Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVII / Legend of Missouri: Or, The Captive of the Pawnee >> Page 434

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 434

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 434 SOUTHWARD HO
In a moment the work of death had begun. The hatchet of
Enemoya cleft the skull of the brutal assailant. Then rose his
war-cry�then came the fierce shout of Kionk and the rest.
Every arrow was drawn to its head. Every rifle-bead rested
with dead aim upon the tree which gave shelter to an enemy.
The charge d'afaires of the squatters, quick as lightning, tore
the white kerchief from his rifle, and dodged into cover ; while
Enemoya, no longer capable of restraint, dashed forward to
gather up the beautiful damsel from the ground where she still
lay, stunned by the blow of the Indian. But he was not per-
mitted to reach his object. It was now Kionk's turn. He threw
himself into the path of the young chief of the Omahas, and to-
gether grappling they came together to the earth. It was the
death grapple for one or both. In their hearts they felt mutually
the instinct of a deadly personal hatred, apart from that which
belonged to their national hostilities. Closely did they cling ;
sinuously, like serpents, did they wind about each other on the
earth, rapidly rolling over, fiercely striving, without a word spo-
ken on either part. But one weapon could either now use, and
that was the scalp-knife which each bore in his belt. But to
get at this was not easy, since neither dared forego his grasp,
lest he should give his opponent the advantage.
Meanwhile the rest were not idle. The Pawnees, bigL'.y ex-
cited by the death of one of their number, and seeing but two
enemies before them never dreaming that there were no less
than six Kentuckians in ambush�darted, with terrible yells,
into the foreground. Two of them, in an instant, bit the dust ;
and the rest recoiled from the unanticipated danger. The Ken-
tuckians now made a rush in order to extricax Enemoya, and
to brain Kionk ; and the aspect of affairs was hopeful in the last
degree ; When, at this very moment, one of the Pawnees darted
out of cover. He was the brother-in-law of Kionk--the sullen
chief whom he had overthrown, and whose black passions medi-
tated the most hateful of revenges. Before the squatters could
reach the scene of action, the murderous monster, whose purpose
was wholly unexpected, threw himself upon the crouching Mis-
souri, and with a single blow buried his hatchet in her brain.
With a howl of mixed scorn and exultation he had shrouded
himself in the woods, and among his comrades, a moment after.