Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVII / Legend of Missouri: Or, The Captive of the Pawnee >> Page 416

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 416 SOUTHWARD HO !
tion of a love song. It dealt frankly with the maiden. It
told her all that she ought to know, and warned her of what she
had to expect, whether she took him or not. The lover never
thought of the damsel's fortune ; but he freely tendered every-
thing that he himself possessed. It was herself only that he
wanted. He was no fortune-hunter. Ile was a man, and he
talked to her like a man. See what provision I have made for
you. Look into my lodge. See the piles of meat in yonder
corner. They are humps of the buffalo. These alone will last
us two all the winter. But look up at the thirty venison
hams, and the quarters of the bear now smoking, hanging from
the rafters. There's a sight to give a young woman an appe-
tite. They are all your own, my beauty. You perceive that
there's much more than enough, and in green pea season we can
give any number of suppers. Lift you blanket. That is our
sleeping apartment. See the piles of bear skins : they shall
form our couch. Look at the tin ware that most precious of
all the metals of the white man�yet I have appropriated all
these to culinary purposes. As for jewels and ornaments, the
beads, of which I have given you a sample, are here in abun-
dance. These are all your treasures, and you will do wisely to
accept. Now, my beauty, I don't want to coerce your tastes, or
to bias your judgment in making a free choice ; but I must say
that you shall never marry anybody but myself. I'm the very
man for you ; able to fight your battles and bring you plentiful
supplies ; and feeling that I am the only proper man for you, I
shall scalp the first rival that looks on you with impertinent
eyes of passion ; nay, scalp you too, if you are so absurd as to
look on him with eyes of requital. I'm the only proper person
for you, I tell you."
We need scarcely say that this performance made Enenloya
as famous as a poet, as he had been as a warrior and hunter. It
is now universally considered the c7uf d'ccuvre of the Omahas.
As a matter of course, it proved irresistible with the fair Mis-
souri. It had an unctuous property about it, which commended
the lover to all her tastes. She suffered him to put his arms
about her, to give her the kiss of betrothal, which, among the
Omaha women, is called the kiss of consolation," and the re-
sult was, an arrangement for the bridal, with the close of the