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Two Revenges


Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

It is no more possible to predicate the conduct of an Indian than that of
a woman. In Detroit lived Wasson, one of the warriors of the dreaded
Pontiac, who had felt some tender movings of the spirit toward a girl of
his tribe. The keeper of the old red mill that stood at the foot of
Twenty-fourth Street adopted her, with the consent of her people, and did
his best to civilize her. But Wasson kept watch. He presently discovered
that whenever the miller was away a candle shone in the window until a
figure wrapped in a military cloak emerged from the shadows, knocked, and
was admitted. On the night that Wasson identified his rival as Colonel
Campbell, an English officer, he stole into the girl's room through the
window and cut her down with his hatchet. Colonel Campbell, likewise, he
slew after Pontiac had made prisoners of the garrison. The mill was
shunned, after that, for the figure of a girl, with a candle in her hand,
frightened so many people by moving about the place that it was torn down
in 1795.

But the red man was not always hostile. Kenen, a Huron, loved a
half-breed girl, whom he could never persuade into a betrothal. One day
he accidentally wounded a white man in the wood, and lifting him on his
shoulder he hurried with him to camp. It was not long before he found
that the soft glances of the half-breed girl were doing more to cure his
victim than the incantations of the medicine-man, and in a fit of anger,
one day, he plucked forth his knife and fell upon the couple. Her look of
innocent surprise shamed him. He rushed away, with an expression of
self-contempt, and flung his weapon far into the river. Soon after, the
white man was captured by the Iroquois. They were preparing to put him to
the torture when a tall Indian leaped in among them, with the cry, I am
Kenen. Let the pale face go, for a Huron chief will take his place. And,
as the bonds fell from the prisoner's wrists and ankles, he added, Go
and comfort the White Fawn. The white man was allowed to enter a canoe
and row away, but as he did so his heart misgave him: the words of a
deathsong and the crackling of flames had reached his ears.

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