Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVII / Legend of Missouri: Or, The Captive of the Pawnee >> Page 433

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE STRIFE BEGUN. 433
point as possible. We sum up much in little, when we report
the following
'Taint a manly way of carrying on the war, catching a poor
young woman. What's the sperrit of a man to lay hands upon a
girl, onless for love and affection ? And now you've got her,
what's the use of her to you ? You have plenty of gals in your
own nation. What do you want with this Omaha ?"
The Pawnee acknowledged that his people were by no means
wanting in specimens of the tender gender. They had enough,
Heaven knows, even if all their chiefs were of the Kionk temper.
Well, then, let's have the gal. We'll buy her from you at
a fair vallyation. What do you say now to half a dozen toma-
hawks, a dozen knifes, two little bells, a pound of fishhooks, four
pounds of beads, and a good overcoat, handsome enough for a king."
The goods were all displayed. Kionk acknowledged that
the offer was a liberal one. But´┐Żand here he revealed the
true difficulty the captive-girl was the subject of an oracle.
The fate of Pawnees or Omahas depended upon her life. She
was doomed to the fiery torture. In her ashes lay the future
triumph of his people over the accursed tribe of the Omaha !
There could be no trade ; no price could buy the captive ; no
power save her life ; he would forego his hold upon her only
with his own life ; and in a few days she should undergo the
torture by fire. Such was the final answer.
May I be etarnally burned myself, of I stand by and see her
burned ; so look to it, red-skin ! I'm a human, after all ; and
my rifle shall talk like blazes before you take her off !"
The conference bad reached this point, and Kionk had been
made to comprehend the fiercely-expressed declaration of the
representative squatter, when Missouri, arousing from her stupor,
caught a glimpse of Enemoya. The sight seemed to restore in-
stantly her strength and energies. With a single bound, and a
wild passionate cry, she darted suddenly away from the savage
who stood over her, and who had somewhat relaxed his vigilance
in the curiosity which he felt with regard to the conference.
She flew, rather than ran, over the space which lay between, and
Enemoya sprang forward to receive her. But before they could
meet, a blow from the fist of one of the savages felled her to the
earth.
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