Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVII / Legend of Missouri: Or, The Captive of the Pawnee >> Page 412

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 412 SOUTHWARD Ho !
river Platte. The Pawnees had long looked with eager awl
lustful eyes upon this lovely abiding place. It seemed to real-
ize to their imaginations the dream of the Indian heavens. It
was so cool, so solitary, and, though an island, so shady with
noble groves. There the banks seemed to wear the green of a
perpetual summer. Never were there such flowers as bloomed
for them by the wayside ; and the singing birds loved the re-
gion, and dwelt there, cherished choristers, throughout the year.
There were other luxuries in that little island home of the Oma.
has which were even more precious and wooing in the sight of
the hungry Pawnees. The fish inhabiting the lake were in
abundance, and of surpassing fatness and flavor. No wonder
that the Loups hated a people in the exclusive possession of such
a delicious home !
The great scheme of Kionk was to effect a descent upon the
island, and carry off one at least of the inhabitants. This, it
was assumed, it was quite easy to do, provided the utmost cau-
tion was observed, and that nothing happened to render the
Omahas suspicious of their object. Kionk reasoned rightly,
when he urged upon the chiefs that, while invading their ene-
my's country, the Omahas would never dream of any foray into
their own ! Their chief strength was well known to be in the
field, hovering all about the Pawnee settlements. It was argued
that the secluded situation of the village �its remoteness from
the scene of active operations and its natural securities would,
in all probability, render the Omahas over-confident of its safety ;
that they had probably left few men upon the island, and those
mostly the infirm and timid. These would offer but a weak de-
fence ; but as assault was not the object, only surprise, even this
was not apprehended. Kionk, as we have seen, succeeded iii
persuading the chiefs in council, and departed with his chosen
band, making a successful circuit, which enabled him to pass the
scouts of the Omahas, his progress entirely unsuspected.
MEANWHILE, the Omahas labored in vain to provoke their
enemies to action. Never did warriors show themselves so solici-
tous of being beaten�struck at least�and never did Christian