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Page 17


“Those well seene natives in grave Nature's hests,
All close designs conceal in their deep brests.”


It would be highly improper any longer to keep
our readers in ignorance of the cause of our heroine's
apparent aberration from the line of strict
propriety. After her conversation with Everell,
in which we must infer, from its effect on his
mind, that she manifested less art than zeal in her
friend's cause, she was retiring to her own apartment,
when on passing through the hall, she saw
an Indian woman standing there, requesting the
servant who had admitted her, “to ask the young
ladies of the house if they would look at some
rare moccasins.”

Miss Leslie was arrested by the uncommon
sweetness of the stranger's voice; and fixing her
eye on her, she was struck with the singular dignity
and grace of her demeanor, a certain air
indicating an “inborn royalty of soul,” that even
the ugly envelope of a blanket did not conceal.

The stranger seemed equally interested in Miss
Leslie's appearance, and fixing her eye intently


Page 18
on her—“Pray try my moccasins, lady,” she said

“Oh, certainly, I should of all things like to
buy a pair of you,” said Hope, and advancing,
she was taking them from her shoulder, over
which they were slung, when she, ascertaining by
a quick glance that the servant had disappeared,
gently repressed Miss Leslie's hand, saying at the
same time, “Tell me thy name, lady.”

“My name!—Hope Leslie. But who art thou?”
Hope asked in return, in a voice rendered almost
inarticulate by the thought that flashed into her

The stranger cast down her eyes, and for an
half instant hesitated, then looking apprehensively
around, she said, in low distinct accents, “Hope
Leslie—I am Magawisca.”

“Magawisca!” echoed Hope. “Oh, Everell!”
and she sprang towards the parlour door to summon

“Silence—stay,” cried Magawisca, with a vehement
gesture, and at the same time turning
to escape should Hope prosecute her intention.

Hope perceived this, and again approached
her. “It cannot then be Magawisca,” she said, and
she trembled as she spoke, with doubts, hopes,
and fears.

Magawisca might have at once identified herself,
by opening her blanket, and disclosing her
person; but that she did not, no one will wonder
who knows that a savage feels more even than


Page 19
ordinary sensibility at personal deformity. She
took from her bosom a necklace of hair and gold
entwined together. “Dost thou know this?” she
asked. “Is it not like that thou wearest?”

Hope grasped it, pressed it to her lips, and answered
by exclaiming passionately—“My sister!
my sister!”

“Yes—it is a token from thy sister. Listen to
me, Hope Leslie—my time is brief—I may not
stay here another moment; but come to me this
evening at nine o'clock at the burial place, a
little beyond the clump of pines, and I will give
thee tidings of thy sister; keep what I say in thine
own bosom; tell no one thou hast seen me; come
alone, and fear not.”

“Oh, I have no fear,” exclaimed Hope, vehemently,
“but tell me—tell me.”

Magawisca put her finger on her lips in token of
silence, for at this instant the door was again
opened; not by the servant who had before appeared,
but by Jennet. Magawisca instantly recognised
her, and turned as if in the act of departing.

Time had indeed wrought little change on Jennet,
save imparting a shriller squeak to her doleful
voice, and a keener edge to her sharp features.
“Madam Winthrop,” she said, “is engaged
now, but says you may call some other time with
your moccasins; and I would advise you to let it
be any other than the fag end of a Saturday; a
wrong season for temporalities.”


Page 20

While Jennet was uttering this superfluous
counsel, Hope sprang off the steps after Magawisca,
anxious for some farther light on her dawning
expectations. “Stay, oh stay,” she said,
“one moment, and let me try your moccasins.”

At the same instant Mrs. Grafton appeared
from the back parlour, evidently in a great flurry.
“Here, you Indian woman,” she screamed, “let
me see your moccasins.”

Thus beset, Magawisca was constrained to retrace
her steps, and confront the danger of discovery.
She drew her blanket closer over her
head and face, and re-ascending the steps, threw
her moccasins on the floor, and cautiously averted
her face from the light. It was too evident to
her, that Jennet had some glimmering recollections;
for while she affected to busy herself with
the moccasins, she turned her inquisitorial gray
eye towards her, with a look of sharp scrutiny.
Once Magawisca with a movement of involuntary
disdain returned her glance. Jennet dropped the
moccasins as suddenly as if she had received a
blow, hemmed as if she were choking, and put
her hand on the nob of the parlour door.

“Oh,” thought Magawisca, “I am lost!” but
Jennet, confused by her misty recollections, relinquished
her purpose, whatever it was, and returned
to the examination of the moccasins. In the
meanwhile Hope stood behind her aunt and
Jennet; her hands clasped, and her beautiful eyes
bent on Magawisca with a supplicating inquiry.


Page 21

Mrs. Grafton, as usual, was intent on her traffic.
“It was odd enough of Madam Winthrop,” she
said, “not to let me know these moccasins were
here; she knew I wanted them; at least she
must know I might want them; and if I don't
want them, that's nothing to the purpose. I like
to look at every thing that's going. It is a diversion
to the mind. A neat article,” she continued,
“I should like you to have a pair, Hope. Sir
Philip said yesterday, they gave a trig look to a
pretty foot and ankle. How much does she ask
for them?”

“I do not know,” replied Hope.

“Do not know! that's peculiar of you, Hope
Leslie; you never inquire the price of any thing.
I dare say, Tawney expects enough for them to
buy all the glass beads in Boston. Ha, Tawney?”

Mrs. Grafton now, for the first time, turned
from the articles to their possessor: she was struck
with an air of graceful haughtiness in her demeanor,
strongly contrasting with the submiss, dejected
deportment of the natives whom she was in the
habit of seeing, and dropping the moccasins and
turning to Hope, she whispered—“Best buy a
pair, dearie—by all means buy a pair—pay her
any thing she asks—best keep peace with them,
`never affront dogs, nor Indians.' ”

Hope wanted no urging, but anxious to get rid
of the witnesses that embarrassed her, and quick
of invention, she directed Jennet to go for her


Page 22
purse, “which she would find in a certain basket,
or drawer, or some where else;” and reminded
her aunt that she had promised to call in at Mrs.
Cotton's, on her way to lecture, to look at her
hyacinths, and that she had no time to lose.

Jennet obeyed, and Mrs Grafton said, “that's
true, and it's thoughtful of you to think of it, Hope;
but,” she added, lowering her voice, “I would not
like to leave you alone, so I'll just open the parlour

Before Hope could intercept her, she set the
door ajar, and through the aperture Magawisca
had a perfect view of Everell, who was sitting
musing in the window seat. An involuntary exclamation
burst from her lips; and then shuddering
at this exposure of her feelings, she hastily
gathered together the moccasins that were strewn
over the floor, dropped a pair at Hope's feet, and
darted away.

Hope had heard the exclamation and understood
it. Mrs. Grafton heard it without understanding
it, and followed Magawisca to the door,
calling after her—“Do stay and take a little
something; Madam Winthrop has always a bone
to give away. Ah! you might as well call after
the wind; she has already turned the corner.
Heaven send she may not bear malice against us!
What do you think, Hope?” Mrs. Grafton turned
to appeal to her niece, but she, foreseeing endless
interrogatories, had made good her retreat, and
escaped to her own apartment.


Page 23

Jennet, however, came to the good lady's relief;
listened to all her conjectures and apprehensions,
and reciprocated her own.

Jennet could not say what it was in the woman,
but she had the strangest feeling all the time she
was there; a mysterious beating of her heart that
she could not account for; as to her disappearing
so suddenly, that she did not think much of; the
foresters were always impatient to get to their
haunts; they were like the “wild ass,” that the
scripture saith, “scorneth the multitude of a city.”

But we leave Mrs. Grafton and Jennet to their
unedifying conference, to follow our heroine to
the privacy of her own apartment. There, in the
first rush of her newly awakened feelings, till then
repressed, she wept like a child, and repeated
again and again, “Oh, my sister! my sister!” Her
mind was in a tumult; she knew not what to
believe—what to expect—what to hope.

But accustomed to diffuse over every anticipation
the sunny hue of her own happy temperament,
she flattered herself that she should even
that night meet her sister—that she would be for
ever restored to her—that the chord, severed by
the cruel disaster at Bethel, would be refolded
about their hearts. She had but a brief space to
compose herself, and that was passed in fervent
supplications for the blessing of God upon her
hopes. She must go to the lecture, and after
that trust to her ingenuity to escape to the rendezvous.
The thought of danger or exposure


Page 24
never entered her mind, for she was not addicted
to fear; and as she reflected on the voice and
deportment of the stranger, she was convinced she
could be none other than Magawisca, the heroine
of Everell's imagination, whom he had taught
her to believe, was one of those, who,
“Without arte's bright lampe, by nature's eye,
Keep just promise, and love equitie.”

Almost as impatient to go to the lecture, as she
was afterwards to escape from it, (we trust our
readers have absolved her for her apparent indecorum
in the sanctuary,) she had tied and untied
her hat twenty times before she heard the ringing
of the bell for the assembling of the congregation.
She refused, as has been seen, the escort
of Everell, for she dared not expose to him, emotions
which she could not explain.

After the various detentions, which have been
already detailed, she arrived at the appointed rendezvous,
and there saw Magawisca, and Magawisca
alone, kneeling before an upright stake,
planted at one end of a grave. She appeared
occupied in delineating a figure on the stake,
with a small implement she held in her hand,
which she dipped in a shell placed on the ground
beside her.

Hope paused with a mingled feeling of disappointment
and awe; disappointment that her sister
was not there—and awe inspired by the solemnity
of the scene before her—the spirit-stirring


Page 25
figure of Magawisca—the duty she was performing—the
flickering light—the monumental stones
—and the dark shadows that swept over them, as
the breeze bowed the tall pines. She drew her
mantle, that fluttered in the breeze, close around
her, and almost suppressed her breath, that she
might not disturb, what she believed to be an act
of filial devotion.

Magawisca was not unconscious of Miss Leslie's
approach; but she deemed the office in which
she was engaged, too sacred to be interrupted.
She accompanied the movement of her hand with
a low chant in her native tongue; and so sweet
and varied were the tones of her voice, that it
seemed to Hope they might have been breathed
by an invisible spirit.

When she had finished her work, she leaned her
head for a moment against the stake, and then
rose and turned to Miss Leslie; a moonbeam
shot across her face; it was wet with tears, but
she spoke in a tranquil voice. “You have come—
and alone?” she said, casting a searching glance
around her.

“I promised to come alone,” replied Hope.

“Yes—and I trusted you; and I will trust you
further, for the good deed you did Nelema.”

“Nelema then lived to reach you?”

“She did—wasted, faint, and dying, she crawled
into my father's wigwam. She had but scant
time, and short breath; with that she cursed your
race, and she blessed you, Hope Leslie; her day


Page 26
was ended—the hand of death pressed her throat,
and even then she made me swear to perform her
promise to you.”

“And you will, Magawisca,” cried Hope impetuously;
“you will give me back my sister.”

“Nay, that she never promised—that I cannot
do. I cannot send back the bird that has mated
to its parent nest; the stream that has mingled
with other waters to its fountain.”

“Oh, do not speak to me in these dark sayings,”
replied Hope; her smooth brow contracting
with impatience and apprehension, and her
hurried manner and convulsed countenance contrasting
strongly with the calmness of Magawisca;
“what is it you mean?—where is my sister?”

“She is safe—she is near to you—and you
shall see her, Hope Leslie.”

“But when?—and where, Magawisca? Oh, if
I could once clasp her in my arms, she never
should leave me—she never should be torn from
me again.”

“Those arms,” said Magawisca, with a faint
smile, “could no more retain thy sister, than a
spider's web. The lily of the Maqua's valley,
will never again make the English garden sweet.”

“Speak plainer to me,” cried Hope, in a voice
of entreaty that could not be resisted. “Is my
sister?”—she paused, for her quivering lips
could not pronounce the words that rose to them.

Magawisca understood her, and replied. “Yes,
Hope Leslie, thy sister is married to Oneco.”


Page 27

“God forbid!” exclaimed Hope, shuddering as
if a knife had been plunged in her bosom. “My
sister married to an Indian!”

“An Indian!” exclaimed Magawisca, recoiling
with a look of proud contempt, that showed she
reciprocated with full measure, the scorn expressed
for her race. “Yes—an Indian, in whose
veins runs the blood of the strongest, the fleetest
of the children of the forest, who never turned
their backs on friends or enemies, and whose
souls have returned to the Great Spirit, stainless
as they came from him. Think ye that your blood
will be corrupted by mingling with this stream?

Long before Magawisca ceased to pour out her
indignation, Hope's first emotion had given
place to a burst of tears; she wept aloud, and
her broken utterance of, “Oh, my sister! my sister!—My
dear mother!” emitted but imperfect
glimpses of the ruined hopes, the bitter feelings
that oppressed her.

There was a chord in Magawisca's heart, that
needed but the touch of tenderness to respond in
harmony; her pride vanished, and her indignation
gave place to sympathy. She said in a low
soothing voice—“Now do not weep thus; your
sister is well with us. She is cherished as the
bird cherishes her young. The cold winds may
not blow on her, nor the fierce sun scorch her;
nor a harsh sound ever be spoken to her; she is
dear to Mononotto as if his own blood ran in her
veins; and Oneco—Oneco worships and serves


Page 28
her as if all good spirits dwelt in her. Oh, she is
indeed well with us.”

“There lies my mother,” cried Hope, without
seeming to have heard Magawisca's consolations,
“she lost her life in bringing her children to this
wild world, to secure them in the fold of Christ.
Oh God! restore my sister to the christian family.”

“And here,” said Magawisca, in a voice of
deep pathos, “here is my mother's grave; think
ye not that the Great Spirit looks down on these
sacred spots, where the good and the peaceful
rest, with an equal eye; think ye not their children
are His children, whether they are gathered
in yonder temple where your people worship, or
bow to Him beneath the green boughs of the

There was certainly something thrilling in Magawisca's
faith, and she now succeeded in rivetting
Hope's attention. “Listen to me,” she said;
“your sister is of what you call the christian
family. I believe ye have many names in that
family. She hath been signed with the cross by
a holy father from France; she bows to the crucifix.”

“Thank God!” exclaimed Hope fervently, for
she thought that any christian faith was better
than none.

“Perhaps ye are right,” said Magawisca, as if
she read Hope's heart; “there may be those that
need other lights; but to me, the Great Spirit is
visible in the life-creating sun. I perceive Him


Page 29
in the gentle light of the moon that steals in
through the forest boughs. I feel Him here,” she
continued, pressing her hand on her breast, while
her face glowed with the enthusiasm of devotion.
“I feel Him in these ever-living, ever-wakeful
thoughts—but we waste time. You must see
your sister.”

“When, and where?” again demanded Hope.

“Before I answer you, you must promise me
by this sign, and she pointed to the emblem of her
tribe, an eagle, which she had rudely delineated
on the post, that served as a head-stone to her
mother's grave; “you must promise me by the
bright host of Heaven, that the door of your lips
shall be fast; that none shall know that you have
seen me, or are to see me again.”

“I promise,” said Hope, with her characteristic

“Then, when five suns have risen and set, I
will return with your sister. But hush,” she said,
suddenly stopping, and turning a suspicious eye
towards the thicket of evergreens.

“It was but the wind,” said Hope, rightly interpreting
Magawisca's quick glance, and the
slight inclination of her head.

“You would not betray me?” said Magawisca,
in a voice of mingled assurance and inquiry.
“Oh, more than ever entered into thy young
thoughts, hangs upon my safety.”

“But why any fear for your safety? why not
come openly among us? I will get the word of


Page 30
our good Governor, that you shall come and go
in peace. No one ever feared to trust his word.”

“You know not what you ask.”

“Indeed I do—but you, Magawisca, know
not what you refuse—and why refuse? are you
afraid of being treated like a recovered prisoner?
Oh no! every one will delight to honour you, for
your very name is dear to all Mr. Fletcher's
friends—most dear to Everell.”

“Dear to Everell Fletcher! Does he remember
me? Is there a place in his heart for an Indian?”
she demanded, with a blended expression of pride
and melancholy.

“Yes—yes, Magawisca—indeed is there,” replied
Hope, for now she thought she had touched
the right key. “It was but this morning, that
he said he had a mind to take an Indian guide,
and seek you out among the Maquas.” Magawisca
hid her face in the folds of her mantle,
and Hope proceeded with increasing earnestness.
“There is nothing in the wide world, there is
nothing that Everell thinks so good, and so noble
as you. Oh, if you could but have seen his
joy, when after your parting on that horrid rock,
he first heard you was living. He has described
you so often and so truly, that the moment I saw
you, and heard your voice, I said to myself, `this
is surely Everell's Magawisca.' ”

“Say no more, Hope Leslie—say no more,”
exclaimed Magawisca, throwing back the envelope
from her face, as if she were ashamed to


Page 31
shelter emotions she ought not to indulge. “I
have promised my father—I have repeated the
vow here on my mother's grave, and if I were to
go back from it, those bright witnesses,” she
pointed to the heavens, “would break their
silence. Do not speak to me again of Everell

“Oh, yes—once again, Magawisca; if you will
not listen to me, if you will but give me this brief,
mysterious meeting with my poor sister, at least
let Everell be with me; for his sake—for my sake
—for your own sake, do not refuse me.”

Magawisca looked on Hope's glowing face for
a moment, and then shook her head with a melancholy
smile. “They tell me,” she said, “that
no one can look on you and deny you aught;
that you can make old men's hearts soft, and
mould them at your will; but I have learned to
deny even the cravings of my own heart; to pursue
my purpose like the bird that keeps her wing
stretched to the toilsome flight, though the sweetest
note of her mate recalls her to the nest.
“But ah! I do but boast,” she continued, casting
her eyes to the ground. “I may not trust myself;
that was a childish scream, that escaped me when
I saw Everell; had my father heard it, his cheek
would have been pale with shame. No, Hope
Leslie, I may not listen to thee. You must come
alone to the meeting, or never meet your sister—
will you come?


Page 32

Hope saw in the determined manner of Magawisca,
that there was no alternative but to accept
the boon on her own terms, and she no longer
withheld her compliance. The basis of their
treaty being settled, the next point to be arranged,
was the place of meeting. Magawisca had
no objections to venture again within the town;
but then it would be necessary to completely disguise
Faith Leslie; and she hinted that she understood
enough of Hope's English feelings, to know
that she would wish to see her sister with the pure
tint of her natural complexion.

Hope had too much delicacy, and too much
feeling, even inadvertently to appear to lay much
stress on this point; but the experience of the
evening made her feel the difficulty of arranging
a meeting, surrounded as she was by vigilant
friends, and within the sphere of their observation.
Suddenly it occurred to her, that Digby, her fast
friend, and on more than one occasion her trusty
ally, had the superintendence of the Governor's
garden, on an island in the harbor, and within
three miles of the town. The Governor's family
were in the habit of resorting thither frequently.
Digby had a small habitation there, of which he
and his family were the only tenants, and indeed
were the only persons who dwelt on the island.
Hope was certain of permission to pass a night
there, where she might indulge in an interview
with her sister of any length, without hazard of
interruption; and having explained her plan to


Page 33
Magawisca, it received her ready and full acquiescence.

Before they separated, Hope said, “you will
allow me, Magawisca, to persuade my sister, if I
can, to remain with me.”

“Oh yes—if you can—but do not hope to persuade
her. She and my brother are as if one life-chord
bound them together; and besides, your
sister cannot speak to you and understand you as
I do. She was very young when she was taken
where she has only heard the Indian tongue;
some, you know, are like water, that retains no
mark; and others, like the flinty rock, that never
loses a mark.” Magawisca observed Hope's look
of disappointment; and in a voice of pity, she
added, “your sister hath a face that speaketh
plainly, what the tongue should never speak, her
own goodness.”

When these two romantic females had concerted
every measure they deemed essential to the
certainty and privacy of their meeting, Magawisca
bowed her head, and kissed the border of
Hope's shawl, with the reverent delicacy of an
oriental salutation; she then took from beneath
her mantle some fragrant herbs, and strewed
them over her mother's grave, then prostrated
herself in deep and silent devotion, feeling (as
others have felt on earth thus consecrated) as if
the clods she pressed were instinct with life.
When this last act of filial love was done, she rose,
muffled herself closely in her dark mantle, and departed.


Page 34

Hope lingered for a moment. “Mysteriously,”
she said, as her eye followed the noble figure of
Magawisca, till it was lost in the surrounding darkness,
“mysteriously have our destinies been interwoven.
Our mothers brought from a far distance
to rest together here—their children connected
in indissoluble bonds!”

But Hope was soon aware that this was no
time for solitary meditation. In the interest of
her interview with Magawisca, she had been heedless
of the gathering storm. The clouds rolled
over the moon suddenly, like the unfurling of a
banner, and the rain poured down in torrents.
Hope had no light to guide her, but occasional
flashes of lightning, and the candle, whose little
beam proceeding from Mr. Cotton's study window,
pierced the dense sheet of rain.

Hope hurried her steps homewards, and as she
passed the knot of evergreens, she fancied she
heard a rattling of the boughs, as if there were
some struggling within, and a suppressed voice
saying, “hist—whish.” She paused, and with a
resolute step, turned towards the thicket; “we
have been overheard,” she thought, “this generous
creature shall not be betrayed.” At this instant
a thunder-bolt burst over her head, and the
whole earth seemed kindled with one bright illumination.
She was terrified, and, perhaps, as
much convinced by her fears, as her reason, that
it was both imprudent, and useless, to make any
further investigation, she again bent her quick


Page 35
steps towards home. She had scarcely surmounted
the fence, which she passed more like a winged
spirit, than a fine lady, when Sir Philip Gardiner
joined her.

“Miss Leslie!” he exclaimed, as a flash of
lightning revealed her person. “Now, thanks to
my good stars, that I am so fortunate as to meet
you; suffer me to wrap my cloak about you; you
will be drenched with this pitiless rain.”

“Oh, no, no,” she said, “the cloak will but encumber
me. I am already drenched, and I shall
be at home directly,” and she would have left
him, but he caught her arm, and gently detained
her, while he enveloped her in his cloak.

“It should not be a trifle, Miss Leslie, that has
kept you out, regardless of this gathering storm,”
Sir Philip said inquiringly. Miss Leslie made no
reply, and he proceeded. “You may have forgotten
it is Saturday night—or, perhaps, you have
a dispensation.”

“Neither,” replied Hope.

“Neither! then I am sure you are abroad in
some godly cause, for you need to be one of the
righteous, who, we are told, are as bold as a lion,
to confront the Governor's family after trespassing
on holy time.”

“I have no fears,” said Hope.

“No fears! that is a rare exemption, for a
young lady; but I would that you possessed one
still more rare; she who is incapable of fear, should
never be exposed to danger; and if I had a charmed


Page 36
shield, I would devote my life to sheltering
you from all harm—may not—may not love be
such an one?”

“It's useless talking, Sir Philip,” replied Hope;
if that could be deemed a reply, which seemed
to have rather an indirect relation to the previous
address. “It is useless talking in this rattling
storm, your words drop to the ground with the

“And every word you utter,” said the knight,
biting his lips with vexation, “not only penetrates
my ear, but sinks into my heart; therefore, I pray
you to be merciful, and do not make my heart

“The hail-stones melt as they touch the ground,
and my words pass away as soon, I fancy,” said
Hope, with the most provoking nonchalance.

Sir Philip had no time to reply; they were just
turning into the court in front of Governor Winthrop's
house, when a flash of lightning, so vivid
that its glare almost blinded them, disclosed the
figure of the mysterious page leaning against the
gate-post, his head inclined forward as if in the
act of listening, his cap in his hand, his dark curls
in wild disorder over his face and neck, and he
apparently unconscious of the storm. They both
recoiled—Hope uttered an exclamation of pity.
“Ha, Roslin!” burst in a tone of severe reproach
from Sir Philip; but instantly changing it for one
of kindness, he added, “you should not have waited
for me, boy, in such a storm.”


Page 37

“I cared not for the storm—I did not feel it,”
replied the lad, in a penetrating voice, which recalled
to Miss Leslie all he had said to her, and
induced her to check her first impulse to bid him
in; she therefore passed him without any further
notice, ascended the steps, and as has been related
in the preceding chapter, met Everell in the

It is necessary to state briefly to our readers,
some particulars in relation to the re-appearance
of Magawisca, which events have not as yet

Her father, from the hour of his expulsion
from his own dominion, had constantly meditated
revenge. His appetite was not sated at
Bethel—that massacre seemed to him but a retaliation
for his private wrongs. The catastrophe
on the sacrifice-rock disordered his reason for a
time; and the Indians, who perceived something
extraordinary in the energy of his unwavering
and undivided purpose, never believed it to be
perfectly restored. But this, so far from impairing
their confidence, converted it to implicit deference,
for they, in common with certain oriental
nations, believe that an insane person is inspired;
that the Divinity takes possession of the temple
which the spirit of the man has abandoned.
Whatever Mononotto predicted, was believed—
whatever he ordered, was done.


Page 38

He felt that Oneco's volatile unimpressive character
was unfit for his purpose, and he permitted
him to pursue without intermission, his own
pleasure—to hunt and fish for his `white bird,' as
he called the little Leslie. But Magawisca was
the constant companion of her father; susceptible
and contemplative, she soon imbibed his melancholy,
and became as obedient to the impulse of
his spirit, as the most faithful are to the fancied
intimations of the Divinity. She was the priestess
of the oracle. Her tenderness for Everell,
and her grateful recollections of his lovely mother,
she determined to sacrifice on the altar of
national duty.

In the years 1642 and 1643 there was a general
movement among the Indians. Terrible massacres
were perpetrated in the English settlements
in Virginia; the Dutch establishments in
New-York were invaded, and rumours of secret
and brooding hostility kept the colonies of New-England
in a state of perpetual alarm. Mononotto
determined to avail himself of this crisis,
that appeared so favourable to his design, of uniting
all the tribes of New-England in one powerful
combination. He first applied to Miantunnomoh,
hoping by his personal influence to persuade
that powerful and crafty chief to sacrifice
to the general good, his private feud with Uncas,
the chief of the Mohegans.

Mononotto eloquently pressed those arguments,
which, as is allowed by the historian of the Indian


Page 39
wars, “seemed to right reason, not only pregnant
to the purpose, but also most cogent and
invincible,” and for a time, they prevailed over
the mind of Miantunnomoh.

Vague rumours of conspiracy reached Boston;
and the Governor summoned Miantunnomoh to
appear before his court, and abide an examination
there. The chief accordingly, (as has been seen)
came to Boston; but so artfully did he manage
his cause, as to screen from the English every just
ground of offence. Their suspicions, however,
were not removed; for Hubbard says, “though
his words were smoother than oil, yet many conceived
in his heart were drawn swords.”

It may appear strange, that while prosecuting
so hazardous and delicate an enterprise, Mononotto
should have encumbered himself with his family.
Magawisca was necessary to him; and he
submitted to be accompanied by Oneco and his
bride, from respect to the dying declaration of
Nelema, that his plans could never be accomplished
till her promise to Hope Leslie had been
redeemed—till, as she had sworn to her preserver,
the sisters had met.

Had the Indians been capable of a firm combination,
the purpose of Mononotto might have
been achieved, and the English have been then
driven from the American soil. But the natives
were thinly scattered over an immense tract of
country—the different tribes divided by petty rivalships,
and impassable gulfs of long transmitted


Page 40
hatred. They were brave and strong, but it
was brute force without art or arms: they had ingenuity
to form, and they did form, artful conspiracies,
but their best concerted plans were betrayed
by the timid, or the treacherous.

But to return to our individual concerns. Mononotto
trusted to his daughter the arrangement
of the meeting of the sisters, which from his having
a superstitious notion that it was in some
way to influence his political purposes, he was
anxious to promote. Magawisca left her companions
at an Indian station on the Neponset river,
and proceeded herself to Boston, to seek a
private interview with Hope Leslie. The appearance
of an Indian woman in Boston excited
no observation, the natives being in the habit of
resorting there daily with game, fish, and their rude
manufactures. Aware of the necessity of disguising
every peculiarity, she unbound her hair from
the braids in which it was usually confined, and
combed it thick over her forehead, after the
fashion of the aborigines in the vicinity of Boston,
whom Eliot describes as wearing this `maiden
veil.' She enveloped herself in a blanket
that concealed the rich dress which it was her
father's pride, (and perhaps her pleasure) that
she should wear. Thus disguised, and favoured
by the kind shadows of twilight, she presented herself
at Governor Winthrop's, and was, as has already
appeared, successful in her mission.