The Hidden Children HTML version

Chapter 10. In Garrison
The end of the month was approaching, and as yet we had received no marching orders,
although every evening the heavy-laden batteaux continued to arrive from Albany, and
every morning the slow wagon train left for the lake, escorted by details from Schott's
irregulars, and Franklin's Wyoming militia.
But our veteran rifle battalion did not stir, although all the other regular regiments had
marched to Otsego; and Colonel Gansevoort's 3rd N. Y. Regiment of the Line, which was
now under orders to remain and guard the Valley, had not yet returned, although early in
the week an Oneida runner had come in with letters for Mrs. Bleecker and Mrs. Lansing
from their husbands, saying that the regiment was on its way to the fort, and that they, the
ladies, should continue at Croghan's as long as Morgan's Rifles were remaining there in
Cooler weather had set in with an occasional day of heavy summer rain; and now our
garrison life became exceedingly comfortable, especially agreeable because of the ladies'
hospitality at Croghan's new house.
Except for Lois and for them my duties on special detail would have become most
irksome to me, shut off from the regiment as I was, with only the Mohican to keep an eye
on, and nothing else whatever to do except to write at sundown every evening in my daily
Not that I had not come to care a great deal for the Siwanois; indeed, I was gradually
becoming conscious of a very genuine affection for this tall Mohican, who, in the calm
confidence of our blood-brotherhood, was daily revealing his personality to me in a
hundred naive and different ways, and with a simplicity that alternately touched and
amused me.
For, after his own beliefs and his own customs, he was every inch a man-- courteous,
considerate, proud, generous, loyal, and brave. Which seem to me to be the general
qualifications for a gentleman.
Except the Seneca Mountain Snakes, the nations of the Long House, considering their
beliefs, customs, and limited opportunities, were not a whit inferior to us as men. And the
Mohicans have always been their peers.
For, contrary to the general and ignorant belief, except for the Senecas, the Iroquois were
civilised people; their Empire had more moral reasons for its existence than any other
empire I ever heard of; because the League which bound these nations into a
confederacy, and which was called by them "The Great Peace," had been established, not
for the purpose of waging war, but to prevent it.