Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVII / Legend of Missouri: Or, The Captive of the Pawnee >> Page 411

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription AWE-KIONK. 411
But this was no easy matter. The Omahas longed for the con-
flict. They desired to be smitten. They would struggle to
receive the stroke. They would force the captors to strike the
blow, which was to defeat the one prophecy and satisfy the con-
ditions of the other. They were not to be ensnared. They
exposed themselves but seldom singly, and they were always
armed for battle. Turn where the Pawnees would set what
snares they might�employ what arts, still they found them-
selves met and foiled by their now strangely insolent and assail-Ong enemies.
But the Pawnee warriors had some long heads among them,
and they cogitated earnestly, and planned with equal delibera-
tion and method. Among these was a fellow of great renown,
with the uneuphonic name of Kionk, or as lie was sometimes
called, Awe-Kionk. He was as shrewd and sensible as he was
brave and active, and was full of energy and spirit, being just
about thirty years of age. He was what we might call a splen-
did looking savage� a sort of Mark Antony among the red
men fond of good living�a rather merry companion for an In-
dian, but in battle a genuine Birserker�becoming drunk and
delirious with a Hunnish rapture at the sight or taste of blood.
Such was the chief Kionk. He had his devices, and after a se-
cret conference with the head men of the nation he suddenly
disappeared with a small but select party of warriors, to put them
into execution. Wliat was this famous project about which so
much mystery was thrown? So secretly did Kionk and his
followers depart, that nobody dreamed of their absence, even
when they were far away ; and so wide was the circuit which
they took that they passed unseen and unsuspected, meeting
riot one of the cloud of spies whom the Omahas had set to watch
along the line separating them from their enemies. The object
of Kionk was the captive, unhurt, unwounded, whose agonies,
reserved for the fiery torture, were to satisfy all the demands of
their gods and secure them the victory,
Within the whole wide ranges of a country which boasts an
almost perpetual spring, the Omaha village occupied one of the
sweetest and most beautiful situations that could anywhere be
seen. Their principal settlement was upon a small island, em-
bosomed in a broad and glassy lake, which empties into the