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The Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper
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"They fought, like brave men, long and well, They piled that ground with Moslem slain,
They conquered--but Bozzaris fell, Bleeding at every vein. His few surviving comrades
saw His smile when rang their loud hurrah, And the red field was won; Then saw in death
his eyelids close Calmly, as to a night's repose, Like flowers at set of sun."--Halleck
The sun found the Lenape, on the succeeding day, a nation of mourners. The sounds of
the battle were over, and they had fed fat their ancient grudge, and had avenged their
recent quarrel with the Mengwe, by the destruction of a whole community. The black and
murky atmosphere that floated around the spot where the Hurons had encamped,
sufficiently announced of itself, the fate of that wandering tribe; while hundreds of
ravens, that struggled above the summits of the mountains, or swept, in noisy flocks,
across the wide ranges of the woods, furnished a frightful direction to the scene of the
combat. In short, any eye at all practised in the signs of a frontier warfare might easily
have traced all those unerring evidences of the ruthless results which attend an Indian
Still, the sun rose on the Lenape a nation of mourners. No shouts of success, no songs of
triumph, were heard, in rejoicings for their victory. The latest straggler had returned from
his fell employment, only to strip himself of the terrific emblems of his bloody calling,
and to join in the lamentations of his countrymen, as a stricken people. Pride and
exultation were supplanted by humility, and the fiercest of human passions was already
succeeded by the most profound and unequivocal demonstrations of grief.
The lodges were deserted; but a broad belt of earnest faces encircled a spot in their
vicinity, whither everything possessing life had repaired, and where all were now
collected, in deep and awful silence. Though beings of every rank and age, of both sexes,
and of all pursuits, had united to form this breathing wall of bodies, they were influenced
by a single emotion. Each eye was riveted on the center of that ring, which contained the
objects of so much and of so common an interest.
Six Delaware girls, with their long, dark, flowing tresses falling loosely across their
bosoms, stood apart, and only gave proof of their existence as they occasionally strewed
sweet-scented herbs and forest flowers on a litter of fragrant plants that, under a pall of
Indian robes, supported all that now remained of the ardent, high-souled, and generous
Cora. Her form was concealed in many wrappers of the same simple manufacture, and
her face was shut forever from the gaze of men. At her feet was seated the desolate
Munro. His aged head was bowed nearly to the earth, in compelled submission to the
stroke of Providence; but a hidden anguish struggled about his furrowed brow, that was
only partially concealed by the careless locks of gray that had fallen, neglected, on his
temples. Gamut stood at his side, his meek head bared to the rays of the sun, while his
eyes, wandering and concerned, seemed to be equally divided between that little volume,
which contained so many quaint but holy maxims, and the being in whose behalf his soul
yearned to administer consolation. Heyward was also nigh, supporting himself against a