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Title: The Antelope Boy; or, Smoholler the Medicine Man _ Beadle's Pocket Novels No. 92
Author: Aiken, George L.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Antelope Boy; or, Smoholler the Medicine Man _ Beadle's Pocket Novels No. 92" ***

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THE MEDICINE MAN ***



                           THE ANTELOPE BOY;
                      SMOHOLLER, THE MEDICINE-MAN


                A TALE OF INDIAN ADVENTURE AND MYSTERY.


                          BY GEORGE L. AIKEN.


                               NEW YORK.
                     BEADLE AND ADAMS, PUBLISHERS,
                           98 WILLIAM STREET.

       Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873, by
                           FRANK STARR & CO.,
       In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.



                                CONTENTS


  I The Surveyors’ Camp                                                9
  II The Arrow Message                                                14
  III Smoholler’s Fiend                                               19
  IV Smoholler’s Angel                                                24
  V The Scouting Party                                                28
  VI Finding the Trail                                                32
  VII A Desperate Encounter                                           35
  VIII The Prophet-Chief                                              39
  IX Conjuration                                                      42
  X Oneotah                                                           46
  XI A Silvan Repast                                                  50
  XII The Tree-Ladder                                                 54
  XIII Multuomah                                                      59
  XIV The Chief’s Bride                                               63
  XV The Old Hunter’s Idea                                            67
  XVI Holding a Council                                               70
  XVII The Boy Embassadors                                            75
  XVIII The White Lily                                                80
  XIX On the Way                                                      84
  XX Oneotah’s Memories                                               88
  XXI The Mystic Cavern                                               91
  XXII The Search is Ended                                            95



                           THE ANTELOPE BOY;
                      SMOHOLLER, THE MEDICINE-MAN.



                               CHAPTER I.
                          THE SURVEYORS’ CAMP.


The surveying party were camped upon the banks of the Columbia River, a
short distance from the mouth of its confluent, the Yakima.

This party consisted of the two surveyors—Owen Blaikie, a bluff,
middle-aged Scotchman, long since “naturalized” to this country, and
Cyrus Robbins, a shrewd young Yankee, twelve United States soldiers
under command of Lieutenant Charles Gardiner, detailed expressly from
the nearest fort to protect the surveying party from predatory bands of
Indians, an old hunter, generally known under the name of “Gummery
Glyndon,”—his prefix of Montgomery having suffered this abbreviation at
the hands of his associates—whose duty it was to act as guide, and keep
the surveyors supplied with fresh meat; and two boys, the chain-bearers
of the expedition.

These boys merit more than a passing notice here, as they are destined
to play conspicuous parts in the events which were to follow the advance
of the surveying party into the country of the Yakimas.

There was this peculiarity about them, that they were first cousins, and
were both called Percy—Percy Vere and Percy Cute.

But despite their relationship and the similarity of their surnames,
there was very little resemblance between the two.

Percy Vere was a slender youth, graceful and active, with a frank,
honest face, and regular features, his hair being a dark chestnut, thick
and curly, and his eyes a clear hazel, giving evidence of courage and
decision of character in their glances. He looked quite picturesque in
his coarse suit, with the trowsers tucked into high-topped boots, and
his crispy curls straggling from beneath his broad-leafed felt hat.

Percy Cute was full a head shorter, and his figure was decidedly
dumpish. He had a fat, good-natured face, light flaxen hair, and a
laughing blue eye. Indeed, a grin appeared to be the prevailing
expression of his features. He was sluggish-looking, and appeared like
one who would not put forth exertion unless compelled to do so. He was
dressed after the fashion of his cousin and comrade, with heavy boots,
coarse trowsers, a striped shirt, with a broad collar, and a kind of
roundabout, which was short for a coat, and too long for a jacket; and
like him, he wore a revolver in a belt buckled around his waist, the
pistol resting convenient to hand, upon his right hip, while on the left
side the handle of a bowie knife made itself conspicuous.

All in this party carried arms, for the service was one of danger, and
at any moment the emergency for their use might arise.

The boys were quite favorites in the party, the first by his frank,
manly bearing, and accommodating spirit, and the other by his unvarying
good nature, and the drollery in which he was so fond of indulging. His
humor appeared to be inexhaustible, and his quaint manner of giving vent
to it was irresistible.

In fact, Percy Cute had, at a very early age, been forcibly impressed by
the antics of a clown in a circus, and his great delight had been to
play clown from that eventful moment.

The culinary department of the expedition was attended to by a colored
individual who combined the two functions of cook and barber for the
party. He was a jolly little darky, but terribly afraid of the Indians.
The fear of his life was that he might have his “wool lifted”—as the old
hunter phrased it—before he got out of the wilderness. But he had one
consolation even in this apprehension: he had, like a great many other
barbers, invented a HAIR RESTORATIVE, which he considered infallible.

“Never you mind, boys,” he would tell the soldiers, “if de Injines does
gobble us, an’ lift our ha’r, as Gummery says, I can make it grow
ag’in—hi yah-yah! I jist kin!”

Whereupon he would exhibit a small bottle in a mysterious manner,
adding, “Dar’s de stuff dat can do it—you bet!” And then he would
consign it to his pocket again.

This assurance afforded much amusement to the “high privates” of the
party, who made a standing joke of the Professor’s Hair Restorative—for
Isaac Yardell had prefixed the word “Professor” to his name when he was
a tonsorial artist in Chicago, before the spirit of adventure had seized
upon him and led him after gold among the mountains of Montana.

Gummery Glyndon had brought in an antelope. Some of the soldiers had
captured a few fish from the river, a fire had been built in the center
of the camp, and preparations were going on briskly for the evening
meal.

In this Isaac had four assistants, he having contrived to transfer the
drudgery of his office, with true Ethiopian cunning, to others. A
colored servitor will always shirk all the work he can. Thus two of the
soldiers, a German named Jacob Spatz—Dutch Jake, was his camp name—and
one Irishman, Cornelius Donohoe—Corney for short—were always available
for services at meal-time, and the two boys—the Percys—collected the
wood for the firing. By this arrangement Isaac had little to do but the
cooking, which he performed to the entire satisfaction of the party.

Even the rough old hunter—Glyndon—a gaunt, grizzly man of fifty years of
age, bestowed his meed of praise upon him.

“It don’t matter what I bring in,” he told Lieutenant Gardiner, “game,
fish or fowl—antelope, mountain sheep, or b’ar meat, that Ike can just
make it toothsome. These darkies take to cooking, ’pears to me, just as
naturally as ducks do to water.”

Ike had only one grievance in the camp, Percy Cute was continually
playing jokes upon him. Such little pranks as putting powder in his
pipe, nipping at the calves of his legs and imitating a dog’s growl, and
grasping his wool at night, and shouting a war-whoop in his ear, had a
damaging effect upon Ike’s temper, and he vowed deadly vengeance. But
his vengeance never extended beyond a chase after Percy Cute with a
ladle, with the laudable intention of administering a severe spanking;
but in these onslaughts the redoubtable Isaac always came to grief; for,
just as he would overtake the flying youth, Cute, with a nimbleness that
his sluggish look and dumpy figure never led any one to expect, would
suddenly fall upon his hands and knees, and pitch his pursuer over him.
But as Isaac invariably alighted upon his head, he received no injury
from these involuntary dives. A shout of laughter would herald his
defeat, and he would pick himself up, and return to his camp-kettle, in
a crest-fallen manner, swearing to himself until every thing got blue
around him, and vowing that he would “fix him de next time, suah!”

These little episodes enlivened the camp, and nobody enjoyed them better
than Gummery Glyndon. The old hunter had, generally, a morose look upon
his seamed and weather-beaten countenance, and his hatred of every thing
in shape of an Indian was well known.

Nor was the cause of that hatred a secret. He had been the victim of one
of those forest tragedies so frequently enacted upon the frontier. It
was the old story which has been told so often, and will be repeated
until the extermination of the red-man—which has been going on slowly
but surely for years—is completed.

While absent upon a hunting and trapping expedition, his cabin had been
surprised, his wife and only child, a little girl some three years of
age, cruelly murdered, and their mutilated remains consumed in the fire
that destroyed his home.

A blackened ruin was all that was left of the spot that was so dear to
him, and he found himself alone in the world, with only one thought in
the future—vengeance upon the murderers.

In the drear solitude of that heart-sickening scene, and beside the
ashes of all that he had treasured in the world, he breathed that vow of
vengeance, which the lips of so many bereaved settlers in the Far West
have sent up to heaven—death to the destroyers.

That was fifteen years before the time in which I introduce him here. In
all those years he had pursued the Indians with a deadly malignity. He
had taken part in every Indian war that had broken out, and the number
of his victims had been many.

As the years passed away this feeling of vengeance grew fainter, and
though he never spared an Indian who came against him with hostile
intent, yet he did not go out of his way to seek for them, as he had
done. The Yakimas were supposed to be the destroyers of his home and
family, and against that nation he cherished an undying enmity. Yet
circumstances had led him away from their country, to the
hunting-grounds of the Apaches, with whom he had many encounters.

He had gladly accepted the service that would take him back to the land
of the Yakimas. In all these years he had gained experience as a guide,
in wood-craft, and as an Indian-fighter. No hunter of the plains bore a
better reputation for skill, prudence, and knowledge of the Indians than
Gummery Glyndon.

His face bore a somewhat morose expression, as I have said, but he was
far from being a morose man. Indeed, there was quite a fund of dry humor
in his disposition, which was an agreeable surprise to those who judged
the man by his saturnine countenance.

Percy Cute was a particular favorite of his, and none in the party
enjoyed the boy’s drolleries more than he did. Indeed, both the boys
were prime favorites with him, and often accompanied him upon his hunts.
He looked upon them in the light of _proteges_, as he had got them their
places in the expedition.

He had met them at Fort Benton, where they had come from Omaha up the
Missouri river, on one of the steamboats that ply on that stream, and
was rather surprised to hear what had brought them there.

Though partly led by a spirit of adventure, they had a mission, and one
of some importance.



                              CHAPTER II.
                           THE ARROW MESSAGE.


Percy Vere explained this mission to the old hunter. His father had been
missing for years. He was an eccentric character, and professed
spiritualism, astrology, ventriloquism, and kindred sciences, dabbling a
little in magic and chemistry. In fact, he was a universal genius—a
jack-of-all-trades, and not doing well with any.

Percy’s mother was a woman of ability and good sense, a first rate
milliner, and her industry kept the wolf, which the father’s
eccentricities brought to the door, away. In other words, she was
obliged to support herself and son, and often furnish money to the
genius, who could not make it for himself with all his diverse talents.

He did not appear to be able to concentrate his forces so as to produce
any good from them. He was full of wild theories and startling
speculations, but he failed signally whenever he attempted to put them
to an application.

His wife expressed her opinion of him freely one day, and told him she
could no longer expend her savings in his wild schemes. He replied that
it was the fate of genius to be misunderstood, that he was destined to
be a great man, and she would live to see it; and having uttered this
ambiguous prophecy, left her.

He did not return the next day, or the next—a year passed away without
bringing Guy Vere home. His wife became alarmed at his prolonged
absence. She reproached herself with being too harsh with him and having
driven him away from her. He was a handsome man, and she had cherished a
warm affection for him, which his eccentricities had not destroyed. She
feared that she had driven him to commit suicide. But no tidings came of
his death.

She was obliged to keep her little millinery shop going for the support
of herself and son, and her sister’s child, who being left an orphan,
fell to her care. This was Percy Cute—who was just one year younger than
his cousin, his mother having been so pleased with the name of her
sister’s child, that she had bestowed it upon her own.

The little shop prospered, and the boys grew in years. Mrs. Vere could
not drive the image of her husband from her mind. If she could have
satisfied herself that he was dead, she would have been more content,
but she could not do that.

The impression among Guy’s neighbors when he was at home, was that he
was not in his right mind—“Luny,” they called him.

But many years passed away before she got any tidings of the missing
man, and then it came in a very vague shape.

Percy Vere got an Omaha _Herald_ one day, which had been sent as an
exchange to a St. Louis paper, and in it was the advertisement of an
astrologer who called himself “Professor Guy.”

He took it home to his mother, and said to her, “That’s father!”

These words put her all in a flutter. She took the paper and scanned the
advertisement eagerly.

“What makes you think so?” she asked.

“Father’s name was Guy, and he was a ‘professor’ of astrology!”

She smiled. “He was a professor of almost everything.”

“Suppose I go and see if it is my father,” he suggested.

She pondered over this.

“Would you know him, do you think?”

“Oh, yes, if the picture you have in your locket is any thing like him.”

“It was when it was taken.”

She took out the locket, which she wore constantly around her neck,
sprung it open, and regarded the two portraits it contained earnestly,
for it held her miniature likeness as well as his.

“I have not changed much,” she said, “and perhaps he has not, either. I
should really like to know if he is alive. Suppose I was to write to
this Professor Guy?”

Percy, who was a bright youth, shook his head dissentingly.

“If he is staying away of his own accord, it is no use to write to him
to come back,” he replied.

She breathed a sigh. “I suppose not,” she said.

“But if I was to go after him and have a talk with him, I might prevail
upon him to come back.”

Mrs. Vere was impressed by these words, but she answered: “How could I
trust you so far away from home?”

He smiled, and drew himself proudly up.

“Don’t you think I am big enough to take care of myself?”

She surveyed his tall, graceful figure, with a mother’s pride, saying:

“Perhaps; but you are so young.”

“I’m seventeen, and I feel quite a man.”

“But I don’t like to trust you so far from home alone.”

“Oh! I needn’t go alone; Percy can go with me.”

Mrs. Vere laughed.

“A great protection he would be—another boy like yourself!” she cried.
“There, there—let us not talk any more about it.”

But they did talk about it upon several occasions afterward, and Mrs.
Vere’s desire to hear from her missing husband overcame all other
considerations, and she consented to Percy’s request to go in search of
him. She thought that the sight of his boy would induce him to return
home.

Her business had proved prosperous, as I have said, and she was able to
fit out the boys in good style. She hung the locket that contained her
own and husband’s likeness around her son’s neck, and bade him a tearful
“good speed.”

The boys took passage upon a steamboat bound for Omaha, and steamed up
the Big Muddy, as the Missouri is called by the dwellers on its banks,
and reached that ambitious city in due season.

Upon making inquiries, Percy Vere learned that Professor Guy had found
Omaha dull for the exercise of his profession, and had joined a party of
adventurers—a mixture of hunters and gold-seekers—and gone with them to
Fort Benton.

The very eccentricity of this proceeding was a convincing proof to Percy
that this Professor Guy was indeed his father So he wrote to his mother,
and then he and Percy Cute sailed up the river in one of the
light-draught steamboats.

They reached Fort Benton without misadventure, but here, instead of
being at the end of their journey, they found it was just the
starting-point. The party to which the Professor had attached himself
had taken the trail that led into the wilderness, and it was necessary
to follow it, or abandon the search.

Percy Vere chose the former alternative, for he could never think of the
latter, and Percy Cute was always of his way of thinking—in fact,
thinking was irksome to his sluggish nature.

“I just tumble to any thing you say,” he told his cousin. “Follow your
leader—that’s my maxim. You lead and I’ll follow. Say! we might have
some high old fun among the Injuns, and bears, and things. Let’s invest
in a revolver and bowie-knife, and travel on our muscle!”

So Percy Vere, filled with a true spirit of boyish adventure, wrote his
intentions to his mother, and he and Cute made their preparations for a
journey into the wilderness.

At this juncture of affairs they made the acquaintance of the old
hunter, Gummery Glyndon. They told him their story, (or rather young
Vere did, for he was the spokesman on all occasions) and he promised to
aid them, and fulfilled his promise by attaching them to the surveying
party, though in the capacity of chain bearers; but the boys did not
mind that.

Such an opportunity to penetrate into the Indian country was not to be
neglected, and the first Percy, who was treasurer, wished to husband
their means, for there was no telling how long their search might last,
or whither it would lead them.

They made rapid journeys at first, as a portion of the “Northern Pacific
Railroad” had already been surveyed, and they were to take it up at, or
near, that point, where it was to connect in a south-easterly direction
with the “Union Pacific.”

As they passed the different Government forts their escort was changed,
until they were joined by Lieutenant Gardiner and his squad, from Fort
Walla Walla. He was to remain with them until they were through the
Yakima country.

Hitherto their journey had led through the land of the Nez Perces, who
were a friendly tribe, and they had been undisturbed; but when they made
this new camp Gummery Glyndon told them they might now expect trouble
from the Indians.

“There’s three tribes through here,” he said, “and there ain’t much
choice between ’em. There’s the _Cayuses_, the _Yakimas_, and the
_Umatillas_—a pesky set of murdering thieves the lot of ’em. They all
belong to the great Snake Nation, I believe—red sarpints, every mother’s
son of ’em.”

When he returned from his hunt he told them that he had seen “Indian
sign.”

“There’s Injuns watching us, and we shall hear from them,” he said.
“We’ll have to keep a sharp watch to-night, or they’ll stampede our
animals.”

The lieutenant and the surveyors did not neglect this warning. They had
great confidence in the old hunter’s judgment.

When the supper was disposed of the camp was placed in as good a
condition of defense as the locality would permit. The ground had been
well selected; it was a little grove on the river’s bank, a kind of
oasis among the cliffs, which rose beetling upon either side,
precipitously, and, apparently, inaccessible. These cliffs were some
distance—a long rifle-shot—from the little grove, and a kind of rocky
valley lay between them, devoid of vegetation in many places, where the
hard rocks cropped up. Through this valley must the foe come, or else
risk their necks, or a plunge into the river, by attempting to skirt the
cliffs.

The horses belonging to the party were secured in the grove. In the
center of the grove, in a kind of natural fireplace formed by the rocks,
the fire had been built, and its red embers were still glowing. Two
sentinels were posted at either extremity of the camp. Around the fire
the hunter, the surveyors, and the lieutenant were stretched in easy
attitudes, enjoying their pipes of tobacco—the great luxury of the
wilderness.

A short distance from them the two boys reclined upon a mossy bowlder,
listening to their conversation.

The sun had sunk, and the glorious twilight of that western land was
upon them. The scene was of calm tranquillity. But that tranquillity was
broken in a singular manner.

There came a hurtling sound in the air, and an arrow descended,
apparently from the heavens, and stuck quivering in the turf at
Lieutenant Gardiner’s head.

All started and grasped their weapons, instinctively, for the trusty
rifles were close at hand.

“An attack?” cried Gardiner.

“No—a message. See, there’s a scroll upon the arrow,” answered Gummery.
“Read it.”

He threw some brush upon the coals which speedily burst into a flame.
Lieutenant Gardiner undid the scroll of bark from the arrow, and spread
it open. It contained characters which he had no difficulty in
deciphering, for they were written in English.

  “White men, begone! If you advance further into the land of the
  Yakimas, certain destruction awaits you.

                                               “Smoholler, the Prophet.”



                              CHAPTER III.
                           SMOHOLLER’S FIEND.


“What does this mean?” added Lieutenant Gardiner, having read this
singular scroll aloud.

“A game of bluff!” answered the irrepressible Percy Cute. “Let’s see
him, and go two better!”

“It’ll be more than a bluff game,” rejoined Gummery Glyndon, shaking his
head gravely. “This means business. It’s a notice to quit, and if we
don’t take it, these Injuns will do their best to put us out.”

“Rub us out entirely, I guess you mean,” cried Surveyor Robbins,
laughingly. “But we won’t take the back track on such a notice as that.
Who is this Smoholler?”

“Yes, that’s what I want to know,” chimed in Blaikie and Lieutenant
Gardiner.

“I have heard tell of him, though I never met him,” replied Glyndon.
“He’s a great gun among the Injuns hereabouts. He’s a kind of red
Brigham Young—calls himself a Prophet, and has started a new religion
among the red-skins.”

“What is this religion like?”

“That’s more than I can say; though, from what I’ve heard, there appears
to be a deal of trickery about it. He’s a great Medicine-man, and can
raise the Old Boy, generally. He has his familiar fiends, and makes ’em
appear to his followers whenever he likes. He works miracles, and all
that sort of thing. And when he predicts the death of any one, they just
go, sure pop, at the time mentioned.”

“A singular man, this,” remarked Lieutenant Gardiner, thoughtfully.

“He’s more smart than sing’lar; he just keeps these benighted heathen
right under his thumb. They don’t dare to say their souls are their own
when he’s around.”

“Where did he come from?”

“He is said to be a Snake Indian of the Walla Walla tribe. He started a
village on the river, above here, at a place they call Priest’s Rapids,
and his followers increased like magic. He is said, by the Nez Perces,
to have a couple of thousand of believers, renegades from all the other
tribes in this region, and he can put three hundred fighting men in the
field, and then the Cayuses, Yakimas and Umatillas all stand in dread of
him, and wouldn’t dare to do any thing else but join him in a war
against the whites if he called on ’em. I believe he’s got a reg’lar
stronghold at Priest’s Rapids.”

“Is it named so on his account?” asked Robbins.

Glyndon shook his head dubiously.

“I s’pose so, but I couldn’t say for sure. I don’t know the place; was
never up there.”

“What kind of a place is it—did you ever hear?”

“Oh, yes. It is north of the Oregon line, and is a great place for
salmon-fishing. The Injuns have a great time catching ’em in the
season.”

“This Smoholler, then, is a kind of independent chief among the other
tribes?”

“Yes; and his tribe is a conglomeration of all the other tribes, and the
pick of ’em, too. They are called Smohollers by the other Injuns, but
there’s Cayuses, Yakimas, Umatillas, Modocs, Snakes, and Piutes amongst
them.”

“A mongrel set!”

“But tough customers to deal with.”

Lieutenant Gardiner turned to Percy Vere.

“You and your chum send the sentinels in to me, and take their
places—young eyes are sharp.”

The two boys, who had been listening attentively to this conversation,
obeyed at once, and the two sentinels soon appeared before the
lieutenant. But they had not seen any one approach the camp, and were
surprised to hear that an arrow had been shot into it.

Gummery Glyndon surveyed the nearest cliff critically. Its base was
about a stone’s throw from where he sat. The rising moon threw a silvery
radiance upon its peak, disclosing an irregularity near its top, that
looked like a cavity in its face, though it might have been only a
shadow.

“It’s my opinion the arrow came from there,” he exclaimed, giving
utterance to this thought suddenly.

All eyes were turned in the direction indicated.

“But how could any one get up there? A cat couldn’t climb that. It’s as
steep and as smooth as a wall.”

“Just you wait,” returned the old guide, coolly. “If this Smoholler is
the kind of man he’s said to be, we ain’t done with him yet. Just keep
your weather eye peeled in the direction of that cliff, and have your
rifles handy. That arrow was only the commencement. I saw plenty of
Injun sign to-day, and there may be a hundred of Smoholler’s braves
beyond there. I opine that he is not going to let us travel much further
into this country, if he can help it.”

“But, man, what harm does our surveying do him?” asked Blaikie.

“He don’t want any railroad through this country—all Injuns are down on
railroads—sp’ils their hunting-grounds, and settles up the country. And
the white settlers settle the Injuns. We’ve had a genteel notice to
leave, and if we don’t take it, we’ll have ’em swarming round us like
enraged hornets.”

“You would not advise a retrograde movement?” asked Lieutenant Gardiner.

“Who said any thing about taking the back-track?” somewhat tartly
rejoined Glyndon. “Did I? I never saw Injuns enough to back me down
yet.”

The lieutenant laughed, as he added:

“The suggestion of a backward movement came from me,” he said, “and by
so doing I am not afraid to have my courage called into question.
Discretion is said to be the better part of valor. We appear to have
reached a critical position here. Our party is small—nineteen in all,
counting the two boys. If the Indians oppose us in force—and from what
Glyndon says it seems that this Indian Prophet Smoholler can put three
hundred warriors in the field—shall we be justified in advancing against
such odds?”

The surveyors looked at Glyndon, but he was silent, gazing reflectively
at the cliff, upon whose summit the moonbeams now played in a fantastic
manner.

“I confess I don’t like the idea of retreating,” said Blaikie. “I don’t
want to be turned back by such a scarecrow as that.”

“No more do I,” added Robbins.

“I don’t say go back, and I don’t say go on,” replied Glyndon, in his
deliberate manner; “but I say, just hold on for a while here, where we
are, until we can see how the cat jumps.”

“How long will it be before the feline animal indulges in her gymnastic
exercise, do you think?” asked Robbins.

“Before you can smoke another pipe,” answered Glyndon. “I have an idea
that something is going to happen right away—kind o’ feel it in my
bones. Get the men ready, leftenant—there’s no telling what is— Hello!
it’s coming! Fireworks—by king!”

The amazement of the old hunter was shared by the whole camp, and the
two boys came running in from their posts.

“See—see—look there!”

A strange fire issued from the face of the cliff, disclosing a little
shelf or platform, backed by a cavity. From this cavity the fire came
forth with crimson luster, and rose colored smoke rolled upward toward
the heaven, obscuring the moon-rays.

The entire force of the whites clustered in front of the grove,
clutching their rifles, and gazing with wondering eyes upon this
singular sight, and exclamations burst spontaneously from their lips.

“Ach Gott! what ish dat?” cried the Dutch private.

“It’s a volcayano!” explained the Irishman.

“It’s the debble’s fireplace!” mumbled Isaac, and his teeth chattered
together with superstitious awe.

“It’s some of Smoholler’s deviltry!” said Glyndon.

The fire grew in intensity, and then a dark body seemed to grow up in
the midst of it. A black, unearthly figure of a man, with eyes of fire,
a tongue of flame, and livid horns projecting from his head, of a
deep-red color.

“The devil!” was the cry that burst from the lips of the astonished
whites.

He held what appeared to be a thunderbolt in his hand, and suddenly
launched it like a javelin at the astonished gazers. It whizzed past
Isaac’s head, singeing his wool in its passage, and exploding at his
heels, and the tonsorial professor sprawled upon his back with one
heart-rending yell that evinced his firm belief that he had received his
quietus.

“Fiend or man, I’ll have a try at him!” cried Glyndon, and he took a
rapid sight along the barrel of his rifle, and fired at the apparition
on the cliff.

Two other rifles echoed his, for Blaikie and Robbins had impulsively
followed his example. The three rifles sent forth their contents, and
the smoke clouded their vision for a moment. But following the reports
came an unearthly, soul-curdling laugh, and then something pattered down
among them like heavy drops of rain.

Robbins stooped and picked up a round object that struck at his feet.

“Good heavens! here’s my bullet sent back to me!” he cried.

These words sent a thrill through every heart. Isaac, still lying curled
up in a heap where he had fallen, uttered a plaintive howl.

Percy Cute went to him.

“Are you dead, Ike? If you are, say so, and tell us where you would like
to be buried,” he said.

Isaac sat up on end, resenting this question.

“Glory!” he cried. “S’pose de debble had shot you, how would you like
it?”

“Well, if I warn’t hurt any more than you are, I shouldn’t mind it much.
Singed your wool a little, but your Hair Restorer will fix that all
right, you know.”

A roar of laughter followed this remark, and in the midst of it Isaac
scrambled sheepishly to his feet.



                              CHAPTER IV.
                           SMOHOLLER’S ANGEL.


When the smoke of the rifles cleared away the fiend had vanished from
the cliff, and the crimson light had died away. The silvery beams of the
moon played hide and seek among the projections and depressions of the
cliff’s peak.

The gazers rubbed their eyes. What they had seen appeared to them
already like a fantastic dream. But a new vision awaited them, a new
wonder was to be presented to their eyes.

Another light began to glow from the cliff, but this time it was of a
bluish tint, and the smoke that arose from it was white and fleecy. And
this light grew dense, as the other had done, and assumed a form and
shape—a shape of ethereal loveliness.

As the other vision thrilled the beholders with a kind of supernatural
awe, so did this one excite their wondering admiration. It bore the
shape they supposed an angel would wear.

The face was that of a girl, angelic in its beauty. Her long black hair
floated in wavy masses upon her neck and shoulders, and was confined
upon the forehead by a golden coronet in the center of which gleamed a
diamond star, which emitted scintillating rays of light. Her arms and
legs were bare, revealing their faultless perfection, and the alabaster
purity of her skin. Her only garment was a long white tunic, of some
snowy, fleecy fabric, confined at the waist by a golden cestus, which
was studded with large rubies glittering with blood-red rays.

This angelic vision held in her right hand a kind of glittering dart.
For a minute she transfixed their wondering gaze, then hurled the dart
into their midst.

The fire around her grew more vivid, the volume of white smoke increased
in density, obscured her figure from view, and then began to roll away.
When the light of the fire faded and the smoke lifted from the face of
the rock, the platform was vacant, the lovely vision had disappeared.

The surveying party gaze inquiringly into each other’s faces. Lieutenant
Gardiner expressed the general opinion by asking the hunter, Glyndon:

“What do you think of that?”

Glyndon shook his head dubiously.

“Did you ever see a girl as pretty as that one was?” he asked.

“Well, no, I can’t say that I ever did,” the lieutenant admitted, with a
smile; “and if she is a human I should like to become better acquainted
with her.”

“All women have something angelic about them,” said Glyndon,
reflectively, and his voice had a strange touch of pathos to it as he
spoke—“particularly when they are good and true women. I knew one
once—an angel couldn’t have had a better disposition, and she—” His
voice broke here. “Well, well, the murdering red-skins sent her to
heaven before her time!” he resumed, huskily. “And our little one went
with her. Perhaps it was best so—but I’ve often thought I could have
stood it better if she had been spared. Do you know, leftenant—it was an
odd idea, but when I looked at that bright spirit-angel or whatever it
was—up on the cliff yonder—I thought to myself, my little girl, maybe,
looks just like that up in heaven.”

The hunter turned away his head and wiped his eyes with the back of his
bony hand. His hearers respected his grief for they knew the story of
Glyndon’s bereavement.

Percy Cute picked up the javelin and the dart, if they could be called
by these names, for they were of singular construction, as we shall see
anon.

“Here’s the telegrams,” he said; “they may tell us what the meaning of
the diorama was. A piece of birch bark is wrapped around each.”

“I must examine them,” exclaimed Gardiner, taking possession of them.
“Freshen up the fire, my boy, so we can have a little more light upon
the subject.”

“Better post the sentinels again,” suggested Glyndon. “This deviltry may
be only the forerunner of mischief.”

“You are right. It behoves us to use every precaution.”

Two other sentinels were posted, and then the balance of the party
returned to the camp-fire in the grove, which the two boys had started
into a blaze again.

One of the missiles hurled from the cliff was about four feet in length,
the other two. The javelin was a stout stick of wood, apparently the
shoot of a tree, about an inch in diameter, and was painted a blood-red
color. It was blackened at one end, as if it had been loaded with some
kind of firework, on the rocket principle. Around the middle of it a
strip of flexible bark was secured by a leathern string.

The dart was formed of the bone of the fore leg of an antelope, and was
gilded, as if by the application of that kind of gold-leaf known to
printers as “Dutch Metal.” This also had a strip of bark around it, but
it was secured by a long black hair, soft and glossy, as if plucked from
a woman’s head.

“Funny gim-cracks, those,” said Glyndon, as Lieutenant Gardiner
unfastened the strips of bark.

“Yes; nothing very supernatural about these,” he replied. “But let us
see what Smoholler has to say this time.”

He read the words upon the strip of bark taken from the javelin first:

“_Begone, or fear my vengeance!_”

“Good! So speaks the Fiend. Let’s hear what the Angel has to say.”

He read the second strip:

“_Depart in peace, and escape the destruction that threatens you._”

Lieutenant Gardiner passed the pieces of bark to the surveyors for their
inspection.

“Well, gentlemen, what do you think of this?” he asked.

Blaikie and Robbins examined the billets of bark curiously.

“There is one thing singular about this affair,” said Blaikie.

“What is that?”

“These communications, like the one sent on the arrow, are written in
English, either with a red pencil or a piece of red chalk, and
apparently by the same hand, for the characters appear to be alike in
each.”

“There’s nothing strange in that,” said Glyndon. “Many Injuns have
learned English from the numerous trappers and traders who have visited
them at different times. A man as smart as this Injun Prophet must have
had frequent dealings with the traders, and would be sure to get a
smattering of the language.”

“The man who wrote these communications had more than a smattering,”
returned Robbins. “This Smoholler is determined that we shan’t run our
railroad through his country, that’s evident.”

“Yes; and he has begun by trying to frighten us away.”

“And if that don’t do it, he’ll try fighting us away next,” responded
Glyndon.

“Likely; but I don’t scare worth a cent,” rejoined Robbins. “This
supernatural trickery may do among the Indians, but it won’t answer with
us. I’m going to survey this country in spite of Smoholler’s angels or
devils—though I wouldn’t mind a closer inspection of the angel.”

“Nor I,” laughed Gardiner. “Girl or angel, she was certainly a vision of
beauty. By Jove! suppose we search the cliff—we might find her there.”

He started impulsively to his feet, under the excitement of this idea.

“I will go with you!” cried Percy Vere, always ready for an adventure.

“Count me in!” added Percy Cute; the idea was firmly impressed upon his
mind that wherever Percy Vere went, he must go also.

“Sit down,” said Glyndon, in his calm, deliberate manner. “You might as
well attempt to find a needle in a haystack as search that cliff
to-night. You’d only break your necks attempting it, and not find
anybody, either. If there’s a way up that cliff, they know how to get up
and down it, and they won’t stop there until we come to look for ’em.
Wait until morning.”

“They’ll be gone then.”

“They’re gone _now_. If we could surround the cliff, it might have been
of some use; but it joins the range beyond, as you can see, and they
probably came from the back of it, through some crevice, which we can’t
see from here. I’ll take a scout up that way in the morning, and see.”

“My idea is to fortify our position here to the best of our ability, and
await an attack, which is sure to come. We might repulse it here.”

“You are right every way, leftenant,” replied Glyndon. “This is a good
p’int. While I take a scout to-morrow, just cut down a few of these
trees, and make a breastwork. We can send to Fort Walla Walla for help
if we are hard pushed; but I have an idea that if we pepper a few of
Smoholler’s followers, he’ll get sick of it and let us alone. The
railroad’s bound to go through, and he can’t help it. Perhaps I can get
a talk with him, and convince him that we are not going within a hundred
miles of his village. We’ll see to-morrow. Now just sleep, all who want
to. I’m going to keep an eye on that cliff for the balance of the
night.”

He took his rifle and walked to the edge of the timber; but his
vigilance appeared to have been uncalled-for, as the quiet of the camp
remained undisturbed through the night.



                               CHAPTER V.
                          THE SCOUTING PARTY.


In the morning, after partaking of breakfast, Gummery Glyndon prepared
for his scout. During this, he was urged by Percy Vere to allow him and
his cousin to accompany him.

The hunter was inclined, at first, to refuse this request, but on
reflection, he consented.

“They are smart boys, both of ’em,” he told himself, “and the surveyors
always lend them their rifles when they go with me. I’d rather have them
any time than the soldiers—these reg’lars ain’t worth shucks in an Injun
skirmish—it would be as good as three of us, and if the Injuns are thick
among the hills, and I opine so, I shall want some help along. Yes,
Percy, you can go.”

These last words were uttered aloud.

The two boys were quite pleased at being permitted to join in the scout,
and Blaikie and Robbins readily loaned them their rifles. The surveyors
were well provided in this respect as each had a breech-loading,
repeating rifle, besides the old-fashioned single-barreled, smooth bore
one. The boys got the single-barreled ones, of course. But they were
perfectly satisfied with them, and, by much practice, had gained
considerable skill in their use.

“Do you know, Percy, I have an idea,” said the elder boy, as they
equipped themselves for the adventure.

“Have you? How does it feel? Tell me, so I’ll know when I have one.”

“Oh, pshaw! you are always at your joke. My idea is that Smoholler might
give me some intelligence concerning my father.”

“Very likely; but do you think it safe to trust yourself in Smoholler’s
power?” suggested Cute.

“Oh, no; but we might be able to hold a parley with him. I think he
would prefer to arrange matters peaceably with us if he could. He must
know that he can not drive back our party without considerable loss to
himself.”

“Yes, and from what I have heard old Gummery Glyndon say, I should fancy
that these Indians don’t like to take any risks. Do you know, Percy, I’d
like to have a scrimmage with the red-skins. I think it would beat
bear-hunting all hollow—Smoholler!”

Percy Vere laughed at this pun upon the Prophet’s name.

“It might not be so funny as you imagine,” he answered; “particularly if
we should happen to get the worst of it, and you should have your hair
lifted.”

Percy Cute passed his fingers through his shock of flaxen hair,
reflectively.

“I would not like to be obliged to experiment on Professor Ike’s
Restorative in that fashion,” he said. “I’m afraid the soil is too poor
for another crop, even with that help. But I’m not going to let any
Indian take my top-knot if I can help it. I’ll trust to my arms, while
my powder and bullets last.”

“And failing these?”

“My dependence will be in my legs.”

“You are too fat to run fast.”

“Not if a crowd of red-skins was after me. The way I could get over the
ground then would be a caution to bedbugs.”

Percy Vere laughed again.

“You’ll do,” he cried.

“You bet I will! Anybody’s got to get up early to get ahead of my time.”

“Are you ready, boys?” asked Gummery Glyndon, as he approached them.

“Ready and willing,” responded Cute.

Glyndon took a critical survey of the boys, as they shouldered their
rifles and joined him. Besides the rifle each was armed with a
revolver—the large size called “navy”—and a bowie-knife, with a keen
blade, six inches in length, and a stout horn handle. A serviceable
weapon for a close encounter, and also serving the purpose of a hunting
and table knife. Few travelers upon the plains and amongst the mountains
of the Far West are without this useful article.

“You’ll do,” said Glyndon, shaking his head, approvingly. “Come on.”

Lieutenant Gardiner followed them to the edge of the timber.

“How long do you intend to be absent?” he asked.

“I shall try to bring you in something for dinner,” replied Glyndon.
“I’ve got the boys, and so I can bring in considerable game, if we are
lucky enough to find it. My idea is to go through the ravine, and skirt
the cliff to the left there—where the deviltry was last night—looking
for Indian sign by the way, and come back by the river’s bank, if
there’s footing—if not, we’ll get on some logs and let the tide float us
down.”

“A good idea,” cried Gardiner, surprised by the mention of this
expedient. “I should never have thought of that. You are cunning in
devices.”

“So are the Injuns,” returned Glyndon, impressively. “Take care some of
’em don’t come down on you that way while I’m gone.”

“I’ll look out for them; you’ll find quite a fort here when you come
back. I hardly think Smoholler will dare attack us here.”

Glyndon took a critical survey of the situation, and shook his head in
the manner he had when any thing met his approval.

“It’s a good camping-ground,” he said, “and you can hold it ag’in’ a
hundred Injuns, in _daylight_.” He laid particular stress upon this
word. “An open attack is what you can beat off without any trouble, but
it’s stratagem and trickery will bother you. But we can tell more about
Smoholler when I come back. If he’s got a strong party near us he can’t
hide the signs of them from me.”

“Can you judge of the number without seeing them?” asked Gardiner, in
some surprise.

“Oh, yes.”

“How can you do that?”

“Every man to his trade; you know your tactics, and I know mine. I have
learned to trail Injuns pretty well in all these years. I couldn’t very
well explain to you how I do it—there’s a knack in it that some men can
never pick up. But, to us old forest rangers, there’s tongues and voices
in the running water, the rustling leaves, the waving grass, and the
moss-grown stones. Where an Injun plants his foot he leaves a sign, and
though they do their best to hide their trail, there’s always eyes keen
enough to spy it out.”

“I have heard of the wonderful skill you hunters have in following a
trail,” rejoined Gardiner. “You beat the Indians in their own
woodcraft.”

“The white man is ahead of the red-man in every respect,” replied
Glyndon, sententiously. “He can out-run him, out-hunt him, and out-fight
him! It’s the intellect does it. The Injun’s brain-pan wasn’t calculated
for any thing but a savage—but you can’t make the Peace Commissioners
believe it. Why don’t they pick up all the lazy, good-for-nothing white
men in the country, put ’em on a reservation, and feed and clothe them?
Waugh! Come, boys, let’s see if the ‘noble red-man’ isn’t after our
ha’r.”

With this contemptuous reflection, Gummery Glyndon threw his long rifle
into the hollow of his arm, and walked toward the mouth of the ravine
with long strides, followed by the two boys, who kept up with him with
some difficulty; but their young hearts bounded with a pleasant
excitement.



                              CHAPTER VI.
                           FINDING THE TRAIL.


The rapid strides of the old guide carried him half-way across the
little valley between the cliffs: then he paused suddenly, and resting
the butt of his long rifle upon the ground, and leaning his hands upon
its muzzle, took a critical survey of the cliff, where the apparitions
had appeared upon the previous night.

“There isn’t any way to get up there on this side,” he said; “but there
may be on the other.”

“There’s something up there that looks like a hole—a kind of crack in
the rock,” rejoined Cute. “There may be a cave up there.”

“It is a fissure in the cliff, and may extend through to the other
side,” remarked Percy Vere.

“More’n likely,” answered the old hunter. “There’s a heap of snow lies
on these hills in the winter-time, and the spring thaw sends torrents
down to the river, and the water bores its way through the rocks just
like a gimlet. These cliffs are a spur of the Cascade Range, and when we
get upon the brow of one of them, I think we can see the white peak of
Mount Rainier, looking like a big icicle turned the wrong way upwards.”

“Is it very high?”

“Thirteen thousand feet, they say. It’s the highest peak of the Cascade
Mountains.”

“Why do they call them _Cascade_?”

“On account of the torrents I was telling you of. I’ll show you some
grand sights when we get among the mountains, for the road is to run
between Mount Adams and Mount Hood, Blaikie told me; that is if
Smoholler lets us get any further. We can never get out of this valley
with our present force, if he tries to stop us. Let’s push on and take
the timber there to the right. It’s pretty thick at the skirt of the
cliff.”

The trees fringed the cliff half-way to its summit, a thick growth of
spruce, fir, and cedar, and through this the hunter and the boys made
their way with some difficulty, as the ground was rocky and uneven, and
the dwarf cedars and firs sprung from every crevice of rock and patch of
earth.

After a toilsome tramp of an hour they turned the base of the cliff, and
emerged upon the other side of it. During their progress they started
quite a quantity of game. A huge elk galloped away within easy range,
and deer crossed their path several times, while numerous wild-fowl
arose from their perches and went whining away.

The temptation to shoot was very great, and it was as much as Glyndon
could do to restrain the boys.

“’Tain’t safe,” he told them. “Wait until we go back. I have an idea
that there’s Injuns round here, and a rifle-shot would bring ’em on us
quicker’n a wink.”

“But oh, what a lovely shot that elk was!” cried Percy Vere. “And such
splendid horns. I would like to have them for a trophy.”

“Wait—there’s more of ’em. We must look for Injuns first.”

“That’s my idea!” cried Cute. “I’d rather have a scalp for a trophy than
a pair of horns.”

Glyndon smiled, grimly.

“I opine that there’s as many scalps around here as horns,” he said;
“but we must take care we don’t lose our own in looking for ’em.”

“Have you seen any sign?” asked Percy Vere.

“Not yet; but I think we’re coming to it.”

They pressed forward, and as they skirted the cliff they bore upward
toward its crest. Its aspect was entirely different upon this side, its
slope being gradual, and the trees and bushes growing very near to the
top.

The way was still difficult. Huge bowlders, some covered with moss and
making little openings in the woods, and others thickly studded with fir
trees, protruding like green spikes, continually obstructed their way.

“Great Cæsar!” cried Glyndon, pausing to wipe the perspiration from his
brow. “This is tough work. I don’t see any signs of a trail yet—and
there must be one to the top of the cliff, if I could only find it.”

Percy Cute, who was the last in the line of march, for he had a natural
tendency for loitering, had diverged a little to one side when this halt
was made and, though the hunter and Percy Vere were further up the cliff
than he was, he had gone more to the right, in a forward direction, and
suddenly came upon a kind of open way in the wood.

“Look here!” he called out. “Here’s better traveling; come this way.”

Glyndon and Percy Vere joined him.

“Why, it looks like a path—a path leading to the summit of the cliff!”
cried Percy.

“It is the trail!” said Glyndon, with satisfaction.

He bent over it, and began to examine it attentively, and as he did so
his features assumed a grave expression, and he shook his head in a
dissatisfied manner.

“Boys!” he said—“I’m an old fool!”

This announcement rather surprised them.

“What’s up?” demanded Percy Cute.

“Mischief! We’ve walked into a trap, and I’ve led you into it like a
consumed idiot as I am.”

“How so?” inquired both boys, eagerly.

“Why, don’t you see? When we was a looking up at the cliff there must
have been one of the red-skins up there watching us. They know we are
here in the wood, and they are just waiting for our return to the camp
to surprise us. And there’s fifty of ’em at least.”

The boys were thrown from one surprise into another.

“How can you tell how many there are of them?” asked Percy Vere,
curiously.

Glyndon pointed to the trail.

“Here’s what tells me,” he answered. “These Injuns always go single
file, and tread in each other’s footsteps to blind their trail, but it
would take fifty of ’em, at least, to make so plain a trail. And see
there, just at one side, where her foot slipped on the stone, and she
stepped out of the trail, heavily, and come near falling—see that broken
branch to which she clung to save herself—that tells me there’s a squaw
along.”

The boys were filled with wonder.

“And the trail is scarcely cold either,” continued Glyndon, still
pursuing his examination. “They passed here less than a half an hour
ago, and they’re after us.”



                              CHAPTER VII.
                         A DESPERATE ENCOUNTER.


“After us?” repeated Percy Vere, in some consternation.

“Just so,” replied Glyndon, calmly.

“Then we had better git up and ’git,” suggested Percy Cute. “Let’s get
back to camp. I wouldn’t mind a scrimmage, but I think fifty against
three is a leetle too hefty.”

“We can’t go back the way we came,” answered Glyndon. “They’re between
us and the camp now. We’ll have to take to the river the other side of
the cliff, and get back that way.”

These words revived the boys’ spirits.

“Oh! then there is a way out of the trap?” cried Percy Vere.

“I reckon; I never got into so bad a scrape but what I could find a way
out of it. Let’s travel. We’ve found out enough, and the quicker we get
back to the camp now the better. We know that there is a way up to the
cliff’s top here, and we’ve found out that there’s a woman in the party,
so we can understand something of Smoholler’s deviltry last night.”

“Yes, but this woman is a squaw, is she not?”

“Of course.”

“But the vision that appeared upon the cliff was _white_, how can you
account for that?” urged Percy Vere.

Glyndon shook his head in a bewildered manner.

“I can’t account for it,” he answered, reflectively. “She was white, as
you say, and if she wasn’t an angel she looked enough like one to be
one. The sight of her face affected me strangely—I hain’t cried for
years, and yet I felt the tears coming as I looked at her. It’s
witchcraft, and this Injun Prophet just knows how to play it. I don’t
wonder that the savages think he’s something great. I’d like to see him
once, just to see what kind of a man he is; but I don’t want to see him
just now—it might not be wholesome,” he added, dryly. “He might lift my
ha’r without the formality of an introduction. It’s lucky I didn’t let
you shoot at that elk when you wanted to. The sound of your rifle would
have brought the whole squad down upon us.”

A peculiar cry arose on the air.

“What’s that?” asked Percy Vere; a presentiment of evil entering his
mind as he listened to it.

“That’s some bird calling for its mate,” said Cute.

“Nary a bird,” cried Glyndon. “That’s an Injun. They’ve struck our
trail, and they’re coming for us. Come on; we must get to the river,
fast as we can travel.”

“Couldn’t we make a stand here and fight them?” suggested Percy Vere.

The old hunter shook his head.

“Madness, my boy,” he replied. “I like your spunk, but it can’t be done.
I’m doubtful if we can all get back to the camp, but we’ll make a try
for it. Our only hope is to make for the river upon the other side of
the cliff.”

Percy Cute took off his hat, and felt of his hair, while his face
assumed a rueful expression.

“I wish I had a photograph of it,” he exclaimed.

“Why so?” demanded Glyndon, in some surprise.

“Because I’m afraid that I will never see it again.”

Both the hunter and Percy Vere laughed at this sally. This dry humor in
the face of threatening danger pleased Glyndon greatly.

“You’ll do!” he returned. “Good grit, both of you, and the Injuns shan’t
get you if I can help it. Come along. We can make a stand at the river’s
edge, and pepper some of ’em before we take to the water.”

They pressed rapidly forward, but their path was beset with many
obstacles and obstructions. They had to clamber over huge bowlders, and
force their way through thickets of cedar, and fir-trees, nor were
brambles wanting in the way.

The numerous signals that now sounded behind them lent spurs to their
exertions, for they told them that the Indians were following in swift
pursuit.

As they approached the river’s brink the wood grew more open; there were
less rocks scattered about, and the trees were taller. As they emerged
into this opening, with only a fringe of trees between them and the
river’s bank, the report of guns rattled in quick succession behind
them, and a bullet went whistling by Glyndon’s ear.

“Great Cæsar!” he cried, “this won’t do. Turn at the trees, boys, and
prepare for ’em. They’ll hit one of us next thing.”

They gained a clump of fir trees that grew close together, which
afforded them a shelter, and an opportunity to fire their rifles between
the trunks.

They were breathless with the exertions they had made, and were only too
glad to avail themselves of this temporary rest.

“Phew! that’s what I call tall traveling,” cried Cute, panting to
recover his wind. “I heard the bullets rattling around me like
hailstones.”

“It’s a mercy we were none of us hit,” rejoined Percy Vere. “Well, we’re
lucky so far.”

“But we ain’t out of it yet,” said Glyndon, and he looked grave.
“They’ll make a rush for us, and when they come, fire your rifles, and
then take your pistols. Don’t stop to load; if we can’t drive ’em back
on the first fire, it’s all up with us. Give ’em every shot you’ve got,
and then take the river—the current will carry us down to the camp, and
we can’t be far above it. Maybe they’ll hear the firing and be ready to
help us.”

“Hoop-la!” exclaimed Cute, excitedly. “Here they come. I’ll take that
big fellow in front.”

A wild yell rung through the wood, and a score of painted savages
bounded swiftly forward. They had determined upon a desperate charge,
evidently; and this mode of attack so different from the customary
warfare of the red-man provoked a cry of rage from Glyndon’s lips.

“Blast ’em!” he shouted, “somebody’s told ’em just how to beat us—but
give ’em Jessie! Come on, you murdering thieves!”

The three rifles cracked simultaneously, and two of the advancing
warriors went down in their tracks; but Cute missed the tall Indian, the
leader of the party, and the savages came on unchecked, like a huge
ocean wave. Our three scouts were instantly surrounded. The two boys
fought back to back, with revolver and bowie-knife in either hand.

Glyndon clutched his long rifle by the barrel and swept the Indians from
his path as he fought his way to the river. He reached the bank and
plunged into its turbid tide. He was loth to leave the boys to their
fate, but he knew he was powerless to help them—and self-preservation is
the first law of nature.

Percy Cute received a blow from a tomahawk that stretched him upon the
ground; and Percy Vere found himself clutched by the strong arm of the
chief—a hideous-looking object in his war-paint. The warriors drew back,
as if feeling that the boy could not cope with his formidable opponent.

Percy’s weapons were struck from his hands, and he was hurled to the
ground. The hideous face of the savage glared over him, and his knee was
pressed upon the boy’s chest, nearly suffocating him. Percy gave himself
up for lost.

The chief clutched at his throat with his left hand, brandishing his
scalping-knife in his right. His fingers came in contact with the ribbon
that Percy wore around his neck, and the locket was pulled forth and
sprung open.

The chief’s eyes fell upon the faces it contained, and a cry of
amazement burst from his lips. He sprung to his feet.

A brawny savage was approaching Cute to give him his finishing-blow.

“Hold!” shouted the chief, in a voice that was shrill and loud, like a
bugle-call. “Harm him not—harm neither—they are my captives, and their
lives are sacred.”

A growl of discontent greeted these words.

“Why not kill the pale-face whelps?” cried one of the braves.

The chief stamped angrily upon the ground.

“They are mine, I tell you,” he answered, in peremptory tones. “They are
the faces I have seen in my visions—and the White Spirit says they are
to live.”



                             CHAPTER VIII.
                           THE PROPHET-CHIEF.


The savages were loth to be cheated of their prey.

“Six of our braves have fallen,” replied the warrior who had before
spoken, “and the gray hunter has escaped. The blood of our brothers
calls for vengeance! Death to the cubs of the pale-face!”

He raised his tomahawk to smite Percy Cute.

“_Monedo! Monedo!_” exclaimed the chief, in that shrill tone which
contrasted strongly with the deep guttural of the Indian. “Palsy the arm
that strikes against the will of Smoholler!”

The warrior’s threatening arm dropped, and he retreated apprehensively
from the form of the prostrate boy.

“Smoholler, do not call up your evil-spirit!” he cried, deprecatingly.

The Prophet raised his right arm loftily. Cute recovered in a measure
from the effects of the blow which had felled him, and which,
fortunately for him, had been given with the blunt end of the tomahawk,
and crawled to Percy Vere, who rested upon one knee beneath the
Prophet’s protecting left arm.

“Are these captives mine?” demanded Smoholler.

A general murmur of affirmation was the response.

“That’s right, Smoholler; you’re a brick—just you stick to us, that’s a
good fellow,” cried Cute, whose spirits were equal to any emergency. “I
say, Percy, our top-knots are safe yet.”

This was whispered to his comrade. Percy said nothing; he was gazing in
a bewildered manner upon the strange individual who had so unexpectedly
spared his life. He was at a loss to account for this sudden clemency.

The Prophet’s face, by the aid of war-paint, was made to assume an
expression frightful to look upon. He was tall in figure, and appeared
to possess extraordinary activity and strength, as indeed he did. Percy
thought him the best specimen he had yet seen of an Indian chief. His
dress displayed his tall and sinewy form to great advantage. It seemed
to have been chosen with the view of producing the greatest effect upon
the eye of the beholder.

His moccasins and leggings were of buck-skin, stained black, and trimmed
with red fringe. His hunting-shirt was of the same material and color,
and trimmed in like manner, and upon its breast was painted in red a
grinning fiend, similar to the one who had appeared upon the cliff. His
head-dress was the skull of a buffalo, with the horns projecting on
either side of his head, and he wore it in the fashion of a helmet.

These projecting, curved horns added to the ferocity of his face, the
features of which were nearly indistinguishable beneath the paint with
which it was daubed. You could see that he had deep, sunken eyes, with a
wild glare to them, like the light of insanity, and a long, prominent
nose, and that was all.

Upon his back he wore a mantle of deer-skin, which was curiously stained
and colored, and covered with innumerable figures and characters. The
prominent figures were a fiend and an angel, who appeared to be engaged
in an interminable conflict.

These were representatives of his _Monedos_, or spirits, which his
followers firmly believed he could conjure up at will to do his bidding.
No wonder the boys gazed with curious eyes upon this strange leader.
They could see that he was disposed to befriend them, but they could not
understand why.

“The captives are mine; woe to him who seeks to harm them!” cried
Smoholler, thus asserting his claim in a manner that proved he
considered it settled beyond further dispute. “They shall go to the
Rapids with me.”

“You’re a trump, Smoholler!” exclaimed Percy Cute, gratefully.

“There to be sacrificed to the spirits I control,” continued Smoholler.

Cute groaned.

“Oh, law! are we only going out of the frying-pan into the fire?” he
muttered.

“Don’t be frightened; he does not intend to harm us,” whispered Percy
Vere.

Cute shook his head in a doleful manner.

“I wish I was sure of that,” he answered.

“Well, we can only trust to his mercy.”

“Ah, yes! but if he happens to be out of it just now, and can’t get a
fresh supply?” suggested Cute, lugubriously. He appeared determined to
take a discouraging view of the situation. “I know the tricks of these
red codgers; I’ve read about ’em in books. He has got some horrible old
idol in a cave up at the Rapids, where he lives, and he makes human
sacrifices to it. We shall be grilled, like a couple of innocent lambs,
as we are.”

“Pshaw! don’t lose all your courage at the first reverse. You’re not
goin to funk, are you?”

“Nary a funk! I’m only taking a rational view of the situation. It’s
kind of tight papers now, ain’t it—you’ll allow that?”

“Perhaps; but then we can’t help it, can we?”

“No; that’s what’s the matter!”

“Besides, we can’t die but once.”

“I know it; that’s what makes it so awkward. If a chap could die two or
three times he might get used to it, don’t you see?”

This reasoning provoked a smile from Percy Vere.

“Well, we must take our chances,” he answered. “Repining won’t help us.
You wanted a brush with the red-skins, and you’ve had it.”

“You bet! My head sings yet where the big chap hit me. It’s lucky for me
that my skull is tolerably thick. Didn’t I see stars when I went down?
And I never expected to get up again. Well, we peppered some of ’em, as
Gummery would say, and that’s some satisfaction. I wonder if he got safe
off?”

This question was answered by the return of four of the warriors, who
had pursued Glyndon to the river’s edge, and who reported that the old
hunter had swam down the stream, apparently uninjured by the bullets
they had sent after him.

The Prophet turned to Percy Vere.

“What is the number of your party?” he demanded, in good English, and
spoken with a purity that surprised the boy.

Percy Vere hesitated to answer this question.

“Speak!” cried the Prophet, in a peremptory manner.

Still Percy Vere hesitated.



                              CHAPTER IX.
                              CONJURATION.


“Speak!” repeated the Prophet, and the shrill tones of his voice arose
in a menacing manner.

“Why don’t you go to our camp, and find out?” suggested Cute, in a
sarcastical manner.

“Hush!” cautioned Percy Vere, fearing that the Prophet might become
enraged.

“I intend to go,” responded the Prophet, coolly. “You see my force here,
and you can tell if the surveyors will be able to withstand me.” He
waved his hand complacently toward his assembled braves. “These are
picked warriors. There is enough to drive away the surveyors. But, if
more should be wanted, I can summon two hundred more from my village at
the Rapids.”

Percy Vere glanced at the braves. There was at least forty of them, and
each one carried a rifle. Among the friendly tribes through which he had
passed he had never seen so fine a body of men. It appeared to him
utterly impossible that the surveyors and soldiers could beat back this
force.

The Prophet’s keen eyes were fixed upon his face, and he read what was
passing in his mind by the expression of his features.

“You see how vain it is for your party to struggle against me?” he said.

“Why do you object to the survey being made?” asked Percy. “Why harm
people that have no wish to harm you?”

The Prophet drew his tall form proudly up.

“This is my land,” he replied, “and I don’t want any railroad through
it.”

“It will not run within a hundred miles of your village.”

“I don’t want it within a thousand. I am forming a great nation here;
already our numbers count by thousands—my followers come from every
tribe. I would regenerate the red-man, make him what the Great Spirit
intended him to be. These woods teem with game—the water of yonder river
is alive with fish. This is the red-man’s Paradise, and the white-man is
the serpent who would destroy all. Settlement follows the railroad,
villages and cities spring up in the wilderness, and then there is no
longer any hunting-grounds left for the Indian. The game vanishes from
the forest, the fish desert the running streams, and the red-man is left
to starve, or become the drudge and servant of the pale-faces.”

These words were spoken with a strange eloquence, and thrilled Percy
Vere as he listened to them. There was a ring of truth in them that
carried conviction to his mind.

“It does appear a hard case for the red-man, I must admit,” he rejoined;
“but I don’t see how you are going to help it. Government lays out these
railroads, and they must be built. You can’t stop them.”

“You will see,” replied the Prophet, darkly. “Your party dare not
advance after the warning I have given them.”

“Perhaps not; but they will remain where they are.”

“I will drive them into the river!”

“I do not think you can do so, even with your force. You are not more
than four to one against them, and they have fortified their position by
this time, and the officer, in command of the soldiers, and the
surveyors are brave and determined men. A victory will cost you dear.”

These words seemed to impress the chief. He walked moodily backward and
forward, for a few moments, in deep thought.

“I must not risk my warriors’ lives,” he muttered. “I promised them an
easy victory, and a defeat would shake their faith in me. Already I have
lost six braves, and only those boy captives to show against their loss.
I must be cautious in my future movements.”

He paused in his walk before Percy Vere, and began to interrogate him
again:

“Do you think, if I was to send you back to your party with the
assurance that they will not be permitted to advance another foot into
this land, that they would abandon their undertaking and depart?” he
demanded.

“I do not,” replied Percy, promptly.

“Ha! Then you shall go to Priest’s Rapids with me. You shall see the
wonders of my subterranean temple there; you shall see the chiefs of the
Cayuses, Umatillas and Yakimas subservient to my will, and ready at my
bidding to make this valley swarm with a red host of painted braves. You
shall behold the power of Smoholler, and return to these pale-faced
leaders to tell them that at my will I can raise a red war-cloud such as
this land has never witnessed, and which will annihilate them when it
bursts.”

“I say, Percy, old Smo’ is a little on the blow,” whispered Percy Cute.

The quick ear of the Prophet appeared to catch these words, and he shook
his head disdainfully.

“The Tow-head is incredulous,” he cried, in the sententious Indian
manner; at one moment speaking like a white man and the next with the
imagery of the Indian.

Percy Cute opened his mouth in wonder.

“How did he know that I was ever called ‘Tow-head?’” he cried.

“Its color is enough to lead him to that conclusion,” answered Percy
Vere, laughingly.

“If I get out of this scrape, I’ll have Ike dye my hair. If I escape a
die here, I’ll dye in camp,” cried Cute.

It was impossible to detect through the paint upon Smoholler’s face any
indication of what was passing in his mind, for it was like a hideous
mask, but Percy Vere thought he was amused by his cousin’s drollery.

“Do you also doubt my power?” the Prophet demanded of Percy Vere. “Would
it surprise you if I could tell you your name, and the purpose that
brings you into this wilderness?”

“It would indeed,” answered the boy.

“My spirits can tell me,” rejoined the Prophet. “In my dreams the past
and future are revealed to me.”

He made a few cabalistic motions with his hand, and then assumed a rigid
attitude, like one in a trance, his head projected as if awaiting a
message from some unseen spirit in the air.

“Whisky is said to be the most potent spirit among the Indians,”
whispered the irrepressible Cute; “but I don’t see any demijohns around
here.”

“Hush! you will anger him,” returned Percy Vere. “It is all a mummery,
but we may as well humor it, for our lives depend upon the pleasure of
this strange chief.”

Smoholler remained rigid, his eyes assuming a vacant look. His braves
stood at a respectful distance, leaning upon their rifles, and watching
their leader with an intent interest. These dreams of the Prophet were
always fraught with singular consequences. They knew he was holding
communion with his spirit, who had appeared to them, in the hideous form
that was shown upon the cliff, though he generally kept himself
invisible.

“_Monedo! Monedo!_” murmured Smoholler, in a resonant whisper.

A dead silence ensued, and the boys, despite their incredulity, were
thrilled by a feeling new to them—a sort of supernatural awe.

“_Master, I am here!_”

These words floated above the boys’ heads in clear, distinct tones. They
clutched at each other’s arms, and stared blankly around them. They
stood apart with the Prophet; there was not a warrior within a hundred
paces of them—not a soul from whom the voice could possibly have
proceeded.

“Did you hear that?” gasped Percy Vere.

“I just did,” replied Cute, sepulchrally.

“What do you think of it?”

“It knocks me endwise. Hush! he’s going to hocus-pocus a little more.”

The boys were greatly interested now. Though they felt it was all
mummery, they could not help being impressed by it.

The Prophet waved his hand in the direction of the boys.

“Reveal all you know concerning them,” he said, as if addressing an
invisible spirit above his head—invisible to all other eyes but his.

Then he appeared to listen for a moment; and in this moment the boys
could almost hear their hearts beat, in the intensity of their interest
in the proceedings. Smoholler nodded his head.

“It is enough, good _Monedo_,” he said. “Depart to the Land of Shadows,
from whence I summoned you.”

Then the Prophet came out of his trance, and addressed himself to the
first Percy.

“Your name is Percy Vere,” he said. “The locket you wear contains the
portraits of your father and your mother. Your companion is your cousin,
Percy Cute; and you are here in the wilderness seeking your father.”



                               CHAPTER X.
                                ONEOTAH.


To say that the boys were surprised by these words would inadequately
describe the emotion that seized upon them as they listened to them—they
were literally dumbfounded.

“Great heavens! this is wonderful!” cried Percy Vere. “What do you think
of it?” he added, appealing to his cousin.

“I take all back; old Smo’ is by no means slow!” responded Cute. “I
don’t wonder that he can bamboozle the benighted Indians, for he has
completely kerflummixed me.”

The warriors, who had drawn nearer when Smoholler dismissed his spirit,
uttered an approving grunt. It may be that the Prophet had purposely
availed himself of this opportunity of displaying his divining power
before them.

“Is what I have told you true?” he demanded of the boys.

“It is,” Percy Vere admitted.

“Every word of it,” added Cute. “This beats spirit-rapping all hollow;
your spirit comes without a rap, and his information don’t cost a rap.”

“And having told me so much, I am led to believe you can also tell me
where I can find my father?” cried Percy Vere, eagerly.

The Prophet shook his head.

“I can learn from my spirit whether he is alive or dead, perhaps,” he
replied; “but _Monedo_ does not care to seek for a pale-face; he hates
the white race, as I do.”

“You have a queer way of showing it,” exclaimed Cute. “I should have
been like poor uncle Ned, without any hair on the top of my head, by
this time, if it had not been for you.”

“Why have you spared our lives?” asked Percy. “The Indian seldom extends
mercy to a captive, I have heard.”

The Prophet laughed disdainfully.

“You have heard and read many things about the Indian,” he replied; “but
they are spoken and written by the pale-faces, and there is little truth
in them. I have spared your life that you may bear a message to the
surveyor’s camp for me. But first you shall partake of food with me. You
must feel the need of some refreshment.”

“Well, I feel peckish, and no mistake,” answered Cute. “So if you have
got any fodder, just tote it along.”

“Something to eat would not come amiss,” said Percy Vere. “We intended
to have been back with game to our camp before this.”

The Prophet laughed in his forbidding manner.

“Your camp will not get any game on this side of the river,” he
rejoined. “A dozen of my warriors guard the mouth of the ravine, and it
will be sure destruction to the pale-face who attempts to pass through
it. You would have fallen into the ambush, had you not turned to the
right and ascended the cliff.”

“How did you know the direction we had taken?” asked Percy, curiously.

“A sentinel posted upon the cliff gave us warning. Nothing can escape
the vigilance of my scouts. They have eyes like hawks. Yonder camp is
hemmed in—they must recross the river or I shall drive them into it.”

He clapped his hands and an Indian boy came bounding toward him—a boy
with a graceful, lithe form, and step as bounding as that of an
antelope. He was handsomely dressed, and wore the same colors as the
Prophet, and was, evidently, his familiar attendant, or page.

Like the Prophet, he wore a head-dress taken from an animal, but his was
the head of an antelope. The sharp horns were left, and the whole face
of the animal preserved in such a manner that the boy’s face was
completely covered by it, and his dark eyes glistened through the
eye-holes; and so nicely was the skin fitted to his face, that he
appeared to be a boy with an antelope’s head.

“Jumping ginger!” exclaimed Cute, as the boy bounded lightly forward;
“what kind of a critter is that, anyway?”

“Glyndon was mistaken,” remarked Percy, thoughtfully, as he watched the
Indian boy’s approach.

“In what?”

“It was his tracks we saw. There’s no squaw in the party.”

“That’s so, by king! I never thought of it before; but you are right,
there isn’t.”

“Oneotah,” said the Prophet to the boy; “prepare some venison steaks for
us.”

The boy made a respectful obeisance.

“Yes, master,” he replied, in tones that were singularly clear and
bell-like, and then he hastened to obey.

Cute smacked his lips.

“Venison-steaks, _a-la-mode de Indian_!” he exclaimed. “I think I can
put myself outside of some without any difficulty.”

“I must confess to being rather sharp set myself,” replied Percy. “That
tramp through the thicket, and the lively fight afterward, have
freshened up my appetite to a degree.”

“The food will be quickly served,” said the Prophet. “See, Nature
spreads her table for us. Come.”

He led the way to a square bowlder that reared its form from the turf
beside a little streamlet that went purling by on its way to the river,
its clear, crystal water looking cool and refreshing. The Prophet cast
himself down beside the rock, and the boys followed his example. As they
glanced through the arches of the forest they saw several fires blazing
in different directions, and groups of Indians clustered around them.
General preparations for a meal were in progress.

The boys were impressed by the romance of the scene, and Cute conveyed
his idea of it by exclaiming, rather unpoetically:

“Say, Percy, ain’t this high? You said you would like to see Smoholler,
the Prophet, and here we are, invited to take an _al fresco_ dinner with
him.”

The Prophet raised himself upon his elbow, and regarded Percy Vere
earnestly.

“Why did you wish to see me?” he asked.

“Because I thought you might give me some intelligence of my father,”
answered Percy.

“Why should you think so?”

“Because you are a man of great intelligence. I heard so before I saw
you, and I am satisfied of it now.”

The Prophet inclined his head as if pleased with the compliment.

“You possess a wonderful power over the Indians, I can see—and I think
few parties of hunters could cross the river, which you watch so
jealously, unknown to you.”

“You are right; my spies are everywhere, my commands implicitly obeyed.
Along the course of yonder mighty river, from its rocky source to where
it empties into the ocean, there is no chief who is respected and feared
like Smoholler. Already my warriors outnumber the fighting men of the
other tribes, and daily I am gaining accessions to my ranks. They come
to listen to the recital of my dreams, and they remain, satisfied that
the power I profess is not an idle boast. You shall pay me a visit to
Priest’s Rapids, if you like, and I will show you the germ of a growing
nation. Ah! the day will come, and it is not far distant, when the
tribes of the Pacific Slope will be gathered into one grand confederacy
which will acknowledge Smoholler as its chief.”

The Prophet’s breast heaved and his eyes dilated with a fervid
enthusiasm, as he pronounced these words.

“An Indian emperor!” exclaimed Cute. “Bully for you!”

“And why not? The descendants of the Aztecs and Toltecs still roam these
plains and mountains. Why should not I revive the glories of Montezuma’s
empire?”

“Montezuma’s power fell before the white man’s advance, and I fear the
white settlers crowd too closely upon your projected empire,” replied
Percy Vere. “But it is a great idea, and that you may prosper is my
sincere wish. I would like to see the red-man raised to a better
position than that he now occupies. You are the best judge of his
capabilities. The white hunters are too prone to regard him in the light
of a savage beast—and not without some cause, either.”

“Cause? The first offense came from the white man!” cried the Prophet,
fiercely.

“It may be so; but, in our particular instance, if you had let us alone,
we should not have troubled you.”



                              CHAPTER XI.
                            A SILVAN REPAST.


The Prophet laughed in that rasping manner so peculiar to him. It was
not a pleasant kind of mirth to listen to. It set Percy Cute’s teeth on
edge every time he heard it.

“You had set foot upon my territory after my warning,” he cried. “You
know the penalty of trespassing.”

“Ah! then you had some hand in the apparitions that appeared upon the
cliff last night?”

“They came at my bidding.”

At this moment the Indian boy, Oneotah, brought them a venison steak
upon a birch platter, some parched corn, and three drinking-horns. He
placed the venison and corn before them, and then filled the
drinking-horns from the streamlet.

Smoholler did the honors of this silvan table with a courtesy that won
strangely upon the boys, and Oneotah stood beside him, ready to do his
bidding at the slightest sign.

“What did the surveyors and the soldiers think of the apparitions?”
asked Smoholler, after the boys had eaten for a while.

“They were surprised by them,” answered Percy.

“Knocked ’em higher’n a kite!” added Cute. “It was a neat piece of
hocus-pocus, however you did it. Say, couldn’t you give us another
squint at that angelic female of yours?”

“The White Spirit will come at my bidding,” replied the Prophet. “Would
you like to see her?” he demanded of Percy Vere.

“Wherefore?” rejoined the youth.

“She might give you intelligence of your father?”

Percy started at this, but shook his head incredulously after a moment’s
reflection. The Prophet appeared to divine his thoughts.

“You do not believe her to be a spirit?” he asked.

“Candidly, I do not.”

“How, then, could she appear upon the face of that inaccessible cliff?”

Percy Vere smiled.

“That is a secret best known to yourself,” he rejoined. “At the risk of
offending you I must tell you that I believe you to be a skillful
Professor of Legerdemain, and by the exercise of it you have gained your
ascendancy over the rude minds of the Indians.”

“Far from feeling offense, I like your candor,” responded the Prophet,
graciously. “My power impresses the white mind as well as the red—as you
shall have proof anon. You heard the voice of my Monedo, or Spirit, in
the air—you heard his voice, but his body remained invisible to your
eye. How can you account for that?”

“You may have the gift of ventriloquism. My father had such a gift, for
I have often heard my mother describe it. He could throw his voice into
inanimate or animate objects to the great perplexity of the hearer.”

“Yes,” chimed in Cute, “and I have heard lots of funny stories about
him. One day an old woman came to the house to make some inquiries, and
trod, by accident, upon the cat’s tail; and he made the cat say: ‘You
old fool! don’t you know any better than that?’ It nearly frightened the
old woman into a fit, and she left the house in a big hurry, I tell you;
and she believed to her dying day that the cat really spoke to her.”

Oneotah indulged in a musical laugh at this recital.

The boys regarded him curiously.

“Holloa! does he understand what I say?” asked Cute.

“Perfectly,” replied the Prophet. “English is as familiar to him as his
own tongue.”

“And to yourself,” rejoined Percy Vere, pointedly.

“Yes.”

“Do you know I have a suspicion concerning you?”

“Indeed! What is it?”

“I think that you are a white man.”

The Prophet laughed.

“Do I look like one?” he returned.

“It is impossible to say what you look like with those hideous daubs of
paint upon your face; but you talk like one—and, besides, you are too
smart for an Indian.”

“Them’s my sentiments!” cried Cute. “Smoholler, you beat all the chiefs
I ever heard of all hollow.”

“Smoholler is the great Prophet of the Snakes,” exclaimed Oneotah,
fervidly. “Wherever his name is known it is feared and dreaded. His
followers are many—his enemies perish, like the withered grass beneath
the fire, when his wrath pursues them.”

“The boy is one of your converts, I perceive,” said Percy, with a smile.
“He believes in you.”

“He has good cause,” answered the Prophet, sententiously. “I saved his
life.”

“Oh! more than life!” exclaimed Oneotah. “If it was only death that
threatened me—”

The Prophet held up his finger warningly, and Oneotah paused and bowed
his head submissively.

“Oneotah is Smoholler’s slave,” he continued. “Until death, or his lips
release me, I have sworn to do his bidding.”

“Enough! your bondage will not last until death,” returned Smoholler,
with a significancy which the boys could feel but could not understand.
“Be faithful but a short time longer, and you shall be restored to your
true condition—and the spirits shall no longer torment you.”

The Indian boy appeared to be much gratified by this assurance.

“It is good,” he answered. “The heart of Smoholler is noble, he will not
deceive me.”

Percy Vere was much interested in Oneotah.

“Of what tribe is he?” he asked.

“He was reared by the Nez Perces, but is not of their blood, although he
thinks he is,” replied Smoholler. “There is a secret concerning his
birth, which my skill has divined, and which no other appears to have
suspected. He was made captive by a band of Yakimas under a chief named
Howlish Wampo, who had surprised and defeated the party to which he was
attached. I came up with Howlish Wampo at a critical moment in the boy’s
fate, and took him away from the chief. Wampo bears me a grudge for it
to this day. He would like to gain possession of the boy again, but dare
not do so while I protect him. If Oneotah were to rejoin the Nez Perces
he would no longer be safe from the pursuit of Howlish Wampo.”

Oneotah shuddered, and Percy Vere felt, without exactly understanding
why, that there was a covert threat in these words of the Prophet.

“_Multuomah_ could protect me,” answered Oneotah, plaintively.

“No; not against Howlish Wampo,” answered the Prophet, impressively.
“Have patience; all I have promised shall come true.”

Oneotah bowed his head again in his submissive manner.

“I am content,” he answered.

“Why does he wear that antelope’s head?” asked Percy Vere.

“To carry out his name.”

“You call him the Antelope?”

“Among my followers he is known by that name.”

“But the other name—Oneotah?”

“Is one known only to ourselves.”

“But it is his true name?”

“Yes.”

“But that head is like a mask, it hides his face.”

“For that purpose it is worn.”

Percy was somewhat surprised by this.

“You do not wish his face to be seen?” he asked.

“No; he has dangerous enemies. None here know him but myself. The shield
of my power falls over him, and his influence in my camp is second only
to my own. Now, our meal being ended, you shall return to your friends.
You have seen a portion of my force, and know my determination. Tell the
surveyors and the lieutenant that I will not permit them to advance
through the ravine. They must recross the river, or be annihilated. For
yourself, if you choose to return, there is a mystic cavern in yonder
cliff, and together we will summon the spirits that await my bidding,
and seek to learn your father’s fate. Will you do so?”

“I will,” answered Percy, resolutely.



                              CHAPTER XII.
                            THE TREE-LADDER.


Smoholler turned to Oneotah.

“Give me two amulets,” he said.

The Antelope boy took two little pouches, made of skin, and richly
trimmed with beads, from a kind of large pocket that he wore suspended
from a belt around his waist. These were attached to strings made of
different-colored strips of doe-skin twisted together. Smoholler gave
one to each of the boys.

“Wear these,” he said. “They are marked with my totem, and I have
charmed them. They are amulets of great power, and they will preserve
you from harm. No Indian who knows Smoholler’s sign will raise his hand
against the wearer of his amulet.”

“I thank you for the gift,” returned Percy Vere, “and shall always
treasure it as the memento of a wonderful man.”

“And so shall I,” cried Cute. “This will be more efficacious in
preserving my top-knot than Professor Ike’s Restorative, I’m thinking.
Now, how shall we get back to camp? Roll a log into the river and float
down upon it, or go back the way we came?”

“There is a trail along the cliff,” said Smoholler. “Oneotah will guide
you a part of the way. Remember, return this evening, and I will show
you a proof of my magical power that will astonish you.”

The boys promised to do so, shook hands cordially with the Prophet,
notwithstanding his hideous war-paint, and followed Oneotah, who bounded
lightly on before.

The way was a rough one, and they had some difficulty in keeping up with
Oneotah, who sprung over the bowlders and fallen trees in the path with
the nimbleness of a goat.

A toilsome tramp of an hour brought them to a beetling crag that jutted
into the water, and appeared to bar all further progress in that
direction. Here Oneotah paused, and the boys joined him, panting and
breathless.

“Phew! how are we going to get over that?” cried Cute; surveying the
impediment in dismay.

Oneotah pointed to a tall spruce tree that grew beside the crag.

“Climb this,” he said, “and from its branches you can reach the top of
the rock.”

“Show! I should never have thought of that.”

“Beyond it lies your camp. The descent upon the other side is easy. You
can climb?”

“You had better believe it—like a monkey! Good-by, Antelope. Shake hands
before we slope.”

Oneotah extended his hand cordially, but he winced a little under the
vigorous grasp that Percy Cute bestowed upon him, for the fat hands of
the boy had quite a degree of strength in them. Cute laughed as Oneotah
quickly released his fingers from the roguish squeeze, uttering a
suppressed “O—h!”

“Did I hurt you?” asked Cute, with well-assumed innocence.

Oneotah shook his fingers, as if to restore the circulation of the blood
in them, by way of answer.

“Don’t mind him,” cried Percy Vere. “He’s always at his tricks. You
leave us here?”

“Yes. When you reach the top of this rock you will see your camp.”

“Good-by.”

Percy extended his hand, but Oneotah hesitated to accept it. Percy
laughed.

“Have no fear,” he said. “I will not serve you as he did.”

Oneotah placed his hand in Percy’s, who uttered an exclamation of
surprise as he received it.

“No wonder he hurt you,” he cried; “why your hand is as soft as a
girl’s.”

Oneotah withdrew his hand quickly.

“I must return to Smoholler,” he said. “Come back, and he will show you
the Black Spirit and the White. Farewell!”

With these words, he bounded swiftly away, and was soon lost to sight
among the trees.

“No wonder he is called the Antelope!” exclaimed Percy Vere, as he gazed
after him; “for he is as fleet as one.”

“But he ought not be called the Antelope,” rejoined Cute.

This difference of opinion, so unusual in friend and cousin, surprised
Percy Vere.

“Why not?” he demanded.

“’Tain’t correct.”

“Indeed! Can you suggest an improvement?”

“Yes; I should call him the Antelopess.”

Percy Vere started.

“Why, you don’t mean to say—”

“Oneotah is a she antelope—that boy’s a girl!”

“I do believe you are right!” returned Percy Vere, with conviction.

“I know I am. Did you not notice how she squealed when I squeezed her
hand—and didn’t you think her hand was as soft as a girl’s?”

“I wish I could have seen her face!” said Percy Vere, thoughtfully.

“That beastly antelope’s head hides her face, and is worn on purpose to
do so.”

“And yet, I fancy, it is a handsome one—it should be to correspond with
her shapely and flexible limbs; but I can’t imagine why she should wish
to hide it.”

“That’s Smoholler’s doings—look at the way he had his face daubed; who
could make any thing of his features through all that paint? I tell you
what, I don’t think the Indians know what she is—the Prophet makes them
believe she is a boy, I bet.”

“Why should he make her assume such a disguise?”

“Because he’s an old humbug! He’s up to some trickery to bamboozling
these Indians, all the time; that’s the way he has made himself a great
man out this way. If he had been a white man, he would have been a
politician; but as he’s red, he turns Prophet—with an eye to profit,
don’t you see?”

“He certainly has gained a great ascendancy over the Indians.”

“Of course he has—there’s red fools as well as white ones. He’s as smart
as a steel trap—you can see that with half an eye. And she’s smart.”

“Oneotah?”

“Yes; she does just as he says, and believes in him, too, but that’s
only natural, because I can just guess what she is.”

“What?”

“His daughter. She’s a chip of the old block, and helps him in his
hocus-pocus conjurocus, I’ll bet.”

“You’re good at guessing, and I think your guess is correct.”

“You bet! I’m Cute by name, and ’cute by nature. Tell you what, Percy—if
we could have taken off that antelope’s head, do you know what we would
have found beneath it?”

Percy smiled.

“We should have found her face, of course,” he answered.

“Yes, and something else—we should have found the face of the Angel that
appeared on the cliff, last night.”

This assurance surprised Percy Vere.

“Do you think so?” he cried, and his voice was strongly charged with
incredulity.

“I’ll just bet my bottom dollar on it! She’s the Prophet’s White Spirit,
sure as a gun.”

“I have only one objection to urge to that,” replied Percy Vere. “The
face of the Angel was white—you observed that?”

This remark bothered Cute a little.

“Y-e-s,” he admitted.

“And Oneotah is undoubtedly an Indian—whether boy or girl—and his, or
her, face must necessarily be red.”

“Ah, yes—but couldn’t the Prophet whitewash it for the occasion?” cried
Cute, triumphantly. “How can we tell but what the Prophet may have found
a lot of Lily-white or Pearl Powder in some emigrant train that his
braves have plundered?”

“Pshaw! that’s too ridiculous an idea.”

“You may think so, but I don’t. I tell you, this Prophet is a sly old
’coon, and up to all sorts of dodges. And then, how do we know that
Oneotah is an Indian girl?” he continued, suddenly inspired with a new
idea. “She may be a white girl—stolen away from her home when she was a
wee bit of a shaver—I have heard of such things, haven’t you?”

“Certainly; the histories of the Indian tribes recount many such
instances. I should like to see her face, for what you have said has
made me very curious about it.”

“You shall see it!”

“How?”

“When we give the Prophet our next call, I’ll contrive to throw some
flip-flaps for his amusement; and I’ll flip flap over Oneotah and knock
her head off!”

“Oh! you mustn’t hurt her!” remonstrated Percy.

“I don’t mean to—I’ll only knock the antelope’s head off her shoulders,
and then you can see her face.”

“Do you think you can do it?”

“You just keep your eye on me, and see if I don’t. Now, let’s shin up
this tree and get back to camp. We shall have plenty of news for them.”

“Yes; they will be very much surprised to see us, as I think they have
given us up for lost. Glyndon has reproached himself with our death, I’m
sure, and he will be rejoiced to see us. Come on.”

“You first.”

They began to climb the tree.



                             CHAPTER XIII.
                               MULTUOMAH.


When Gummery Glyndon jumped into the river to escape from his pursuers,
he still clutched his trusty rifle by its barrel, and he held fast to
it, as the swift current swept him rapidly down-stream.

The Indians did not follow him into the river, but paused upon its bank,
and began to hastily reload their guns. The loss they had sustained in
their attack upon the hunter and the boys had rendered them furious for
vengeance. But the current swept Glyndon out of sight, for the bank was
thickly wooded, before they could bring their guns to bear upon him.

They discharged them, notwithstanding, in the direction in which he had
gone.

Glyndon laughed as he heard the harmless discharge.

“Trying to shoot me round a corner,” he muttered. “Well, they won’t get
my ha’r this time; but the boys are done for—poor lads! poor lads!”

He shook his gray head sorrowfully over this reflection. Then he saw the
trunk of a tree floating in the stream ahead of him. He struck out for
it, gained it, and ensconced under its further side, floated with it
down the stream. As he went with the current, he made good headway, and
soon reached the camp of the surveyors.

A shout from the bank announced that he was observed and recognized as
he approached, and the members of the party clustered upon the bank to
receive him, as he guided his log toward the shore. At this point the
river was fordable, and the banks were sandy and sloping. His feet
touched bottom as he came to the sand-bar that stretched across the
entire width of the stream, and he allowed the log to float away, and
walked ashore.

“What luck?” demanded Lieutenant Gardiner, as the gaunt figure of the
old hunter drew near.

“Bad!” answered Glyndon, laconically; and he briefly related to
Gardiner, Blaikie and Robbins the particulars of his scout.

All were of his opinion that little mercy would be shown to the boys by
their captors, and they deeply lamented their untimely fate.

“Do you know what tribe these Indians belong to?” asked Gardiner.

“They’re Smohollers, I reckon,” replied Glyndon.

“Did you see him with them?”

“That’s more than I can say, for I don’t know him. So I might have seen
him without knowing it. There was a chief at the head of ’em, and he
acted differently from Injun chiefs in general, for he charged right
down upon us, without stopping to count the cost, and that was what
flaxed us—for they just drew our fire, and were upon us without giving
us a chance to reload; and there was too many of ’em for a hand-to-hand
fight. I managed to get out of it, but I had to leave the boys. There
was no help for it.”

The old hunter uttered these words in an exculpatory manner, as if he
thought himself responsible, in a measure, for the misfortune that had
befallen them.

“This attack looks as if the Indians were determined to prevent us from
proceeding in our survey,” remarked Robbins.

“That ain’t the worst of it,” rejoined Glyndon. “They ain’t a-going to
allow us to stop here long. So just look out for a brush. I hope you
have been fixing things here, leftenant,” he continued, turning to
Gardiner.

“Come and see,” replied the lieutenant, who wished to have the old
hunter’s opinion on the measures he had taken for the protection of the
camp.

A semicircular breastwork, composed of felled trees and the loose large
stones lying about, had been constructed, running from the river around
the grove and back to the river again, completely guarding all approach
to the camp, except by the river, which was considered to be protection
enough in itself.

Sentinels were posted at different points, and the utmost vigilance
observed. The quick discovery of Glyndon’s approach was a proof of this;
for the river was watched as well as the ravine.

That there was an approach to the camp over the precipitous cliff to the
right was a circumstance that Lieutenant Gardiner was yet to learn; not
that it made his position more insecure, as his breastwork was some
distance from the cliff.

Within the grove, and the breastwork, were the animals and the
implements of the party, and Ike Yardell, seeing the probability of
remaining there several days, had called upon Corney Donohoe and Jake
Spatz to assist him in building a fireplace of stones; a substantial
affair that would assist his culinary efforts.

Gummery Glyndon expressed himself highly satisfied with the condition in
which the camp had been placed during his absence.

“Smoholler can never drive us out of this,” he said. “He don’t care much
for the lives of his men, that’s certain, but he can’t take this place
in a single charge, and it will cost him pretty dear to try it.”

“Have you any idea of the force under his command?” asked Lieutenant
Gardiner.

“Nigh onto fifty, I should judge by the looks of his trail.”

“We can drive off double that number.”

“Yes; but I have an idea that he has a lot more coming. He can set all
the other tribes round here against us; and if he should muster three or
four hundred warriors in front of us, it would make things look squally
for us.”

“It would, indeed. They might flank us on the other bank of the river,
and so hem us in, and starve us into submission. But I have an idea that
this obstruction will only be temporary, and that we shall be permitted
to proceed.”

“Not a bit of it,” replied Glyndon, decidedly. “We have got to whip
these Injuns and drive ’em away—that’s the only way that we shall ever
ever get rid of ’em. And we must have some help to do it.”

“What help can we get?”

“Play the old game here, and set Injuns to fighting Injuns. Send for a
war-party of the Nez Perces.”

“Will they fight against this Indian Prophet?” asked Gardiner,
doubtfully.

“They’ll fight against the Yakimas, Umatillas, and Cayuses, who are
likely to side with him, and if they ’tend to them, we can take care of
the Smohollers.”

“But where can we find a party of these Nez Perces?”

“There’s generally some of ’em at Fort Walla Walla, as their country is
the other side of the Blue Mountains. I’m thinking it might be our best
plan to go back to the fort, and strengthen our party for a fresh
start.”

“Or you might go to the fort and see what you could do in the way of
obtaining a reinforcement among the friendly Indians,” suggested
Gardiner. “I am confident that I could hold this position until you
return. Let us consult the surveyors, and get their ideas upon the
subject.”

“Very good—two heads are better than one. Let’s have a council of war on
the subject. Holloa! What’s up now?”

This question was caused by a sudden commotion in the camp, in the
direction of the river. They hurried to the bank. A young Indian, whose
dress proclaimed him a chief, was riding his horse across the river. He
had proclaimed himself a friend to the sentinels, and was suffered to
advance unmolested.

“It is Multuomah!” exclaimed Glyndon.

“Do you know him?” asked Gardiner.

“Like a book!—and he’s just the man we want, for he’s a war-chief of the
Nez Perces.”

“Good! He is welcome.”

The young chief crossed the river, and rode up to the assembled group
that awaited his coming. He dismounted with an easy grace, and in a
manner that denoted his belief that he was among friends.

“How d’ye do, Multuomah?” cried Glyndon, extending his hand, cordially.

The young chief recognized him pleasantly.

“The Gray Hunter!” he returned. “It is good. He can tell these white men
that Multuomah is their friend.”

“That’s so. You are the youngest chief of the Nez Perces, but you are
the smartest one of the lot.”



                              CHAPTER XIV.
                           THE CHIEF’S BRIDE.


Multuomah inclined his head in a gratified manner at this praise.
Lieutenant Gardiner and the surveyors gazed upon him curiously. He was a
fine specimen of the warlike nation to which he belonged—the powerful
Sahaptin tribe. The name of _Nez Perces_ was given to this tribe by the
early French voyageurs, as a custom once existed among them of wearing a
bone ring in the cartilage of the nose, which was pierced for that
purpose, hence _Nez Perces_, or in English Pierced Noses; and though the
custom is discontinued, the name still remains.

Nor are they the only tribe of the Indians of that section who have lost
their original name in the fanciful ones bestowed upon them by the
voyageurs, who were the first explorers of the great North-west. The
_Pen D’Oreilles_ (Ear-rings), _Cœur D’Alenes_ (Needle-hearts), still
exist.

Multuomah was of medium hight, slender in figure, but as straight as an
arrow, and gracefully proportioned. His face, undisfigured by war-paint,
was eminently handsome, and his features wore a pleasant expression. His
eyes were dark and keen as an eagle’s, and his hair was long and
flowing, and as black as jet. His complexion was not unlike bronze in
its hue, clear and vivid, and not that dull chocolate hue, so common
among the Oregon tribes.

He wore a hunting-shirt, leggins, and moccasins of deer-skin, all richly
ornamented with fringe and beads; and an eagle’s feather was fastened in
the band that kept his long black hair from his eyes. He was armed with
rifle, tomahawk, and scalping-knife.

His age could not have been over twenty-five. Take his appearance
altogether, he was one of the finest specimens of the red-men to be
found at the present day. He had mixed with the white men, and learned
some portion of their civilization without becoming contaminated by
their vices.

“Is Multuomah alone?” asked Glyndon.

“No,” answered the young chief, “there are a hundred warriors awaiting
his bidding yonder.”

He pointed across the Columbia with a dignified action, but some little
pride mingled with his dignity, as if he felt that his consequence would
be increased by the announcement of the force at his command. Nor was he
deceived in this, for his hearers received the intelligence with great
satisfaction.

“Good!” cried Glyndon. “We can wipe the Smohollers out in no time now.”

“Is Smoholler near?” asked Multuomah, eagerly.

“Well, he just is. His head-quarters are in yonder cliff, and he has
regularly besieged us here.”

“Why should he trouble you? Smoholler seldom makes war—though he will
always fight stoutly in self-defense.”

“He don’t like the idea of the railroad going through this territory.
These are the surveyors, Multuomah, Mister Blaikie and Mister Robbins,
and this is Lieutenant Gardiner, from Fort Walla Walla.”

The young chieftain shook hands cordially with all three, as they were
introduced to him.

“How many braves has Smoholler with him?” he asked, continuing the
conversation with Glyndon.

“Nigh on to fifty, as near as I can calculate from their trail; but me
and the boys sent a few of ’em under.”

“How was that?”

Glyndon briefly described his scout and skirmish with Smoholler’s party.

“The Prophet’s men fight bravely, I have been told,” rejoined Multuomah.

“You have never had any brush with them?”

“No.”

“Then you have got a chance now.”

Multuomah shook his head gravely.

“I doubt if my braves will fight against the Prophet,” he said; “though
I have brought them here for that very purpose.”

These words greatly excited the interest of his hearers.

“Then your men believe in the mystical power of this red Prophet?” asked
Lieutenant Gardiner.

“Yes; few Indians in this country doubt the power of Smoholler,” replied
Multuomah. “They dread the spirits that come at his bidding.”

“But you—what do you think?”

Multuomah shrugged his shoulders in a dubious manner.

“I do not know what to think,” he responded.

“Ah! I see; you would like to doubt him, but can not exactly divest your
mind of a certain belief in his supernatural powers. That is not to be
wondered at, for he has shown us some astonishing sights since we have
been here. I think it’s all trickery, but I can’t tell how it is done.”

Multuomah looked troubled.

“You have seen his spirits?” he asked.

“Yes; black and white. Why should he choose those colors, when he is
red?”

“One is the Spirit of Evil; the other the Spirit of Good.”

“Have you ever seen them?”

“Never; but I have been told by those who have. It is by means of these
spirits that he has gained so great a power. His followers come from all
tribes, and their belief in him is great. If I was to attack him, and he
should make his spirits appear before my braves, they would fly in
terror; and yet there are no braver warriors in all my nation.”

The four white men, who were listening to him, exchanged glances.

“This complicates the situation,” remarked Blaikie. “I don’t see as this
reinforcement will, under the circumstances, be of much use to us.”

Gardiner and Robbins were of his opinion; but Glyndon took a more
favorable view of the matter.

“We must make it of use to us,” he cried. “We are strong enough, with
Multuomah’s band, to just gobble this Prophet, and I’m going to do it.
The boys may be alive yet, and we must rescue them.”

“But if the chief and his braves dare not fight against Smoholler?”
urged Lieutenant Gardiner.

Multuomah crested his head proudly.

“I dare fight against him, and I will,” he rejoined. “Multuomah will
fight against Smoholler and all his spirits, to gain Oneotah!”

“Oneotah?”

“A squaw?”

These interrogations came from Glyndon and Lieutenant Gardiner. The
surveyors smiled and exchanged glances.

“Here’s a woman in the case—away out here in the wilderness,” said
Blaikie. “Who would have thought it?”

“Why not? There are women everywhere,” replied Robbins.

Multuomah had nodded his head affirmatively to the questions put to him,
and Glyndon now demanded:

“Who is Oneotah, chief?”

“She is the White Lily of our tribe,” answered Multuomah, “and she was
my promised bride.”

“One of your race?”

“No; in her childhood she was captured from the Yakimas by one of our
chiefs, who reared her as his own daughter. He named her Oneotah, but,
from her fair complexion, she was commonly called the White Lily. She
grew to the age of seventeen in our village, and among the many suitors
who sought her smiles, her heart gave me the preference.”

“I don’t wonder at that. You are just the chap to take a girl’s eye.”

“Our wedding-day was fixed, when she accompanied her adopted father,
Owaydotah, upon a hunting expedition. His party was surprised by a band
of Yakimas, under the chief Howlish Wampo, and Owaydotah was killed, and
Oneotah carried away a captive.”

“That was a bad job for you.”

“I gave her up for lost, for I knew that Howlish Wampo would make her
his wife, inflamed by her great beauty. And he would have done so, had
not Smoholler taken her from him.”

“What did he do with her?”

Multuomah shook his head sorrowfully.

“I can not tell,” he replied. “What I know was told me by a Yakima
warrior whom I captured a week ago; but he could not tell me what has
befallen Oneotah since Smoholler seized upon her.”



                              CHAPTER XV.
                         THE OLD HUNTER’S IDEA.


There was a touching plaintiveness to the tone of the Multuomah’s voice
as he pronounced these words, and his hearers could but sympathize with
him in his bereavement.

“Why, this is a kind of turn-about affair,” observed Glyndon. “First,
you take the girl from the Yakimas, and then they retake her, and then
the Prophet puts his finger in the pie. But is the girl really a
Yakima?”

“No, I think not.”

“I’m glad of that, for I like you, and I don’t like the Yakimas. They’re
mean cusses, and I’d like to see ’em all wiped out. What nation do you
think the girl did belong to?”

“Her face was so white that I have often thought she was a daughter of
the pale-faces,” answered Multuomah.

This reply surprised them all.

“How can that be?” demanded Glyndon.

“She may have been made a captive when a child by the Yakimas in one of
their expeditions, either from a settler’s cabin or from some emigrant
train,” rejoined Multuomah. “She understood English when she was brought
into our village, and she taught it to me when we were children
together.”

“That accounts for the ease with which you speak it,” remarked
Lieutenant Gardiner.

“Yes.”

“Your knowledge of our language surprised me, but I can easily
understand it now.”

Gummery Glyndon had grown very thoughtful.

“We must take this girl from him in spite of his medicine—whether it’s
quackery or the genuine article,” said the old guide, as if coming out
of a dream.

Multuomah’s dark eyes glistened.

“I came here for that purpose,” he answered. “I am willing to dare the
Prophet’s power—but my braves—”

“You can’t count on them, eh?”

Multuomah shook his head doubtfully.

“They will not lift a hand against the Prophet,” he replied.

“We can fix that. They wouldn’t object to surrounding the Prophet’s
party, and let us bring him to terms. Just explain to ’em that you want
your gal, and that we are going to help you get her. That will make ’em
feel all right, I’m thinking.”

“They will gain more confidence when they know the soldiers will aid
them. They do not fear Smoholler’s braves, but his spirits.”

“Tell ’em they can not injure the white men.”

“That is their belief.”

“So much the better! Holloa! what’s broke loose now?”

This exclamation was drawn from Glyndon’s lips by a shout from one of
the sentinels who guarded the breastwork. This shout was taken up by the
other soldiers.

“Good heavens! the boys have escaped!” cried Lieutenant Gardiner,
excitedly.

Glyndon, usually so placid, found his excitement contagious.

“Great Jericho! it’s more’n I expected!” he exclaimed. “I never thought
to set eyes on ’em again.”

The shout of welcome at their appearance proved the regard in which the
boys were held by the soldiers. They approached, rifle in hand, for
their weapons had been restored to them by Smoholler when he suffered
them to go free, and were overwhelmed with eager inquiries by Glyndon,
Lieutenant Gardiner, Blaikie and Robbins.

Percy Vere recounted their adventure with the Prophet, and his narrative
was embellished by supplementary remarks from Percy Cute, as he
proceeded. Thus they told the story between them.

Their hearers listened to them incredulously; but that the boys stood
before them, a living evidence of the truth of their story, they would
not have believed it.

“The Prophet let you go?” cried Glyndon.

“As you see,” answered Percy Vere.

“Scot free,” supplemented Cute; “and give us these gimcracks to protect
us from all Indians generally. Nice, ain’t they?”

“Amulets!” ejaculated Glyndon, examining them curiously.

“Yes, with the Prophet’s tetotum on ’em.”

“Totem, you mean.”

“Yes, that’s it; and we are to tote’em wherever we go, to keep us from
harm, according to old Smo’.”

“Well, this just beats me,” cried Glyndon, in a bewildered manner. “Six
of their braves sent to grass, and they let you off. That ain’t
according to Indian custom, and I can’t understand it.”

“Smoholler’s customs are different from ours,” observed Multuomah.

“I should say so!”

Percy Cute took a comprehensive survey of the young chief.

“Holloa! have you taken this young chap prisoner?” he inquired.

“No; he is a friend. This is a Nez Perce chief—Multuomah.”

Cute offered his hand cordially to the chief.

“How are you, Multum-in-parvo?” he exclaimed.

Multuomah smiled and shook hands with Cute, who, with his irrepressible
spirit of mischief, gave him his favorite hand-squeeze; but Cute was
glad enough to withdraw his fat fingers, and dance away with a wry face.
The answering squeeze had proved too much for him.

“He’s an Odd Fellow!” he remarked, as he straightened out his cramped
fingers.

“How do you know that?” asked Percy Vere, enjoying his discomfiture.

“’Cause he’s given me the grip.”

“Served you right!” cried Glyndon. “No tricks upon travelers. And so you
had a long talk with the Prophet?” he added to Percy Vere.

“Yes.”

“Did you ask him about your father?”

“I did.”



                              CHAPTER XVI.
                           HOLDING A COUNCIL.


Glyndon became interested.

“Well, what did he say? Could he tell you any thing about him?”

“Not at that time; but on my return I expect to receive important
disclosures from him.”

“Return?” cried the old hunter, in astonishment. “Why, you don’t
calculate to go back to him, do you?”

“Such is my intention.”

“Great Jericho! ain’t you satisfied with getting off this time, without
trying it again?”

“I have the Prophet’s word that no injury will befall me.”

Gummery Glyndon shook his head dubiously.

“You can’t trust to an Injun’s word,” he said. “They’re lyin’ cusses,
the whole grist of ’em.”

“You can trust Smoholler’s word,” interposed Multuomah. “He will not
harm the boys.”

“I agree with the chief,” remarked Lieutenant Gardiner. “The very fact
of his having set them at liberty now is proof enough of that.”

“There’s something in that,” Glyndon admitted. “But didn’t Smoholler
send us some message, Percy—some intimation to git up and git?”

“He certainly did,” replied Percy Vere. “He appears to be resolute that
the survey shall not proceed, and he will force us to recross the river,
he says, if we do not do so of our own accord. He told me that he should
summon more of his warriors from his village at the Rapids, and, if
necessary, he would call upon the surrounding tribes to aid him.”

“And they will do so,” said Multuomah.

“A pretty hornet’s nest we appear to have got into here,” cried Blaikie.

“And some of the hornets will get snuffed out when they come buzzing
around us,” responded Glyndon. “We can put an extinguisher on this
Prophet, first thing he knows. We’ll bottle him up before he can get any
help from his own village, or anywhere else. But now, tell me, did you
see any squaw with the Prophet?”

“Yes—a squaw called Oneotah!” added Multuomah.

“There, I told you Oneotah was a girl!” cried Cute.

“She is there then?”

This question sprung simultaneously from the lips of Glyndon and
Multuomah.

“There is a singular-looking Indian boy there, wearing an antelope’s
head, which completely conceals his face, whom the Prophet calls
Oneotah,” replied Percy Vere; “and I have reason to believe that this
pretended boy is a girl.”

“I’ll bet my bottom dollar on it!” exclaimed Cute. “She’s got the
nicest, softest little fingers that I ever got hold of—”

“You did not see her face?” inquired Glyndon.

“No; the antelope’s head conceals it utterly—indeed is worn for the
purpose of a disguise, the Prophet himself admitted to me.”

“Does she appear to be under any restraint there?” Multuomah now asked,
with eager anxiety.

“None whatever. She accompanied us nearly to the camp here, and could
have placed herself under its protection, if such had been her desire.”

Multuomah’s features assumed a troubled expression.

“She is there, then, of her own free will?” he asked, huskily.

“Apparently. Indeed, she seemed to be greatly attached to the Prophet.”

“Attached!” stammered Multuomah; and something that sounded very much
like a smothered groan burst from his lips.

“He saved her from some great peril, I judge from some words between
them that I overheard,” continued Percy Vere; “and, now I think of it,
it appears to me that your name was mentioned.”

“By him?”

“No, first by her. Multuomah, she said, could protect her from some
threatening peril.”

There was none of the fabled stoicism of the Indian in the young chief
as he listened to these welcome words. No white lover ever displayed a
more trembling eagerness to learn further intelligence of his
sweetheart.

“Ah! she thinks of me—she speaks of me!” he cried. “Smoholler can not
then have made her his wife?”

“His wife?” echoed Percy Vere, surprisedly. “No, I do not think there is
any such relationship existing between them. The tie that binds her to
him appears to be one of gratitude. As I understand it, he appears to
have saved her from a ferocious chief of the Yakimas named Howlish
Wampo. I remembered the name because it is such an odd one.”

“And I have good cause to remember it too,” said Glyndon, “for he is the
head chief of the murdering tribe that destroyed my home. I heard his
name at the time—he was a young chief then, about the age of Multuomah
here. It grows upon me—I’ve got the idea into my head, and it sticks
there, that Oneotah is my daughter.”

This was a revelation that greatly surprised all, and it made Percy Vere
thoughtful.

“She spoke uncommonly good English for an Indian, I thought,” he said;
“but so did the Prophet, for that matter.”

“Tip-top!” affirmed Cute.

“I think the Prophet would give up this girl, if he thought she was your
daughter,” continued Percy Vere.

Glyndon shook his head dubiously.

“I have my doubts about that,” he answered. “These Injuns ain’t so fond
of giving up any thing they have once got hold of. But I do think we can
compel him to give her up.”

“You do?” cried Multuomah, eagerly.

“I just do! There’s one kind of logic that appeals irresistibly to an
Injun, and only one—and that is force. No offence to you, Multuomah.
There’s good and bad among Injuns, pretty much as there is among white
men. Human nature is about the same, no matter what the color of the
skin may be. I think we can get this Smoholler into a tight place, and
make him squeal!”

“I am of that opinion also,” observed Lieutenant Gardiner; “but I would
like to have your ideas upon the subject, as an old Indian-fighter. You
know the best tactics to adopt against these savages.”

By common consent Glyndon found himself constituted the leader of the
party. He accepted the position as a matter-of-course, and proceeded to
develop his plan of action.

“Well, you see, Leftenant, my idea is just this,” he said: “Smoholler
doesn’t know of the arrival of Multuomah and his Nez Perces, and so he
doesn’t anticipate any attack from us. He’s got a party outlying at the
mouth of the ravine yonder, probably a dozen braves, to keep an eye on
us, but his main force is on the cliff, where, I opine, there’s some
kind of a cave.”

“Yes; he told me that there was a mystic cavern in the cliff,” remarked
Percy Vere.

“I thought so. There’s a way up to the top, as the trail we found
plainly shows. Now you can go to him again, my boy, as he might tell you
about your father, and as soon as it gets to be dark we’ll move quietly
through the ravine, surprise his scouts, and surround the cliff on this
side, while Multuomah and his braves cross the river above and unite
with us guarding the other side. Then we’ll have ’em just like rats in a
trap. When he finds out what we are doing you can just tell him that we
have been reinforced by a hundred Nez Perces—and mention Multuomah’s
name, for he must have heard of him—and that we want the girl Oneotah,
and will allow him to march off if he gives her up.”

“Good!” ejaculated Multuomah.

“The plan appears to be a good one,” rejoined Lieutenant Gardiner; “but
there is one drawback to it.”

“What’s that?”

“The Prophet, in his rage at thus finding himself surrounded, might
cause the boys to be slaughtered.”

The surveyors were also of this opinion, and so said.

“We might obviate that difficulty by keeping the boys here, and make the
attack without imperiling them,” continued Lieutenant Gardiner.

Percy Vere objected strenuously to this.

“That would deprive me of the opportunity of gaining the knowledge I
seek,” he urged, “nor would it be fair play to the Prophet.”

“Fair play to an Injun—waugh!” rejoined Glyndon, contemptuously.

“Smoholler was very generous toward us,” persisted Percy, “and I don’t
think we ought to take an unfair advantage of him.”

“Percy’s right,” affirmed Cute. “He did the square thing by us, and so
give old Smo’ a show!”

Blaikie laughed at the boys’ earnestness, though his words showed that
he was of their way of thinking.

“The Prophet has shown a disposition to keep us back without bloodshed,
if he could, as his warnings prove,” he said. “I know that but very
little faith is to be placed in the tribes hostile to the whites, but
this Smoholler may be an exception. He’s an uncommon Indian—there’s no
mistake about that. Now, it appears to me, it would be best to let the
boys go to him, learn what they can, and tell him that we have been
strongly reinforced—let the Nez Perces light their watch-fires on the
opposite bank of the river to that effect—and that he must give up the
girl and withdraw his men, or we shall attack him.”

Glyndon shook his head, discontentedly.

“That won’t work,” he said—“I know it won’t—there’ll be no Smohollers
within ten miles of here by morning, and they’ll take the girl along
with them.”

“Let us secure her while we can,” cried Multuomah.

“Mr. Blackie’s plan is the best,” cried Percy; “and I think the Prophet
will yield Oneotah up to you, if I tell him you are here.”

This assurance surprised them all, and Glyndon received it
incredulously.



                             CHAPTER XVII.
                          THE BOY EMBASSADORS.


“There’s more ways than one to kill a cat,” remarked Robbins, bringing
his Yankee shrewdness to bear upon this perplexing question. “What’s to
hinder Multuomah from crossing the river some distance above with half
his force, and so prevent the Prophet from retreating back to his
village?”

Glyndon brightened up at this suggestion.

“That’s the idea, by Jericho!” he exclaimed. “I’ve always heard that two
heads were better than one.”

“Even if one is a cabbage-head,” supplied Robbins, laughingly.

“I didn’t say that—though I don’t know whose head you allude to,”
rejoined Glyndon, with a grim facetiousness. “But you have just hit the
idea. Let the boys go. You can give Smoholler a wrinkle of what’s in
store for him, Percy, if he don’t give up the girl; and when you come
back safe we’ll just wake up these Smohollers lively.”

“I am in hopes to bring Oneotah back with me,” responded Percy Vere.
“There are some good traits in this Prophet, notwithstanding his
objection to having a railroad run through his territory. Nor do I
believe he can be surprised.”

“You don’t?”

“No; I think his familiarity with this country will afford him an avenue
of escape.”

Glyndon shook his head in his dubious manner.

“Not if Multuomah and I get after him,” he rejoined. “I think we can
make things unpleasant for the Smohollers, eh, chief?”

“If my warriors will second me, he can not escape us,” answered
Multuomah; “but I prefer that he should give up Oneotah and depart in
peace. I have no other cause of quarrel against him.”

“But if he will not?” said Blaikie. “If he still persists in obstructing
our survey?”

“The Nez Perces will guard your advance, and if they are attacked by the
Prophet’s braves, they will know how to defend themselves,” replied
Multuomah. “They believe that the white man has power to break the
strength of the Prophet’s medicine.”

“That’s lucky, and they’ll fight all the better for it,” said Robbins.
“Our survey is all right; your party guarantees that. One good turn
deserves another, and so we’ll do our best to get your girl for you. Let
the boys go as embassadors to Smoholler—I don’t think they run any
risk—and demand the girl, and give him an intimation of what he may
expect if he tries to trouble us any further.”

Lieutenant Gardiner, Blaikie, and Glyndon were of this opinion, and so
the boys prepared for their return to the Prophet. Percy Vere obtained a
small branch of a tree to which he affixed a white handkerchief, to
serve as a flag of truce. They left the rifles in the camp, but took
with them their revolvers and bowie-knives, though they did not think
they would have occasion to use either. Thus prepared they left the
breastwork, and walked across the open place toward the mouth of the
ravine.

The surveyors, the lieutenant, the old hunter and the chief watched the
boys curiously, as they walked over this rocky plateau. The sun was
sinking, and its declining beams streamed ruddily through the gap in the
cliffs, and shed a kind of halo around the boys as they proceeded.

They stepped forward lightly, and with an easy carriage that showed no
apprehension of danger lurked in their young hearts.

The watchers behind the breastwork had soon a startling evidence of the
vigilance of Smoholler’s sentinels. Before the boys reached the mouth of
the ravine, a light form sprung from between the rocks and bounded
toward them—the form, apparently of an Indian boy, wearing an antelope’s
head. Oneotah, thus attired, presented a grotesque appearance to the
eyes of the beholders. It almost seemed to them as if the animal the
head represented was advancing upon its hind-legs, in a series of
graceful jumps, to greet the boys.

Oneotah was quickly followed by the tall form of the Prophet, in all his
fanciful costume and hideous war-paint. Then, as if by magic, from
behind rocks, and from the thickets that skirted the mouth of the
ravine, sprung forth a score of Indian warriors, gorgeous in paint and
feathers, and the glittering tinsel of their barbaric dress, and each
one brandishing a rifle, whose bright barrel glittered in the sunlight.

“Great Jericho! there’s a slew of ’em!” cried Glyndon, as he beheld
them. “Fifty of ’em, if there’s one. Ah! the Prophet’s playing a game of
brag with us. Wants to show us that he has got enough braves, as he
thinks, to wipe us out. He don’t know that Multuomah and his Nez Perces
are here, that’s evident.”

Percy Cute was by no means intimidated by this display, for he
immediately reversed his position by a hand-spring, and walking toward
the Prophet on his hands, offered him one of his feet to shake hands
with.

Instead of resenting this action, the Prophet entered into the spirit of
it, for he caught Percy Cute by the foot, and with a vigorous motion,
that showed his strength of arm, spun the boy up in the air, and Cute
descended upon his feet, resuming his proper attitude, and making a bow,
after the manner of a gymnast in a circus, as he did so.

During this, Oneotah gave her hand to Percy Vere, and they disappeared
together through the mouth of the ravine. Smoholler and Cute followed
them, and when the rocks hid them from view, not an Indian warrior was
to be seen. They seemed to have melted away among the rocks and trees
before which they had been standing, disappearing with a noiseless
celerity.

As the tall form of the Prophet, rendered more conspicuous by his
richly-bedizened cloak, was lost to view, the sun’s rays, which had
illuminated this rocky gorge, were suddenly withdrawn, and a gloom, like
a pall, settled over the little valley.

The change, though due to natural causes, came so suddenly as to appear
peculiar; and the sudden disappearance of the Prophet and his warriors
seemed almost supernatural. There is little doubt that the wily
chieftain, knowing that the boys’ progress through the ravine would be
watched by their friends, had artfully arranged the whole scene to make
it as impressive as possible upon the minds of the beholders.

If this was indeed the case, the effect produced upon the inmates of the
surveyors’ camp was all that he could have desired.

As the gloom of night descended, so also did a gloom settle upon Gummery
Glyndon’s spirits, and he shook his long, gray locks discontentedly.

“There’s trickery here, and deviltry, and what not!” he cried. “Why, the
Prophet was expecting the boys back—was all ready for them; and yet it
was ten chances to one against their trusting themselves in his hands
again.”

Robbins took a more favorable view of the matter.

“I differ with you there,” he said. “He must have seen Percy Vere’s
great anxiety to learn tidings of his father, and so artfully worked
upon his feelings to bring him back to him.”

Glyndon shook his head again; but he could not shake away the sudden
foreboding that had seized upon his mind.

“Do you think he can tell the boy any thing about his father?” he
returned.

“Ah! you are too much for me there; but it is not out of the range of
probability. Who knows but what the father came this way, and that
Smoholler knows something of his fate?”

Glyndon was impressed by this.

“That’s so,” he admitted.

“His spirits can tell him,” interrupted Multuomah.

The surveyors and Gardiner turned a surprised look upon the young chief.

“Do you believe in his spirits?” they demanded, in a breath.

The young chief smiled.

“Do not you, when you have seen them?” he rejoined.

“It’s all a flam!” cried Glyndon. “The only spirit I ever knew an Injun
to have is whisky, and they are particularly fond of it. He can’t tell
the boys any thing that way. You saw the Antelope Boy?” he added,
suddenly, impressed by a new idea.

“Yes,” answered Multuomah.

“Was it Oneotah?”

“I can not say. Who could tell her in that dress?”

Glyndon shook his head sagely.

“He’s fixed her for a purpose that way so nobody can tell her—the boys
said as much,” he responded.

“She—if it is she—is under no restraint, and does his bidding willingly.
He’s cast some spell upon her, and that’s what he wants of the
boys—he’ll humbug them to go to his village with him, and make them
useful to him. He saw they were smart, and he wants them. His telling
them about giving them news of Percy’s father is all a humbug.”

“Do you think so?” asked Blaikie, surprisedly.

“I just do.”

“Then, why did you let them go?”

“I was a dunce to do so! But I kind of thought the Prophet might know
something, and then the boys were so anxious to go. However, that can’t
be helped now; but we must surround the Prophet, and prevent him from
carrying them off.”

“Let us set about it, and not waste any more time in anticipating an
evil that may never occur,” suggested Lieutenant Gardiner. “Let
Multuomah send half his force over here, and then intercept the
Prophet’s retreat with the rest. We will wait here until morning, and
then force a passage through the ravine. The sound of our rifles will be
his signal to advance upon his side. With the force at my disposal, we
can soon overpower the Prophet’s band.”

“Your head’s level, leftenant, and that’s just what we will do,” replied
Glyndon; “and now let’s have some supper.”



                             CHAPTER XVIII.
                            THE WHITE LILY.


The Prophet welcomed the boys in that stately manner which was as
impressive as it was characteristic with him, and Oneotah placed her
soft hand in Percy Vere’s with a gentle pressure; but when Cute extended
his chubby hand toward her, she declined it expressively.

“Beg to be excused, eh?” said that roguish youngster. “Don’t want a
repetition of the grip? If I was somebody else now—a certain
good-looking young chief—Mister Multuomah.”

“Multuomah!” exclaimed Oneotah, tremulously.

The Prophet turned sharply upon Cute.

“What do you know of Multuomah?” he demanded.

Behind the Prophet’s back Percy Vere held up his finger, warningly, to
his cousin.

“Oh! I don’t know much about him,” replied Cute, leisurely—“I’ve seen
him, that’s all. He’s a chief of the Nez Perces—and a splendid looking
fellow. He don’t daub his face up as you do yours. You put me in mind of
the clown in the circus.”

The Prophet was not to be put aside in his inquiry. His suspicion had
been aroused, and he was determined to satisfy it.

“You have seen Multuomah lately?” he continued, fixing his keen eyes
upon Cute’s face. “You found him in your camp on your return?”

“Did your spirits tell you that?” rejoined Cute, bewildered by
Smoholler’s shrewd guess, and endeavoring to dodge the question.

The Prophet shrugged his shoulders.

“Your face tells me so,” he answered; “and I have no need to call upon
my spirits to corroborate it.” He turned to Percy Vere. “Your party has
been joined by the young chief of the Nez Perces, Multuomah?” he
inquired.

Percy Vere, seeing that Cute had said enough to render any concealment
of the truth impolitic, answered:

“Yes.”

“You found him there on your return?”

“I did.”

“He has come in search of me!” exclaimed Oneotah, joyfully.

This glad cry satisfied Percy Vere that the Antelope Boy was, indeed, a
girl, and the promised bride of Multuomah, and, with the inherent
chivalry of his nature, he resolved to reunite the lovers.

The Prophet held up his finger warningly to Oneotah.

“No matter how much he seeks for you,” he said, “he can never gain
possession of you against my will. You know my power—do not provoke it.”

Oneotah shuddered and bowed her head submissively.

“Oh! but you will give me to him?” she pleaded.

“When the time comes,” he replied, impressively.

She was satisfied with this assurance; and so was Percy Vere.

“That is what I told them!” he cried, impulsively.

The Prophet displayed an eager interest as he resumed his inquiries:

“They spoke of Oneotah? Multuomah seeks her?”

“He does.”

“How many warriors has he with him?”

“A hundred.”

The Prophet started.

“So many? Did you see them?”

“No; they were upon the other bank of the river. The chief was alone in
our camp, in consultation with the lieutenant, the surveyors, and the
hunter, Glyndon. They proposed to hem you in, and prevent your retreat.
They do not seek to injure you, however; all they wish is to have you
give up Oneotah, and allow the survey to proceed.”

The Prophet laughed contemptuously.

“And if I should refuse to do either?” he returned.

“They will attack you.”

“Fools! The Nez Perces will not fight against Smoholler. When I appear
before them, they will scatter like a flock of sheep before the wolf.
Multuomah can not take Oneotah from me by force—he had best not attempt
it.”

Percy, remembering Multuomah’s misgivings, was inclined to think that
this was no idle boast of the Prophet’s.

“I returned to you to arrange matters peaceably, as much as to gain some
intelligence of my father, if you can give it to me,” he said.

“I can give it to you,” replied Smoholler; “but it will try your nerves
to receive it, I warn you in advance. You must penetrate with me into
the Mystic Cavern beneath yonder cliff—the abode of evil spirits and
malignant demons.”

“I will do so,” rejoined Percy, promptly.

“And so will I,” added Cute.

“Good! The sun is already down—let us advance.”

The Prophet led the way from the little glen in which they had held this
conference, and struck a broad trail leading to the right.

Percy Vere followed the Prophet, Oneotah came next to him, and Cute
brought up the rear. In this order they proceeded, the dim light growing
dimmer as they advanced.

They had proceeded but a short distance when Percy felt a pressure upon
his right arm, and found that Oneotah had come to his side.

“Do not fear the perils of the Mystic Cavern,” she said. “The White
Spirit will protect you.”

These words were uttered cautiously, close to his ear.

“I have no fear,” he returned. “I do not think the Prophet will allow
his spirits to injure me. I think him a man of his word, and I am in
hopes to persuade him to allow you to go to our camp with me on my
return.”

The grasp upon his arm tightened.

“Oh! if you only can!” she murmured, tremulously.

“You would be glad to see Multuomah again?”

“Yes.”

“Oneotah loves Multuomah?”

“Better than her life!”

“Ah! then the Antelope Boy is the White Lily of the Nez Perces?”

“Hush! Oneotah is only the slave of Smoholler—she is only what he
pleases until he sets her free,” she answered, with a sad resignation.

“And would you remain with him if you had a chance to escape?”

“I must.”

“Even if I could restore you to Multuomah?”

“Alas! yes.”

The boy could not understand this.

“What tie is it then that binds you so strongly to Smoholler?” he asked,
curiously.

“One of gratitude—and still a stronger one.”

“What?”

“Hush! don’t let him hear us—he is fearful when angered. He is my—”

“Husband?” supplied Percy, remembering the fear that Multuomah had
expressed to Glyndon.

“No, no, no!” she answered, quickly. “Why, he is quite an old man. You
can not see his features from the war-paint—but I have been permitted to
gaze upon his face—I, of all his followers, because I am his
_daughter_!”

Percy Vere was thoroughly amazed by this revelation.

“His daughter?” he repeated vaguely.

“Yes. He will give me to Multuomah, in good time, I know he will, for he
has always treated me kindly. He saved me from becoming the bride of the
fierce chief of the Yakimas. I am not a Nez Perce, nor yet a Yakima,
though I have lived with both tribes. I was stolen from my father by the
Yakimas when I was a child, and taken from them by a Nez Perce chief
named Owaydotah, who reared me as his own daughter. I was very happy in
the Nez Perce village, and it was a dreadful blow to me to fall again
into the hands of the Yakimas. Smoholler rescued me, and revealed my
true history to me, for his Spirit told him where I was. He saved me for
Multuomah—can you wonder that I love him for it?”



                              CHAPTER XIX.
                              ON THE WAY.


Percy Vere was much interested in what Oneotah had told him, and he
gently detained her.

“I do not wonder that you love this strange man,” he answered. “I am
more and more impressed by the evidences of his power that I have seen.
Let him pass on—we can overtake him—you know the way?”

“Oh, yes; these scenes are familiar to me. I have often been here
before.”

“Yonder cliff is a favorite haunt of the Prophet’s, I suppose?”

“Yes.”

“You have been in this Mystic Cavern, as you call it?” continued Percy,
pursuing his inquiries, curiously.

“Repeatedly.”

“And have you never feared the demons who inhabit it?”

Oneotah glanced cautiously before her, as if seeking for the Prophet’s
tall form, but he had disappeared in the gathering gloom. It was evident
that she feared to speak of the cavern and its mysteries in his hearing.

Percy understood the look, and answered to it.

“He is out of sight—he can not hear you,” he said. “It appears that you
fear this man as well as love him.”

“No, I do not fear him; but I would do nothing to displease him.”

“Is he easily angered?”

“Oh, no; he has never uttered an angry word to me yet.”

Percy smiled.

“It may be because you have been so submissive to his wishes,” he
rejoined. “You appear to me to have a very amiable temper.”

Oneotah laughed, in her musical manner.

“That is why the demons never seek to injure me, I suppose,” she
answered.

“Have you ever seen any of these demons?” he cried, quickly.

“Yes—one.”

“The Black Fiend that appeared to us that night upon the cliff?”

“Yes.”

“And he did not seek to injure you?”

“No; why should he?”

Percy shrugged his shoulders; he had a shrewd suspicion of the cause of
this immunity, but he did not reveal that suspicion to her.

“True; it must be a fiend indeed that would seek to injure you,” he
said.

She turned suddenly upon him.

“You like me?” she exclaimed, vivaciously.

“Very much!”

She gave him her hand with frank impulsiveness, crying:

“And I like you!”

“But not so well as Multuomah?” he rejoined, roguishly.

“Multuomah is a great chief!” she replied, sententiously.

“And an Indian of taste!” he added, impressively.

His words bewildered her, for she did not catch his meaning.

“Of taste?” she repeated, in a questioning manner.

“Decidedly!”

“What makes you think so?”

“Don’t you?”

She was puzzled again.

“I don’t know what you mean,” she answered, simply.

He smiled, but, instead of explaining himself, changed the conversation
abruptly by asking her:

“You have also seen the White Spirit?”

“I have.”

“She is very beautiful!”

“The red-men think her so.”

“She has proved a great help to Smoholler in gaining his ascendancy over
the minds of the Indians.”

“Yes.”

“You do not fear _her_?”

“Oh, no; she never injures any one.”

“I thought not.”

Cute now came up with them.

“What are you stopping here for?” he asked.

“Waiting for you to come up,” answered Percy.

“Thank you. I came as fast as I could. I’m short-winded. Phew!”

Cute drew in a long breath, as if preparing for a fresh start.

“That’s because you are so fat!” cried Percy, laughingly.

“Fat be blowed!” retorted Cute, indignantly.

“That’s what I said—you are blown, because you are so fat.”

“Funny, ain’t you? Well, I’d rather be fat than a Slim Jim, like you and
the Anteloper. Look at his horns! I’ve often heard of taking a horn, but
I wouldn’t like to take one of them horns.”

Oneotah lowered her head and made a playful butt at Cute, who dodged her
nimbly, and got behind Percy, crying out:

“None of that! If you are well-bred, don’t be a butter!”

Oneotah laughed merrily at Cute’s apprehension.

“That’s right, my jolly red boy,” continued the fat youth. “And now,
Anteloper, don’t you think you had better be a sloper? The Prophet has
invited us to a lunch, where we can ‘sup full of horrors’—a nice little
hash of goblins, spooks, demons, ghosts and spirits.” Then he began to
sing:

  “‘Red spirits and white, black spirits and gray,
  Mingle, mingle, you that mingle may!’”

“Hush!” cried Percy. “You’ll scare the owls!”

“The what?”

“The owls!”

“Let ’em scare! Who’s afraid? If with my _howls_ I scare the owls, let
’em decamp to some adjacent shade!”

“Will you be quiet? I wish to ask Oneotah a few questions before we
enter the Mystic Cavern.”

Cute clutched Percy suddenly by the arm.

“Will you take a fool’s advice?” he asked.

“Well, if I take yours I don’t very well see how I can help it,”
answered Percy quietly.

“Not bad for you, Percy; but fools sometimes hit the truth.”

“If you think you can hit it, strike out.”

“I was going to suggest that, instead of going into this Mystic Cave, it
would be better to cave in on going.”

“Pshaw! are you afraid?”

“Not of mortal, red or white, but when it comes to Black Spooks—fellows
that fight with their own shinbones, I beg to be excused.”

“Nonsense! no harm will come to us.”

Cute shook his head, dubiously.

“Oh, won’t there?” he cried. “There aren’t any Accident Tickets issued
on this line yet.”

“The Prophet will protect you!” exclaimed Oneotah.

“Then he will be a profit to us if he does. He’s as smart as a
steel-trap, I know, is Old Smo’, so let us go, where glory, or any thing
else, awaits us.”

“Do be quiet,” insisted Percy. “Oneotah was giving me some valuable
information when you interrupted us. She says Smoholler is her father.”

“I wish I was farther—farther from this!” responded the incorrigible
Cute. “It’s a wise child that knows its own father, and Antelope may be
mistaken. You know what Glyndon thinks; and if she’s a she, and belongs
to he, how can the other matter be?”

“That is just what I wish to ascertain.”

“Fire away then, my boy.”

Oneotah did not hear these words. Percy advanced to her, as she had
drawn a little apart while the boys held this whispered conference.

“How long have you been with Smoholler, Oneotah?” asked Percy.

“Twelve moons,” she answered.

“Good Lord! do you Indian chaps have twelve moons?” cried Cute. “Why, we
white fellows only have one!”

“The Indians count time by moons,” explained Percy. “Their moons are the
same as our months.”

“That’s for a ‘twelve month and a day,’ as I have heard the old song
say. How moony, and how loony!”



                              CHAPTER XX.
                          ONEOTAH’S MEMORIES.


Percy Vere was too much accustomed to Cute’s nonsense to pay much heed
to it. He continued his inquiries of Oneotah.

“And you were in the power of the Yakima tribe, you say, when he found
you—had you been taken a captive by that tribe?”

She nodded assent.

“They took you away from the Nez Perces, but if I remember aright, your
infancy was passed among the Yakimas.”

“So I told you.”

“Do you know how you fell into their hands in the first place?”

“I do not.”

They had paused beside a little brook which ran among the rocks, seeking
an outlet to the river.

Percy was more and more satisfied that his idea was a correct one, and
that the Antelope Boy, or Oneotah, was of white origin. He was tempted
to ask her to remove the singular mask she wore, and let him look upon
her face, but the thought that she would probably decline to do so
restrained him, and he concluded to wait for a better opportunity.

“I am upon the verge of a discovery,” he told himself. “I feel convinced
of it. The Mystic Cavern will clear away every doubt from my mind. But
if this is Glyndon’s child, the old hunter should know it; though I dare
say he would not have any objection to her marrying this young Nez Perce
chief, Multuomah.”

This thought led him to resume his questions.

“Your first recollection, then, dates from the Yakima village?” he said.

“Yes,” replied Oneotah, answering his questions with great frankness.

“Had you any father there?”

“Not to my knowledge.”

“Nor mother?”

“None that ever claimed me.”

“Have you any recollection of a mother?”

Oneotah shook her head, pensively.

“No,” she answered; “memory recalls no mother’s face gently bending over
her infant treasure; no father watching with fond delight the playful
gambols of his child, tracing in the little face before him the charms
of her who was his young heart’s choice.”

“Nor had you other kindred?”

She shook her head again, with the same plaintive expression.

“I can recall no sister’s tenderness, no brother’s boisterous love,” she
rejoined. “Amid the dim phantoms of the past, that recollection
brightens into reality, one scene appears the strongest—clearest to my
mind.”

Percy Vere was much interested in Oneotah’s recollections of the past.

“What scene was that?” he asked.

“It was on the plain near where the White Mountain towers to the
clouds.”

“Mount Rainier?”

“So the white men call it. It was five years ago.”

“How old were you then?”

Oneotah reckoned by “moons,” but Percy had no difficulty in estimating
her age at that period to have been thirteen years.

“It was told to me that, when I grew old enough, I was to be the bride
of Howlish Wampo.”

“There’s a name!” interrupted Cute, who had kept remarkably quiet for
him; but the fact was, he was as much interested as Percy in Oneotah’s
narration. “Who christened him I should like to know? You didn’t fancy
Mr. Howlish Wampo, eh?”

“I shuddered whenever he looked at me.”

“I don’t wonder at that, considering your prospect of becoming Mrs.
Howlish Wampo. Is he any relative to Wampum?”

“Be quiet!” cried Percy. “Your tongue is like a mill wheel when it once
gets started.”

  “When the wind blows,
  Then the mill goes!”

sung Cute.

“You objected, then, to this proposed marriage?” Percy said to Oneotah,
continuing his inquiries.

“Yes; and I resolved to escape from him. Chance aided my design. Our
little village was surprised by a party of Nez Perces, led by a chief
named Owaydotah, and I willingly became his captive.”

“He took you to the Nez Perce village?”

“Yes.”

“And there you met the young chief, Multuomah?”

Oneotah’s voice sunk to a musical whisper as she answered:

“Yes.”

Percy smiled, significantly.

“You did not find the same objection to him as to Howlish Wampo?”

“No. I was very happy in the Nez Perce village. But Howlish Wampo was
resolved to get me again into his power. When an Indian vows revenge or
seeks redress for any injury inflicted upon him he will wait patiently
through long years for a favorable opportunity to accomplish his
designs. So Howlish Wampo watched and waited, and, at last, a cruel
chance made me again his captive.”

“He succeeded in surprising you?”

“Yes; and conveyed me back to the Yakima village. Here I was told that I
must become his wife. I gave myself up to despair.”

“That was a year ago.”

“Yes; but when hope had abandoned me, when my dread doom seemed
inevitable, Smoholler suddenly appeared in the village. He demanded me
of the chief, and Howlish Wampo dared not refuse him.”

“That is strange! And the chief yielded you up to Smoholler?”

“He did; for he feared the power of the great Prophet of the Snakes.”

“And I don’t wonder, for he’s a regular anaconda!” interjected Cute.
“But won’t his Snakeship get tired of waiting for us?”

“True, he will wonder what detains us,” answered Oneotah. “Come!”

She led the way up the course of the brook.

“But what plea could Smoholler put forward to claim you?” urged Percy,
as he followed her.

“He said I was his child, and that the Yakimas stole me from him.”

“He did?”

“Yes.”

“And did Howlish Wampo believe him?”

“He must, or he would not have given me up to him.”

“That’s so. But he can’t be your father!” cried Percy, earnestly.

This exclamation surprised Oneotah.

“Why not?” she demanded.

Percy could not very well explain the cause of his doubts to her.

“Because—because,” he stammered. “No matter! But do you think he is your
father?”

“I do!” she answered, with decision.



                              CHAPTER XXI.
                           THE MYSTIC CAVERN.


Percy Vere listened to all this amazedly.

“What makes you think Smoholler is your father?” he asked.

“He has told me so,” she replied, simply.

“He may have had a motive in doing so,” he urged. “What _proof_ have you
of it besides his word?”

“A strong one. His face is of the same hue as mine—a hue that neither a
Yakima or a Nez Perce possesses.”

These words made a powerful impression upon Percy’s mind.

“Ha!” he cried, thoughtfully. “I remember Multuomah called you the
‘White Lily’—then your face is white?”

“Yes.”

“And Smoholler’s also?”

“Yes.”

Percy became excited.

“Why, then, he is a white man!” he cried.

“I do not know—but he is whiter than any Indian I ever saw.”

“He _is_ a white man!” affirmed Percy, with conviction. “Good heavens!
his evident interest in me—can it be? Your father, girl? No, no—we
believe that you are _Glyndon’s_ daughter; and for the Prophet, he is—”

It was now Oneotah’s turn to become amazed.

“What?” she asked, as he paused abruptly.

“No matter; this Mystic Cavern will satisfy my doubts, I fancy. I look
forward with interest to the revelations that I shall witness there.”

“We have reached its entrance.”

“Through this brook?”

“Yes; the spring that feeds it bubbles up within the Mystic Cavern. Take
my hand, and give your other hand to your comrade. The entrance is low
and narrow.”

Cute came up to them as they paused in the rocky bed of the brook. The
water was only a few inches deep, and went gurgling along with a
pleasant sound.

“Where’s the cave?”

“That hole in the rock, where the brook comes through—that is the
entrance to it.”

“Why, that don’t look big enough for a cat to squeeze through.”

“It is larger than it appears to be. The water is deeper there, forming
a little pool. Come, you must go down upon your hands and knees to
enter.”

Oneotah set them the example, crawling through the aperture, and they
followed her. After proceeding a short distance on their hands and
knees, beside the brook (they were not obliged to go in the water, as
the stream had worn quite a passage in its long work of ages), they
emerged into a spacious and lofty apartment, and found the Prophet
awaiting them, holding a flaming torch in his hand.

Its light dimly illuminated the spacious cavern. It was impossible to
form any estimate of its size by the light afforded by a single torch.
They were in a realm of shadows. Jagged rocks projected upon every side,
and an impenetrable gloom was above their heads. The murky air was
oppressive to the lungs, and strange murmurs, like the moaning of
prisoned spirits, fell upon the ear.

The boys shivered. It appeared to them as if they had entered a huge
tomb. Cute’s teeth rattled in his head.

“Oh! of all the dismal places!” he muttered.

“Keep up your courage!” urged Percy.

“I’m tryin’ to—but I never felt so flunky in all my life. I don’t want
to play hide-and-seek with red goblins. Ough! it’s awful chilly here.”

The torchlight made fantastical shadows in the gloom, and it required no
great stretch of imagination to fancy that a host of grim goblins
surrounded them.

The Prophet stuck his torch in a fissure of the rocky wall.

“Fear nothing,” he said. “No harm will befall you. Oneotah and I must
not be present when the spirits appear. The White Spirit will obey your
bidding. Stand firm—be not appalled at any thing you see. If your father
is dead, his spirit will be shown to you.”

The Prophet glided away in the gloom, followed by Oneotah. Cute clung
convulsively to Percy’s arm.

“Let’s get out of this,” he stammered. “Never mind your father.”

“No, I will remain,” answered Percy, resolutely. “Don’t be
frightened—shadows can not harm us.”

“Ough! I know it—but who wants to shake hands with a lot of hobgoblins?
Oh, Lor’! what’s that?”

The torch had dropped from the fissure to the rocky floor. This was the
cause of Cute’s alarm. It sputtered for a few moments and then expired.
Cute dropped upon his knees, as an utter darkness closed about them,
clutching Percy around the legs.

“‘Now I lay me down to sleep,’” he muttered, his teeth chattering as he
did so. “Say your prayers, Percy—we are a couple of lost innocents. Oh!
if I ever get out of this—catch me coming here again!”

“Don’t be a fool! Where’s your courage?”

“I don’t know—I think I must have left it outside, for I haven’t got it
with me.”

“Hush! the Spirit is coming!”

“Oh! I wish I was going!”

A light began to appear in a distant part of the cavern, some hundred
paces from where they were standing. It increased in volume until it
grew vivid, lighting up the cavern with an unearthly luster. Then came a
cloud of fleecy smoke, which rolled slowly upward and disclosed the
White Spirit, standing upon a rocky platform, about three feet from the
ground. The light fell strongly upon her face, revealing every feature,
and the snowy raiment, the golden bands, the glittering gem upon her
forehead, and the faultless contour of the bare limbs. It was a vision
of wondrous, supernal loveliness, and Cute’s courage revived as he
beheld it. He scrambled to his feet, crying out:

“It is the Angel!”

“Angelic, indeed,” returned Percy; “and if it is Oneotah, as I shrewdly
suspect, I do not wonder that Multuomah loves her.”

Cute listened to him surprisedly.

“Oneotah!” he exclaimed. “By Jingo! I think you are right. Now for the
Fiend!”

“No; let her show me the spirit of my father, and I will be satisfied.”

“_Behold!_” came in a musical whisper, that floated gently toward them.

Again a cloud of smoke arose which hid the White Spirit from view, and
when it faded, a different form stood in her place—the form of a tall
man, with a pallid visage, and long, flowing black hair. His only dress
consisted of a pair of black pants and a white shirt, upon the breast of
which was a red gash, from which the blood appeared to be slowly oozing.
A look of anguish overspread his features, and with his right hand he
pointed to his gory breast, as if intimating that this was the wound
that had caused his death.

“My Father!” exclaimed Percy, and he made an involuntary bound toward
the figure.

“_Dead!_” came a hoarse whisper.

Percy still pressed forward, dragging Cute, who clung to him in terror,
after him, exclaiming, frantically—“Father! father!”

But his feet came in contact with a ridge in the floor, and he and Cute
were precipitated to the ground, the latter uttering a despairing yell
as he fell. He fell over Percy, and lay a dead weight upon him, and it
was only by a strong effort that Percy rolled him off, and struggled to
his feet again. But when he did so, light and figure both had
disappeared, and the blackness of a starless night encompassed them.

“Gone!” he cried, disappointedly.

“Oh! hocus-pocus conjurocus!” groaned Cute, upon the ground. “Phew! what
a smell of brimstone!”



                             CHAPTER XXII.
                          THE SEARCH IS ENDED.


In the impenetrable gloom that now surrounded them, Percy could not
direct his steps toward the platform on which the figures had appeared.
He paused in bewilderment, amazed by what he had beheld.

“It is wonderful!” he exclaimed.

“I hope you are satisfied now,” cried Cute.

“I am,” returned Percy. “Where are you?”

“Here I am.”

Cute arose, and Percy grasped him by the arm.

“A word in your ear,” he whispered, impressively. “When they return to
us—as they shortly will—and conduct us to a place where there is a fire,
as is probable, contrive to knock off Oneota’s Antelope head, as you
promised to do. You understand?”

“Oh, yes; I’m fly! If she turns out to be the White Angel—”

“Why then, _Smoholler is my father_!”

“Jumping Jerusalem! you don’t mean it?”

“I do.”

“That accounts for the milk in the cocoanut.”

“Hush! I hear footsteps. See, there is the glimmering of a light.”

“It is the Antelope with a torch, and her head on, as before. But I’ll
behead her. Just you wait.”

“But don’t hurt her.”

“Oh, no; I’ll decapitate her in the gentlest manner possible.”

Oneotah drew near, carrying a torch in her hand. The way in which she
had approached proved that the cavern was divided into several
apartments, from one of which she had suddenly emerged bearing the
torch, whose light revealed her presence.

“Come,” she said, as she reached them.

“But tell me—” began Percy.

“No questions now,” she interrupted quickly. “This is the Cave of the
Shadows—let us leave it for a more cheerful place. Come.”

She led the way and the boys followed her, nothing loth to leave that
dismal, tomb-like apartment. The way proved a long and winding one, and
appeared to be a gradual ascent. Percy Vere could see by the light of
Oneotah’s torch that they were in a kind of rocky gallery, or
subterranean passage, a water-course formerly, though now entirely dry.

After a tedious and tiresome ascent, during which the only words spoken
were muttered complaints from Cute as he scraped his shins against
projecting rocks, they emerged into a small but comfortable-looking
chamber. A fire burned brightly in a natural fire-place in one corner,
and as no smoke came into the chamber, it was evident that there was a
vent in the rocky roof above that served as a chimney. The light of the
fire made the little chamber look cheerful, and disclosed its
belongings.

Considerable care had been expended in making it comfortable, and every
formation of the rocky chamber had been converted to a useful purpose.
Thus a huge square block of stone had been arranged for a table, and
smaller stones placed around it to serve as seats. Aromatic bushes had
been piled in little odd corners, and were covered with skins to serve
as couches. Various weapons were hung upon the walls, mingled with the
skins, and skulls, and horns of a variety of animals.

In short, this strange apartment bore a picturesque appearance, and
seemed the fit home of a barbaric chief. Nor was the chief wanting, for
Smoholler was there; but he had laid aside his head-dress and cloak, and
his long black hair, which was almost as thick and as coarse as a lion’s
mane, hung down upon his shoulders. His face was still disguised in its
war-paint, though he appeared to have changed it in some respects since
they had last seen him.

He was engaged in a peculiar occupation for a great Prophet and chief,
as he was cooking venison steaks before the fire, and the odor of the
meat saluted the nostrils of the boys most gratefully.

“By king! this is something like!” exclaimed Cute. “Supper with the
Prophet.”

Smoholler laughed.

“Boys must eat,” he answered. “Have you not heard that the Indians are
celebrated for their hospitality?”

“I don’t know much about Indians in general,” replied Cute, “but you are
a particular instance, and hard to beat. I don’t think there are many
like you.”

“Smoholler is the great leader of the red-men,” answered the Prophet,
sententiously. “In all this land there is no other chief like him.”

“That’s so!” affirmed Cute. “I’ll bet my bottom dollar on you.”

Percy Vere, who had been gazing about him, curiously, now said:

“Is not this near the top of the cliff?”

Oneotah placed her torch in a niche in the wall.

“Come,” she said.

She gave him her hand, led him into a dark passage, turned abruptly to
the right after proceeding a few steps, and checked Percy’s further
advance. He gazed forward. The sky was overhead, studded with
innumerable stars. Far below, down in the gloom of night, a watch-fire
sent forth its ruddy glare.

“It is the camp of the surveyors!” he exclaimed, surprisedly.

Oneotah indulged in a musical laugh, as if she rather enjoyed his
surprise.

“Yes,” she answered.

“And it was here that the White and Black Spirits of Smoholler appeared
to us?”

“Yes.”

Every thing was becoming plain to him now. He made no other comment,
however, but followed Oneotah back into the chamber—the aerie of the
Prophet.

The table was soon spread by Oneotah’s deft fingers, and they sat down
to their repast, the boys finding their appetites well-sharpened by the
events of the night. But little was said until their hunger was
satisfied, and then Smoholler pushed back his plate, saying:

“What think you of the revelations of the Mystic Cavern? You will be
satisfied now to return to your mother and tell her that your father is
dead?”

“No, for I think he still lives,” returned Percy; and he made Cute a
significant gesture toward Oneotah.

“Still lives?” echoed the Prophet.

“Yes; and is known by the name of Smoholler!”

“Jumping Jerusalem!” exclaimed Cute, in pretended amazement, and he made
a clutch at one of the horns of the antelope’s head, and twitched it
dexterously away from Oneotah, revealing her white face, and luxuriant
black hair.

“And there is the White Spirit!” continued Percy. “No wonder that you
could persuade these ignorant Indians that she is an angel, for she is
lovely enough to be one. Father, you will not deny me?”

Smoholler gave him his hand.

“No; for I am proud of such a son,” he answered. “You have penetrated my
mysteries, but I care not, as I intended to reveal myself to you; but my
followers must never know the deceit I have practiced upon them. I have
used my chemical knowledge in the manufacture of colored fires with
great effect. You have discovered who the angel was; I need scarcely
tell you that the Fiend was myself. Oneotah has been my only
confederate. And I am likely to lose her, for love has found his way to
her heart.”

“My father, I will never desert you,” cried Oneotah. “I will still be
your White Spirit, if you wish it.”

“No, Oneotah; you have served my purpose well, and now you shall reap
your reward. Your lover, Multuomah, is in yonder camp, and when they
return you shall go with them. My power is so well established now that
I can do without my White Spirit.”

She beamed a grateful smile upon him.

“It will aid your power, father,” she cried; “for Multuomah will become
your friend, and he will, one day, be the head chief of the Nez Perces.”

“True; you see how politic she is; though I must confess that such an
alliance has long been one of my calculations.”

“Why have you made her think she is your daughter?” asked Percy.

“Because I wanted something to love me; my heart was not satisfied with
being feared alone,” answered the Prophet, feelingly. “I found her in
the power of a brutal savage, and saved her from the degrading fate of
becoming his wife. I saw by her face that she was the child of white
parents, and so I claimed her as mine.”

Oneotah looked disappointed at this revelation.

“Then you are not my father?” she cried.

“No, Oneotah; only by adoption.”

“Your real father is in our camp,” said Percy. “A hunter, named Glyndon.
This, we are all quite assured, is the case.”

The Prophet looked surprised. “Is it so?” he asked.

Percy briefly recounted Glyndon’s story, as he had repeatedly revealed
it to the boys and the lieutenant.

“Undoubtedly she is his daughter,” responded Smoholler; “but for her own
good, and mine, she had better be considered my daughter.”

“I shall never love any other father!” cried Oneotah.

“This seems hard upon Glyndon,” remarked Percy.

“Why so? He has long considered her dead. Let him content himself with
seeing her happy, and, if he is a sensible man, he will do so. Oneotah,
as the supposed daughter of the Great Prophet of the Snakes, will
receive a consideration among the Nez Perces that would be denied to her
as the daughter of a simple hunter. Besides, it makes a tribe, which has
been inclined to be inimical, friendly toward me. I must do all I can to
consolidate my power.”

“Then you will not return to your home?”

“Never. What is past is past. Discussion upon the subject would be idle.
Guy Vere is dead, and Smoholler, the Prophet, lives, to found the
greatest Indian nation that has ever existed in this country. I will
give you gems that will enrich you and your mother for life; but when
you leave me, forget me. It will be best. Oneotah shall go with you, and
the survey can proceed, for I will no longer obstruct it. I have changed
my views concerning the railroad. I think I was wrong in my calculation
of the injury it might do me. I shall return to my village at Priest’s
Rapids. Here are beds at your disposal. Oneotah has her own separate
apartment. Let us sleep.”

Oneotah withdrew through one of the passages, and the Prophet and the
boys disposed themselves upon the couches of skins and fragrant herbs.
Sleep came to them speedily.

In the morning they were up with the sun. The Prophet gave Percy a
little pouch of deer-skin that contained a fortune in precious stones,
and after partaking of a breakfast, and exchanging an affectionate
farewell with their strange host, the boys and Oneotah departed. But she
no longer wore the boy’s dress and antelope’s head—she had discarded
them for the rich costume of an Indian Princess, for was she not going
to her betrothed lord?

I have not space to linger over a description of the surprise that their
arrival at the camp created, or the numerous inquiries that were
addressed to them.

Glyndon could not determine whether Oneotah was his daughter or not, and
she showed no disposition to acknowledge him as a father. She had long
considered herself the daughter of the great Smoholler, and,
notwithstanding what he had said, she still clung to that belief. Percy
saw enough in her face to convince him that she was Glyndon’s child,
but, under the circumstances, he deemed it best not to interfere in the
matter.

Multuomah preferred to receive her as Smoholler’s daughter, and conveyed
her to his village, where their nuptials were celebrated with great
pomp.

Percy Vere and Percy Cute remained with the expedition until the survey
was completed, and then returned home.


                                THE END.



                                STANDARD
                             Dime dialogueS


            For School Exhibitions and Home Entertainments.

Nos. 1 to 21 inclusive. 15 to 25 Popular Dialogues and Dramas in each
book. Each volume 100 12mo pages, sent post-paid, on receipt of price,
ten cents.

           Beadle & Adams, Publishers, 98 William St., N. Y.

These volumes have been prepared with especial reference to their
availability for Exhibitions, being adapted to schools and parlors with
or without the furniture of a stage, and suited to SCHOLARS AND YOUNG
PEOPLE of every age, both male and female. It is fair to assume that no
books in the market, at any price, contain so many useful and available
dialogues and dramas, pathos, humor and sentiment.


DIME DIALOGUES, NO. 1.

  Meeting of the Muses. For nine young ladies,
  Baiting a Live Englishman. For three boys.
  Tasso’s Coronation. For male and female.
  Fashion. For two ladies.
  The Rehearsal. For six boys.
  Which will you Choose! For two boys.
  The Queen of May. For two little girls.
  The Tea Party. For four ladies.
  Three Scenes in Wedded Life. Male and female.
  Mrs. Sniffles’ Confession. For male and female.
  The Mission of the Spirits. Five young ladies.
  Hobnobbing. For five speakers.
  The Secret of Success. For three speakers.
  Young America. Three males and two females.
  Josephine’s Destiny. Four females, one male.
  The Folly of the Duel. For three male speakers.
  Dogmatism. For three male speakers.
  The Ignorant Confounded. For two boys.
  The Fast Young Man. For two males.
  The Year’s Reckoning. 12 females and 1 male.
  The Village with One Gentleman. For eight females and one male.


DIME DIALOGUES, NO. 2.

  The Genius of Liberty. 2 males and 1 female.
  Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper.
  Doing Good and Saying Bad. Several characters.
  The Golden Rule. Two males and two females.
  The Gift of the Fairy Queen. Several females.
  Taken in and Done For. For two characters.
  The Country Aunt’s Visit to the City. For several characters.
  The Two Romans. For two males.
  Trying the Characters. For three males.
  The Happy Family. For several ‘animals.’
  The Rainbow. For several characters.
  How to Write ‘Popular’ Stories. Two males.
  The New and the Old. For two males.
  A Sensation at Last. For two males.
  The Greenhorn. For two males.
  The Three Men of Science. For four males.
  The Old Lady’s Will. For four males.
  The Little Philosophers. For two little girls.
  How to Find an Heir. For five males.
  The Virtues. For six young ladies.
  A Connubial Eclogue.
  The Public meeting. Five males and one female.
  The English Traveler. For two males.


DIME DIALOGUES, NO. 3.

  The May Queen. For an entire school.
  Dress Reform Convention. For ten females.
  Keeping Bad Company. A Farce. For five males.
  Courting Under Difficulties. 2 males, 1 female.
  National Representatives. A Burlesque. 4 males.
  Escaping the Draft. For numerous males.
  The Genteel Cook. For two males.
  Masterpiece. For two males and two females.
  The Two Romans. For two males.
  The Same. Second scene. For two males.
  Showing the White Feather. 4 males, 1 female.
  The Battle Call. A Recitative. For one male.


DIME DIALOGUES, NO. 4.

  The Frost King. For ten or more persons.
  Starting in Life. Three males and two females.
  Faith, Hope and Charity. For three little girls.
  Darby and Joan. For two males and one female.
  The May. A Floral Fancy. For six little girls.
  The Enchanted Princess. 2 males, several females.
  Honor to Whom Honor is Due. 7 males, 1 female.
  The Gentle Client. For several males, one female.
  Phrenology. A Discussion. For twenty males.
  The Stubbletown Volunteer. 2 males, 1 female.
  A Scene from “Paul Pry.” For four males.
  The Charms. For three males and one female.
  Bee, Clock and Broom. For three little girls.
  The Right Way. A Colloquy. For two boys.
  What the Ledger Says. For two males.
  The Crimes of Dress. A Colloquy. For two boys.
  The Reward of Benevolence. For four males.
  The Letter. For two males.


DIME DIALOGUES, NO. 5.

  The Three Guesses. For school or parlor.
  Sentiment. A “Three Person” Farce.
  Behind the Curtain. For males and females.
  The Eta Pi Society. Five boys and a teacher.
  Examination Day. For several female characters.
  Trading in “Traps.” For several males.
  The School Boys’ Tribunal. For ten boys.
  A Loose Tongue. Several males and females.
  How Not to Get an Answer. For two females.
  Putting on Airs. A Colloquy. For two males.
  The Straight Mark. For several boys.
  Two Ideas of Life. A Colloquy. For ten girls.
  Extract from Marino Fallero.
  Ma-try-Money. An Acting Charade.
  The Six Virtues. For six young ladies.
  The Irishman at Home. For two males.
  Fashionable Requirements. For three girls.
  A Bevy of I’s (Eyes). For eight or less little girls.


DIME DIALOGUES, NO. 6.

  The Way They Kept a Secret. Male and females.
  The Poet under Difficulties. For five males.
  William Tell. For a whole school.
  Woman’s Rights. Seven females and two males.
  All is not Gold that Glitters. Male and females.
  The Generous Jew. For six males.
  Shopping. For three males and one female.
  The Two Counselors. For three males.
  The Votaries of Folly. For a number of females.
  Aunt Betsy’s Beaux. Four females and two males.
  The Libel Suit. For two females and one male.
  Santa Claus. For a number of boys.
  Christmas Fairies. For several little girls.
  The Three Rings. For two males.


DIME DIALECT SPEAKER, No. 23.

  Dat’s wat’s de matter,
  The Mississippi miracle,
  Ven te tide cooms in,
  Dose lams vot Mary haf got,
  Pat O’Flaherty on woman’s rights,
  The home rulers, how they “spakes,”
  Hezekiah Dawson on Mothers-in-law,
  He didn’t sell the farm,
  The true story of Franklin’s kite,
  I would I were a boy again,
  A pathetic story,
  All about a bee,
  Scandal,
  A dark side view,
  Te pesser vay,
  On learning German,
  Mary’s shmall vite lamb,
  A healthy discourse,
  Tobias so to speak,
  Old Mrs. Grimes,
  A parody,
  Mars and cats,
  Bill Underwood, pilot,
  Old Granley,
  The pill peddler’s oration,
  Widder Green’s last words,
  Latest Chinese outrage,
  The manifest destiny of the Irishman,
  Peggy McCann,
  Sprays from Josh Billings,
  De circumstances ob de sitiwation,
  Dar’s nuffin new under de sun,
  A Negro religious poem,
  That violin,
  Picnic delights,
  Our candidate’s views,
  Dundreary’s wisdom,
  Plain language by truthful Jane,
  My neighbor’s dogs,
  Condensed Mythology,
    Pictus,
    The Neraides,
    Legends of Attica,
  The stove-pipe tragedy,
  A doketor’s drubbles,
  The coming man,
  The Illigant affair at Muldoon’s,
  That little baby round the corner,
  A genewine inference,
  An invitation to the bird of liberty,
  The crow,
  Out west.


DIME DIALOGUES, No. 26.

  Poor cousins. Three ladies and two gentlemen.
  Mountains and mole-hills. Six ladies and several spectators.
  A test that did not fail. Six boys.
  Two ways of seeing things. Two little girls.
  Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched. Four ladies and a
              boy.
  All is fair in love and war. 3 ladies, 2 gentlemen.
  How uncle Josh got rid of the legacy. Two males, with several
              transformations.
  The lesson of mercy. Two very small girls.
  Practice what you preach. Four ladies.
  Politician. Numerous characters.
  The canvassing agent. Two males and two females.
  Grub. Two males.
  A slight scare. Three females and one male.
  Embodied sunshine. Three young ladies.
  How Jim Peters died. Two males.

☞ The above books are sold by Newsdealers everywhere, or will be sent,
post-paid, to any address, on receipt of price, 10 cents each.

           BEADLE & ADAMS, Publishers, 98 William St., N. Y.



                          DIME POCKET NOVELS.
               PUBLISHED SEMI-MONTHLY, AT TEN CENTS EACH.


  1—Hawkeye Harry. By Oll Coomes.
  2—Dead Shot. By Albert W. Aiken.
  3—The Boy Miners. By Edward S. Ellis.
  4—Blue Dick. By Capt. Mayne Reid.
  5—Nat Wolfe. By Mrs. M. V. Victor.
  6—The White Tracker. By Edward S. Ellis.
  7—The Outlaw’s Wife. By Mrs. Ann S. Stephens.
  8—The Tall Trapper. By Albert W. Aiken.
  9—Lightning Jo. By Capt. Adams.
  10—The Island Pirate. By Capt. Mayne Reid.
  11—The Boy Ranger. By Oll Coomes.
  12—Bess, the Trapper. By E. S. Ellis.
  13—The French Spy. By W. J. Hamilton.
  14—Long Shot. By Capt. Comstock.
  15—The Gunmaker. By James L. Bowen.
  16—Red Hand. By A. G. Piper.
  17—Ben, the Trapper. By Lewis W. Carson.
  18—Wild Raven. By Oll Coomes.
  19—The Specter Chief. By Seelin Robins.
  20—The B’ar-Killer. By Capt. Comstock.
  21—Wild Nat. By Wm. R. Eyster.
  22—Indian Jo. By Lewis W. Carson.
  23—Old Kent, the Ranger. By Edward S. Ellis.
  24—The One-Eyed Trapper. By Capt. Comstock.
  25—Godbold, the Spy. By N. C. Iron.
  26—The Black Ship. By John S. Warner.
  27—Single Eye. By Warren St. John.
  28—Indian Jim. By Edward S. Ellis.
  29—The Scout. By Warren St. John.
  30—Eagle Eye. By W. J. Hamilton.
  31—The Mystic Canoe. By Edward S. Ellis.
  32—The Golden Harpoon. By R. Starbuck.
  33—The Scalp King. By Lieut. Ned Hunter.
  34—Old Lute. By E. W. Archer.
  35—Rainbolt, Ranger. By Oll Coomes.
  36—The Boy Pioneer. By Edward S. Ellis.
  37—Carson, the Guide. By J. H. Randolph.
  38—The Heart Eater. By Harry Hazard.
  39—Wetzel, the Scout. By Boynton Belknap.
  40—The Huge Hunter. By Ed. S. Ellis.
  41—Wild Nat, the Trapper. By Paul Prescott.
  42—Lynx-cap. By Paul Bibbs.
  43—The White Outlaw. By Harry Hazard.
  44—The Dog Trailer. By Frederick Dewey.
  45—The Elk King. By Capt. Chas. Howard.
  46—Adrian, the Pilot. By Col. P. Ingraham.
  47—The Man-hunter. By Maro O. Rolfe.
  48—The Phantom Tracker. By F. Dewey.
  49—Moccasin Bill. By Paul Bibbs.
  50—The Wolf Queen. By Charles Howard.
  51—Tom Hawk, the Trailer.
  52—The Mad Chief. By Chas. Howard.
  53—The Black Wolf. By Edwin E. Ewing.
  54—Arkansas Jack. By Harry Hazard.
  55—Blackbeard. By Paul Bibbs.
  56—The River Rifles. By Billex Muller.
  57—Hunter Ham. By J. Edgar Iliff.
  58—Cloudwood. By J. M. Merrill.
  59—The Texas Hawks. By Jos. E. Badger, Jr.
  60—Merciless Mat. By Capt. Chas. Howard.
  61—Mad Anthony’s Scouts. By E. Rodman.
  62—The Luckless Trapper. By Wm. R. Eyster.
  63—The Florida Scout. By Jos. E. Badger, Jr.
  64—The Island Trapper. By Chas. Howard.
  65—Wolf-Cap. By Capt. Chas. Howard.
  66—Rattling Dick. By Harry Hazard.
  67—Sharp-Eye. By Major Max Martine.
  68—Iron-Hand. By Frederick Forest.
  69—The Yellow Hunter. By Chas. Howard.
  70—The Phantom Rider. By Maro O. Rolfe.
  71—Delaware Tom. By Harry Hazard.
  72—Silver Rifle. By Capt. Chas. Howard.
  73—The Skeleton Scout. By Maj. L. W. Carson.
  74—Little Rifle. By Capt. “Bruin” Adams.
  75—The Wood Witch. By Edwin Emerson.
  76—Old Ruff, the Trapper. By “Bruin” Adams.
  77—The Scarlet Shoulders. By Harry Hazard.
  78—The Border Rifleman. By L. W. Carson.
  79—Outlaw Jack. By Harry Hazard.
  80—Tiger-Tail, the Seminole. By R. Ringwood.
  81—Death-Dealer. By Arthur L. Meserve.
  82—Kenton, the Ranger. By Chas. Howard.
  83—The Specter Horseman. By Frank Dewey.
  84—The Three Trappers. By Seelin Robins.
  85—Kaleolah. By T. Benton Shields, U. S. N.
  86—The Hunter Hercules. By Harry St. George.
  87—Phil Hunter. By Capt. Chas. Howard.
  88—The Indian Scout. By Harry Hazard.
  89—The Girl Avenger. By Chas. Howard.
  90—The Red Hermitess. By Paul Bibbs.
  91—Star-Face, the Slayer.
  92—The Antelope Boy. By Geo. L. Aiken.
  93—The Phantom Hunter. By E. Emerson.
  94—Tom Pintle, the Pilot. By M. Klapp.
  95—The Red Wizard. By Ned Hunter.
  96—The Rival Trappers. By L. W. Carson.
  97—The Squaw Spy. By Capt. Chas. Howard.
  98—Dusky Dick. By Jos. E. Badger, Jr.
  99—Colonel Crockett. By Chas. E. Lasalle.
  100—Old Bear Paw. By Major Max Martine.
  101—Redlaw. By Jos. E. Badger, Jr.
  102—Wild Rube. By W. J. Hamilton.
  103—The Indian Hunters. By J. L. Bowen.
  104—Scarred Eagle. By Andrew Dearborn.
  105—Nick Doyle. By P. Hamilton Myers.
  106—The Indian Spy. By Jos. E. Badger, Jr.
  107—Job Dean. By Ingoldsby North.
  108—The Wood King. By Jos. E. Badger, Jr.
  109—The Scalped Hunter. By Harry Hazard.
  110—Nick, the Scout. By W. J. Hamilton.
  111—The Texas Tiger. By Edward Willett.
  112—The Crossed Knives. By Hamilton.
  113—Tiger-Heart, the Tracker. By Howard.
  114—The Masked Avenger. By Ingraham.
  115—The Pearl Pirates. By Starbuck.
  116—Black Panther. By Jos. E. Badger, Jr.
  117—Abdiel, the Avenger. By Ed. Willett.
  118—Cato, the Creeper. By Fred. Dewey.
  119—Two-Handed Mat. By Jos. E. Badger.
  120—Mad Trail Hunter. By Harry Hazard.
  121—Black Nick. By Frederick Whittaker.
  122—Kit Bird. By W. J. Hamilton.
  123—The Specter Riders. By Geo. Gleason.
  124—Giant Pete. By W. J. Hamilton.
  125—The Girl Captain. By Jos. E. Badger.
  126—Yankee Eph. By J. R. Worcester.
  127—Silverspur. By Edward Willett.
  128—Squatter Dick. By Jos. E. Badger.
  129—The Child Spy. By George Gleason.
  130—Mink Coat. By Jos. E. Badger.
  131—Red Plume. By J. Stanley Henderson.
  132—Clyde, the Trailer. By Maro O. Rolfe.
  133—The Lost Cache. J. Stanley Henderson.
  134—The Cannibal Chief. Paul J. Prescott.
  135—Karaibo. By J. Stanley Henderson.
  136—Scarlet Moccasin. By Paul Bibbs.
  137—Kidnapped. By J. Stanley Henderson.
  138—Maid of the Mountain. By Hamilton.
  139—The Scioto Scouts. By Ed. Willett.
  140—The Border Renegade. By Badger.
  141—The Mute Chief. By C. D. Clark.
  142—Boone, the Hunter. By Whittaker.
  143—Mountain Kate. By Jos. E. Badger, Jr.
  144—The Red Scalper. By W. J. Hamilton.
  145—The Lone Chief. By Jos. E. Badger, Jr.
  146—The Silver Bugle. By Lieut. Col. Hazleton.
  147—Chinga, the Cheyenne. By E. S. Ellis.
  148—The Tangled Trail. By Major Martine.
  149—The Unseen Hand. By J. S. Henderson.
  150—The Lone Indian. By Capt. C. Howard.
  151—The Branded Brave. By Paul Bibbs.
  152—Billy Bowlegs, The Seminole Chief.
  153—The Valley Scout. By Seelin Robins.
  154—Red Jacket. By Paul Bibbs.
  155—The Jungle Scout. Ready
  156—Cherokee Chief. Ready
  157—The Bandit Hermit. Ready
  158—The Patriot Scouts. Ready
  159—The Wood Rangers.
  160—The Red Foe. Ready
  161—The Beautiful Unknown.
  162—Canebrake Mose. Ready
  163—Hank, the Guide. Ready
  164—The Border Scout. Ready Oct. 5th.

       BEADLE AND ADAMS, Publishers, 98 William Street, New York.



                          Transcriber’s Notes


—Silently corrected a few typos.

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by
  _underscores_.

—Created a Table of Contents based on the chapter headings.





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