Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XVII / Legend of Missouri: Or, The Captive of the Pawnee >> Page 436

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Page 436

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 436 SOUTHWARD HO
squatters, looking at the lovely region around ; it seems to me to be good if we drive stakes and build our cabins here�here by this quiet lake, among these beautiful meadows.-What say you,� shall it be here ? I don't want to go further, 'till it comes to be crowded."
But this is the abiding place of my people, my brother ; � here is the wigwam of Enemoya, -- yonder was the dwelling which I built for the wife of my bosom, the beautiful Missouri."" Look you, Inimowya," answered the white chief, the argyment of territory, after all, lies at the eend of my rifle. As I told you once afore, when we first met, I could dispute with you that pr'emption title, but I wouldn't ; and I won't now ; considering that you've had a bad time of it. But what's the use of your talking, when you see the country's got to be ours. Why, you know we kin shoot round it every day"� again touching his rifle. "But that's not the argyment I want to use with you. Your brown gal, who was a beauty for an Ingin, I'm willing to allow, is a sperrit now in the other world. What sort of heaven they find for the red-skins, is unbeknowing to me ; but I reckon she's living thar. Thar's no living for her hyar, you see, so what's the use of the cabin you built. But that's not to say I wants to drive you out. By no possible means. I like you � all the boys like you. For a red-skin you're a gentleman, and as you hev' no nation now, and hardly any tribe of your own, why squat down with us, by any man's fireside you choose, and of you choose, you kin only set down and look on, and see how we'll take the shine out of these Pawnee cock-a-doodles. You kin share with us, and do as we do, with all the right nateral to a free white man ; but as for your getting this island from us, now that we're all ready to plant stakes, it's a matter onpossible to be argyfied except with the tongue of the rifle. Thar's no speech that ever was invented that shall make us pull up stakes now."
And the rifle butt came down heavily upon the earth, as the chief of the squatters declared himself. Enemoya regarded him with a grave indifference, and said calmly :
Be it so : the island is young ; the country ! Why should you not have it ? I need it not ! neither I nor Missouri ! I thank you for what you say. But though your cabin door is wide for my coming, I do not see Missouri beside the hearth."