Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVII / Legend of Missouri: Or, The Captive of the Pawnee >> Page 418

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 418

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 418 SOUTHWARD HO !
his priests and prophets. The orientals were never such famous
interpreters in the days of the Elders." Being a poet also,
Enemoya shared in the dreaming endowment of the priesthood.
His sleep was wholly occupied with dreams. In all of these,
Missouri was a conspicuous feature. Now he saw her in flight ;
now in tears, and trembling ; anon he beheld her fettered ; and
again she seemed to float away from his embrace, a bleeding
spectre, melting away finally into thin air. In most of these
dreams, he beheld always, as one of the persons of the drama, a
warrior in the hateful guise of a Pawnee. How should a Pawnee
dare to hover, even in a dream, about the person of Missouri, the
betrothed of a great chief of the Omahas ? What had he to do
there ? and why did the spectre of one unknown, whom indeed
he only saw dimly, and always with face averted, and looking
toward Missouri why did he presume to thrust himself between
his visions and the object so precious and ever present to his
dreams ? The heart of the young warrior became uneasy, as be
could conjecture no reasonable solution of his difficulty, unless,
indeed, one of which be dared not think. Was Missouri the
captive of the Pawnee ? He recoiled at the notion´┐Żlie laughed,
but rather hollowly, and with great effort´┐Żand became more
uneasy than ever. His waking dreams, shaped by those that
came to him in sleep, became still more troublesome, and he re-
solved to depart secretly for the dear islet in the little lake, if
only to disarm his doubts, and get rid of his vexatious fancies.
An opportunity soon enabled him to do so. A large party of
the Omahas had resolved upon a long hunt, and they applied to
Enemoa to join them. The sport in no way promised to inter-
.
fere with the quasi warfare which was carried on ; and, finding
it impossible to bring the Pawnees to the striking point, the
Omahas contented themselves with the warfare upon the quad-
rupeds of the forest. Enemoya joined the hunt, but soon dis-
appeared from the party. They did not miss him till nightfall,
and in the meantime be had sped, fast and far, pushing back-
ward along the paths leading to the little island, and the dusky
damsel whom he loved.
But the young warrior was late, though no laggard. His
enemy had been before him. That subtle and enterprising Kionk
had led his party with surprising address, and had succeeded in