- CHAPTER XXX. THE CHEROKEE CHIEF.
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THE CHEROKEE CHIEF.
MARK and Panola walked to the little church, when they were married, shortly after her return. Panola had no trousseau, but she had plenty of very nice clothes she had brought with her from Paris. She had not even a proper wedding-gown, but she wore a very pretty pink silk one, and her wreath was made of real roses and unmedicated orange flowers.
Satana came from the Nation to give the bride away, and Mark's curiosity in regard to this famous chief was fully gratified. Satana was dressed like a Christian, in the finest linen and broadcloth. He wore lemon-colored gloves, and a high silk hat, which he held gracefully in his hand, and he behaved altogether very much like the Christians who surrounded him on this memorable occasion. He was a very handsome, tall half-breed, and had graduated at Yale College. So, as Lizbette said, "he knew very well what was what." He presented Panola with some handsome jewels, and the prettiest fan that Tyndale, of New York, could manufacture. And Panola found upon her dressing-table her lost golden rattlesnake.
After the wedding, when he was smoking a cigar | | 257 on the verandah with Mark and Docteur Canonge, and they spoke of "the peas" and "the powder" that Cherokee Joe had given to Satana, his chief. Satana said that Cherokee Joe had seen Madame Boiling mix the powders in some lemonades that were prepared for Major Flanoy. That he had observed the expression of her face, which he did not like. So he watched her and he distrusted her. He stole one of the powders out of her dressing-room at the Pavilion.
Shortly after Chicora was taken ill, in prowling about, watching madame, he had seen Nana pounding the peas in a mortar. He managed to secure a few of them also. Then he tried to get some information about the two articles. He did not succeed in this, before the visit of Professor Römer; further than this, and that Joe had brought the powder and the peas to him, Satana would not say if he knew. No one could guess anything from his imperturbable countenance. He quietly parried any further questioning. He said Joe was gone far out west on the hunting-grounds of the tribe.
Mark could scarcely persuade to believe that this quiet, elegant gentleman, who sat smoking his cigar so gracefully, was the terrible chief who had led his tribe during the Confederate war, in all the glory of red paint and war feathers, by the side of Colonel Albert Pike. he was as gentle now "as a sucking-dove." But the other Indians, enemies of | | 258 his tribe, knew Satana very well. He grew weary occasionally of the tedium of peace and civilization, and when he slid put on his leggings and war-crown, the Comanches and Apaches sent their runners to summon all their bravest allies. It required no telegraph to announce that Santana was on the war-path. The "smoke beacons" of the Indians leaped instantly from every hill top.
Satana's warriors were no longer armed with the traditional bow and arrow, or the tomahawk. They lead very excellent Henry and Spencer breech-loading rifles, and the latest improved patents of revolvers. Satana was telling Mark now about a very fine "Greener shot-gun of laminated steel" he had had made in England, at a cost of four hundred and fifty dollars. He said he liked it better than "one he had got from Lieges." Pinned carefully in the buttonhole of his black broadcloth satin-lined coat Satana wore a pretty spray of bright pea blossoms. he had gathered than as the wedding party passed out of the churchyard. Docteur Canonge saw him stoop down, for an instant, as the cortege passed by Madame Bolling's grave, and pluck a flaunting branch of the luxuriant vines. He carelessly asked Docteur Canonge for its true botanical name. That night, after he had retired to his apartment, Satana put the faded flowers into an envelope, sealed it, and wrote in pencil upon the envelope these words: | | 259
FROM THE GRAVE OF MADAME BOLLING,
The Cherokees often assured their pale-faced brothers, "that although their skins were red, their hearts were all white." But Docteur Canonge used to shrug his shoulders at that. He said, "Where the blood remained unmixed, that their hearts were as red as their faces." But then Docteur Canonge was a very obstinate physiologist, and Docteur Canonge also said, in speaking of the mustang or Indian pony, "that it had improved upon its ancestor, the Andalusian barb, both in bottom, swiftness, and docility." Altogether Docteur Canonge considered "a well-mounted Indian warrior, like Satana, a formidable and unpleasant antagonist."
Mark and Panola made a large votive offering to | | 260 the Charity, when Mark took possession of uncle Jacob's estate.
Panola gave a beautiful memorial window to the church, where Victor and his little child and her parents were buried.
"Mark," said Panola, "there is nothing so sad to me as the failure of such a life as Victor's. He never had justice done him by any of us. I did not love him as much as I ought. Natika, to whom he gave his truest devotion, did not love him. All the women and all the men he knew disappointed him, except grandpapa. The only human being who really comprehended Victor and fully appreciated him was mamma, and you know how that was. She would not have died so angry at him if she had not loved him. I was not at all angry. I was glad when he went away. Ah, there is nothing of any value without love. I have had fame and plenty of money, but love is the only thing of any worth--love, whether it be in the forest or in the palace."
Mark stopped her mouth with a kiss. he approved of her logic, as well as of her practice. Grandpapa Canonge still gives soirées, and he and Madame Duplessis Mère always lead the "cotillon," and will continue to do so till they are a century old.
The sunshine falls brilliantly over the churchyard. The marble tombs of Victor and Chicora | | 261 are glitteringly white in the splendor of its light. On the topmost bough of the oak tree, whose waving shadows chequer the graves, a mocking bird is singing, "Sweetie, sweetie, Bob White, Bob White," and it ends its cadence with the three notes of the troopiall. It had learned its singing lesson during the eventful years. In the depths of the oak bough, its mate sits on a nest of young birds, and replies to the bursts of music with a short cry of "Chic! chic! chicora! chic! chic! chicora! chic! chic!" And the young ones respond, "chee-ehee-squah," as they stretch wide their yawning bills for the striped caterpillars their parents gather up to feed them with. The early peas and the strawberries are devoured more freely than ever out of Docteur Canonge's garden. The birds are still predatory as Indians in their habits.THE END.
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