The Last of the Mohicans
"Sola, sola, wo ha, ho, sola!"--Shakespeare
While one of the lovely beings we have so cursorily presented to the reader was thus lost
in thought, the other quickly recovered from the alarm which induced the exclamation,
and, laughing at her own weakness, she inquired of the youth who rode by her side:
"Are such specters frequent in the woods, Heyward, or is this sight an especial
entertainment ordered on our behalf? If the latter, gratitude must close our mouths; but if
the former, both Cora and I shall have need to draw largely on that stock of hereditary
courage which we boast, even before we are made to encounter the redoubtable
"Yon Indian is a 'runner' of the army; and, after the fashion of his people, he may be
accounted a hero," returned the officer. "He has volunteered to guide us to the lake, by a
path but little known, sooner than if we followed the tardy movements of the column;
and, by consequence, more agreeably."
"I like him not," said the lady, shuddering, partly in assumed, yet more in real terror.
"You know him, Duncan, or you would not trust yourself so freely to his keeping?"
"Say, rather, Alice, that I would not trust you. I do know him, or he would not have my
confidence, and least of all at this moment. He is said to be a Canadian too; and yet he
served with our friends the Mohawks, who, as you know, are one of the six allied nations.
He was brought among us, as I have heard, by some strange accident in which your father
was interested, and in which the savage was rigidly dealt by; but I forget the idle tale, it is
enough, that he is now our friend."
"If he has been my father's enemy, I like him still less!" exclaimed the now really anxious
girl. "Will you not speak to him, Major Heyward, that I may hear his tones? Foolish
though it may be, you have often heard me avow my faith in the tones of the human
"It would be in vain; and answered, most probably, by an ejaculation. Though he may
understand it, he affects, like most of his people, to be ignorant of the English; and least
of all will he condescend to speak it, now that the war demands the utmost exercise of his
dignity. But he stops; the private path by which we are to journey is, doubtless, at hand."
The conjecture of Major Heyward was true. When they reached the spot where the Indian
stood, pointing into the thicket that fringed the military road; a narrow and blind path,
which might, with some little inconvenience, receive one person at a time, became