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About this Item

Title: Arrow-Tip

Creator: Walt Whitman [listed as unsigned]

Date: March 1845

Whitman Archive ID: per.00336

Source: The Aristidean 1 (March 1845): 36–64. Transcribed from digital images of a microfilm reproduction of an original issue. The microfilm is held by the University of Iowa Libraries.

Contributors to digital file: Stephanie Blalock and Nicole Gray




ART. XI—ARROW-TIP.1

CHAPTER I.

A HUNCHBACK AND HIS ERRAND.2

LOUDLY rang merry peals of laughter from a group of children, of almost every age and size, as they emerged, one afternoon, through the door of the rude log school-house, in the little town of WARREN, a place situated on one of the upper branches of the MISSISSIPPI. Less than three years previously,3 the site on which the dwellings of the Warrenites now stood, had been a tangled forest, roamed by the savage in pursuit of game. An adventurous settler purchased a few hundred acres there, and with some companions, took up his abode, and gave it the name I have mentioned. The place numbered nearly three hundred inhabitants.

Loudly rang the laugh of the liberated children. Master CALEB, the teacher, stood in the door of his school-house, and gazed with a cheerful smile upon their noisy merriment. He was a pale young man, from the East—and, because that his strength did not allow him to engage in the heavy labours of his comrades, (for in the West, all men are comrades) he gladly accepted an offer from the fathers of the village to take change of the education of the small people.

"Hurrah!" said one harum-scarum young elf, who was running and tearing like a mad tiger, "Hurrah! the master has given us a holiday, next THURSDAY, because he is going to PETER BROWN'S wedding! Hey! Hurrah!"

"BILL!" said a larger and more sedate looking youth, addressing the elf, "BILL! be quiet, and do'nt act so foolish. Can't you see master CALEB is looking at you?

"Well," rejoined the other, "what if he—?"

The sentence which the exuberant child was about to utter, was cut short suddenly, by a loud shout from seven or eight of his companions.

"BODDO! BODDO!" they cried, "BODDO is coming!" And they pointed with their mischievous fingers, to a turn in the road, at about ten rods distance, where a figure was seen slowly walking, or rather limping, towards them.

More than half the party started off on a gallop, and in a few moments were at the side of him who had attracted their attention. BODDO, as the youngsters called him—and that indeed was the name he went by all over the settlement—appeared to be a man of about seven-and-twenty years of age. He was deformed in body—his back being mounted with a mighty hunch, and his long neck bent forward, in a peculiar and disagreeable manner. In height he was hardly taller than the smallest of the children who clustered tormentingly around him. His face was

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the index to many bad passions—which were only limited in the degree of their evil, because his intellect itself was not very bright, though the sedulous care of some one had taught him even more than the ordinary branches of education. Among the most powerful of his bad points was a malignant peevishness, dwelling on every feature of his countenance. Perhaps it was this latter trait which caused the wild boys of the place, ever to take great comfort in making him the subject of their vagaries. The gazer would have been at some doubt whether to class this strange and hideous creature with the race of Red Men or White—for he was a half-breed, his mother an Indian squaw, and his father some unknown member of the race of the settlers.

"Why, BODDO," said the elf, BILL, "how-d'e-do?—You lovely creature, I hav'nt seen you for a week!"

And the provoking boy took the hunchback's hand, and shook it as heartily as if they had been old friends forever. BODDO scowled, but it was of no avail. He was in the power of the lawless ones, and could not escape.

"What's the price of soap, BODDO?" said another urchin, pointing to the filthy hands and face of the Indian. And they all laughed merrily.

"Devils!" at last, exclaimed the passionate half-breed, goaded beyond endurance,4 "why do you pester me? Go!—go away—or I shall turn upon you."

"O, BODDO! dear BODDO! do not let your sweet temper rise!" said little BILL, and he patted the Indian on his head, as a man would do to a child.

BODDO glanced up to him with an expression of hate which might have appalled any but a child, heedless as the one on whom he gazed. He turned round and round, like a wild beast in the toils; but wherever he cast his look, he saw nothing but villainous little fingers extended, and roguish eyes flashing. The poor fellow was indeed sadly beset, and was rapidly working himself up to a pitch of rage, which might have cost some of the thoughtless crew a broken head. At this moment, the tall boy who had reproved BILL in front of the school-house, came up, and, beholding the plight of the tormented one, offered his gentle interference.

"Boys! boys!" he cried, "do'nt let us bother this poor friend of ours any more. Come, now, are you not willing that he should go?"

He paused, and it was plainly a doubtful case, whether his mediation would be successful. The boys had just come from a three-hours' confinement to their lessons, and they felt disposed for any thing in the shape of mirth. So, like a prudent arbiter, QUINCY THORNE, the tall lad, offered a kind of compromise which should steer between both difficulties.

"I'll tell you what!" said he, "BODDO shall say all about where he has been this afternoon, and what after, for I see he is just returned from a long tramp—and then we'll let him go. Hey, boys?"

"Agreed!" said the band.

And the hunchback, glad, no doubt, to be let off thus easily, commenced his recital:5



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"You know," said he, "of PETER BROWN, the blacksmith's marriage, which is to take place soon. Well, even this could not be managed, it seems, without the help of BODDO. A marriage needs a priest—and hereabouts one of that kind is not often met with. Now I, who so love to see my neighbors happy," the hunchback grinned, "could not bear that the pretty sport should all be spoiled for want of a priest. And so—"

"Rather say," interrupted the elf, BILL, "you feared the loss of some drinks of rum, and meals of food, you had set your heart upon getting at the wedding."

BODDO snarled at the saucy boy, and continued:

"And so I said to BROWN, that my worthy teacher and friend, Father LUKE, the Lonesome Man, at OAK CREEK, might be brought hither. They say he is a priest, one not exactly of the right sort to suit the people here, perhaps—but when the nearest town is distant a three days' journey, we are not apt to stand on trifles. This priest, then—this Catholic monk, I think, he calls himself—being the only one near at hand, and even the place where he lives not known to many of the people, Mr. PETER bid me go and seek him out, and deliver to him a message, written on paper. More than ten hours have I been wandering up and down the banks of the river, and through the wood, to discover the house of the Lonesome Man. I, BODDO, to whom every tree in the forest, I thought, was known—and every dent in the shore—and every swamp and thicket—could hardly find that place. Not that I have ever taken pains to search for it before; for I defy any of you—the cunningest boy of all—to hide a dead squirrel within five miles, where I shall not ferret it out—so well do I know every spot.

The children were evidently becoming interested in the narrative. They gazed in the hunchback's face—and eagerly drank in every word that he uttered.

"Well," continued he, "after a long time, and when I had more than once thought of giving up the search and coming back—which I might have done, had I not reflected on the disappointment to Mr. PETER and the rest—what should——"

"Do n't lie, BODDO," interrupted the elf, again, "you ca'nt deny it was the fear of the trouncing you might get—and nothing else—that made you keep on."

The group did not laugh so long at this sally as at the former ones—for they were anxious to hear the end of the story.

"What should I see, as I came out of a thicket, about two hours' walk from here, but the Lonesome Man himself. He was standing on the bank, at a high place, and looking down into the stream—quiet as one of the trees back of us. I approached, and told him my errand.

"Though I knew not his residence, we were old acquaintances in times by-gone; so I thought it strange that he should start, and tremble like a frightened girl, before I spoke a word. He took my letter—and then asked me into his hut; for it was near at hand. He led the way and I followed. A few rods brought us to the side of a crag, all covered with bushes and hanging trees—he parted them at a place where not one eye out of a thousand would have suspected aught else than the

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brown ground to lie underneath—and we were in a dark room,6 whose sides were stone and dirt, half hidden by some few domestic utensils.

"There stood a table in the middle of the room, covered with books and paper. He sat down there, and, taking a pen, told me he would write an answer to the request I brought. In a few minutes it was ready. He put before me some drink and meat, and then, though he spoke not, I saw he wished my departure. Carefully noting the place, as I emerged, in order that I might tell it again, if occasion required, I bent my steps homeward.

"And now you have all of my story—and I must go, for it is time PETER BROWN received his answer."

The children made no opposition to his departure, with the exception of little BILL, who gave BODDO an extra pinch, and a stout pull of the hair, ere he scampered off to engage in some new mischief.

The house of PETER BROWN was situated at one end of the village, near the river, in a pleasant place, where the beams of the sun, of a clear day, dazzled the gazer's eye, as they were reflected from the stream. PETER, contrary to the advice of his neighbours, had, in clearing up his land, left a number of the finest trees standing close to his dwelling—which divested it of that rather disagreeable aspect of newness which a lately settled town almost invariably possesses. The house, too, was of a better build and material than most of its fellows; it was of logs, to be sure, but it had a number of good glass windows, and two tall chimneys, and doors which swung on hinges, and fitted tightly.

The blacksmith lived in it now alone. A day or two more was to see him with a companion, however—and that companion, a wife, the daughter of a respectable man, of his own grade in life.

Some three or four rods distant, on the other side of the road, was the shop of the blacksmith, with its smoky fire, and bellows, and the anvil which every morning was heard to clink with rapid and ponderous blows.7 Leaning idly on the handle of the bellows, stood the master of the establishment himself. He was a stout, well-made, strongly-jointed young man, with light hair, and clear grey eyes. Though not what is called handsome, he was far from being ill-looking. His lips were beautifully cut, and his neck might have been taken by the most fastidious sculptor as a model of that part of the human form in some fine work of art.

What were PETER'S thoughts about? Nothing more or less than love. He had despatched BODDO many hours previous, and he feared the malicious creature had forgotten or disregarded the duty—and would not perform his bidding. A dozen times during the half hour, would he step to the door of his smithy, and strain his gaze to catch any glimpse of the returning hunchback—and in vain.

When at last he beheld his messenger, and looking into his face, saw the expression of one who returns to a master with news he is sure will be pleasant—he forgot his various determinations to wring BODDO'S neck, and beat him with a bar of iron, and so on—and eagerly demanded the result of his mission.

The hunchback told the story which the reader has already heard—

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as related to the school-children—and then gave to PETER the note which had been sent him from the monk. Impatiently breaking the seal, and opening it, the hunchback read as follows:

"In answer to Peter Brown, the Blacksmith.

"A wretched man has come to me with a demand that I should perform the ceremonials of marriage between yourself and a maiden of your town. The messenger explains that no holy minister of heaven, of your own faith, is at hand—and entreats me, in your name, to refuse him not.

"I am a Catholic monk—for reasons of piety and choice, holding myself much aloof from any communion of my kind. But in this matter, though a strict interpretation of my priestly allegiance might keep me from granting what you ask—uniting two members of a church we condemn, in bonds of marriage—I have thought fit, taking all things into consideration, to do as you desire.

"On the morrow, I shall visit the village, and will hold further conference with you on the subject.

"THE MONK."

"A plague on the roundabout way of his saying Yes!" exclaimed the blacksmith, with a laugh: "as if it made any difference whether our fathers sat in a meeting-house, or heard mass before papal altars—in such a case as this!"

Then briefly informing BODDO that as he had been faithful and successful, he should be rewarded still farther, the happy PETER gave him a small coin, and prepared to shut up his shop, for the purpose of walking over, and telling the news to the family of his intended bride.



———

CHAPTER II.8

THE ENTRANCE OF THE MAIN CHARACTER.

MASTER CALEB, the teacher, as usually happens in schools, had his favourites and his more especial likings, among the young flock whose education he controlled. Of all the rest, QUINCY THORNE, the tall and gentle boy, was the one whom he loved, and whose company he preferred. Any other choice would have created some envy and jealousy—but all the children themselves were attached to the teacher's favourite, and gladly yielded to his good fortune without demur.

It happened on the THURSDAY, when PETER BROWN'S wedding took place, that Master CALEB and QUINCY stole away from the revellers in the middle of the afternoon, and took a quiet roundabout stroll, bringing up, at last, at the dwelling of QUINCY'S father. The whole family had gone to the wedding—as in fact had all the inhabitants of the village, old and young, for the generous-hearted blacksmith would have it so—and the house was therefore quite deserted. The boy and the teacher took a seat on the door-step in front, and gazed at the pleasant prospect before them.

A little and verdant grass-patch, only, intervened between them and

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the river, which the dwelling fronted toward. They amused themselves by watching the gambols of the water-fowl, wild, but with their wings clipped, and thus domesticated; and by counting the various objects that glided along the current of the stream—logs, and torn-up trees, and now and then a fish leaping above the surface.

"Master CALEB," said the boy suddenly, "is not that the figure of an Indian yonder on the hill?"

He pointed as he spoke, to a spot forty or fifty rods distant, on the same side of the river, where they were seated.

"It is indeed," answered the teacher, "and he is coming this way. Poor fellow! he seems worn and sick."

As the figure advanced, they had full leisure to survey him. He was one of the finest specimens of the Red People—or rather had the evidence of having once been so—for his gait was now slow and uneven, his eyes dim, and without brightness or glitter—and his cheeks sunken.

"It is ARROW-TIP!" said Master CALEB and the boy, simultaneously, as they had a review of the savage; "it is our old friend, ARROW-TIP!"

QUINCY rose from his seat, and stepped toward the new-comer with words of welcome. He led him to the door, and into the house, and bade him rest himself. The Indian took these little kindnesses with the apathetic method of his race. It was plain, however, that they could but be acceptable to him—for he gasped with pain and exhaustion.

"We have not seen you here in WARREN for many weeks," said CALEB, after a pause, "and you are ill, it seems."

"I am," replied the savage: "a dull heat—like the air of your iron-warmed rooms in the settlement—fills me from head to foot. Strength has gone—and ARROW-TIP might be beaten by a young boy."

"How long has this been?" inquired CALEB.

"It first came," was the answer, "when the buds started on the trees. Now the forest is all green and dark with leaves."

"You have a fever," said Master CALEB, "which I dare say some trifling medicines from our common physic-chest, in the land-agent's room, would cure at once."9

ARROW-TIP made no answer.

"Surely," said young THORNE, looking at the worn moccasins upon the feet of his guest, "surely you have not made this journey from your dwelling alone? Where was your brother, who ever came with you on your former visits?"

The dull eyes of the Indian glanced devoutly upwards:

"He who is your GREAT SPIRIT and ours," said he, "lives in the still forest, and was with the sick chief. My people knew not of my coming—none but my brother's wife, to whom I confided my purpose, lest they might think evil had befallen me. I had heard that the white man knew a hundred remedies for ills, of which we were ignorant—ignorant both of ills and remedies. The love of life was strong in my soul. I could not bear to pine away, as a tree whose trunk has been girdled by the hatchet. I felt my arm, and said to myself, perhaps in the village

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of the pale-faces, there may be something that will bring back its thickness and its nerve. In the night, when all were sleeping, I came out from our lodge, and bent my steps toward your town. The sun is now on his third journey over our heads, since I started."

Both QUINCY and the teacher felt their sympathies strongly enlisted for the unfortunate savage. The boy assured him that he might no doubt be welcome to stop with them, as at home, for a season, during which all should be done for his recovery. And Master CALEB averred that EZEKIEL BARRETT, the store-keeper of WARREN, had in his youth spent half of an apprenticeship with a New-England apothecary10—and would probably be able to tell all about what was ARROW-TIP'S ailing, and what would effect his recovery.

Toward night-fall, when Mr. THORNE and the members of his family returned from the wedding, it was readily arranged that ARROW-TIP should remain with them, as QUINCY had suggested.

"Shame were it to me and my wife," said THORNE, "did we let one who has saved a life very dear to us, ask shelter here, and be refused."

And he looked at his son QUINCY, while he spoke. Master CALEB saw that something, which he knew not, had taken place in former years—and now served as a memento11 of good-will between the settler and the chief. He made inquiry, by a glance toward THORNE.

"Yes," said the latter, "we have indeed reason to be grateful to this sick man—for not many years ago12 he saved QUINCY'S life."

And he told the teacher how it had happened. It was long before they came to live in WARREN.13 The child, then quite small, was swept away by a freshet in a river, and ARROW-TIP had dashed into the foaming waters, and brought him safe back again. As may readily be supposed, THORNE and his family were unbounded in their expressions of gratitude—and through all the future years of their existence, never lost an opportunity of showing that gratitude.

ARROW-TIP—as he was called in the figurative style of his people—though possessing now but little of the power of a chief, was descended from the sachems of his tribe.14 He and a younger brother, named from his swiftness, the DEER, frequently had intercourse with the white settlers of that region in the way of trade. They brought the furs and skins collected by their people, and exchanged them for powder, blankets, hardware, and other things which habit had made necessary to them.

The DEER generally accompanied his brother on these excursions. The two loved each other—for they were the remnants of their family, and had none else to distract their affection. BODDO, the hunchback, had a claim also to be considered as indirectly of the same tribe with ARROW-TIP and the DEER. But no one knew exactly his relationship; and few thought it worth investigation.



———



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CHAPTER III.15

CRIME, AND ITS DETECTION.

A WEEK must pass away since the events of the last chapter. In the course of that time, another personage had arrived upon the stage where our little drama is being enacted, the village of WARREN. This personage was ARROW-TIP'S brother, the DEER. Informed by his wife of the course intended to be taken by the sick chief, a few days after the departure of the latter, and thinking of a thousand mishaps that might possibly befall him on the road, the DEER filled a pouch with food, strapped his bow and quiver on his back, and commenced a rapid progress toward the settlement.

He arrived in time to witness the favourable change in ARROW-TIP'S illness, which was but the precursor of still more improvement. It needed, indeed, but that he should continue a few days longer in the hospitable house of THORNE, and under the medical auspices of Master CALEB, and the storekeeper, BARRETT, to have his health and strength wholly restored.

One morning, when Mr. THORNE came in to partake with his family of their early meal, he looked disturbed and somewhat agitated. To the inquiries of his wife, he for a time returned no answer.

"But I don't know," said he, at length, "why I may not as well inform you of the cause of what moves me. For two or three mornings past, on going as I usually do at daylight to take care of my cattle, and feed them, I have missed something from the store-house where I keep my grain and farming utensils. Occasionally I find merely that matter not very valuable is taken away; but, then, again, an article of great use to me is stolen. I certainly have no idea who is the thief; but it becomes us all to be on the look-out, and see if we cannot discover him."

It was a painful thing for ARROW-TIP, who sat in the chimney-corner, while Mr. THORNE was speaking, that the eyes of nearly every one in the room, with the exception of THORNE, himself, and his eldest son, were turned upon him. He was too proud to answer any suspicions; and he moved not or spoke under their gaze.

"This morning," continued Mr. THORNE, "a large piece of bear-meat, which I purchased yesterday of a man sent here by BODDO, and which I intended for our dinner to-day, is taken off—where and by whom, it is impossible to say."

Again were the eyes of the group directed toward ARROW-TIP. The savage was deeply pained, but, as before, he evinced it by no sign. In truth, the suspicion, if any such were harboured, was unjust, and in no small degree unreasonable, from the nature of the articles purloined. This could have been of no value to the Indian, unless he sold them, and that were a difficult undertaking, without risk of discovery. ARROW-TIP rose and left the room, uttering not a word.

For the first time, Mr. THORNE reflected on the grief he must have inflicted by his remarks. With true, good taste, however, he forebore to make the matter worse by attempting an apology. He bade his

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children abstain in future from any allusion to the subject, and particularly any sign that they looked upon ARROW-TIP himself as an object of doubt.

In the course of the afternoon, PETER BROWN, the lately married blacksmith, came over to THORNE'S, to speak of a contemplated hunting party the next day, in the forest.

"I am told," said Peter, "that there is a fine herd of deer which some of our folks have several times seen in the neighborhood of OAK CREEK. What say you? If the day be fair, will you join us?"

"Certainly," was THORNE'S answer; "and our friend, ARROW-TIP here, shall make another of the party, if he will."

"The chief," rejoined the one last spoken to, "will be glad to go."

QUINCY stood near while this conversation was taking place.

"Father," he said, "do you not remember your promise that I might hunt with the next party?"

THORNE smiled upon his eager boy, and assented. So it was arranged that soon after sunrise they should all start together—a number of the men from neighbouring houses having also agreed to join them.

As ARROW-TIP retired that evening to a kind of out-house, where he slept, (THORNE would have had him, on his first arrival, repose in the main dwelling, but the savage pertinaciously refused) QUINCY tapped him on the arm, and bade him, with a smile, be up in time.

"And lest I should oversleep myself," said the boy, "come to my window, which opens toward the river, and knock upon it to wake me."

It were hardly amiss to guess that the dreams of the young hunter that night were interwoven with huge buffaloes, and springing deer, and mighty bears, in most admired confusion.

ARROW-TIP rose some time before day-light. He pushed open, a small, swinging door, and stood a few minutes gazing over the river, in the direction of his distant tribe. His thoughts were with them—with his brother, whom he expected to visit him that day, (the DEER had his abode at a dismantled hut in the neighbourhood of the village)—and with his far-off friends.

Of a sudden while his gaze was thus fixed, he saw a figure stealthily stepping, or rather crawling, through the farm-yard, toward the building used by THORNE for a granary.16 His sight convinced him that it was none of his host's family; the figure was smaller than QUINCY or his father, and much stouter than any of the younger children. The savage immediately remembered what had been said respecting the thefts, the preceeding day; and he felt sure that he should now be able to clear up the mystery, and also remove any doubts that might have been held, respecting his own integrity. The Indian silently drew back into the shadow and watched the figure.

Like a thief, indeed, did it move, and directly toward the door of the granary—which it opened and passed. ARROW-TIP cautiously emerged from where he had been standing, and favoured by the shadow of a huge tree, he stood near the door which the figure had entered, and waited his coming forth. He had not to wait long. With the same halting and stealthy gait, the thief appeared directly, staggering under a bag, borne upon his shoulder, and evidently containing grain.



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When he had got a couple of rods forward, ARROW-TIP sprang upon him, as a cat would spring on a mouse.

"Now!" said he, "who comes forth like an owl in the night, to take his brother's goods?—I have him!"

A dismal howl sounded out from the startled thief, and he struggled to get free—but his struggles were useless. ARROW-TIP held him with a grasp of iron, and dragged him to the dwelling of the family, where he knocked loudly.

Not many moments elapsed before THORNE and his people, disturbed by the racket, came rushing together into the porch in front. ARROW-TIP, in brief terms, explained the matter to them, and shoved his prisoner toward them.

"As I hope I may shoot a deer to-day!" said QUINCY, with a loud burst of laughter, "it is no other than BODDO!"

The boy spoke truth, indeed. The mischievous and now detected hunchback stood before them. He hung his head in stupid obstinacy, and spoke not a word in excuse for his crime.

"It is very wicked," said ARROW-TIP as he stood with folded arms, and a flush of shame passed over his face, "and it sickens the chief's soul, that one who owns blood of an honest tribe, should be caught thus!"

BODDO looked up, and scowled on the Indian with a furious expression of deviltry and hate, that plainly said he would lose no convenient opportunity of revenge, if such occurred.

"Come! come!" said Mr. THORNE. "Though I did not expect such conduct, even from BODDO, I am willing to let it pass. We all know the infirmity of the poor fellow—and I dare say this will be a salutary lesson to him. Come! we forget that to-day we hunt the deer. And our breakfast is to be prepared, and a dozen matters attended to yet, which we had best set about immediately!"

As the hunchback turned from the spot, to walk away, he cast another glance at ARROW-TIP. It was full of malice and hate. But the chief did not deign to heed it by the slightest notice. He calmly set himself about the necessary business of the hour.



———

CHAPTER IV.17

A STORY, AN ALARM, AND A DISAGREEABLE CONCLUSION.

WHO could be more happy then PETER BROWN'S bride? She was a young and handsome woman, possessed of much good sense, and a strong faculty of making people become attached to her. On no occasion was this latter trait illustrated more pleasantly than in the intercourse and friendliness between her husband and herself, on the one part, and him who has been spoken of in a preceding page as the Lonesome Man, on the other. Ever since the hour when the monk, or Father LUKE, as he was also sometimes called, united them in marriage, he had apparently found a new impulse to be sociable, by visiting the house of the blacksmith.



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There was considerable of mystery about the character of the holy man. No one knew his life. Sometimes he would be absent for months, and then would suddenly appear in his rude dwelling once more, as if returned from a distant journey. It was generally supposed that in these intervals he went away to the convents of his brethren in Canada. No one sought to pry into his designs or wishes. Yet he was by no means of an austere disposition, and might probably have answered their questions, had they seen fit to proffer any. But in the west, where every one is in some degree or other an adventurer, few wish to investigate the former history of their neighbours. Inquisitiveness does not prevail there, as in some other sections of our republic.

Much more frequently than before, as has been intimated, the monk now sought communion with the villagers, and most of all the BROWNS. On the day of the hunting-party, he came there, and though PETER himself was absent, he was invited by the young wife to rest himself, and remain and chat with her. So kindly were her requests proposed, and so yearning, if the truth be told, were the Lonesome Man's wishes for some kind of companionship, that he made little demur to accepting the invitation. The hours passed on quite pleasantly—each mutually entertained with the presence and cheerfulness of the other.

"Father LUKE," said the hostess, after a long pause in their conversation, "I know you will not be offended, if I tell you I have wondered how you can be comfortable in that cold cave of yours, where they say you reside."

The monk smiled, quietly.

"I have long learned," said he, "to be content with coarse fare and coarse accommodation. It is part of the duty of such as I."

"And were you always content?"

"Not always," was the subdued answer.

The monk saw that his companion would probably have spoken further, had she not feared intruding on his wish for concealment.

"Daughter," said he, "perhaps I have been looked upon, by the good people hereabout, too much as a being of mystery. I have little that I wish to conceal. I will, if you have patience to bear it, tell you my story. Some few items, your own good sense will inform you, it were well to pass no further."

The young woman was certainly not so far superior to the foibles of her sex, as to turn away from any thing in shape of a secret. She made a gesture of assent, and the monk began:

"I was born in a country town in IRELAND. My parents were in the humbler walks of life, and of all their children I alone received what might be called a respectable education. Even in my early boyhood, I was destined for the church.

"When I was about eighteen years old, my mother died—a sad loss to us all. A year passed away, before the end of which, my father, finding the cares and troubles of his family to press heavily upon him, took unto himself another wife.

"I had a sister—a lovely girl, some two years younger than myself. My sister possessed in her character some of the most excellent, as well

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as some of the weakest propensities of her sex. She was capricious and headstrong—but tender, and very affectionate. Her beauty gained her many suitors—whom her whim induced her to discard, as they were generally of our own lowly condition.

"One summer, there came to reside, for a few days, in our village, a citizen, named ARNOLD. It was a dark hour for poor MARY, when he made his entrance there. He was handsome, fascinating, and a confirmed rake.18

"They met—this man and my sister. ARNOLD saw what a prize the place had hitherto unconsciously contained, and determined to win it. Ah, if she would but have taken warning—for she was warned!

"To make the tale short, MARY, refusing to hear the advice of her well-wishers, received ARNOLD to her love. He protracted his visit to many weeks. Before he returned to the city, he added another to his triumphs. My sister fell! O, when will the false tone which pervades society, make it needful to hold beyond the pale of its promiscuous communion, the man who acts as ARNOLD acted?

"But what am I saying? From whom could such sentiments come with more ill grace than me—me, who have been guilty of a similar, and even worse, course of conduct!

"A few months passed on, and my sister's frailty could no longer be concealed. Our step-mother was a severe woman. Her cold and haughty looks, and her sharp taunts, drove poor MARY almost insane. My father, too, when he knew his daughter's disgrace, half expressed a determination to cast her off forever. Had our own mother been alive, the case would no doubt have resulted differently. She might have stormed for a time—but at least the fatal termination which, as things were, came to pass, would have been prevented!

"One day my sister was missing. She had decamped in the night, and no doubt was wandering about homeless and shelterless. We caused search to be made, which, at the end of a couple of days, ended in the discovery of the lost one. She was completely deranged—and, when found, was seated upon a bank in a wide forest. She died within a week from that time.

"Death, they say, blots out all misdoings. We were all grieved and agonied at the fate of our hapless MARY—but, none with that passion which filled my own bosom. I pondered, night and day, upon the wickedness of her seducer, ARNOLD. A hundred schemes for revenge were fixed upon in my mind, and then abandoned.

"Happening to go, about this period, upon business in a neighbouring city, I was accidentally called upon, at my lodgings, by an itinerant teacher of sword-fencing. Suddenly, a new method of vengeance struck me. Upon the instant, I engaged the man to give me lessons. I applied myself diligently to my new study, and within a short time had the satisfaction of hearing my teacher pronounce me one of the most proficient pupils he ever had. I challenged ARNOLD to combat. He accepted my challenge.

"Perhaps you may wonder that in view of the profession I intended to follow, I should have thought fit to act thus. I was blinded by my hate for my sister's betrayer. I was engrossed by no other thought than that of revenge!



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"ARNOLD met me, as I demanded. Whether it was that a just cause nerved my arm, or that his was powerless with conscious guilt, I know not—but he fell. When I left the place of the fight, he lay there a stiff and senseless corpse!

"My antagonist had relatives and friends of rank; and it was plainly dangerous for me to remain in IRELAND. I gathered together what funds I could raise on so sudden an emergency, and fled. I directed my course to this general country of refuge for the oppressed and the unfortunate, AMERICA.

"Good daughter, I am now coming to a part of my fortunes which I must fain hurry over with a rapid and casual narration:

"My desire for adventure led me West—even to this region, which, at the time I speak of, nearly thirty years since, was far more wild and uncultivated than at present. A party of hunters and traders with whom I travelled, encamped on this very spot during one entire winter. We were in the neighbourhood of a tribe of Indians whom they wished an opportunity of extended intercourse with, in the way of traffic.

"There was a young maiden of the tribe of ——. Bah! why does the tell-tale colour rush up into my face, and mantle it with the hue of shame!

"An Indian girl, who visited our camp now and then, saw something in the young Irishman that woke in her breast the flame which burns as brightly in the midst of the great new world forests, as in the populous places of the old hemisphere. She loved me—and I—I had nought to interrupt the tedium of our long stay. We were both with the hot blood of young veins. At the coming of the spring, I left the place.

"Some four or five seasons afterward, I came hither again. They showed the child of the Indian girl—my son!—I almost shrieked with horror at the monstrous abortion! The mother herself had died in giving it birth. No wonder. Never had my eyes been blasted by the spectacle of so much ugliness as that hunchback boy!

"Daughter, that child even now moves among you, an object of pity and disgust. Can you wonder at my feelings when I tell you that it is no other than the half-idiot, half-devil, BODDO?

"My wild and wayward course of life, for the next few years, I shall not pause to dwell upon.

"In the course of time, a poignant sense of my ill-deeds, and a sickened feeling of the vanity of all human enjoyments, led me to take the vows of the order I now form an humble member of.

"One of the rules of our rigorous piety is, that a full and open confession of any sins that lie upon the breast, shall be given ere a man can become one of our community. By the advice of my superior, and prompted too by my own conscience, I have been aware that the least return I can make the wretched BODDO, for having been the author of his existence, is, to do my best toward opening his mind to the blessing of the True Faith.

"For this purpose I come every few months hither. I have laboured diligently to educate and imbue with devout feelings the unfortunate young man—but his besotted nature and wilful peevishness lead me to believe that my labours will too probably be in vain.

"Your look seems to ask me why I do not take him to a more

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congenial region for giving him the benefits of religion. Of what use would it be? Now, no one knows the degree of relationship that exists between us, except yourself, and my holy intimates. BODDO, himself, is, of course, totally ignorant of it.

"Leaving the matter in the hands of PROVIDENCE, and painfully conscious that naught which I could do, would benefit the condition of the poor creature—I have made up my mind that when I leave this place, as I shall shortly do, to return to my convent and my brethren, it will be to spend the rest of my days there, and to see this spot and my miserable offspring no more."

Toward the latter part of Father LUKE'S narration, he had been somewhat interrupted by sundry distant shouts, and sounds of tumult. Mrs. BROWN, deeply interested in his story, had paid but little attention to them—but now the clang came nearer and nearer, and loud and agitated voices sounded out in the road near the door.

A moment longer, and the door opened quickly, and a man, the elder brother of the young wife, rushed toward her with his face very pale, and every sign of horror and agitation.

"O, sister!" he cried, "PETER BROWN is murdered, in the forest, by the Indian, ARROW-TIP!"

The startled woman looked a moment in his face, as if to assure herself that she heard aright. She saw crowding in at the door, and out upon the road, the forms of many of the neighbours. Then all swam before her eyes, and she fainted in her brother's arms.



———

CHAPTER V.19

WRONG DONE—BUT NOT SO BAD AS MIGHT HAVE BEEN.

Just out from the village, when the hunting party started that morning, they had been joined by ARROW-TIP'S brother, the DEER. He, accompanied by a favourite dog, was watching the evolutions of a large bird that lazily skimmed near the surface of a cascade near by—a charming spot, that, were it in the neighbourhood of our eastern cities, would be visited by thousands for its beauty.

"Call the dog from me, brother," said the DEER, "he frightens the bird."

ARROW-TIP did as he was desired. The party had passed on, bidding the two Indians to follow. And the chief sat himself down a moment, at the foot of a large tree, and waited till the successful aim of the DEER should bring the bird to the ground. One hand grasped his hunting-bow, and with the other he caressed the dog.

The plot of the narrative makes it preferable not to detail minutely here all the events that took place during the day. One of those events—a startling and bloody one—has already been intimated to the reader, at the conclusion of the last chapter.

Soon after ARROW-TIP and the DEER came up with the rest of the

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party, whom they found proceeding onward with light and buoyant step—they all arrived at the destined point of their enterprise. It is usual in such cases for a band to be sub-divided into smaller groups, each having its section, or look-out spot. The animals to be hunted are thus encompassed and met at every turn, and seldom fail of becoming, sooner or later, a prey to the sportsmen.

"I think," said Mr. THORNE, "it will be best for QUINCY to come with my party. ARROW-TIP, suppose you and PETER BROWN take the Bend at OAK CREEK for your station?"

"That will suit me," answered the blacksmith.

ARROW-TIP also expressed his consent to the arrangement.

Four or five other groups, of two or three in each, were despatched to their various posts—and the business of the day soon commenced in good earnest.

It was fine sport—and the young villagers of WARREN, in this case, found their labours attended with that alternate good and ill-fortune which makes such amusement more agreeable even than a continued current of success.

A hunt in the western forests! To those who have tasted of the fun, and know its pleasures, we need say but little! With the great woods all about, and no sign of man's neighborhood except the cheerful voices of your companions; with the wide, solemnly wide, stretching of unpeopled territory to a distance which it would take the journey of months to compass; with the blue sky overhead, clear, and not murky from the smoke of a million chimneys; with that strange, and exhilirating, and pervading sense of freedom, which strikes into all your sense and body, as it were, from the illimitable, and untrammelled, and boundless nature of every thing about you—is it not a right manly and glorious sport! There are no appearances of the artificial about such a hunt—no park walls and no cultivated and regularly-laid-out grounds to be crossed. It is all nature—all wild, beautiful, and inspiriting business, which no systematic chasing of a poor deer, within fences, and by trained packs, can equal! One week of such fine and wholesome recreation would do more good to our enervated city gentry, than a hundred gymnasiums, or all the medicines of the drug-shop!

During the morning, and the earlier half of the afternoon, the various groups of the party saw each other at intervals; and those who had been most successful threw out merry gibes against their less fortunate companions.

The day advanced, and the sun wanted but a couple of hours to his setting. Mr. THORNE, and one or two others, who, being the elder and more experienced, had, by general consent, been called upon to act as leaders of the party, began to think of collecting their scattered forces and returning homeward.

It was at this period that the following incident happened—casting a gloom over the occasion, and throwing the whole of the village, when it became known, in a paroxysm of agitation and horror.

Two of the hunters, young men who had come out with the rest of the party, had to pass, on their return to the general rendezvous, near the station assigned to PETER BROWN and the Indian. The young

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men made themselves a rude raft, and were floating down the river toward their destination—for this was an easier and more agreeable method of travelling than breaking their way through the thickets of the forest. As they came off against the mouth of OAK CREEK they heard sounds of human voices in the wood, in loud and angry talk. They paused and listened. They soon distinguished the voices to be those of the blacksmith and ARROW-TIP.

From where they were situated, the hunters could not distinctly see the quarrellers—but the latter were within a few rods, and their voices, and much of what they said, might be easily heard. BROWN was plainly wrought up to a high pitch of passion, and swore most terribly. Not many moments elapsed before the two men upon the raft were convinced that the dispute had resulted in a scuffle. Fearful that some more than ordinary harm might be the consequence, they seized their poles, and rapidly pushed the raft to the shore. Upon landing there, to penetrate the wood, and reach the place of the combatants, took them but a few moments.

They started in alarm as they came in close view of the spot. No scuffling or angry words were there now. BROWN, the blacksmith, lay upon the ground with a heavy gash on the side of his head—and ARROW-TIP stood leaning calmly and sullenly against a tree.

"Good God!" exclaimed one of the intruders, "he has murdered him!"

They stepped quickly to BROWN'S prostrate form, and raised him up in a sitting posture—but it was too late. All sense was gone, and they saw that what they could do to restore him, would be of little avail.

Horror-struck at the terrible nature of the whole affair—the impulse of both the men was first to fly the place and bring some of their companions. Then a very natural sentiment of indignation arose in their bosoms toward the murderer, who stood there with so much apathy. They feared that if they left the spot, he would escape.

"Chief!" said he who had first spoken, "you have done a dammed action—and must go with us to answer for it!"

ARROW-TIP made no sign of repugnance. Had he done so, indeed, the result might have been somewhat unfavourable to the others. He was a strong and agile man, and held in his grasp the gun which they recognized as belonging to BROWN. Once only, as a remark was passed between them, about the propriety of binding his arms, the savage looked toward their faces with a glance which caused them to desist from their intention.

ARROW-TIP then, as they signed him to follow, walked after them. He spoke not a word, and offered nothing in the shape of remonstrance, excuse, or justification.

Ere they left the ground, one of the hunters took a blanket, which he happened to have with him, and threw it over the senseless body. It was to be there but a few minutes—when they would return, and bear it to the village, in company with the criminal, whom they desired first to place in security.



———



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CHAPTER VI.

ONE PERSON'S WICKED HOPES BLASTED, AND ANOTHER'S FERVENT DESIRE GRATIFIED.

Return we to the scene of the conflict, and to the senseless body. The hunters were mistaken in supposing it dead. Though severely injured, BROWN was not deprived of life—the blow had stunned him, and the loss of blood made him faint.

Some fifteen minutes elapsed, and the flickering consciousness of existence came back to the wounded man. It came, at first painful and dream-like—then fuller and with more distinctness. When he awoke to a knowledge of his situation, and realized why it was that he lay there with a bloody gash upon his temple, and his hair clotted, and his limbs quite nerveless—he remembered the altercation, and the blows passed between himself and the Indian. Cooler in temper now, he thought of twenty little things wherein he had been in the wrong, and he determined to make up the quarrel, the first time he and the chief met. He shut his eyes a moment, conscious of a drowsy and disagreeable sensation.

What impish creature was that who met BROWN'S gaze as he looked again? The leaves and the twigs crackled, and a form which mocked the outlines of humanity bent over him. It was BODDO.

"Hah!" said the half-breed, an expression of dissatisfaction settling upon his face; "is he alive? I thought the blow had killed him outright!"

And a second time, and more plainly, his disappointment was evinced upon his features.

"How came you here?" said BROWN, in a weak voice.

"I saw it all," answered the hunchback, chuckling. "O, I saw it all. I have followed him—curse him forever! since the morning; and I thought he had killed you. Don't you call that murder?"

The wounded man made a sign of assent.

"And then he would have been hung! O, that it might——"

BODDO paused, for he saw he was going too far. He had a species of cunning, notwithstanding his natural dulness—and that taught him, on the present occasion, to repress the remark he was going to make—nothing more or less than sorrow because the savage had not indeed made himself amenable to the severest punishment of the law.

"I am as weak as a baby," said PETER. "O, what would I give for a drink of cool water, and a quiet rest of an hour or two!"

And a spasm of agony passed over the countenance of the speaker. He was evidently under much suffering.

"There is a place," rejoined BODDO, "nearer at hand, perhaps, then you imagine, where you might get what you wish."

The blacksmith looked up with a mute glance of inquiry in the other's face.

"Yonder," continued BODDO, "where you see the crooked oak, is the cave of Father LUKE. I have been there, and know the spot."

"Help me thither," said BROWN, "and when I am taken home, I will remember your kindness."



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He slightly raised his body, and waited for the hunchback's further assistance.

"See!" said that malicious personage, grinning, "how important is your BODDO, in cases of extremity! All along, no people care for him, except to mock him, until they are harmed, and then they ask his aid."

BROWN, had he possessed his strength, would have found a summary way of replying to the provoking speech; but he was now fain to submit, and silently wait his pleasure.

The hunchback bent at the side of the blacksmith, and assisted him to rise. It was hardly until that moment that BROWN felt how much injured he had really been. He could hardly hold himself up—and he shivered with a chill, and felt deadly sick.

So with slow and unsteady pace, leaning upon BODDO, and often stopping to rest against the trunk of a friendly tree, he traversed the few rods, which intervened between the place of the quarrel and the rude dwelling of the Lonesome Man.

BODDO parted the shrubs around its entrance, and showed his companion the method of the safest ingress—for, either by accident or from its occupant's labour, there were certain thorny plants, and various twistings, and dark turns, which required some heed to tread uninjured.

When they came into the room of the monk, they found it untenanted, and without life or noise. They saw from the appearance of things that its dweller had probably left it that morning, and no doubt he would be back ere long.

"Take that vessel," said PETER, faintly, pointing to a large tin cup which hung on the wall, "and bring me some water, from the nearest spring. I am dizzy and thirsty."

BODDO did as he was desired; and the sick man threw himself on a heap of skins that lay in one corner. He felt strangely, and miserably. Perhaps, even now, the death ARROW-TIP had failed of inflicting, might not be far distant. He would have given half his little estate, had he been at home, and with his wife to soothe his sickness.

The indolent half-breed, loitering on his way to the spring, notwithstanding the emergency of the time, heard a step along the path near by, and, turning, saw Father LUKE wending his way with hasty strides, and agitated features.

"Know you aught of this terrible business, my son?" said he, addressing BODDO, with a title which the poor wretch little knew his right to, in a worldly sense, as well as from the usage of the church. "They tell me in the village that PETER BROWN is murdered by ARROW-TIP!"

"What they say in the village is often false as true," replied BODDO, with a sneer.

The monk saw that the hunchback could relate more of the business—and a hope sprung in his mind that he should perhaps hear a refutation of the fearful rumour.

"Good son," said he, "do not tamper with me. Describe what you may of the matter, at once."

"Well, then," continued the other, "the plain truth is, that the Indian

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would have killed PETER, and did so try. But PETER, having a very thick skull, his life was saved. I saw it all myself. They came and took ARROW-TIP away; and probably have him in the village, at this moment, where——"

"I know that," interrupted the holy father, impatiently; "I am just from WARREN myself, and know all about that. Tell me where is BROWN now?"

"Seeing the poor fellow in such distress," BODDO went on, "though to tell the fact, he did not know it himself for quite a long while—I, with my usual good kindness, walked round him and round him, and prayed for his recovery."

The hunchback leered.

"Blaspheme not!" said the monk, sharply. "Hasten with your narration, and use no more such wicked ridicule!"

"Shortly he came to himself, and I have taken the liberty of showing him the way to your luxurious dwelling, where he is at this moment reposing. Being dry, he wished a cup of water, which I am now to bring."

"God in heaven be blessed!" was the fervent ejaculation of the monk, as he heard BODDO's recital. "The curse of the Avenger of Blood will not fall on the chief's head—and the misery and crime be saved!"

Then bidding BODDO make speed, he turned toward the cave with a lighter heart.



———

CHAPTER VII.20

THE TRUTH, KNOWN TO ONE WHO MIGHT HAVE MADE MANY HAPPY BY TELLING IT, KEPT BACK FOR REVENGE.

PETER BROWN was indeed much injured. When the monk looked upon him he saw that it would be dangerous to have him carried the distance between the cave and the village. Father LUKE, as is frequently the case with those of his profession, had considerable knowledge of surgery and medicine—and he determined to tax that knowledge to its utmost for the benefit of his guest.

He prepared a simple plaster, and washing the wound, bound it round the blacksmith's head. Some cooling drinks were then given him, and he felt less faint.

"Tell me," said he to the monk, "what was done in the village, where you say you heard of this silly matter."

Father LUKE thought the talk might wile away his patient's thoughts from his suffering, and he readily acceded to his request.

"You may imagine," said he, "with what horror we first heard the story of your death, and in such a manner. Your poor wife, with whom I had been for a couple of hours, was like one distracted—and wished at once to start forth for the scene of the calamity. We of course prevented her, for that would have done no good, even had the case been as bad as stated.



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"Shortly, on going into the heart of the village, I saw the hunting party themselves. ARROW-TIP was there, in custody between two of your neighbours, of whom I inquired more particularly with respect to your death. They stated that it was too true—that they had themselves seen your corpse. From what BODDO there has told me, it must have been while you were lying senseless after the blow. Bitterly grieving that such sad things should disturb the happiness of our peaceful settlement, I questioned the men over and over again with regard to the details of their story. But they told that story with evident truth—and I could not but believe them.

"It was hastily arranged that a party should be immediately despatched for your dead body. And in the mean time, ARROW-TIP was to be strictly guarded, and prevented from any chance of escape, until proper measures could be taken for his punishment. Judging from the fierce glances of your neighbours toward him—and their strongly-uttered sentiments of revenge—the poor Indian's fate, had you indeed been killed, would have proved quite as painful as yours; and, indeed, he would have followed you before many hours. A band of six are to keep watch day and night, in the strong room where he is confined."

Painful as was the situation of the blacksmith, he could not help feeling some sympathy for ARROW-TIP, to whose proud nature he knew the scoffs and threats of the villagers would be scathing agony. Confinement, too, even for a few hours, was a terrible infliction to such a being as the Indian chief—apart from the disgrace—which, in itself, was no small matter.

"Let BODDO go at once to the village," said the blacksmith, "and tell the truth of the story. And I would not have my wife come hither, at least at present—for I think of no good she can do. Now let us talk no more; for I feel a strange drowsiness all over me, and would sleep. Tell me, Father LUKE, how long do you think will be the duration of my illness?"

"That," answered the monk, looking reverently upward, "is in the hands of GOD. But judging from the best of my knowledge, I may be able to recover you in three days, so that you can travel to your own house. At present you are not fit to walk a rod. At this very moment you are falling into a fever which will require all my watchfulness. Now, my son, compose yourself to sleep."

Drawing down a rude curtain that served the double office of door and of shade—if the latter were needed in so obscure an apartment—the monk took BODDO by the hand, and stepping into the outer part of the hut, gave him his directions, and his message, and bade him hasten to the village. The hunchback sullenly listened, and made no rejoinder, as he started forth on his errand. Then softly stepping in again, the Lonesome Man took his seat beside the blacksmith, who already slumbered. He saw that his patient would indeed need his closest and most unremitting care.

Let us go with BODDO toward the village. Why, as this hapless creature arrived beyond sight of the entrance to Father LUKE'S dwelling—why did he stop, and gaze cautiously around a moment, sit himself down upon a bank, and remain there a long hour, apparently buried

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in the profoundest meditation? What thoughts passed through the miserable young man's brain as he rested there? What strange wishes, or petty resolves of evil, or hopes for revenge?

In the early light of that very day, it will be remembered, the hunchback had been detected by ARROW-TIP in a theft, and exposed before all of Mr. THORNE'S family. BODDO, used as he was to all kinds of scorn and insult—had times when the bestowal of such insult would plant itself so deeply within his breast that it could never be blotted out, but by signal revenge. Once he was known to have kept, for nearly two years, the memory of a blow given him by a boy, and taken vengeance for it, at last, by destroying a pet dog of his young injurer. Another time, when refused by an irritable dame a drink of water, he, ten months afterward, frightened the woman half to death, by wrapping a white garment around him, and starting out before her as she returned alone one evening from a tea-party, with some of her gossips. Numerous were the instances in which he would suddenly verge from his sometime patient endurance of contempt—such as that related at the opening of this tale—and resolve upon a signal scheme of retaliation.

The present case, as he turned it over in his mind, might afford him an opportunity of repaying ARROW-TIP for the shame of the event of the morning. The chief was now in custody in the village, and, according to Father LUKE'S account, surrounded by those who had little good-will toward him. BODDO felt sure that the course of justice—were the people allowed to remain with the unquestioned belief of PETER BROWN'S death—would neither be very lenient, nor wait very long to be carried to its consummation. Suppose he should not do his errand, as enjoined upon him by BROWN and the monk? The monk himself, in all probability, would be unable to leave the cave to visit the village—and they had desired him to request the absence of the immediate friends of the murdered one.21 Would not his revenge then triumph?

The malignant hunchback laughed in his heart, as he determined upon carrying out this plan. He rose, and with the swiftness of a deer, more than that of man, he soon gained the neighbourhood of the village.

Within a hundred rods, or thereabout, of the outermost house, BODDO beheld a party of eight or ten men approaching him with sedate and gloomy demeanour. Among them was QUINCY THORNE. They paid no attention to the hunchback, although he was directly in their path. But that personage, suspecting their errand, determined on accompanying them. He attached himself to QUINCY, entered into conversation with him, and walked on with the rest.

"You have seen the body you say?" asked the boy, in rejoinder to something the hunchback was telling him; "and you are sure it was quite dead?"

Without design, QUINCY looked full into the other's eyes. BODDO, resolute and imprudent as he was, could not stand that gaze. His countenance expressed something from which young THORNE strongly judged he knew more of the matter than he felt disposed to tell.

"It was cold and stiff as a nail," answered BODDO, "and I was frightened, and run away from the place."



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Less than an hour brought them to the limits of the spot. The two hunters who had heard the conflict, and carried ARROW-TIP to the rendezvous a prisoner, were with them, and pointed out the way.

How were they amazed upon coming to the exact place, to find the blacksmith's body missing! There were tracks and signs of a struggle—and the blood lay thick upon the leaves where the hunters told BROWN'S body had been—but the corpse itself was no where to be seen!

For a minute or two they gazed on one another, without knowing what to do or say.

"Comrades!" said one of them, suddenly, "a new light breaks upon me. We all know that the brother of this cursed ARROW-TIP is near at hand. He was with us in the hunt. Without doubt he has concealed the body, in the hope to give the murderer a chance of escape from justice!"

The glances which, from each to his fellow, followed this opinion, showed that every one assented to it.



———

CHAPTER VIII.22

A HASTY JUDGMENT—A CRIMINAL'S STORY—AND THE PEOPLE'S DECISION.

In many of the towns, to the west and south, it is well known, the punishment of crime is without the delays and necessary forms, and statutable restrictions, of our older cities and states. The only law, in fact, to some of the more remote of these places, is public will, and public feeling—a dangerous state of things in a large and vicious city, but far from being attended with the evils which many people imagine, when exercised in the places we allude to. At all events, it is better to be under this sovereign and self-constituted power, than to have no law at all.

When the men returned to WARREN that evening, with the strange news of the disappearance of the corpse—the same sentiment prevailed among the villagers which has been mentioned in the concluding lines of the last chapter. It served perhaps to deepen their indignation, and make them anxious for a more hasty retribution on the head of him who was considered as the murderer.

"Let us," said they, "let us not wait, in this affair, and give the savage a chance of escape. But let us act as determined men, and have blood for blood!"

The watch, that night, had been arranged for six persons, who were thought a sufficient surety that ARROW-TIP could not get away. But so sanguinary23 was the spirit of the inhabitants that half the young men in the place turned out, and surrounded the strong room, where the prisoner was confined, lest some little opportunity might occur, which would lead to a failure in the fulfilment of their gloomy purpose.

The brother of ARROW-TIP, the DEER, appeared among them. As he approached, they lowered fierce glances upon him, which he returned not. He made a simple request to be permitted to see ARROW-TIP—which they at once, and without parley, refused. He turned and calmly

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left the place. One or two among them spoke of the propriety of placing the DEER also in durance24—but this, upon further consideration, was abandoned.

No one knew the thoughts of the imprisoned chief, that weary night, but his GREAT SPIRIT. He spoke not to those about him—preserving a calm and lofty aspect, and making no answer to their scoffs and taunts.

Day came again. They found him—when they went in the room, at the first streak of light, impelled by a feverish jealousy lest he might still have evaded their vigilance and got away—they found him standing there still, and silent and haughty. His hair, part of it, had fallen down over his forehead and his eyes. He was too abstracted, even, to lift his hand, and push it away.

The morning meal which they gave him, he partook of in moderation. And as the people of the place—men, women and children—came during the course of the forenoon, to gaze in upon him, as upon some strange monster, brought from a distant clime—he preserved the same attitude, and even brushed not the hair away from his eyes where it had fallen again.

About an hour past noon, three of the oldest men in WARREN, (the oldest of the three was but five-and forty years) made their way through the crowd, and came in apparently upon important business connected with the prisoner, and his crime.

"Chief!" said the leader of the trio, "it is needless for us to tell you why you are confined here, and what may be the nature of the punishment for the deed you have committed."

ARROW-TIP glanced upon them with apathy, and made no reply.

"Chief!" said the first speaker, again, "it is ill that you act so obstinately—and preserve this childish silence. A grown man should not be stubborn, like a dumb brute that has no knowledge."

"It is not ill," said the savage, quietly; "I am silent, because I have seen no fit occasion to speak. What would you have me say?"

"My companions and myself have been sent hither," answered the other, "to learn from you what you can tell us of the quarrel and fight, which ended as fatally."

ARROW-TIP paused a moment, in thought. Then waving his hand toward the door, he said,

"I have little to tell, but let it be told to all—not to three only. Let me speak to your brothers and kinsmen also."

"As you desire," was the reply.

One of the three opened the door, and gave some direction to a person without. They then emerged, all together, and walked onward to an open green, on one side of which was the school-house, and on the other the church. It was a kind of public assembly ground, and there four-fifths of the people were at that moment gathered.

As ARROW-TIP, in company with the three, approached this, what was to be in some sense his tribunal,25 there was silence throughout the whole spot, and all eyes were directed toward him.

He told his story. It was a plain tale—and bore not strongly either toward his guilt or innocence.



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BROWN and he, as most of those present knew, had been despatched together to the Bend station. In the course of the day, they were frequently seen, like the others, and had themselves seen the others.

When they first arrived at the station, (we are giving the substance of the story of ARROW-TIP himself) the chief made a banter with the blacksmith, that the latter would kill no game. In a merry vein, he bet his tobacco-pouch against a rude kind of weapon, half-hatchet and half-poniard,26 that BROWN had made himself, and then carried in his girdle. The day passed on, and it was plain that the chief would in all probability gain his wager. BROWN was a man of considerable heat of temper, and his ill success in the sport, and the laughing gibes of ARROW-TIP—(for it is an error to suppose that our American Indians invariably retain their sedateness)—caused him to become more than ordinarily fretful.

At last the signal for their return to the rendezvous was heard, and they prepared to obey it—carrying nothing to the common stock. The chief still continued his provoking raillery, and the blacksmith was rapidly losing all command over his passions.

It was at this unfortunate juncture that ARROW-TIP was heedless enough to attempt seizing the weapon at PETER'S girdle, which was now become his prize. The difficulty merged at this point into a scuffle, and in the scuffle the blow was given, which was supposed to have caused the blacksmith's death.

Thus the chief concluded his story. He himself entertained no doubt that BROWN was dead. But when told that his brother had taken away the body, he made no answer but a glance of scorn. Of all those there convened, one only, the hunchback, BODDO, knew the full truth—and could have set the whole matter right, and the prisoner free, and poured joy into the hearts of the wife, and BROWN'S friends, had he so chosen. But he did not choose.

A short communion took place between the men of WARREN. There was no judge, and no jury. Each grown man was admitted to the conference, and listened to with respect. For each knew that the present case was a matter which touched the happiness and interest of his neighbour as much as himself.

Perhaps the time which was consumed in this deliberation upon the fate of the chief, might have been an hour, perhaps less, certainly not more. Reader, such deliberations, and such methods of administering justice may perhaps appear to you as fictitious—and part of a tale of fiction. It is not so. There may be found, in the region of the scene of these transactions, many a place where the same course is held in criminal cases. And it may be doubted whether, after all, the result is at the risk of being more inconsistent with justice than in courts of law in our Atlantic towns.

"Chief," said the one who had acted as messenger two hours before, "we look upon you as guilty of murder. We shall take your life for that of our brother. We shall kill you. To-morrow, when the sun is at the highest, you will look for the last time on the light!"

ARROW-TIP'S countenance changed not, nor did his lip quiver. One

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passionate and wild glance only he cast around him, as if in quest of his brother, or of some look of sympathy. He found neither.



———

CHAPTER IX.27

SUMMING UP OF THE CASE.

"Ha! ha! ha!" came the children's laughter.

It was a simple, and yet awful commentary on the dispositions of human hearts—that laughter! For the merry tones were the same to all appearance, which had been uttered several days previous, when Master CALEB gave his flock a holiday, for PETER BROWN'S wedding. This second laugh, and just as gleesome, commemorated the bestowal, that morning, of another holiday, for the hanging of PETER BROWN'S murderer.

The day was warm and sunny. A languid breath of wind, now and then, fluttered the leaves of the trees—but for the most time, the sun shone down as upon a sleeping and a lifeless place. Even the laugh of the heedless children soon hushed, of their own accord; for a sombre spirit pervaded the people of WARREN—a resolute spirit, however—resolute to have the life-blood of him who had taken life.

Let us open the doors of the strong room and go in there. ARROW-TIP stood against the wall, by a window—it was the only one, and a little child's body could not have been twisted through, so small was it—and gazed forth upon the land, and the trees, and a small strip of the bright river beyond. He could see only a small strip—but it was pleasant; and many minutes glided on as he gazed. Haply, he pondered upon scenes and people far away in the early years—scenes not to come any more, but which it was a great delight to think of. A smile passed over his face then.

The sounds of talking outside, and something like disturbance, interrupted the chief's meditation. His brother, the DEER, entered and stood before him. They had consented to let him pay this visit, at last. Mr. THORNE had interceded in his behalf.

For several minutes neither spoke. ARROW-TIP himself was as calm as the most placid lake in the forest,—but the features of the other were convulsed in agony.

"Brother!" said the chief, with dignity, "I see the eyes of our parents looking down upon us. Very soon, I shall talk to them. They will ask me of news about my brother. Let me not say, I left him weeping like a girl!"

His remonstrance produced the effect he wished. Shortly, the face of the DEER was as calm as his own.

"The path," said the new comer, "will be dark, and the white man's taunts hot, for the last hour of a warrior's life!"

"I can bear both," was the laconic answer.

"And my path," plaintively continued the younger brother, drawing nigh, and resting his face on ARROW-TIP'S shoulder, "as I look forth

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upon the passing of the moons—is bitter and lonesome, not for an hour, but for years. O, brother, the GREAT SPIRIT has frowned upon our race. We melt away, like the snows in spring."

"It is the will of the SPIRIT."

"Yet I am glad," continued the DEER, true to the instincts of his people, "I am glad that you die like an old brave! We will laugh in the very faces of the whites!"

ARROW-TIP smiled, quietly. He, too, had been bred in the school of those sturdy stoics.

"Death is but a puff of air," said he, "and in the distance lie the Green Hunting Grounds of the honest Indian. They are fair. Our kinsmen beckon me to them with smiles and friendly gestures. Why should I fear to go?"

"But the tidings will cloud the faces of our tribe in darkness."

"Tell them," rejoined the chief, "that I met my punishment as a hunter grasps the hand of one he loves. Tell them of the customs of these white people—our own are the same—which require of him who destroys one of their number, his own life as a sacrifice. When I came hither, not many days since, I was near to death, even then—and my fate would have happened to me, but for the medicine-knowledge of two or three kind men of the settlement. Brother, wait till the last is over, and then carry me away a little distance from the sight of these people's dwellings, and bury me with my face toward the Pleasant Hunting Grounds. Let us talk no more!"

The courage of the younger Indian failed him at this speech again. The piteous sight of a man abandoned to the excess of sorrow, is fearful at any time. It could not but be doubly so, in the present case, from the general apathy and haughtiness of the savage character.

It was now ten o'clock, and the sun stood high in the heavens. On the green where ARROW-TIP had received judgment, the day before, the people of WARREN were assembled again to witness the performance of that judgment.

While they were waiting thus, some of them chatting in groups, and others vacantly gazing at the rude scaffold28 and rope—QUINCY THORNE came hurriedly in among them, and inquired for Master CALEB, the teacher. Finding him, the two drew aside from the mass, the boy leading his companion. They conferred together a few minutes, with much animation and many gestures of wonder—and then both hurried away toward a path which led from the village along the river's edge.

We will pause here a moment to explain. Two of the school-boys who had received their permission of a holiday that morning, determining to enjoy it to the utmost, agreed to take a ramble in the forest, on some juvenile project or other, which they might do, and still return in time to behold the sight—as they termed the event of the day. Unconsciously, in their wanderings, they came upon the very opening where BROWN and the chief had fought. The sudden recollections brought up by seeing the place, and the blood which was even yet visible on the ground, frightened one of the children: and in their hasty retreat from the spot, how much more were they alarmed on gaining the banks of the stream, to see, reclining there in the sunshine, the shape

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of the now wan and pallid-faced PETER BROWN himself. To their horrified imaginations, it was the spectre of a murdered corpse. They ran, pale and breathless, toward the village, and meeting QUINCY there, told him with gasping voices what they had witnessed. The youth lost not a moment in seeking out his friend, Master CALEB, and in conveying the information to him. Joined with the strange manner of BODDO, and with QUINCY'S previous strongly entertained suspicions, the teacher and his young intimate had no doubt that the case was, as it in truth was, and as it has been related to the reader. They immediately determined upon their plan of action.

Meanwhile, BROWN, wondering that some of his neighbours had not at least called at the cave to see him, was importunate with the monk that he might be allowed to walk home. Solitude had few charms for the blacksmith, whatever Father LUKE thought upon the subject. As he returned to the cave from the idle lounge in the sun, where he had unconsciously so alarmed the two school-boys, he again asked the monk when he could safely walk the distance of the village:

"Though judging by the cool kindness of my friends," said he, peevishly, "it will make little difference if I remain away for months."

"Patience, my son!" said the holy father; "to-morrow I will myself accompany you thither. As yet, your strength is hardly equal to the task."

And the invalid, though ill-satisfied, was forced to be content.

"But, see!" exclaimed the monk, "as if to reprove you for your ungrateful vexation, yonder come two of your townsmen—and with a pace which speaks little of indifference for your company."

The two were Master CALEB and QUINCY THORNE.

It would be superfluous here, were we to dwell on the rapid and graphic narration of the visitors to BROWN and Father LUKE. With a flushed cheek, and without speaking, the blacksmith snatched up a blanket—the blanket the two hunters had thrown over his senseless form in the forest—and strode forth from the cave.

At about the same period when the teacher and his companion first appeared to the sight of the monk—the self-appointed guard opened the doors of the room where ARROW-TIP was confined, and bade him come forth. He did so, and his brother with him. What wondrous power those rude savages have over the expression of their features! The condemned Indian, you might have thought, was starting upon a hunt, instead of marching to an ignominious death! The other, also, had mastered his agony once more.

They passed through the multitude, and the chief stood upon the scaffold.

O, GOD OF THE INNOCENT! throw strength amid the sinews of that sweaty-faced man in the forest, who, with strained eyes, and unsteady steps, is dashing through the tangled shrubs and the thick underwood—whose thorny and jagged branches have wounded him in many places, though he sees not the trickling blood, nor feels the smart!

All around the scaffold were the dogged and lowering countenances of men—telling of an unrelenting purpose, and of no hope. It was a strange spectable. Those hewers of the forest—and even the women

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and children had gathered there—and the lofty bearing of the chief—and that, still more difficult to uphold, calm aspect of his brother—and all this in the bright glare of a noon-day sun—and the spot, far, far away from the bound of the cities—may it not well be called a strange spectacle?

They arranged the last dread and sickening preparations, immediately preceding the death of criminals by that awful method. Could it be that high heaven should look down and see this unjust doom consummated—and not interpose?

No sound disturbed that horrible silence, except the shuffling movements of two men, to whose lot it had fallen to act in the execution. The men started at the noise they themselves made—for it seemed unnatural, and struck upon the ear with a strange vibration.

O, what a quiver was that which ran through the limbs—and, as it were, the very souls—of all those assembled thereabout! It was followed by perfect silence.

Wo-hoa-a!—Wo-hoa-a!—came a faint and hoarse shout from a bend in the road, at some thirty rods distant. Very faint and very hoarse it came. It was too late!

Then, with wild and ghastly visage, and with the phrenzied contortions of a madman in his worst paroxysm, PETER BROWN dashed along the path and among them. His blood-shot eyes were fixed upon a hideous object dangling in the air. He rushed up to the scaffold—but his limbs failed him, and he could not ascend the ladder. His head vibrated to and fro, like the pendulum of a clock, and he beckoned and tried to speak, though for several moments they could not hear what he said, or rather tried to say.

"Quick! Quick!" came at last from his throat, in a gasping whisper; "cut the rope, he may not yet be dead!"

It was all too late.

Three days after these events, a pilgrim traveller might have been seen, wending his way through the regions of the west, toward the north-east. He was not unaccompanied. An Indian, who seldom spoke, and over whose face a gloom and wildness were spread, trod at his side. They were the monk, called in this narration Father LUKE, and the miserable brother of ARROW-TIP.

An aged and gentle-hearted friar, some few years after, was laid away to the last repose, beloved by all his fellows; and at the same time, many hundred miles distant, an Indian leader, the remnant of his family, led his tribe still farther to the west, to grounds where they never would be annoyed, in their generation at least, by the presence of the white intruders.

Scorned and abhorred by man, woman, and child, the half-breed, through whose malicious disposition the fatal termination took place which has been narrated, fled the settlement of WARREN. Whether he perished in the wilds, or even now lives a degraded and grovelling life, in some other town, no one can tell.

Master CALEB has risen in his fortunes. As the extent and population of the town wherein we have introduced him, increased, it was

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thought fit to have an incorporated academy. Master CALEB is at the head of it. QUINCY THORNE, a popular and intelligent young man, whom they think of holding up as a candidate for a respectable legislative office, still keeps communion of friendship with his early and excellent teacher. PETER BROWN, although he has quite a family of little children, finds time, now and then, to utter eloquent homilies in praise of the young political aspirant—than whom he thinks no one is more worthy.



———


Notes:

1. This tale is longer than his other short fiction pieces; "Arrow-Tip," therefore, may be considered a novella. Whitman revised and reprinted this novella or "novelette," as he would later call it, in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle as a work of serial fiction in eight installments on June 1–6, 8, 9, 1846, while he was editor of that paper. Whitman retitled the novella "The Half-Breed; A Tale of the Western Frontier" when he published it in the Eagle. The installments were sometimes preceded by poems on the front pages of the Eagle; a poem titled "The Play-Ground," which has been attributed to Whitman, appears on the same page as the first installment of "The Half-Breed" on June 1, 1846. Other poetry pairings and some of Whitman's revisions to the language of the story for publication in the Eagle are listed in our footnotes below. For a complete list of revisions to the language of the novella made by Whitman for publication in the Eagle, see Thomas L. Brasher, ed., The Collected Writings of Walt Whitman: The Early Poems and the Fiction (New York: New York University Press, 1963), 257–291. For the publication history of Whitman's novella, see "About 'Arrow-Tip.'" [back]

2. Whitman took out the chapter titles when he republished this story in the Eagle. [back]

3. In the Eagle, Whitman revised this to "seven years previously." [back]

4. In the Eagle, this has been revised to read: "the passionate half-breed, making an impotent attempt at blows, which they easily foiled." [back]

5. In the Eagle, this has been revised to read: "And the hunchback, garrulous by nature and glad no doubt, to be let off thus easily, at once commenced his recital—which we shall take the liberty, however, for our readers' sake, of giving in our own style." [back]

6. Whitman added the clause "dimly lighted in some way from above" in the Eagle installment. [back]

7. Bellows and anvils are common blacksmithing tools. A bellows is a device that provides a gust of air when its two ends are brought together, and an anvil is a hard block on which another object is struck. [back]

8. Whitman began the second installment of the story here when he republished it in the Eagle on June 2, 1846. In the Eagle, this installment is preceded by a poem titled "The Battle of the Rio Grande," attributed to Rev. T. B. Thayer. [back]

9. A physic-chest is a medicine chest. A land-agent manages the sale of property. [back]

10. An apothecary is an archaic reference to what would now be called a pharmacist, or someone who prepares and sells drugs or medicines. [back]

11. In the Eagle, this reads: "something, which had taken place in former years now served as a memento." [back]

12. Whitman revised this to "for not many years ago" in the Eagle. [back]

13. In the Eagle, this reads: It was before they came to live in Warren; for their acquaintance with Arrow-Tip dated many years back." [back]

14. A sachem is a chief or leader of a Native American tribe. [back]

15. Whitman began the third installment of the story here when he republished it in the Eagle on June 3, 1846. [back]

16. A granary is a storehouse, typically for grain. [back]

17. Whitman began the fourth installment of the story here when he republished it in the Eagle on June 4, 1846. In the Eagle, this installment is preceded by a poem titled "Summer," labeled "For the Daily Eagle." No author is listed. [back]

18. The word "rake" was used to describe a fashionable individual with dissolute or self-indulgent habits. [back]

19. Whitman began the fifth installment of the story here when he republished it in the Eagle on June 5, 1846. [back]

20. Whitman began the sixth installment of the story here when he republished it in the Eagle on June 6, 1846. In the Eagle, this installment is preceded by a poem titled "The old man in Thought," attributed to Thos. Haynes Bayly. [back]

21. In the Eagle, this reads: "the immediate friends of the blacksmith." [back]

22. Whitman began the seventh installment of the story here when he republished it in the Eagle on June 8, 1846. In the Eagle, this installment is preceded by a poem titled "The Sleeping Wife," attributed to J. L. Chester. [back]

23. Sanguinary means involving or related to bloodshed. [back]

24. Placing someone in durance means imprisoning or forcibly confining them. [back]

25. A tribunal is a place, act, or body of judgment, generally involving an assembly. [back]

26. A poniard is a type of small, narrow knife or dagger. [back]

27. Whitman began the eighth and final installment of the story here when he republished it in the Eagle on June 9, 1846. In the Eagle, this installment is preceded by a poem titled "Nameless Martyrs," attributed to Mrs. [Felicia] Hemans. The section of the poem that appears in the Eagle under the title "Nameless Martyrs" was part of a longer poem originally titled "The Graves of Martyrs." The subject of this poem, the unmarked graves of martyrs who died "For Truth, for Heaven, for Freedom's sake," seems to resonate with Arrow-Tip's hanging in this chapter for a crime he did not commit. [back]

28. A scaffold is an elevated platform structure, generally made out of wood, that was used in the nineteenth-century for the execution of criminals. [back]


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