Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVII / Legend of Missouri: Or, The Captive of the Pawnee >> Page 427

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Page 427

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription " TARMS" WITH THE SQUATTERS.
Enemoya was cheered by the prospect, and expressed his
gratitude.
Well, that's pretty well said for a red-skin. We are the
boys to help you, my lad, for there ain't one of us that can't
double up an Ingin in mighty short order. With these pretty
little critters here," touching one of the rifles, we can see to a
mighty great distance, and can stretch the longest legs you ever
did see after an inimy. And we're good at scouting, and can
take a track, and sarcumvent the heathen jist as well as we can
sarcumvent the b'ar and buffalo. And we will sarve you, ef
we can make tarms upon it."
Enemoya was willing to admit the prowess of the white men ;
but he didn't altogether comprehend the latter part of what was
said about the " tarms."" Oh ! don't make out that you're so green as all that comes
to. You've been trading with our people, and ought to know
what we mean by ' tarms.' But, ef you don't, it's only to make
it cl'ar to you by using some easier words. 'farms is conditions
that is, the pay, the hire, the salary�what you're to give us
for helping to git the gal back, sound in wind and limb, and
other sarcumstances. No cure, no pay�no gal, no tarms."
Enemoya was not long in comprehending the suggestion. He
felt the importance of such an alliance, and well knew that the
proffered assistance was highly valuable. It filled him with
new hope and courage. He was accordingly as liberal as the
sunshine in his gratitude and promises. He had deer, and bear,
and buffalo skins, which were all at the service of his allies, if
they were successful in the chase.
Ay, ay, all them's mighty good things ; but the gal's worth
a great deal more. Now, you jist now spoke of this being your
country. Ef we chose, 'twould be mighty easy to dispute that
argyment ; for what made it more your country than mine ? It's
all God's country, and God grants no pr'emptions to, any but a
Christian people. The heathen's got to (lie out, any how, some
day. But I won't dispute with a man when lie's in a peck of
troubles, so we'll leave that argyment over for another time.
We'll take the skins, but you'll throw in some rifle-shots of land
with 'em, won't you, ef so be we gits back your gal ?"
Enemoya required some further explanations, and finally