Flying Shadow And Track Maker

The Chippewas and Sioux had come together at Fort Snelling to make merry

and cement friendships. Flying Shadow was sad when the time came for the

tribes to part, for Track Maker had won her heart, and no less strong

than her love was the love he felt for her. But a Chippewa girl might not

marry among the Sioux, and, if she did, the hand of every one would be

against her should ever the tribes wage war upon each other, and war was

nearer than either of them had expected. The Chippewas left with feelings

of good will, Flying Shadow concealing in her bosom the trinkets that

testified to the love of Track Maker and sighing as she thought of the

years that might elapse ere they met again.

Two renegade Chippewas, that had lingered behind the band, played the

villain after this pleasant parting, for they killed a Sioux. Hardly was

the news of this outrage received at the fort ere three hundred warriors

were on the trail of their whilom guests and friends, all clamoring for

revenge. Among them was Track Maker, for he could not, as a warrior,

remain behind after his brother had been shot, and, while his heart sank

within him as he thought of the gentle Flying Shadow, he marched in

advance, and early in the morning the Chippewas were surprised between

St. Anthony's Falls and Rum River, where they had camped without fear,

being alike ignorant and innocent of the murder for which so many were to

be punished.

The Sioux fell upon them and cut down all alike--men, women, and

children. In the midst of the carnage Track Maker comes face to face with

Flying Shadow, and with a cry of gladness she throws herself into his

arms. But there is no refuge there. Gladly as he would save her, he knows

too well that the thirst for blood will not be sated until every member

of that band is dead. He folds her to his bosom for an instant, looks

into her eyes with tenderness--then bowing his head he passes on and

never glances back. It is enough. She falls insensible, and a savage,

rushing upon her, tears the scalp from her head.

The Sioux win a hundred scalps and celebrate their victory with dance and

song. Track Maker has returned with more scalps than any, and the maidens

welcome him as a hero, but he keeps gravely apart from all, and has no

share in the feasting and merry-making. Ever the trusting, pleading,

wondering face of Flying Shadow comes before him. It looks out at him in

the face of the deer he is about to kill. He sees it in the river, the

leaves, the clouds. It rises before him in dreams. The elder people say

he is bewitched, but he will have none of their curatives. When war

breaks out he is the first to go, the first to open battle. Rushing among

his enemies he lays about him with his axe until he falls, pierced with a

hundred spears and arrows. It is the fate he has courted, and as he falls

his face is lighted with a smile.

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