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17. Chapter XVII. (continued)
"All that's settled, Deerslayer," returned the girl, in a low, confidential and meaning manner, "and you may trust me to outwit the best Indian of them all. I know I am feeble minded, but I've got some sense, and you'll see how I'll use it in getting back, when my errand is done!"
"Ahs! me, poor girl; I'm afeard all that's easier said than done. They're a venomous set of riptyles and their p'ison's none the milder, for the loss of Hist. Well, I'm glad the Sarpent was the one to get off with the gal, for now there'll be two happy at least, whereas had he fallen into the hands of the Mingos, there'd been two miserable, and another far from feelin' as a man likes to feel."
"Now you put me in mind of a part of my errand that I had almost forgotten, Deerslayer. Judith told me to ask you what you thought the Hurons would do with you, if you couldn't be bought off, and what she had best do to serve you. Yes, this was the most important part of the errand - what she had best do, in order to serve you?"
"That's as you think, Hetty; but it's no matter. Young women are apt to lay most stress on what most touches their feelin's; but no matter; have it your own way, so you be but careful not to let the vagabonds get the mastery of a canoe. When you get back to the Ark, tell 'em to keep close, and to keep moving too, most especially at night. Many hours can't go by without the troops on the river hearing of this party, and then your fri'nds may look for relief. 'Tis but a day's march from the nearest garrison, and true soldiers will never lie idle with the foe in their neighborhood. This is my advice, and you may say to your father and Hurry that scalp-hunting will be a poor business now, as the Mingos are up and awake, and nothing can save 'em, 'till the troops come, except keeping a good belt of water atween 'em and the savages."
"What shall I tell Judith about you, Deerslayer; I know she will send me back again, if I don't bring her the truth about you."
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