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26. Chapter XXVI. (continued)
The girl made no answer for some time, but she ceased paddling altogether, as if the novel idea distracted her mind too much to admit of other employment. Then she resumed the dialogue earnestly and with solicitude.
"Do you think the Hurons will have the heart to do what you say, Deerslayer?" she asked. "I have found them kind and harmless."
"That's true enough as consarns one like you, Hetty, but it's a very different affair when it comes to an open inimy, and he too the owner of a pretty sartain rifle. I don't say that they bear me special malice on account of any expl'ites already performed, for that would be bragging, as it might be, on the varge of the grave, but it's no vanity to believe that they know one of their bravest and cunnin'est chiefs fell by my hands. Such bein' the case, the tribe would reproach them if they failed to send the spirit of a pale-face to keep the company of the spirit of their red brother; always supposin' that he can catch it. I look for no marcy, Hetty, at their hands; and my principal sorrow is that such a calamity should befall me on my first warpath: that it would come sooner or later, every soldier counts on and expects."
"The Hurons shall not harm you, Deerslayer," cried the girl, much excited -"Tis wicked as well as cruel; I have the Bible, here, to tell them so. Do you think I would stand by and see you tormented?"
"I hope not, my good Hetty, I hope not; and, therefore, when the moment comes, I expect you will move off, and not be a witness of what you can't help, while it would grieve you. But, I haven't stopped the paddles to talk of my own afflictions and difficulties, but to speak a little plainly to you, gal, consarnin' your own matters."
"What can you have to say to me, Deerslayer! Since mother died, few talk to me of such things."
"So much the worse, poor gal; yes, 'tis so much the worse, for one of your state of mind needs frequent talking to, in order to escape the snares and desaits of this wicked world. You haven't forgotten Hurry Harry, gal, so soon, I calculate?"
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