body. The fellow had stolen away, unseen, on this pious duty, and had executed it with success. In a minute or two he reached the spring, and began to wash away the revolting remains of the massacre from the head of the Huron's victim.

We now ascertained that poor Pete had been badly cut by knives, as well as scalped, and suspended in the manner related. Both arms appeared to be dislocated, and the only relief to our feelings, was in the hope that an attempt to inflict so much suffering must have soon defeated itself. Guert, in particular, expressed his hope that such was the case, though the awful sounds of the past night were still too fresh in my ears to enable me to believe all I could wish on that subject A grave was dug, and we buried the body at once, rolling a large log or two on the spot, in order to prevent wild beasts from disinterring it. Jaap worked hard in the performance of these rites, and Guert Ten Eyck actually repeated the Lord's Prayer and the Creed over the grave, when the body was placed in it, with a fervour and earnestness that a little surprised me.

"He was but a nigger, Corny, it is true," said the Albanian, a little apologetically perhaps, after all was over, "but he was a very goot nigger, in the first place; then, he had a soul, as well as a white man--Pete had his merits, as well as a Tominie, and I trust they will not be forgotten in the last great account. He was an excellent cook, as you must have seen, and I never knew a nigger that had more of the dog-like fidelity to his master. The fellow never got into a frolic without coming honestly to ask leave; though, to be sure, I was not a hard master, in these particulars, on reasonable occasions."

We next ate our breakfasts, with as much appetite as we could. Shouldering our packs, and placing all around, and in the hut, as much as possible in the condition in which we had found the place, we then commenced our march, Susquesus leading, as usual.

We went in quest of the surveyors, who were supposed to be in the south-east corner of the Patent, employed as usual, and ignorant of all that had passed. At first, we had thought of discharging our rifles, as signals to bring them in; but these signals might apprize our enemies, as well as our friends, of our presence, and the distance was too great, moreover, to render it probable the reports could be heard by those for whom alone they would be intended.

The route we took was determined by our general knowledge of the quarter of the Patent in which the surveyors ought now to be, as well as by the direction in which the body of Pete had been found. The poor fellow was certainly either going to, or coming from the party, and being in constant communication with them, he doubtless knew where they were at work. Then the different trails of the surveyors were easily enough found by Trackless, and he told us that the most recent led off in the direction I have named. Towards the south-east, therefore, we held our way, marching, as before, in Indian file; the Onondago leading, and the negro bringing up the rear.

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