Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVII / Legend of Missouri: Or, The Captive of the Pawnee >> Page 417

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Page 417

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription INDIAN DREAMING. 417
present campaign, and the opening of the spring that is, taking
for granted that Enemoya does not happen, by any chance, to
leave his own scalp along the war-path. But neither party
thought of this contingency, or they made very light of it. The
courtship occurred that very autumn, and just as the warriors
were preparing for the winter campaign. It was during the
"windy month" (October), and they were to wait till May.
And Enemoya was to be absent all the winter ! It was quite a
trial even for a Birserker Omaha !
His new relations with the damsel Missouri, and the impossi-
bility of forcing the Pawnee Loups to make the assault, rendered
Enemoya very impatient of the war. Day by day he became
more and more restless more and more dissatisfied�more and
more troubled by the strongest longing to steal away, and take,
if only a look, at the dusky but beautiful damsel, by the lake
side, and among the thickets. IIe had picked up certain spoils
among the villages of the Pawnees�for the decree of the
Omaha prophets did not denounce the spoiling of the Egyptians ;
only the slaying of them�and, now that he was a betrothed
lover, Enemoya was quite as avid after spoils as ever feudal
chieftain in the palmy days of chivalry. And why should he
not draw off from the camp, and carry home his treasures and
his trophies ? What was there to be done ? The Pawnees would
not fight �would not strike, at all events and eluded all efforts
to bring them to blows, and dodged admirably every sort of
danger. He could do no more than he had done, and the
business of the war having subsided into a question of mere vigi-
lance and patience, he felt that this could be carried on quite as
well by ordinary warriors as by the best. As for hunting, why
should he fatigue himself in this business ? Had he not already
shown to Missouri the rafters of his cabin reeking of the most
savory meats ? Thus thinking, he daily grew more and more
convinced of the propriety of returning home. His meditations
influenced his dreams, and these filled him with trouble. An
Indian is a great dreamer, and has a great faith in the quality
of dreams. The practice of oneirocromancy is a favorite among