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with insatiable gusto. Lenora, who had brown hair and gentle brown eyes, gave me as many bonbons as the Colonel, and more kisses, and her voice was as sweet and soft as the wood dove in spring-time.
We remained in St. Louis about a month from the day on which I was captured from the tree-top, by Colonel Overton's party. In that time I had attained some knowledge of English, for the Colonel and Madame Lenora refused any longer to speak to me in French; and when, especially in childhood, an unknown language becomes the only medium of intercourse, it is acquired with much facility and rapidity.
Strange and unaccustomed as was to me the new mode of existence into which I was thrown, I more readily became familiarized and accustomed to it than might have been supposed: being at that period of life when new facts are constantly offering themselves to the young stranger unacquainted with the routine of ratiocination and the generalization of cause and effect. As soon as the novelty wore off, I insensibly glided into and acknowledged all that I saw around me.
Madame Overton asked me, one day, to go shopping with her. We went down town in Mr. Howard's carriage, and soon were set down, by the footman, at a splendid jeweller's shop. While Madame was in the shop making purchases, I went out on the side-walk to amuse myself, looking at the strange sights around me, which I never grew tired of doing. As I was gazing at the signs over the door, the fine carriages rolling by, the shop windows full of gay prints, jewelry, and rich goods of every possible variety, the rumbling drays, the busy crowds of passers-bysuddenly my ear was arrested by a burst of loud music at a distance, and on looking down the street, I beheld a sight of splendor and gorgeous magnificence, which I could scarcely realize to be anything other than a vision. It was a grand golden chariot drawn by twenty splendid gray horses, two abreast, and each with a waving crest of white and red feathers on his head, filled with richly dressed men blowing each one a differently shaped brass instrument, together with drums, gongs, and other instruments, of none of which did I know the name. As this beautiful line of horses came prancing down the street. I thought that they presented the most glorious and magnificent spectacle the world could afford. Behind the chariot came a lovely little open carriage pulled by four elegant little ponies: in this vehicle was seated a youth of about my own size in a superb dress, and by his side sat a beautiful girl, ten or twelve years old, all covered with silver spangles. I conceived that they must be the son and daughter of the great chief of the white men, making a procession in state. Little imagined I that all this gorgeous pageantry was a circus band.
Crowds of little boys and negro slaves were following, shouting and whooping in the rear, and involuntarily I joined the throng, forgetting Madame Lenora and everything else, in my excitement.
I followed along through several streets, listening to the music and admiring the gayly dressed little boy and girl in the phaeton, until at length, growing tired of the “ show," I sat down on the marble steps of an elegant and lofty building to rest myself, and breathe a moment before returning to the jeweller's shop. And then it occurred to me at once that I had already been gone at least half an hour, and that Madame would be waiting for me, perhaps had already returned to the hotel without me. I quickly jumped up and started down the street, walking as fast as I could, but presently, as I began to look around me for the jeweller's shop, of which it had never occurred to me for a moment that I might lose sight, I found it was no where to be seen. I was lost-for the second time lost. To be lost in the wilderness seemed to me nothing, but in the city-it was terrible. I wandered about, around and around, until my head was perfectly bewildered, and the hopelessness of finding my way in the labyrinthine mazes of the city, came over me with a sense of dreadful helplessness and despair.
I didn't know the name of the hotel-didn't even know that it had a pame. I couldn't speak English well enough to make known my wants, ard one or two persons whom I contrived to ask how I could find Colonel Overton, only laughed at me, and I grew afraid and unwilling to ask any more. It was a bootless task for the child of the forest to thread the ways of the city. Oh! how my heart sunk within me. When I was lost in the wilderness I had experienced the timidity and fears natural to childhood, but now a sense of drear and utter helplessness came over me, and the tears mounted into my eyes, but I would not let them flow-there was too much savage manliness about me for that. Stoicism and apathy to trouble, grief and danger, had been part of my training; so I walked moodily along, cogitating what to do to relieve myself from the quandary I was in. No idea, however, presented itself to my mind, but that of perambulating the streets until I found the jeweller's shop, or the hotel. I at length found myself on the wharf, with the broad murky river, the crowd of steamboats, and the din and bustle roaring and whizzing in my ears.
As I sauntered along, utterly at random, I imagined that I heard some body, and the voice seemed familiar to me, calling me by name. I supposed it was only fancy, and walked on; but no—there it is again, close at my ear. I looked quickly around, and—surely it must be a dreamthere stood before me-No, 'tis no dream—with a wild cry of delight I sprang into his arms. It was Kahtoli!
Our joy and astonishment at this singular and unexpected encounter, cannot be described.
I narrated, as rapidly as possible, the adventures which had occurred to me. I mentioned Colonel Overton, and how he had found me in the treetop, and how kind he and madam had been to me.
At the naine of Overton, Kahtoli started with a visible agitation.
“ Tell me," cried he eagerly, “is it a stout, square-built man, with light blue eyes, and short, curly flaxen hair--a scar on his chin ?"
“ Ah! you know him, then? Yes, 'tis he.”
“Yes, I know him," said he musingly ; "come, let's sit on this bale of cotton a few minutes. This Colonel Overton you have so fallen in love with—did he know anything of me?-did he show no surprise at the name of Kahtoli ?”
“ Ha!_'Tis well! But true, Kahtoli is not the name the white faces know me by. Had you mentioned another—had you mentioned Leon Paul, he would doubtless have remembered something-ay, something concerning—but, perhaps, after all it may not be the same.” And he stopped abruptly.
« Leon Paul ?" I asked. “Who is Leon Paul ?”
“No matter, no matter. It is best, perhaps, that you should never know him. And now, my little Ernie, you have, doubtless, been living in the luxury of the white man until you are spoiled for the rough life of the wilderness. Is it not so? Tell me now which you would prefer—to go back with me to the forest, or to return to live with this white chief and the brown-eyed squaw who has been so kind to you ?"
“My father! you know that I would love better the wigwam on the prairie with you, than the white man's palace in the grand city without
" It is well said," responded my father, with a gleam of satisfaction on his swarthy features. I am rejoiced to find that the serpent-tongued pale face has not beguiled you."
“My father, you have the blood of the pale face in you; my veins are full of it. Why, then, do you hate them so ? Was not my mother a white ? I can but love them." “Yes, your veins are full of their blood,” said he bitterly ;
“ would to heaven it were otherwise. Your mother was a pale face—the only one of the accursed race I ever loved. Yes, and I have the blood of a white, but the heart, the sympathies of the red man. Listen : I trusted the white man; he deceived me. I confided in him; he abused my confi fidence—he thwarted my most cherished hopes—he blasted forever my happiness. Have I not reason to hate the vile deceiver? I lived with the white men then. I was born and raised with that false, treacherous race. I fled from them, and came to dwell among the true-hearted children of the forest. I gave up lands, and slaves, and name, to come and lead the tribe of my Indian ancestry.
“ But, father, you have not told me how it is that I find you in the great city, so far away from our home in the woods. By what means did you learn that I was here?"
“I never knew it till this moment. I saw you as I walked along; there was something about you that struck me, though I did not recog. nize you-never dreamed of finding you here. As I walked along behind you, I got a glimpse of the blue beads on your neck; it flashed upon me at once that it might be you, but your new garb altered your appearance so that I could not tell. I thought I would call your name, and see what effect it would have on you. I saw that you stopped and hesitated; I called again, and found, indeed, that it was you.”
He, as well as myself, was dressed in English costume, and it was that which had created my difficulty in recognizing him. He wore a black frock coat, black cloth pantaloons and a hat, which altered his appearance very much.
Kahtoli gave me an account of what had transpired at the camp during my absence. That they had not been successful in their search for Tahee's child, but that they had got on the trail of a party of Aricarees who had, doubtless, carried her off; they pursued the Aricarees for two days, but at last lost their trail, never having come in sight of them, and had to return finally, and give up the chase.
When they returned, Kahtoli was informed that I also was missing, and they set out on another fruitless search. Ophie had seen me go towards the lake, and they set out in that direction. In hunting around it, they found my track, and traced it to the little dry branch; there they lost sight of it, but found several dried spots of blood on the pebbles. Not doubting but that it was mine, they were led to the conclusion that I had been seized by a bear or panther, and gave me up for dead. Not long afterwards, they had a great battle with the Aricarees, in which my father signally vanquished them, taking, besides a hundred scalps, many valuable furs and skins, and my father was now in St. Louis for the purpose of disposing of his peltry.
“ But there is the bell ringing—the boat is about starting. I was just on my way to it when I so fortunately encountered you. Let us go."
I was full of joy at having found my father,-full of joy that I was going back to the forest to live. Not that I had no regrets at leaving Col. Overton and his kind and beautiful squaw, or that I was tired of living among the wonders and luxuries of the white man, but I wanted to revisit my old haunts, and fall into my old habits. I wanted to see Ophie again.
“My father,” said I, as we were standing on the deck of the steamboat, as she was panting and screaming with impatience to be off—“father, the white man is so superior to the red. Look at that crowd of wonderful buildings—the terrible steam demons which hie at their bidding over the rushing waters, the multitude of their curious workings and contrivances; when would the Indian learn to make these things ?". "
“ Never ! The white man certainly knows more than the Indian-he is wiser, but he is not better; he is not so happy nor so true. The white man is deceitful, full of lies, full of corruption. The Indian, when his passionate and impulsive temperament has not been defiled by contact with the vile pale face, is high-souled, warm-hearted and noble--and therefore is the happier. Look at the haughty white man, with his lordly mansion, his slaves, his carriage, his downy bed : he is not so happy as the light-footed Pawnee, sleeping 'neath some wide-spreading tree, with the leaves of the forest for his bed, and no covering but the pure air of heaven—his tomahawk and bow his only possessions. The white man is the ant that builds much curious architecture, and is wiser than all animals, but crawls on the earth and labors like a slave, incessantly heaping together grubs. The white man's grub is gold. The Indian is the fierce, wild goshawk, flying with free wing through the boundless air-his only home. He labors not, but takes his prey from the forest and field as he finds need."
As he was speaking, the boat rounded out into the current, the city and crowded wharf began to recede from our view, when, at the first stroke of the paddle-wheels, I thought I felt the floor of the deck sway and heave under my feet, as though it was going to turn over: at the instant my father clutched my arm, and suddenly there me a deafening report, a hot gush of steam in iny face, and I felt myself shot aloft into the air, and dashed against something with such violence, that I was deprived of my senses at once.
X.- THE SUNNY SOUTH. When I recovered my sensibilities, I was apparently awakened by a noise, which seemed to be the puffing of a steamboat. I hardly knew whether I was dead or dreaming, or what-on opening my eyes I found myself lying in a little narrow white cell, on a little narrow couch, and looking up, I discovered that Lenora was standing by my side, looking tenderly at me with her gentle brown eyes, and bathing my face, which was painful and swollen, with some cooling liquid. As I opened my eyes, a smile of joy and thankfulness beamed in her sweet face. “ Where am I?" I asked faintly in my own language. Lenora made signs to me that I was sick, and must not talk, but go to sleep.
“ Where is Kahtoli—my father ?''
Lenora frowned and shook her head. Presently she opened the door of. the state-room-I now knew it to be such—and beckoned to some one, A fine-looking intelligent man, with florid complexion, broad, bald forehead, and a mild beneficent countenance, came in, and felt my wrist with his fingers, made me poke out my tongue, smiled, nodded his head approvingly, gave Madame Lenora a phial with some reddish brown liquid in it, at the same time saying something to her in English that I did not understand.
“It is the medicine man," said Madame Overton, in a low voice, as he went out. She then poured out a few drops of the liquid into a spoon, and gave it to me to take. Gradually a recollection of the events narrated in the previous chapter came to my mind—my going on the boat with my father—the explosion-Kahtoli, where could he be-dead, I feared. I racked my brain to find if there was an impression there of any subsequent event—there was none. Soon an irresistible drowsiness came over me, and I fell asleep.
I must have slept for sometime-hours, at least; when I awoke it was noon-day. This time I found the rosy, goodhumored phiz of Colonel Overton leaning over me.
“ Colonel, where is my father ?"
“ Listen to me, my little Indian-you are now sick, the “medicine man” says it will hurt you to talk much; you had better try and go to sleep again, and we will talk about these matters when you get better.”
It was two or three days that I lay cooped up in my little narrow berth, with my face swelled, my limbs and body bruised and sore, so that I could hardly turn over. After I began to grow somewhat better, I awoke one morning—a beautiful sunny morning it was—and through my open door I could see the jingling glass pendants from the gilded chandeliers in the richly furnished dining hall of the magnificent steamer we were on, glistening and glancing with beautiful prismatic colors, shed upon them by the sun's rays,
reflecting gaudy striped ribbons of light on every object they fell upon. One of them was flickering about Madame Lenora's beautiful hair, as she sat by my cot-side reading.
After my morning salutation, I told her that I felt much better than usual, and obtained her permission to get up.
After dressing and washing, I made an essay to stagger into the dining cabin, and as I passed along my eye by chance rested on a large mirror, and I started back in affright at the image I found reflected there. My face was swollen and covered with scabs, and black patches of court plaster, and my long golden hair had vanished entirely, leaving a bald caput covered with a burnt crispy furze.
I found the Colonel and Madame Lenora seated out on the guards "Hallo, Ernie, my little hero," said the former, “ you look like you had been going through a pretty rough operation.” “I am thankful it is no worse, said Lenora, smiling.
think his beauty is spoiled, Dr. Montmery ?"
“Oh, not at all," said the pleasant-faced 'medicine-man,' who was sitting by—the same who had attended on me during my illness. “He will come out of it unscathed—as good as new.”