Lost in the Forest
A few miles west of Fort Edward, three men were sitting near a river. Two of the men were Indians. The other man was a white man. Chingachgook and his son, Uncas, were Mohicans. The white man was a scout called Hawk-eye. Hawk-eye had a long hunting gun.
The three men were talking.
‘My tribe is the oldest Indian tribe,’ Chingachgook said. ‘The blood of the Mohican chiefs is in me. Many summers ago, my tribe came here to the land of the Delawares.’
‘Where are the Mohicans now?’ asked Hawk-eye.
‘Where are the flowers of those summers?’ said Chingachgook. ‘Gone. All dead. After my death, Uncas will be the last of the Mohicans.’
Suddenly, they heard a noise. They turned quickly. Hawk-eye lifted his gun. ‘Who is it?’ he said. Duncan Heyward rode out of the forest. Cora and Alice followed him.
‘I am an English officer,’ Duncan said. ‘We
have come from Fort Edward. How far is it to Fort William Henry?’
Hawk – eye laughed. ‘Fort William Henry? You are going the wrong way,’ he said. ‘You are near Glenn’s Falls.’
‘The wrong way!’ said Duncan. ‘Then we are lost. But our Indian guide-‘
‘You have an Indian guide but you are lost in the forest?’ said Hawk-eye. ‘That is very strange. Is he a Delaware?’
‘He is called Magua. He is a Huron,’ said Duncan. ‘But he lives with the Mohawks, and he is a guide for the Eng-‘
‘A Huron!’ said Hawk-eye quickly. ‘You can trust a Mohican or a Delaware. But you cannot trust a Huron! Your guide will lead you to his friends. They will kill you. Let me see him.’
Magua was standing behind Cora’s horse. Hawk-eye looked at him. Then he went and spoke to Chingachgook and Uncas.
Magua moved quickly. He ran into the forest.
Hawk-eye, Chingachgook and Uncas ran after him. But Magua escaped.
‘What can I do?’ thought Duncan. ‘We are lost.’ He turned to Hawk-eye. ‘Will you take us to Fort William Henry?’ he asked. ‘We will give you money.’
Hawk-eye looked at Cora and Alice. ‘We will take you,’ he told Duncan. ‘Money is not important. We will not leave you and the two young women here. Magua and his Huron friends will find you. Come now – quickly!’
Duncan and Hawk-eye spoke to Cora and Alice. The sisters got off their horses. The Mohicans took the animals away.
‘They will hide the horses until the morning,’ said Hawk-eye. He pulled a canoe from the tall grass at the side of the river. ‘G et into the canoe,’ he said. ‘We will go to a cave and we will stay there tonight.’
Duncan, Cora and Alice got into the canoe. Hawkeye pushed the canoe to the middle of the river. Then he got into the canoe. He started to paddle along the river. Soon they heard the sound of a great waterfall in front of them – Glenn’s Falls.
A few minutes later, they saw the waterfall.
Alice looked at the tall young Mohican, Uncas.
‘A strong man is guarding us,’ she said quietly to her
Sister. ‘We will be safe tonight.’