Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVII / Legend of Missouri: Or, The Captive of the Pawnee >> Page 423

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription CAPTOR AND CAPTIVE. 423
ble to danger. She had been chosen as the wife of a great
warrior, and she was resolved to show that she possessed a soul
worthy of so proud a destiny. Kionk beheld her patience and
endurance with a grim sort of satisfaction. Such a woman, he
thought, deserves to have a famous husband : she will do honor
to the fire torture. And yet, again, he mused upon the grievous
pity of burning up so much fine flesh and blood; such a fine
figure, such a pretty face ; a creature of so many graces and beau-
ties ; and one who would bear such noble-looking men-children,
gladdening a warlike father's heart. Kionk began to think
how much better it would be if he could pick up another cap-
tive, and save Missouri from the fire-torture. She would make
such a commendable wife. But Kionk had a wife already ; for
that matter, it must be confessed that he had three, and did not
enjoy any great reputation as an indulgent husband. But great
chiefs have peculiar privileges, and a chief like Kionk might
as safely repudiate his wives as any of the Napoleons, or any
of the Guelphs of Europe. Positively, the thought began to
grow upon the mighty Kionk, of the beauties and virtues and
excellent domestic nature of Missouri. More than once he
caught himself muttering : " Wliat a pity such a fine figure
should be scorched and blackened by the fire !" He watched
her pitifully as he mused. When they paused for food and
rest, he attended kindlily to her wants. He brought her the food
himself; he chose the ground where she slept, and threw his
buffalo robe over her, and watched at her head during the brief
hours at midnight which were accorded to rest. Wlien, long
before dawn, the party was again in motion, he himself gave her
the signal to rise, and helped her up. He was curiously attentive
for so rough a sort of Birserkir. Could Enemoya have witnessed
these attentions ! Could he have seen what thoughts were
passing through the brain of Kionk what feelings were work-
ing in his heart ! But his jealous and apprehensive spirit con-
jectured all. What lover but apprehended the worst of dangers
from a charming rival ?
While such were the relations between the captor and the
captive, Enemoya pursued the search with as much rapidity as
consisted with the necessity of keeping on the track of the
fugitives. He encountered the party of exhausted veterans at