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nor without a thought, I trust, of the great Providence that some English officers quartered in Galway were which there was manifested, whereof the ungraven so delighted with its performance, that they resolved steep itself stands an eternal witness.
to have it at any price. The owner parted very reluctantly with his favourite, which was regularly
installed at the barracks. Possibly, if his new friends NOTES ON NATURAL HISTORY.
had waited a sufficient time to gain his affections by Having devoted some space in a former paper to kindness, all might have been well; but, anxious for particulars connected with my special favourite, the sport, they took him on the water, and let him go. In pretty and affectionate bullfinch, the very prince of a short time, the otter reappeared with a salmon in his European cage-birds, I shall here say a word about jaws, and, as usual, swam for the boat. As he drew the house or dwelling usually provided for him. I near, a thought seemed to strike him, and he hesitated,
looked into the faces of those whom he could see, think that nothing can be more wantonly cruel than swam about a little, as if pursuing his scrutiny, and at the common practice of leaving the poor bird exposed last dived, and was seen no more! The probability is, to the hourly danger of being dragged through his that missing the master whom he knew, he had not prison bars, and perishing miserably by the fangs of sufficient acquaintance with his new possessors to care the cat. I have myself adopted the mode of placing for their company. I have good information from the upright wires of the cage so close that no cat's other sources of the capacity of the otter for domestipaw could possibly pass between them, at the same
cation. This capacity seems to be the distinguishing
mark of certain races. time allowing the cross-wires to run within about organic differences in the brain
and nervous system.
I suppose it to represent an inch and a half of each other. I would suggest, as
We have seen that the pheasant and gray partridge more elegant, a slight wire-lattice covering the whole
are incapable of domestication, while other denizens of cage, and the meshes of which should not leave more the wood and field yield to it at once.
So it appears than a quarter of an inch opening. This might be to be among quadrupeds. The fox and wolf, although made of very thin brass wire, and would not look often tried, never have been truly tamed, so far as I amiss; at all events, it is to be hoped that cat-proof know. They do not seem to have brain enough for it; cages made on this principle, or some other, will one and the silly instinct of timidity-silly, I mean, when day be in general use. Apropos of bullfinches, it is no cause justifies it—is too strong to be got over. Yet generally thought that they will not breed in captivity: there are some few instances of an exceptional kind, in I know of at least one instance to the contrary: a large which even the wolf has shewn affection to the person cage, and quiet, seem all they require.
by whom he was reared. The low cunning which is An ingenious mode of rearing birds is practised in displayed by these animals in such perfection, must France; at least, I have only seen it there. The young lie in some portion of cerebral matter quite apart from birds with the nest are placed in a small cage, and tied those developments which distinguish the cranium of up near the place in which the nest itself lay. I have the noble and magnanimous dog. How often do we seen the old birds come and attend to the nursing of see individuals of the human species who strikingly their offspring in this way with the utmost zeal and illustrate both temperaments ! success. When we consider how much more skilful There is something very interesting in contemplatthey are in finding the best food, and administering it ing those animals which, still in a wild state, represent in the best manner, we cannot be surprised that in the origin and source of our domestic servants and this way the great losses, otherwise sure to occur, companions. I do not, for my own part, believe that are avoided.
the dog has any more family relationship to the wolf Pigeons are certainly graceful creatures, and inter- than the pheasant has to the domestic fowl. Many esting from many qualities they possess. Some of qualities they have in common, no doubt; but there the peculiar kinds are striking objects, from their odd would seem to be some radical difference, which no appearance or graceful symmetry; but, on the whole, time can obliterate. My belief is, that the dog has, I think them little worth cultivating as pets, however quite apart from the wolf, his wild prototype; and amusing to boys. But they have one advantage to the that, like the South Australian dingo, some animal of dweller in cities who seldom gets a peep at nature in the tribe was to be found in primeval Europe, from her green array ;' they help to keep alive in his heart which all our varieties may have sprung. the soft and humanising impressions which nature Now that I have got upon the subject of dogs, I alone can foster. There is something most delightful must restrain my garrulity, for the theme is inexto the toil-worn mechanic who 'plies his sickly trade' haustible. I shall content myself with alluding to the in some forlorn garret, if he can see a pigeon or two following curious instance of a voluntary association of his own take wing from its window, and after for a common purpose among them, which fell under wheeling gracefully about in mid-heaven, come soaring my own observation. back again to their place. All the little domestic When a boy, I was engaged one evening in watching economy of the fond pair is, in such cases, an interest to get a shot at some rabbits in an ancient park, in ing study; and we seldom find pets like these, birds which were many detached burrows. I was much or flowers, in the dwellings of the spendthrift or the surprised to see two dogs--one large, and the other drunkard.
very small-bound over the fence, and crouching Passing to another class of animals, I come upon down in a hollow space, as if to avoid observation, one I always regard with the greatest interest and gallop rapidly towards one of the warrens. They curiosity: I mean the otter. In a wild state, it is concealed themselves as well as they could, directing one of the most fierce and savage creatures possible. their approach by the course of an old ditch, and, Every one knows of its predatory habits, and the when near the holes, rushing furiously forward, with destruction of fish it occasions; but few are aware the evident design of surprising some outlier. Failing that, if taken very young, it may be brought up as in this, the small dog entered the burrow, and I could tame as a dog, and that it is susceptible of a high hear him barking underground, no doubt to bolt the degree of attachment to its master. I have it from rabbits from their refuge, while his companion stood authority on which I can implicitly rely, that an otter outside, waving his tail in the greatest excitement and was thus tamed, in the west of Ireland, some years watchfulness. At last the little dog returned, and the ago; and that it would descend into the waters of pair set off with all speed for another burrow, where the Lough Corrib, and return to the boat with its prey-same scene was repeated. I did not see that they met generally a salmon-in its mouth. My informant adds, I with any success ; but I suppose they must occasionally have done so; and, on the whole, it has always are examples of it. I knew a case some years ago of a struck me as a very curious instance in its way. It very fine chamois, in the collection of the Duke of illustrates tliis wonderful fact, that animals can inter- Gotha, which became so dangerous that it had to be change ideas without language; and is the more destroyed. By the way, I could not help feeling, when remarkable that they were not forced into this asso- I saw these animals, what a pity it is that so little ciation, as wild dogs are, by any necessity for provid- pains are taken to afford such as are kept in captivity ing, by united efforts, for their common subsistence, some opportunity of shiewing their native qualities. or for the attack upon some prey, against which the These chamois were confined in a small court, with a strength of one would not avail.
miniature attempt at a rocky pinnacle in the centre. Among the creatures which, in a wild state, are Now, it would have cost but a trifle to enclose with interesting, may be mentioned the wild pig. There is wooden poles from the adjoining forest a space consomething in the grisly majesty and fierce self-reliance siderably larger, and within this to have erected of the full-grown boar which impresses itself on all something which might have given these interesting minds. Nothing can be more savage and formidable creatures an opportunity of displaying their wondrous than the countenance of this animal; and his strength agility. Perhaps this additional space and climbing. and speed, when not checked in his range of ground, ground might have saved the life of the beautiful are wonderful. Yet lie is very easily domesticated. A buck, by giving him some vent for his pent-up energies. friend of mine supplied himself with pork and bacon | I was told that nothing could be more formidable than for many years from a breed of pure German wild the way in which he had recently attacked a calf boars; and excellent they were. He had, when I first belonging to the keeper, which unluckily came in his saw them, a magnificent patriarchal old fellow, of tre- way. He charged the poor beast with great violence, mendous appearance, but as gentle as tame pig could inserting the points of his little crooked horns with be. This boar, as he had plenty of successors growing great dexterity in its side, and ripping it open in such up about him, my friend bestowed upon a certain a way as to cause almost instant death. zoological garden, where he became a first-rate attrac- It seems singular that we hear nothing of attempts tion. Whatever else was neglected, one was sure to to introduce the chamois and ibex_into Scotland. see a crowd around the strong paling by which this Ought not the wild solitude of our Highland ranges fierce and dangerous wild beast was confined. “Did to afford them a dwelling suitable to their nature you see the wild boar ?? "Oh, what a hideous monster!' and habits? It may indeed be doubtful whether any was in every mouth. I remember one day creating mountains below the level of perpetual snow would quite a sensation of horror, by going up to the be cool enough for the ibex in summer; but the paling, calling my old acquaintance by name, and, experiment would be well worth trial. when he came up grunting and barking to where I What a noble animal is the now nearly extinct stood, scratching his jaws and poll to his infinite ibex! It is a great mistake to suppose that the satisfaction. This reminds me of a wild-boar anec- chamois disputes with him the honour of the highest dote I had from the late Sir W. Maxwell. It would mountain throne. On the contrary, of all four-footed seem that a friend of his in Scotland had received from creatures, he alone breathes the keen air of the Alpine Germany a splendid boar, which soon after contrived sun mits; and although descending at night to feed in to make his escape, by leaping a wall such as, it was the lower ranges, yet his home is the bosom of the presumed, no pig could possibly get over. He made eternal glacier, stretched at length upon which he his way into a park where a number of young cattle passes the summer-day, and strives to cool by its were grazing; and they, being excited by his strange contact his heated blood. appearance, gave chase at once, and ended by fairly What would one not give to see a herd of these bringing him to bay. I have always heard, on the wonderful creatures, with their huge horns recurved continent, that a boar will overthrow horse and man, almost to the tail, yet skipping lightly from crag to if they abide bis onset, and I fully believe it; but cray, and finding a safe footing amongst the most 80 determined was the onslaught of these stots upon appalling precipices! It is not surprising that the the present one, that, forming a circle around him, chase of the ibex has for the hunter of the Alps all the they contrived to trample him to death, and almost to fascination of gambling. No laws, liowever strict, can atoms.
restrain him; and although, at least in Savoy, it is I have had occasion to remark before, that some of penal to destroy the ibex, the work of slaughter goes the very wildest birds and animals are capable of being on unchecked. tamed with facility, if taken young; while others are The race is thinning out year by year; but it has just the reverse.
survived the period assigned by De Saussure for its The stag and deer tribe, generally, are instances of the extermination. When taken, it is a valuable prize. former peculiarity; indeed, the boldness of tame stags The skin is of some importance in commerce; the renders them even dangerous. I take it for granted flesh is excellent, and the horns, if good, will fetch that they could scarcely ever be tolerated as domestic from L.3 to L.4 sterling. animals from their bold and fierce temper, and their Good horns are known by their size and the number tendency to use their horns when provoked. I have of knobs along their edge. Each year of the animal's often seen it tried, but always with the result, that the life, a knob is added, and they never exceed thirty, bucks were found quite intolerable, and duly killed that being understood as the extreme age of the ibex. off.' An exception may be claimed for a very fine I was fortunate enough to procure, some years since, stag I once knew as forming part of the staff of a a fine pair of horns, which mark about twenty-nine marching regiment. He went with his corps every- years' growth; but such instances are now very rare, where, was much admired at reviews and other such and will soon be unknown altogether. gatherings. I knew another case of a tame buck, All the horns brought to market are not necessarily which, in a country town, would stroll in from his the result of poaching. Some are generally found, master's house in the suburbs, and was constantly seen when the snow melts in spring, lying at the foot of scampering back with a loaf of bread, a dried fish, or precipices over which the poor beasts have been a cut of bacon in his mouth; for nothing came amiss carried by the falling avalanches. Such must have to his appetite. He was the plague of the hucksters' been the fate of the bearer of the horns alluded to, shops in the vicinity, and cost, no doubt, a good sum and awful the crash with which the patriarch came for damages.
to his end, for the strong bones of the skull were split The same tendency to ill-temper and ferocity runs in two, although apparently almost as hard as iron, through the antelope tribe; and the ibex and chamois ) and a portion went with each horn.
1 CII APTER LXI.--THE
I believe I am scarcely in order in speaking of the informed frontiersmen could give only rude guesses ibex among the antelopes ; lie is, after all, only a on this point. For my part, I believed that there were superior sort of goat. The chamois is allowed to more than a thousand warriors, even after the defechoid an intermediate place, and act as a connecting. tion of the traitor clans; and this was the opinion of link between the goat and the true antelopes.
one who knew them well-old Hickman the hunter.
How, then, were so many to find existence in the
middle of a morass ? Had they been provident, and O G E O L A:
there accumulated a grand commissariat ? No: A ROMANCE.
this question could at once be answered in the negative. It was well known that the contrary was
the case--for in this year the Seminoles were without The dispatch called for instant obedience. Fortun- even their usual supply. Their removal had been ately my horse was still under the saddle, and in less urged in the spring; and, in consequence of the than five minutes I was upon his back, and galloping doubtful prospect before them, many families had for the volunteer camp.
planted little--some not at all. Their crop, therefore, Among these eager warriors, the news produced was less than in ordinary years; and previous to the a joyous excitement, expressed in a wild hurrah. final council at Fort King, numbers of them had been Enthusiasm supplied the place of discipline; and, in both buying and begging food from the frontier less than half an hour, the corps was accoutred and citizens. ready for the road.
What likelihood, then, of their finding subsistence There was nothing to cause delay. The command throughout a long campaign? They would be to march was given; the bugle sounded the forward,' starved out of their fastnesses—they must come out, and the troop filing ‘by twos,' into a long somewhat and either stand fight, or sue for peace. So people irregular line, took the route for Fort King.
believed. I galloped home to say adieu. It was a hurried This topic was discussed as we rode along. It leave-taking--less happy than my last-but I rode was one of primary interest to all young warriors away with more contentment, under the knowledge thirsting for fame-inasmuch as, should the enemy that my sister was now warned, and there was no determine to pursue so inglorious a system of warlonger any danger of an alliance with Arens Ringgold. fare, where were the laurels to be plucked ? A
The orderly who brought the dispatch rode back campaign in the miasmatic and pestilential climate with the troop. As we marched along, he communi- of the swamps was more likely to yield a luxuriant cated the camp-news, and rumours in circulation at crop of cypresses. the fort. Many events had occurred, of which we Most hoped, and hence believed, that the Indians had not heard. The Indians bad forsaken their would soon grow hungry, and shew themselves in a towns, taking with them their wives, children, cattle, fair field of figlit. and chattels. Some of their villages they had them- There were different opinions as to the possibility selves fired, leaving nothing for their pale-faced of their subsisting themselves for a lengthened period enemies to destroy. This proved a determination to of time. Some--and these were men best acquainted engage in a general war, had other proofs of this with the nature of the country-expressed their disposition been wanting. Whither they had gone, belief that they could. The old alligator-hunter was even our spies had been unable to find out. It was of this way of thinking. supposed by some that they had moved further south, • Thuv got,' said he, 'thet ere durned brier wil the to a more distant part of the peninsula. Others big roots they calls “coonty; ;"* it grows putty nigh alleged that they had betaken themselves to the over all the swamp, an' in some places as thick as a great swamp that stretches for many leagues around cane-brake. It ur the best o' eatin'
, an' drinkin' too, for the head-waters of the Amazura river, and known they make a drink o' it. An' then thar's the akurns as the · Cove of the Quithlacoochee.'
o' the live-oak-them ere ain't sech bad eatin', when This last conjecture was the more likely, though so
well roasted i’ the ashes. They may gathur thousands secretly and adroitly had they managed their migra- o' bushels, I reckon. An' nixt thar's the cabbidge in tion, that not a trace of the movement could be de. the head o' the big palmetter; thet ere 'll gi' them tected. The spies of the friendly Indians—the keenest greens. As to thar meat, thar's deer, an' thar's bar-that could be employed-were unable to discover a good grist o'em in the swamp--an'thar's allygatur, their retreat. It was supposed that they intended to a tol’ably goodish wheen o' them varmint, I reckon act only on the defensive-that is, to make plundering —to say nothin' o' turtle, an' turkey, an' squrr'lls, an' forays on whatever quarter was left unguarded by snakes, an' sandrats; for, durn a red-skin! he kin eat troops, and then retire with their booty to the fast- anythin' that crawls-from a punkin to a polecat. nesses of the swamp. Their conduct up to this time Don't you b’lieve it, fellars ? Them ere Injuns ain't rendered the supposition probable enough. In such
a gwine to starve, s’easy as you think for. Thu 'll case, the war might not be so easily brought to a hold out by thar teeth an' toe-nails, jest so long as termination; in other words, there might be no war
thar’s a eetable thing in the darnationed swampat all, but a succession of fruitless marches and pur- that's what thu 'll do." suits; for it was well enough understood that if the This sage reasoning produced conviction in the Indians did not choose to stand before us in action, minds of those who heard it. After all, the despised we should have but little chance of orerhauling enemy might not be so helpless as was generally them in their retreat.
imagined. The fear of the troops was, that their adversaries The march of the volunteers was not conducted in would take to the cover,' where it would be difficult, a strict military style. It was so commenced ; but if not altogether impossible, to find them.
the officers soon found it impossible to carry out the However, this state of things could not be per-tactics.' The men, especially the younger ones, petual; the Indians could not always subsist upon could not be restrained from occasionally falling out plunder, where the booty must be every day growing of the lines to help themselves to a pull out of some less. They were too numerous for a mere band of odd-looking flask; and at intervals one would gallop robbers, though there existed among the whites a off into the woods, in hopes of getting a shot at a very imperfect idea of their numbers. Estimates deer or turkey he had caught a glimpse of through placed them at from one to five thousand souls the trees. -runaway negroes included-and even the best
* Smilar pseudo-china.
Reasoning with these fellows, on the part of their The object of this fresh interview with the chiefs officers, proved rather a fruitless affair; and getting was stated in my hearing. It was to arrange a plan angry with them, was only to elicit a sulky rejoinder. for concerted action between the troops and the
Sergeant Hickman was extremely wroth with some friendly Indians, who were to act as our allies against of the offenders.
their own countrymen; the latter-as was now known “Greenhorns!'he exclaimed; darnationed green- by certain information-being collected in large force horns ! let 'em go on at it. May a allygatur eet me, in the Cove of the Ouithlacoochee.' Their actual if they don't behave diff'rent by 'm by. I'll stake my position was still unknown; but that, it was conficritter agin any hoss in the crowd, that some o' them dently hoped, would be discovered by the aid of the ere fellars 'll git sculped afore sundown; durned if friendly chiefs, and their spies, who were constantly they don't.'
on the run. No one offered to take the old hunter's bet, and The meeting had been already pre-arranged. The fortunately for them, as his words proved prophetic. chiefs—who, as already stated, had gone to Fort
A young planter, fancying himself as safe as if Brooke, and were there living under protection of the riding through his own sugar-canes, had galloped off garrison-were to make a secret journey, and meet from the line of march. A deer, seen browsing in the agent and general at an appointed place --the old the savanna, offered an attraction too strong to be ground, the hommock by the pond. resisted.
The meeting had been fixed for that very night-as He had not been gone five minutes-had scarcely soon as it should be dark enough to hide the approach passed out of sight of his comrades—when two shots of both tempters and traitors. were heard in quick succession; and the next moment, It' was dark enough almost the moment the sun his riderless horse came galloping back to the troop. went down for the moon was in her third quarter,
The line was halted, and faced in the direction and would not be in the sky until after sunset. whence the shots had been heard. An advance-party Shortly after twilight, therefore, we three proceeded moved forward to the ground. No enemy was to the spot-the general, the agent, and the interpreter, discovered, nor the traces of any, except those exhi- just as we had done on the former occasion. bited in the dead body of the young planter, that The chiefs were not there, and this caused a little lay perforated with a brace of bullets just as it had surprise. By the noted punctuality with which an fallen out of the saddle.
Indian keeps his assignation, it was expected they It was a lesson-though an unpleasant one to would have been upon the ground, for the hour his comrades—and after this, there were no more appointed had arrived. attempts at deer-stalking. The man was buried on What is detaining them? What can be detaining the spot where he lay; and with the troop more them?' mutually inquired commissioner and general. regularly and compactly formed—now an easier duty Scarcely an instant passed till the answer came. for its officers—we continued the march unmolested, It came from afar, and in a singular utterance; but it and before sunset were within the stockade of the could be no other than a reply to the question-s0 fort.
both my companions conjectured.
Borne upon the night breeze was the sound of strife—the sharp cracking of rifles and pistols; and,
distinctly heard above all, the shrill Yo-ho-ehee. Excepting the memory of one short hour, Fort The sounds were distant--away amid the far woods; King had for me no pleasant reminiscences. There but they were sufficiently distinct to admit of the had been some new arrivals in my absence, but interpretation, that a life-and-death struggle was none of them worthy of companionship. They only going on between two parties of men. rendered quarters more crowded, and accommoda- It could be no feint, no false alarm to draw the tion more difficult to obtain. The sutler and the soldiers from the fort, or terrify the sentinel on his blacklegs were rapidly making their fortunes; and post. There was an earnestness in the wild treble of these, with the quartermaster, the commissary,* and those shrill cries, that convinced the listener human the beef-contractor,' appeared to be the only blood was being spilled. prosperous men about the place.
My companions were busy with conjectures. I The beau' was still clief aid-de-camp, gaily saw that neither possessed a high degree of courage, caparisoned as ever; but of him I had almost ceased for that is not necessary to become a general. In my to think.
warlike experience, I have seen more than one hiding It was not long before I was ordered upon duty- behind a tree or a piece of wall. One, indeed, who almost the moment after my arrival-and that, as
was afterwards elected the chief of twenty millions of usual, of a disagreeable kind. Before I had time to people, I have seen skulking in a ditch to screen himobtain a moment's rest after the long ride-even self from a stray shot, while his lost brigade, half a before I could wash the road-dust from my skin-I mile in the advance, was gallantly fighting under the was summoned to the quarters of the commander-in- guidance of a sub-lieutenant. chief.
But why should I speak of these things here? The What could he want with me, in such hot haste ? world is full of such heroes. Was it about the duels ? Were these old scores
It is they, by 'exclaimed the commissioner. going to be reckoned up?
They have been waylaid ; they are attacked by the Not without some apprehension did I betake myself others: that rascal Powell for a thousand !' into the presence of the general.
'It is extremely probable,' replied the other, who It proved, however, to be nothing concerning the seemed to have a somewhat steadier nerve, and spoke past; though, when I learned the duty I was to perform, more coolly. Yes, it must be. There are no troops I half regretted that it was not a reprimand.
in that direction; no whites either—not a man. It I found the agent closeted with the commander-in- must therefore be an affair among the Indians then)chief. They had designed another interview with selves; and what else than an attack upon the Omatla and Black Dirt.' I was merely wanted as friendly chiefs? You are right, Thompson; it is as an interpreter.
'If so, general, it will be of no use our remaining * In the United States army, these two offices are quite distinct,
here. If they have waylaid Omatla, they will of A commissary' caters only for the inner man; a quartermaster's
course have superior numbers, and he must fall. We duty is to shelter, clothe, arm, and equip. A wise regulation. need not expect him.'
A KNOCK ON TIE IEAD.
AX IXDIAN EXECUTIONER.
"No; he is not likely to come, neither he nor Lusta. before me, 'friend of the Rising Sun! we will not do As you say, it is idle for us to remain here. I think further harm to you; but you must go with us to the we may as well return to the fort.'
chiefs. They are not far off. Come!' There was a moment's hesitation, during which I I was once more upon my feet, and perhaps by a fancied both generals were debating in their own desperate effort might have escaped. The attempt, minds whether it would be graceful thus to give up however, might cost me a seco knock-down their errand and purpose.
-perhaps my life. Moreover, the courtesy of my 'If they should come'- continued the soldier. captors at once set my mind at ease. Go where they
"General,' said I, taking the liberty to interrupt might, I felt that I had nothing to fear from them; him, 'if you desire it, I shall remain upon the ground and, without hesitation, I consented to accompany for a while, and see. If they should come,' I added, in them. continuation of the broken sentence, 'I can proceed My captors, throwing themselves into single file, to the fort, and give you notice.'
and assigning me a position in their midst, at once I could not have made a proposition more agreeable started off through the woods. For some time we to the two. It was instantly accepted, and the brace walked rapidly, the path taken by the leader of the of official heroes moved away, leaving me to myself. party being easily followed, even in the darkness, by
It was not long ere I had cause to regret my those behind. I observed that we were going in the generous rashness. My late companions could scarcely direction whence had been heard the sounds of the have reached the fort when the sounds of the strife conflict, that had long since ceased to vibrate upon the suddenly ceased, and I heard the caha-queene-the air. Of whatever nature had been the struggle, it Seminole shout of triumph. I was still listening to was evidently brought to a close, and even the victors its wild intonations, when half-a-dozen men-dark- no longer uttered the caha-queene. bodied men-rushed out of the bushes, and surrounded We had advanced about a mile when the moon me where I stood.
arose; and the woods becoming more open, I could Despite the poor light the stars afforded, I could see my captors more distinctly. I recognised the see shining blades, guns, pistols, and tomahawks. features of one or two of them, from having seen The weapons were too near my eyes to be mistaken them at the council. They were warriors of the for the fire-flies that had been glittering around my Micosauc tribe, the followers of Oceola. From this head; besides, the clink of steel was in my ears. I conjectured that he was one of the chiefs before
My assailants made no outcry, perhaps because whom I was being conducted. they were too near the fort; and my own shouts My conjecture proved correct. We had not gone were soon suppressed by a blow that levelled me to much further, when the path led into an opening in the earth, depriving me as well of consciousness as of the woods, in the midst of which a large body of speech.
Indians, about a hundred in all, were grouped together. A little apart was a smaller group-the chiefs and head warriors. In their midst I observed
Oçeola. After a short spell of obliviousness, I recovered my The ground exhibited a singular and sanguinary senses. I perceived that the Indians were still around spectacle. Dead bodies were lying about gashed with me, but no longer in the menacing attitudes in which wounds still fresh and bleeding. Some of the dead I had seen them before being struck down; on the lay upon their backs, their unclosed eyes glaring contrary, they appeared to be treating me with kind-ghastly upon the moon, all in the attitudes in which
One of them held my head upon his knee, they had fallen. The scalping-knife had done its while another was endeavouring to stanch the blood work, as the whitish patch upon the crowns, laced that was running freely from a wound in my temples. with seams of crimson red, shewed the skulls divested The others stood around regarding me with interest, of their hirsute covering. Men were strolling about and apparently anxious about my recovery.
with the fresh scalps in their hands, or elevated upon Their behaviour caused me surprise, for I had no the muzzles of their guns. other thought than that they had intended to kill There was no mystery in what I saw; I knew its me; indeed, as I sank under the stroke of the toma- meaning well. The men who had fallen were of the hawk, my senses had gone out, under the impression traitor tribes—the followers of Lusta Hajo and that I was killed. Such a reflection is not uncom-Omatla. mon to those whom a blow has suddenly deprived of According to the arrangement with the commisconsciousness.
sioner, the chiefs had left Fort Brooke, accompanied My surprise was of an agreeable character. I felt by a chosen band of their retainers. Their intention that I still lived--that I was but little hurt; and not had become known to the patriots—their movements likely to receive any further damage from those who had been watched--they had been attacked on the surrounded me.
way; and, after a short struggle, overpowered. Most They were speaking to one another in low of them had fallen in the melée—a few, with the chief tones, pronouncing the prognosis of my wound, and Lusta Hajo, had contrived to escape; while still apparently gratified that they had not killed me. another few-among whom was Omatla himself-had
*We have spilled your blood; but it is not danger- been taken prisoners during the conflict, and were ous,' said one, addressing himself to me in his native yet alive. They had been rescued from death only tongue. 'It was I who gave the blow. Hulwak! it to suffer it in a more ceremonial shape. was dark. Friend of the Rising Sun! we did not I saw the captives where they stood, close at hand, know you. We thought you were the yatika-clucco.* and fast bound to some trees. Among them I recogIt is his blood we intended to spill. We expected to nised their leader, by the grace of Commissioner find him here; he has been here: where gone?' Thompson, 'king of the Seminole nation.' I pointed in the direction of the fort.
By those around, his majesty was now regarded • Hulwak l' exclaimed several in a breath, and in a with but slight deference. Many a willing regicide tone that betokened disappointment; and then turn- stood near him, and would have taken his life withing aside, they conversed with each other in a low out further ceremony. But these were restrained by voice.
the chiefs, who opposed the violent proceeding, and 'Fear not,' said the first speaker, again standing who had come to the determination to give Omatla
a trial, according to the laws and customs of their # The 'great speaker'--the commissioner.