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the eagle, unassisted. The two Indians exactly resembled each other in all points, excepting height. They were well-made, muscular, and handsome; and apparently had no more than just reached the period of manhood. Their countenances expressed openness, honesty, and daring: they were inseparable at all times. Their rifles were made of the same kind of dark wood, of one length, and of the same weight; the pouch and horn which each had hanging from the shoulder, were of one shape and size; and the scanty, primitive garment of skins, with the hair outwards, was worn alike upon both figures. In the deer-skin belt drawn around each waist was placed a broad knife in a leathern sheath, with a stout handle of buckhorn, both made of one pattern.
" What is it that my brother sees ?” asked the shorter Indian, who was stooping over the eagle, and with astonishment perceived the awe-struck looks of his companion, for which he could discern no adequate cause.
“ Softly!” cried the other, with uneasiness : “ 'Twas a white spirit! No woman of the Pale-faces would be abroad here——'tis an impossibility! If she had the foot of a hunter, she could not reach the nearest settlement before to morrow's dawn!"
A few more words passed between the Indians, and then leaving the bird which they had had the unusual good fortune to bring down, they pressed side by side into the thicket, where the girl had appeared to the taller hunter-but she was not to be seen.
“ What did I say to you ?” said the Indian who had espied her. “Did I not see a white spirit that had come from the Indian's happy hunting-grounds whither our fathers are gone?"
“ We will search further," said the other, sending a keen glance around: “ there may be some Pale-faces here, from the farm of the good old white man, the Pastor, as they call him—he that teaches them out of the Great Book: they come many days journey to hear him; they may be lying shaking in the grass now, for fear, thinking we are savage hunters who would take them prisoners and scalp them. These Pale-faces, brother, have womens hearts, and their women are like the fawns, they drop down at the sound of a rifle !"
“ No; it was a white spirit,” said the taller; “ I saw it pass under these outside trees, alone, before you fired. Hark! did not the bushes rustle ?" and he stooped with his hand in that of his brother, attentively listening for a considerable time.
All was still, huwever; and they both became convinced that no human being was near : fully satisfied of this, after the most vigilant watchfulness, they returned to the spot where they had left the bird of prey. The taller Indian looked on with quiet exultation, while the other traced the passage of the lead through its body.
“ A clean shot, Sassa !” said he, turning it over, and pointing with his finger to the ruffled and stained feathers on the left side of the breast. “ It hit her right under the wing!”
Sassa disdained to express the pleasure he felt, but it was sufficiently seen in the dancing light of his fearless eye, and in the proud, but smiling curve, of his lip. Grasping the legs of the eagle with both hands, and exerting all his muscles to support the weight, the shorter Indian swung the bird on his back, and proceeded with it to the side of the lake. Sassa followed, carrying the
two rifles on his right arm, while his left assisted in supporting the body of the eagle, the left hand affectionately resting on the farthest shoulder of his brother.
“ This is the first calumet eagle you have touched since we have hunted together, Sassa,” said he who bore the bird. “ It is a rare piece of luck! but who can tell,” he added, “ that it always lived in a nest ? Our people have wonderful traditions; and the good white Pastor told us, Sassa, what we know to be true, that the Great Spirit can do greater things than we know of. Who can tell," he said, turning upon his brother a look of real seriousness, “ long before the crack of a bullet was heard in the Canadas, or the mocassin on the foot of an Indica had pressed the grass of the wilderness, the spirit of the eagle you have killed might have dwelt in another shape —the shape you have just seen, Sassa ?”
“ Would the spirit of an eagle dwell in a woman of the White race, when it was once so seldom found in their men?" asked Sassa. The other did not reply; but throwing down his burden at the edge of the water, stood reflecting; then exclaimed under the sudden innpulse of that generous affection for which both these Indians were remarkable, “I am glad my brother struck the eagle! It is fit that Sassa, who has the steadiest hand, and sharpest eye, among the braves of our tribe, should win feathers with his own rifle for his head! It shall be told to his honour before the aged hunters in our lodges !”
Sassa stretched out his hand-and his proud lips quivered with manly sensibility, as, emulating the graceful humility of the other, he said, “ The old hunters have given my brother the name of the Eagle Eye; and the buffalo, and moose-deer, know that his hand is stcały!”
He paused—leaning in a dignified attitude on his rifle, then resumed, with something of passion in the depth of his tones, “ Shall I tell the son of my father, that our hearts are as one? This eagle which he sees, is his; and the buck, whose plump side sheathed his arrow to the head yesterday—is mine. Have we not one lodge ? Do we not eat together? The Pale-faces have taken away our woods on the west, (where Lake Erie, and the rivers which run inland, have borne our fathers canoes,) but here they come more slowly-here they dread more the snow and the cold. My brother and I, with the few that remain of our tribe, will hunt here as our fathers hunted in days past; and Sassa will die with his fellow hunter - for he was born with him!” As he concluded, a canoe, covered with sheets of birch-bark, which had been hidden under the bushes and weeds of the bank, shot into sight upon the water. The valuable prize the hunters had obtained was placed between them in the narrow vessel, and they were soon at the opposite side of the lake, where vast trees formed a dark wall, growing within the boundary of the stream.
From the hollow trunk of a decayed beech-tree, when the twin-brothers had disappeared, stepped the girl, hall doubtful that she had indeed concealed herself so effectually. She looked anxiously on all sides; and then, with the aid of her branch, again endeavoured to move forward; but her limbs failed to perform their office, and she sapk on the ground.
Night came on, and mists rising from the lake, hung suspended between the sky and the earth; but the air was soft and refreshing to the wearied and fevered girl. She had found a little honey in the tree-hollow whichi
had sheltered her, and had spread it over half of a small cake that had been given to her when she started upon her extraordinary journey ; with this she drank a little fresh water, that she obtained in the hollow of her hands from a rill which bubbled up from the ground within the labyrinth of the thicket, and flowed past her temporary resting place. When the last morsel of her cake was eaten, she clasped her hands on her knee, and looked up fixedly to the darkening heavens. Her lips moved with inward prayer ; and instead of expressing apprehension, her pale countenance was irradiated with a smile of thankfulness. She next arranged for herself à couch of balsam-tree boughs, and broad leaves, in a spot entirely hidden from sight, just within the thicket, and there yielded to the welcome slumber that stole swiftly over her senses.
When she awoke, it was with a convulsive start, and she sprang up crying in shrill tones that sounded far through the thicket, “ Father--father-take me in the boat! Leave me not in the burning ship! O, father, as you hope for mercy, save me! save me !” The words died off on her tongue, as, trembling from head to foot, she revived to consciousness. Looking at her bed of balsam, her lips moved again with thankful emotions. She kneeled down, and thanked the Almighty that she was safe. It was strange that so young a girl, entirely unprotected, in a place so wild, and lonely, should be thankful for her safety! Yet so it was-and the feeling was ardent too, again producing a flickering smile on her lips, as she took up her branch with renewed activity, and proceeded on her toilsome way. The mists were dissipated by the rising sun, which threw its long