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CHAPTER 22 (continued)
"They are captives to the heathen," said David; "and, though greatly troubled in spirit, enjoying comfort and safety in the body."
"Both!" demanded the breathless Heyward.
"Even so. Though our wayfaring has been sore and our sustenance scanty, we have had little other cause for complaint, except the violence done our feelings, by being thus led in captivity into a far land."
"Bless ye for these very words!" exclaimed the trembling Munro; "I shall then receive my babes, spotless and angel-like, as I lost them!"
"I know not that their delivery is at hand," returned the doubting David; "the leader of these savages is possessed of an evil spirit that no power short of Omnipotence can tame. I have tried him sleeping and waking, but neither sounds nor language seem to touch his soul."
"Where is the knave?" bluntly interrupted the scout.
"He hunts the moose to-day, with his young men; and tomorrow, as I hear, they pass further into the forests, and nigher to the borders of Canada. The elder maiden is conveyed to a neighboring people, whose lodges are situate beyond yonder black pinnacle of rock; while the younger is detained among the women of the Hurons, whose dwellings are but two short miles hence, on a table-land, where the fire had done the office of the axe, and prepared the place for their reception."
"Alice, my gentle Alice!" murmured Heyward; "she has lost the consolation of her sister's presence!"
"Even so. But so far as praise and thanksgiving in psalmody can temper the spirit in affliction, she has not suffered."
"Has she then a heart for music?"
"Of the graver and more solemn character; though it must be acknowledged that, in spite of all my endeavors, the maiden weeps oftener than she smiles. At such moments I forbear to press the holy songs; but there are many sweet and comfortable periods of satisfactory communication, when the ears of the savages are astounded with the upliftings of our voices."
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