All this time Hetty had remained seated in the head of the scow, looking sorrowfully into the water which held the body of her mother, as well as that of the man whom she had been taught to consider her father.
All this the young man noted, but it neither quickened his pulses, nor hastened his hand.
If any one had been lying in wait for the arrival of the waif, he must be seen, and the utmost caution in approaching the shore became indispensable; if no one was in ambush, hurry was unnecessary.
The point being nearly diagonally opposite to the Indian encampment, he hoped the last, though the former was not only possible, but probable; for the savages were prompt in adopting all the expedients of their particular modes of warfare, and quite likely had many scouts searching the shores for craft to carry them off to the castle.
As a glance at the lake from any height or projection would expose the smallest object on its surface, there was little hope that either of the canoes would pass unseen; and Indian sagacity needed no instruction to tell which way a boat or a log would drift, when the direction of the wind was known.
As Deerslayer drew nearer and nearer to the land, the stroke of his paddle grew slower, his eye became more watchful, and his ears and nostrils almost dilated with the effort to detect any lurking danger. He was entirely alone, thrown on his own resources, and was cheered by no friendly eye, emboldened by no encouraging voice.
Notwithstanding all these circumstances, the most experienced veteran in forest warfare could not have behaved better. Equally free from recklessness and hesitation, his advance was marked by a sort of philosophical prudence that appeared to render him superior to all motives but those which were best calculated to effect his purpose.
Such was the commencement of a career in forest exploits, that afterwards rendered this man, in his way, and under the limits of his habits and opportunities, as renowned as many a hero whose name has adorned the pages of works more celebrated than legends simple as ours can ever become.
When about a hundred yards from the shore, Deerslayer rose in the canoe, gave three or four vigorous strokes with the paddle, sufficient of themselves to impel the bark to land, and then quickly laying aside the instrument of labor, he seized that of war.
He was in the very act of raising the rifle, when a sharp report was followed by the buzz of a bullet that passed so near his body as to cause him involuntarily to start. The next instant Deerslayer staggered, and fell his whole length in the bottom of the canoe.
A yell - it came from a single voice - followed, and an Indian leaped from the bushes upon the open area of the point, bounding towards the canoe.
This was the moment the young man desired. He rose on the instant, and levelled his own rifle at his uncovered foe; but his finger hesitated about pulling the trigger on one whom he held at such a disadvantage. This little delay, probably, saved the life of the Indian, who bounded back into the cover as swiftly as he had broken out of it.
In the meantime Deerslayer had been swiftly approaching the land, and his own canoe reached the point just as his enemy disappeared.
As its movements had not been directed, it touched the shore a few yards from the other boat; and though the rifle of his foe had to be loaded, there was not time to secure his prize, and carry it beyond danger, before he would be exposed to another shot.
Under the circumstances, therefore, he did not pause an instant, but dashed into the woods and sought a cover.
On the immediate point there was a small open area, partly in native grass, and partly beach, but a dense fringe of bushes lined its upper side. This narrow belt of dwarf vegetation passed, one issued immediately into the high and gloomy vaults of the forest.
The land was tolerably level for a few hundred feet, and then it rose precipitously in a mountainside. The trees were tall, large, and so free from underbrush, that they resembled vast columns, irregularly scattered, upholding a dome of leaves.
Although they stood tolerably close together, for their ages and size, the eye could penetrate to considerable distances; and bodies of men, even, might have engaged beneath their cover, with concert and intelligence.The Deerslayer, by James Fenimore Cooper.
Chapter 15 Hutter now rose, and signing to Deerslayer, he led him to an inner room, where, in answer to his questions, he first learned the price that had been paid for his release.
For a short time the girl was silent, and the hunter was ignorant which of the sisters had approached him, but he. James Fenimore Cooper Biography The Deerslayer Questions and Answers The Question and Answer section for The Deerslayer is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Hutter and Fidget did not care about the fate of Deerslayer, but Judith did. All the night she - along with her younger sister Hattie - spent in the boat, hoping to find out what awaited the hunter she liked. Deerslayer bids farewell on the following morning to his friends (Chingachgook, Hist, Judith, and Hetty) and gives them his final counsel.
Chingachgook and he engage in a shooting match with Killdeer, Tom Hutter's rifle given by Judith to Deerslayer, and, after Deerslayer's (expected) death, to Chingachgook.
The Book Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper is a good book about coming of age and Native American relations. The book was written in by Cooper who also had written The Last of the Mohicans with a very descriptive style.
The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper. Part 3 out of Home; Index of The Deerslayer; Previous part (2) As he approached the building of old Hutter, Deerslayer thought, or rather felt that its appearance was in singular harmony unknown to the sisters, had occurred in a time of peace between England and France, and when the .