Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVII / Legend of Missouri: Or, The Captive of the Pawnee >> Page 426

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 426 SOUTHWARD HO
And he extended his hand which they promptly shook, all
round, and then frankly bade him sit and share of their provis-
ions. Enemoya's heart was not in the feast, nor yet with his
new companions. He would much rather never have encounter-
ed them, but still kept on the track of the true enemy, as pointed
out by the occasionally dropped bead of the poor Missouri. Many
were the secret imprecations which he muttered against the big
feet of the pale-faces, which had diverted him from the true
course. Weary, almost to exhaustion, he was for the moment
utterly desponding. The last feather breaks the camel's back.
Now Enemoya's spine was still, in sooth, unshaken, but the con-
viction that he had lost ground which he might never be able to
recover, made him succumb, as the hardiest man is apt to do,
for a time, under the constantly accumulated pressure of mis-
fortunes. He did as the Kentuckians bade him, and sat down
with them to the supper, but not to eat. The white men noted
his despondency, and, little by little, they wound out of the war-
rior the whole history of his affairs � the present war between
Pawnee and Omaha � the predictions upon which the result was
to depend the secret foray of the Pawnees, and their capture
of the dusky beauty whom he was to carry to his lodge in the
spring. He narrated also the details of his pursuit thus far, and
confessed in what manner he had been misled, never dreaming
of the moccasin track of a white man in the country of the red,
at such a moment.
" Well, now, yours is a mighty hard case for a young fellow ;
I must say it though I'm rather an old one myself," was the
remark of one of the elders of the white party � a grisly giant,
some forty-five years of age, yet probably with a more certain
vigor than he had at thirty-five. It's not so bad to lose one's
wife, after lie's got a little usen to her ; but where it's only at
the beginning of a man's married life, and where it's nothing but
the happiness of the thing that he's considerin', to have the gal
caught up, and carried away by an inimy, makes a sore place in
a person's feelings. It's like having one's supper snapped up
by a hungry wolf, jest before he's tasted the leetlest morsel, and
when he's a-wiping his mouth to eat. I confess, I feels oneasy
at your perdicament. Now, what do you say of we lends you a
hand to help you git back the gal."