JAMES FENIMORE COOPER - The Last of the Mohicans Retold by John Escott 11 The Old Chief.


JAMES FENIMORE COOPER - The Last of the Mohicans Retold by John Escott
11 The Old Chief.

Magua went to the Delawares' village. The Delawares were friends of France. But they did not fight in the war. Magua went to the Delawares' meeting-house. The Delaware chiefs were talking.
'The Huron chief is welcome,' said a Delaware.
'Is my woman prisoner safe and well?' asked Magua.
'She is well,' said the Delaware.
Then Magua said, 'Are there strangers in the forest? White men?'
'There are strangers in the village,' said the Delaware. 'They are in my house. But strangers are always welcome in this village.'
'What will the King of France say about this?' said Magua. 'His greatest enemy is here in the Delawares' village. This enemy is a white man. He kills many friends of the French.'
'Which white man is an enemy of France?' asked the Delaware chief.
'The scout, Hawk-eye!' said Magua. 'The Long Gun! The other strangers are his friends. They are the enemies of France too.'

The Delawares started to talk quietly. One of them left the meeting-house quickly. A few minutes later, he came back. Then a very old man came into the meeting-house. Two young Delawares helped the old man. He had long white hair and there were many lines on his face. The chiefs spoke his name ... 'Tamenund.' Magua knew the name of this famous Delaware chief. Tamenund was more than one hundred years old! Tamenund sat down. Then he spoke to the two young Delawares. They got up and went away. Soon, they came back with Alice, Cora, Duncan and Hawk-eye. Cora was very angry. She spoke to the chiefs.
'Yesterday, we were welcome in this village,' she said. 'The Delawares were our friends. Today we are your prisoners. Why are we prisoners?'
Tamenund did not answer.

'Which man is Hawk-eye, The Long Gun?' he asked.
Hawk-eye walked forward. 'I am Hawk-eye,' he said. Then Tamenund spoke quickly to Magua.
'Take your prisoner ... the dark-haired woman. Go!' he said.
But Cora spoke to the old chief.
'Another man came to this village with us,' she said. 'Now he is a prisoner too. But he is one of your own people. He will tell our story. Please! Listen to him!'
Tamenund looked at the chiefs.
'Who is this other prisoner?' he asked.
'He fights for the English,' Magua said quickly. 'You must kill him.'
'Bring him here!' said Tamenund.

Two men left the meeting-house. Soon they came back with Uncas. Uncas was not wearing a shirt. His hands were tied. He stood in front of Tamenund. The old chief looked at him. Tamenund saw a tattoo on Uncas' chest. It was a picture of a turtle.
'Who are you?' the old chief asked.
'I am Uncas, son of Chingachgook, son of the great Unamis ... the Turtle,' Uncas replied. 'Chingachgook and Uncas are the last of the Mohicans!'
Tamenund looked at Uncas. Then he smiled at the young Mohican.
'Your father is a great chief,' he said.
Uncas suddenly saw Hawk-eye.

'Delaware Father,' he said to Tamenund. 'This is my friend, Hawk-eye. He is a friend of the Delawares.'
'The Long Gun?' said Tamenund. 'He is not a friend of the Delawares. He kills our young men.'
Then Hawk-eye spoke.
'I kill Hurons,' he said. 'I have never killed a Delaware.'
The Delawares believed Hawk-eye's words. Tamenund looked at Uncas.
'Why are you the Huron's prisoner?' he asked.
'I helped the English woman,' said Uncas.
Tamenund looked at Cora. Then he spoke to Magua.
'And why is the English woman your prisoner?' he asked.
'I hate the English!' said Magua. 'Now the daughter of an English chief is my prisoner. Now the daughter of Munro will be my wife.'

Magua went to Cora and held her arm.
'Wait!' shouted Duncan. 'Don't take her. The English will give you money.'
But Magua did not listen. He pulled Cora towards the door.
'Come!' he said to her.
'I am your prisoner,' Cora said to Magua. 'But do not touch me.'
She turned to Duncan.
'Please take care of my young sister,' she said.
She kissed Alice. Then she spoke to Magua.
'I will come with you.'
'And I will come too!' shouted Duncan. 'I will help you, Cora!'
'Wait!' said Hawk-eye. He held Duncan's arm.

Hawk-eye spoke quickly and quietly.
'Magua's friends are waiting in the forest,' he said. 'They will kill you.'
'Huron!' said Uncas. 'We will find you! We will kill you!'
But Magua laughed.
'Mohican,' said Magua. 'You cannot kill me. I am too strong. Stay here with your brothers, the Delawares. They are weak. They like their homes and their food. They do not like fighting. They will not help you.'
Then Magua walked out of the meeting-house. Cora followed him. Uncas spoke to Tamenund.
'Delaware Father,' he said. 'Help us. We must follow the English woman.'
Tamenund called the young men of the village.
'Go with the Mohican,' he said. 'The Hurons are now our enemies!'