Beck Center English Dept. University Libraries Emory University
Emory Women Writers Resource Project Collections:
Women's Genre Fiction Project

Panola, an electronic edition

by Sarah A. Dorsey [Dorsey, Sarah A. (Sarah Anne), 1829-1879.]

date: 1877
source publisher: T. B. Peterson & Brothers
collection: Genre Fiction

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MARK was sitting in his usual place by his study table, busily reading a medical work which the servant, by his direction, had brought to him out of his grandfather's fine library. Old Docteur Canonge had a passion for books, was a | | 94 great reader himself, and a good writer in his own language. He had written much for medical works and reviews, and he was also a good bookbinder. His father, an emigré of distinction from the troublous times in France, had had his son carefully instructed in this trade, while he gave him opportunities of improvement in his professional studies. he said: "It was very well to be Monsieur the Marquis de Canonge; but the Docteur Canonge and the bookbinder Canonge could make bread for himself when the Marquis could not." So the old docteur had kept up for amusement the trade his father had taught him in prudent care for the future. His library was therefore not only beautiful in contents, but it was likewise beautiful in exterior; for he had rebound every volume nearly with his own careful hands, and his books, next to Mark, were the pride of his life. Mark sat reading or some hours, undisturbed by voice or noise. There was no sound except the pleasant sighing of he wind in the great tree-tops, and the singing of the innumerable birds with which the country abounds. High above all and through all was heard the gush of irrepressible joy which flows in a liquid melody (almost perpetually, it seems) from the throats of the mocking-birds. Docteur Canonge petted the birds; he never allowed them to be disturbed, and they were not timid in his grounds, where a shot was never fired, out of con- | | 95 sideration for them. So it was a sort of bird paradise, where they loved and quarrelled and fought and sung all day and all night long. The sound of cattle bells, the lowing of cows, the bleating of sheep, and all the lovely country tones, came softened from the distant pastures and farm-yards ; and occasionally the merry laugh of a good-humored negro as he wended his way past the house, in exchanging homely compliments with Lizbette, would reach Mark's ear as he sat reading in his lonely chamber.

The day was far advanced into the afternoon when Victor came in, flushed from riding. He flung his hat and whip on one chair, and himself on another. Mark good-humoredly looked up from his book; he was fond of Victor.

"Had a pleasant ride, Victor?" he asked.

"Very pleasant, indeed. I went over to see Miss Flanoy and the Duplessis, 'all zie familles Duplessis,'" said Victor, laughingly imitating his grandfather. "What merry people they are! None but French people could live that way--all on one place, in those little, separate cottages clustered around Monsieur Duplessis père's house! Just like the old Trojans--king Priam and his family! They are so harmonious and perfectly content. Americans or English would quarrel. It is because the French are so courteous to each other in their daily life. An American or Englishman thinks it not | | 96 worth while to be so polite, or to say amiable things to members of his town family. He is half ashamed of his best sentiments, and only parades his disagreeable ones; while a Frenchman expresses his emotions, and is not ashamed to love or be polite every day, 'as well as on holy days.'"

"I believe there is a good deal of truth in what you say, but it is partly because the Englishman or American is afraid of being dishonest or false, and of exaggeration in his sentiments. But perhaps it is the better fault, if I may say so, to err in excess of appearance of amiability, even if it be not entirely sincere. I believe with Bain, in his 'Psychology,' that the cultivation of our moral or any other mode or quality of thought or character, is vitally important, and if we keep a resolute habit of cheerfulness and of amiability, it will gradually become strong and confirmed in us to a real involuntary quality of mind or manner."

"So, then, you believe conscience is not innate, but an educated proclivity of the rational soul, Mark?" said Victor, sententiously, laughing with his eyes.

"Yes. While I think that one receives from the circumstances of birth a proclivity to understand right or wrong, the true way to acquire moral sense is to do the thing that is right," replied Mark, earnestly.

"Then if one does habitually wrong, one blunts | | 97 his conscience until at last he won't have any," persisted Victor.

"Pretty much so, I think. We generally end in being what we only seem at first."

"Rather hard lines on a poor fellow like me, Mark," said Victor, laughing. "I fear I am deteriorating dreadfully and will soon be worse off than Peter Schlemil was without his shadow, if I lose all my conscience! I don't half like the prospect."

"Every evil action you do, Victor, blunts your moral sense and degrades you as an 'intelligent,' as Kant calls it," insisted Mark.

"Confound it, don't preach, Mark," said Victor, springing up. "You make a fellow feel bad. Nobody wishes to be degraded in his humanity because he gives way a little to youthful folly now and then."

"It is not I--it is the Nemesis of fixed laws of sequence that pronounces the doom, Victor," said Mark. "You know yourself that the muscles and nerves you use the most are the strongest. It is so in mental and moral life."

"Ah, bah!" said Victor. "Let me tell you about my ride, and the fair Panola. It is surprising what a beauty that little pale white creature has developed into. I had quite an eventful ride. Just as I came in sight of the place I met Cherokee Joe lounging along the road, his blanket strapped around him, and his rifle on his shoulder, with a | | 98 couple of mangy cars at his heels. He was going out to shoot on the prairie. I stopped to ask him about the shooting. He says there are plenty of blue and green winged teal, and snipe too, frequenting on what he calls 'the ponds,' scattered about in this interminable prairie. How long is this prairie land? Where does it end? Has it a beginning? I am inclined to doubt if it has. It is prairie, prairie, everywhere, as far as I can see, with those little spots of woods that fringe the aforesaid 'ponds' in the low places, which are nothing but the drainage places of this prairie."

"The prairie extends over two hundred miles," said Mark, "back to the Sabine river, the division line between Louisiana and Texas. It begins in the lowlands on the Mississippi river. Then comes the 'Cotes Geleés,' which are rather more undulating than the lowlands; then the flat rolling prairie of the Attakapas region--a real sea of grass, green and billowy, not of gage brushes, like the northern and western prairies, and there are an immense number of those 'ponds,' as you call them, scattered all through it; famous spots for ducks and snipe, I know."

"Joe said," continued Victor, "that there were plenty of partridges, too, on the prairie. I shall go out soon and try my luck at them. What a queer fellow that Joe is, Mark! A real Indian. He seems much more adapted to the outward gear of the Indian as he was to-day, than when he accompanies | | 99 the fair Panola as an escort in modern toggery. An Indian should never give up his blanket. He wears that or dressed skins with grace. He looks worse without it than a Roman senator without his toga. The blanket belongs to the Indian, and the variegated head handkerchief to the African, and the turban to the Orientals! They never look well without these adjuncts. I may as well smoke while we talk," and Victor drew out his cigar case, selected a cigar for Mark and one for himself, took out a small silver match-box, lighted his cigar, then offered it to Mark to light his from.

These important operations were performed in silence and solemnity. Then after a few preparatory puffs from both, Victor began again. "Well, as I was saying, I met Joe swinging himself in that Indian trot, putting one foot straight before the other, and glancing, in that quick, suspicious, restless way they all have of looking, on every side of him. By the way, Mark, that is the only thing that spoils Panola. She even has retained that restless, rapid glancing of the eyes, though in her it reminds one of the quick, bright eves of the water-fowl, like the kingfisher. Joe, confound his ugly phiz, looks more like an old, suspicious, gaunt wolf. Well, Joe and I had quite a long talk. At least I talked and Joe said 'ugh' with a wonderful variety of inflections in his grunts. It is almost a vocabulary in itself, the 'ugh' of an Indian. I asked Joe if Miss Panola was at home.

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"'Panola stay home to-day,' said the unceremonious Indian, ignoring the title of 'Miss' entirely. 'Joe go hunt. Panola stay with mother, with Chicora.'"

"Yes. That's Mrs. Flanoy's Indian name," put in Mark, taking his cigar out of his lips to give vent to a puff of smoke.

"What does it mean? These are delicious Havanas, I declare! See how long the ash holds on to the end of the cigar. We never get such in Europe."

"I really believe (puff) that I prefer (puff) a Powhatan pipe with good perrique," replied Mark, with intervals of smoke between his words. "it means (puff) 'Mocking Bird,' or, as it is in full Cherokee, 'Chicora Chee-squah-con-nau-gee-tal'--'The bird that sing the best.'--Chicora was famous for her beauty and singularly sweet voice--a quality of voice often found in Indian women."

"Well, this 'mocking-bird' that I saw to-day was quite different from her sisters in the tree branches about her house. Her singing and dancing is all done for. She is rather a dusky old bird now."

"Chicora! Why, I think her still beautiful. What a fellow you are, Victor," said Mark, half-smiling, in spite of himself. "You ought to feel sympathy for that poor afflicted woman, Anybody else would."

| | 101

"So I am, dreadfully sorry. Panola is so very pretty. Well, Joe said Panola would stay with Chicora to-day. 'Chicora velly bad,' said Joe, shaking his wild Indian locks solemnly, and regarding; me with a. curious, half-questioning look out of his contracted eyes. His pupils gleamed out like a black lynx's. Indians are not evolved yet wholly out of fierce beasts into perfect humanity. 'Chicora not move hands now any more,' and will you believe it, Mark, the fellow's keen eyes actually twinkled through tears that he would not let fall.

"'What do you mean, Joe?' I asked, beginning to feel somewhat alarmed about going to the house. 'Is Mrs. Flanoy ill? Are you afraid she is going to die?'

"'No, Chicora not die to-day--not yet--she die bime-by. Hands stiff now. Soon head get stiff, then heart get stiff, and Chicora die. Joe sorry, Joe much sorry for Chicora. Satana be velly sorry. He like Chicora heap-plenty much. Tribe be sorry; all Cherokees cry; plenty, heap! Ugh!'

"'What's the matter with Mrs. Flanoy, Joe?'

"'Joe not know. Canonge he not know. Nobody know. Nana say "conjure." You know Nana, Victor Burthe.'

"'No, Joe, I have not that honor. Who is Nana?'

"'Nana ole nigger 'ooman, hundred year ole--go | | 102 so!' And Joe bent himself down nearly double, and crept feebly forward, imitating the old crone. He has talent, has Joe. Then he straightened himself upright, and spat upon the earth, in token of his intense disgust, and said 'ugh,' scornfully. How Indians do hate negroes, Mark."

"Yes! Mrs. Flanoy will only use white servants about her person."

"Well! This primitive gentleman--for Joe has all the characteristics of a gentleman, you know he hates work, and loves sport and idleness--"

"And whiskey," put in Mark.

"Yes, and whiskey, as much as any Scotch or Irish gentleman of high degree. This noble red man gave me to understand that Nana was a witch; that she ought to be killed, but there was no way to scalp her, as she hadn't a hair on her old bald head; and that it would be of no use to kill her, for she could change herself into anything she chose--a cat, or dog, or even into a snake, and then reassume her human form--that she was much petted, and noticed by 'Madame Bolling.'

"'You know Madame Bolling?' asked Joe, looking queerly up into my face, as I sat above him on my horse.

"I told him 'I had that felicity.' 'Ugh!' said Joe, puzzled by the word felicity. 'Ugh! you likee Madame Bolling velly much, Victor Burthe?'

I told him I was passionately devoted to her in her absence.

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"Joe looked at me. 'Ugh,' he said. he did not quite comprehend my meaning. Then he put his hand into his pocket, and pulled out a very dirty purse made of deer-skin. He opened it, took out a couple of papers. One had a fine white powder in it. Joe handed it up to me.

"'What that?' he asked. 'You know, Victor Burthe?'

"I smelled the paper, looked at the powder, took the least particle possible of it on my finger tip, and touched my tongue with it, being very careful to spit it out, you may be sure."

"That was very foolish, Victor. It might have been arsenic or morphine," interrupted Mark.

"Well, the Indian wanted to know, and how the d--l was I to tell him unless I examined?" said Victor, lightly. "However my rashness caused no harm, for it was only tartar emetic, and I told Joe it was that.

"'You makee him lemonade?' asked the Indian. I suppose he had heard of cream of tartar lemonade.

"'Good Lord, no,' I said, 'make lemonade! Why it would kill you; make you sick; it is medicine.' Then I explained to Joe how it was used. Joe listened attentively, his face bent down over the paper of powder.

"'Canonge, he give it?' asked Joe.

"I said I supposed he did often give it.

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"'Ugh,' said Joe, and he put the paper, carefully wrapped up, back into his old dirty purse, as if it was precious.

"'You had better throw it away, Joe,' I said.

"'No, Joe not throw away. Joe take to Satana, time-by. Ugh.'

"I wonder what the chief will do with such a present? Then Joe opened another little paper which had some peas in it.

"'What that?' said the foolish Indian, pouring the peas into my hand.

"'That? Why those are peas.'

"'What good for ? Medicine too?'

"'No. Good to eat, you silly fellow, like all other peas.'

"Ugh! You likee eat peas? Joe give you some.' And he took. a small parcel of them, and gave them to me. 'Eatee some, Victor Burthe!'

"'No, I thank you, Joe. When I eat peas I like them cooked, not raw.'

"'Ugh!' Joe folded up his peas in his piece of paper and put them into his purse. 'Joe take to Satana,' said Joe, thoughtfully. 'Ugh! got any whiskey, Victor Burthe?'

"I told him I had not, but I gave him a couple of cigars and a half dollar to buy whiskey, and Joe shouldered his gun, and with a parting 'ugh' he trotted off, and I galloped on.

"Well, I had already passed the little place called | | 105 the Pavilion, where Mrs. Bolling lives now; you know it is just outside the Flanoy place, not more than a stone's throw from the gates; you remember the yard runs down to the road of this aforesaid Pavilion. What a small affair it is in the way of a house!"

"It has four rooms in it," said Mark, "and is built, like all the other houses in this county, of one story. We can't build high, you know, on account of the strong winds which blow over this prairie country, coming from the Gulf of Mexico; they would blow down lofty houses."

"Well, it looks very modest, but is snug enough, I dare say, and large enough too, for Madame Bolling's requirements. It is rather picturesque, with the luxuriant vines trained on wires all around the verandah. I had already got past, when I was hailed by Antony Coolidge, who was standing at the gate, with his arms folded on the top of it, like 'Yankee Doodle dandy.'"

"'Who swung upon the gates,
And licked 'lasses candy,'"
laughed Mark.

"Yes, exactly, barring the candy. Unfortunately for the rhyme, on this occasion Yankee Doodle was smoking a cigarette. He invited me to stop, and as I had no good reason for declining his invitation, and wasn't pressed for time, I concluded .I would get off my horse for a minute. I don't dislike | | 106 Antony, at least comparatively speaking: he is less disagreeable to me than his mamma, that 'veuve charmante,' as our respected and beloved progenitor calls her. The truth was I wanted to see the inside of 'the shebang.'"

"For goodness sake, Victor, don't use so much slang. Why can't you talk respectably decent English, or French, if you like?" said Mark, smiling.

"Because I am talking American and about American people; very truly and positively American people. Aboriginal Americans, like the fair Panola and the old Mocking Bird," replied the incorrigible Victor. "I shall tell my story in my own style, Mark, if you choose to listen, and, unlike the amiable Scherazade, I detest interruptions, especially when they are criticisms."

"On with you then, you incorrigible fellow," said Mark, good-humoredly. "You accepted Antony's invitation and went into the--"

"Shebang," interposed Victor. "It was really beautiful in the verandah; it was literally curtained in with an enormous bean vine, a lineal descendant of Jack's bean-stalk."

"It is a cork-screw bean. They do grow to a most extraordinary size here," interrupted Mark.

"This one fellow twisted himself all around the verandah, and was hanging thick with the greatest profusion of purple and yellow flowers, and the perfume was nearly overpowering, it was so strong. | | 107 Antony took me inside. It is very nice inside the house too. We found that Madame Mère was in the garden. So we went out there. The house was filled with pets--dogs and cats and canary birds."

"The African nature delights in pets," observed Mark, thoughtfully.

"Precisely! oh, supreme wonder among psychologists," said Victor, waving his cigar towards Mark. "There was also a green parrot who swore astonishingly in French. Does your stepmother indulge in that luxury also, Mark?"

"Pshaw," said Mark, not deigning to resent the impertinent inquiry.

"Ah," said Victor, giving a long puff, and then knocking the ash from the end of his cigar, where it had been tenaciously accumulating. "If she don't, where did the parrot learn? However, we got into the garden, a very pretty little garden back of the house, and there we found your highly revered stepmother in a house dress, with a broad straw flat tied down over her head; and quite handsome she looked, and unusually wicked was the glance of her strange eyes. I wish they had more gradation in the color of the pupil: the dead black on the dead white of the ball gives a reptilish expression to that woman that all her splendor of color can't overcome. I believe, Mark, in transmigration of life upwards, am half a Darwinian, and I and convinced, Mark, that your adorable stepmother came up into | | 108 humanity through the snakes; she was once either a cobra di capella or a flat-headed viper."

"Oh, Victor! Victor!"

"Truth, Mark! I must speak truth to you, even though the sky should fall. 'I can't tell a lie, father,' as the father of his country did never say. Well, the buxom dame was all smiles and welcome. She was superintending the work of a negro man, who was spading some ground in which she was about to plant some seeds. Bending over one of the drills already laid out was the old negress Nana. I recognized her from Joe's personation. If she is not 'a hundred,' as he said, she must be pretty near it. I never saw such all old toothless hag in my life, so wrinkled; you know, negroes don't wrinkle like other people. They are very old when the skin crumples up. This old creature hadn't a hundredth part of an inch smooth oil her face. She would have been an admirable study for a modern Andrew Denner; you know what a devotion he had for painting wrinkles! She looked like a miniature rhinoceros, with her crumpled skin; and she had got to be so old, she was a sort of ashen-black-gray in hue; all the humanity had burnt out of her, Mark, ages ago! I think she probably lived in the period of Nineveh! She looked every day of it! Do you know, Mark--it is a fact, I have been assured so upon excellent authority--that people live so long, sometimes, that the human soul dies | | 109 out, and then they exist only from animal vital forces. If Nana ever had a soul, which I doubt, holding with you and Herbert Spencer, and Spinoza,. et als., that the soul or mind is only a development, a gradual building up from the experiences of ourselves and others, the concentrated sum of the collected knowledge of past generations, plus ourselves--"

"In that case Nana should have had a pretty large soul," interpolated Mark, gravely, with his eves twinkling.

"I have already told you she had burnt up her soul," replied Victor, seriously; "that's in accordance with your deterioration theory, you know! She has been such a wicked old wretch that she has acquired a habit of wickedness. The logic is inexpugnable! I believe that Nana, according to my theory of transmigration, was once a hyena,

'Where Afric's golden fountains
Roll o'er her sunny plains.'"
"'Where Afric's sunny fountains
Roll o'er her golden plains,'"
suggested Mark. "You never quote correctly, Victor."

Victor shook his fist menacingly at Mark. "Criticisms are tabooed," said Victor. "This everlasting flower, of Africa's Hesperidean garden, whom Death and Time have forgotten, was engaged | | 110 in sticking small holes in the ground with the end of a pointed reed. She did it venomously, Mark, as if she was sticking the sharp point into the heart of an enemy; and when I bent over to see what she was planting, behold! they were the identical peas, or the same sort at least, that Cherokee Joe had shown to me a half-hour previously. I understood at once the foolish fellow's superstition about the innocent peas. He saw old Nana planting them, and he believed them to be uncanny."

"Probably," said Mark.

"Madame Bolling saw my notice of old Nana's work: 'Are you fond of flowers, Mr. Burthe?' she said; 'I am passionately so, especially of strong-scented ones! Don't you like the sweet pea? It is a favorite of mine. Let me make a bouquet for you to give to my niece, Panola, as you say you will ride in that direction presently.'

"So saying, she gathered me a bouquet; very gay it was, and the strongest-smelling that ever I had; then, as I declined her invitation to remain to luncheon, I took the bouquet and bade her good day. As soon as I got out of sight of Antony, I stuck the end of my whip into the flowers, and hoisted them up on top of a small thorn tree, and left them to waste their sweetness there. I would not have transported those flowers to Panola for five thousand dollars. I know they were 'conjuring flowers,' for old Nana planted them and Mrs. Bol- | | 111 ling gathered them; and she has an 'evil eye,' you know, Mark; I do think so."

"Pish!" ejaculated Mark; "what folly!"

"Well, after all these delays, I at last reached the gates of the enchanted castle--Mrs. Flanoy's large, wide-spreading, hospitable mansion, of which Lizbette says, 'Every room opens charmingly on the gallery, and it has twenty rooms.' I think it covers an acre and a half of ground, on a moderate calculation. It is quite handsome, and altogether civilized and Christian-like, not at all on the wigwam order of architecture, as I had half expected it to be. Indeed the salon was really French in its fittings-up, but I am not upholsterer enough to describe it, secundum artem. A neat, well-dressed, white footman received my card, and conducted me through the wide, cool hall into a side-gallery, and at length into a pretty salon, in which I found Mademoiselle Panola, who came forward to greet me. Then she led me up to a large lounge, on which lay a figure that might have been carved out of stone, so motionless was it. A rose-colored, silk quilt, filled with eider-down, lay spread over it up to the throat, and above the quilt, looking as if it was disconnected with any body, visible or invisible, lay a head. Good Lord! what a head! All the fire, force, vitality and strength of a whole human life was concentrated into that face; the whole body was dead but that; the eyes, large, dark and sad, but | | 112 with a preternatural lustre, showed a tremendous will, a concentration of the essence of an immense physical nature. I shall never forget those eyes and that face! The features are not unlike Panola's the same firm, delicate outline; the slightly aquiline nose; the mouth, originally sweet and haughty, like Panola's, now compressed into thinness by intense strain of will. It was the incarnation of will--defiant will--and yet with a queer, sad beauty. The eyes looked up into mine with an eager, wistful, hungry gaze, and with such a magnetic power that it seemed to me I felt my soul swaying under the magic of the glance! Such passion, such self-mastery, such pride! God! it was terrible! I stood dumb before her; when, at last, the lips moved, and a voice with the sound of music itself said: 'You are welcome, Mr. Burthe!' Twenty years ago, when that woman was young, Mark, few men's hearts would not have yielded to the magic of that voice and that face. Her complexion is not white or satiny, like Panola's, but it is a rich, whitish pink with a bronze glow through it; and her cheeks and lips, perhaps from disease, near the red of the pomegranate flower. But her eyes! they are the wonder! Oh! that splendid, noble, imprisoned, womanly soul! God! Mark! you don't know how I longed to help that woman! She lay there as if under the spell of some enchantment, with none to help her. I spoke lightly of her, | | 113 Mark, when we began to talk, but you see I do not feel lightly. I can comprehend Joe's devotion, and the deep love of all around her--even of Satana, the chief! One could adore her! She seemed to like me.

"I stayed fully an hour there, talking to her and to Panola; and I took lunch there. Panola played wonderful things on her Straduarius, and I sung a good deal; Mrs. Flanoy asked me, and I was very glad to do it. I don't know when I should have got away, but one of the footmen came in with a note on a silver tray, which he presented ceremoniously to Panola.

"'It is for you, mamma,' said Panola.

"It was addressed to Mrs. Maria Josepha Flanoy, so you see she is not the 'Mocking-bird' to everybody."

"No," said Mark; "she has been christened Maria Josepha."

"Well, then, I rode home as fast as I could. As I passed the thorn tree, I saw that a very curious crow had picked my evil bouquet off the branch, and having it now on the ground, was conveniently tearing it into fragments with his beak and claws. He gave all ominous caw as I approached, and flew away like a bad, black spirit; and you now behold me here. Here endeth the narration of Victor, the son of Victor, the son of Philippe, the son of--"

"Spare the genealogy!" cried Mark, holding | | 114 up his hands in entreaty, as Victor paused to take breath. Victor replied by singing exquisitely:

"There be none of beauty's daughters
With a face like thee;
And like music on the waters
Is thy voice to me"

Whilst singing, he rose and walked out of the room, saying he would go look for Natika.

"She's gone out to drive with grandfather," called out Mark after him, as he disappeared through the doorway.

In a few moments the door opened, and Victor put in his head again.

"Oh, I forgot to tell you that, as I returned, I made a detour through the village to get, our mail matter, and as I came back, who should I see in the midst of the highway, surrounded by a group of laughing children and idle men, but Cherokee Joe; who had spent my half dollar in getting gloriously drunk. There the poor fellow was in high glee, singing a wild Indian song, boastful of his triumphs in love and war, I suppose, from the pantomime with which he accompanied it. He danced the war-dance, hopping slowly and solemnly, first on one leg and then on the other, round and round in a circle; then stopping suddenly, he gave a swift run forward, scattering the children right and left as he dashed through them; seizing his hatchet, which | | 115 was swinging by a leather thong to his girdle, he brandished it fiercely; putting one hand to his mouth, he gave utterance to a tremendous war-whoop, and threw the hatchet as he sprang forward, with immense force. It flew past my head, and struck a tree at which he seemed to have aimed it. I should not liked to have been the tree! Then he caught a long blow-gun out of the hands of one of the little children, who had been playing with it--some one had taken his own rifle away from him, for fear of mischief, I suppose. He seized the blow-gun, and lifting it to his mouth, the arrow whizzed past me, and struck into the tree just above the hatchet. You never saw truer shots. Then he looked around for admiration and applause, delighted at the children's notice and laughter, which he esteemed to be complimentary. Catching sight of me, his mood seemed to change to a softer one, or perhaps the maudlin stage was coming on. So, singing some Indian words, in which I distinguished the sounds of Chicora and Panola, he sat himself down on a bank by the roadside under the shade of the hedge, and began to weep, swaying his body to and fro, in sort of cadenced lament; occasionally giving utterance to a prolonged howl that was unearthly. Then he grew stupid; lying down on the grass, he fell asleep, and there I left him."

"He is very strong," said Mark. "I have seen | | 116 page image : 116 PANOLA. him often bend a bar of very thick iron in his hands, as if it were only wire."

"Well, a nap in the open air will refresh him. Poor wretch! one can scarcely believe him to be of the same race as Panola and that grand Chicora."

"The blood of the Netherlander has something to do with Panola," said Mark. "Chicora is only a half-breed."

"If there are any more like Chicora, in her tribe," said Victor, "it would be worth while mounting hunting-shirts and moccasins, and living in a wigwam, to see such a woman as she must have been in her full youth and health. Now, senhor, truly, adios!" said the volatile Victor.

"Vaya con Dios," responded Mark, gayly.

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