Mogg Megone

Hapless daughter of a renegade is Ruth Bonython. Her father is as unfair

to his friends as to his enemies, but to neither of them so merciless as

to Ruth. Although he knows that she loves Master Scammon--in spite of his

desertion and would rather die than wed another, he has promised her to

Mogg Megone, the chief who rules the Indians at the Saco mouth. He,

blundering savage, fancies that he sees to the bottom of her grief, and

one day, while urging his suit, he opens his blanket and shows the scalp

of Scammon, to prove that he has avenged her. She looks in horror, but

when he flings the bloody trophy at her feet she baptizes it with a

forgiving tear. What villainy may this lead to? Ah, none for him, for

Bonython now steps in and plies him with flattery and drink, gaining from

the chief, at last, his signature--the bow totem--to a transfer of the

land for which he is willing to sell his daughter. Ruth, maddened at her

father's meanness and the Indian's brutality, rushes on the imbruted

savage, grasps from his belt the knife that has slain her lover, cleaves

his heart in twain, and flies into the wood, leaving Bonython stupid with


Father Rasles, in his chapel at Norridgewock, is affecting his Indian

converts against the Puritans, who settled to the southward of him fifty

years before. To him comes a woman with torn garments and frightened

face. Her dead mother stood before her last night, she says, and looked

at her reprovingly, for she had killed Mogg Megone. The priest starts

back in wrath, for Mogg was a hopeful agent of the faith, and bids her

go, for she can ask no pardon. Brooding within his chapel, then, he is

startled by the sound of shot and hum of arrows. Harmon and Moulton are

advancing with their men and crying, Down with the beast of Rome! Death

to the Babylonish dog! Ruth, knowing not what this new misfortune may

mean, runs from the church and disappears.

Some days later, old Baron Castine, going to Norridgewock to bury and

revenge the dead, finds a woman seated on the earth and gazing over a

field strewn with ashes and with human bones. He touches her. She is

cold. There has been no life for days. It is Ruth.

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