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Straightway leaped to their feet, and two, from

among them advancing, Came to parley with Standish, and offer him

furs as a present; Friendship was in their looks, but in their

hearts there was hatred. Braves of the tribe were these, and brothers

gigantic in stature, Huge as Goliath of Gath, or the terrible Og,

king of Bashan; One was Pecksuot named, and the other was

called Wattawamat. Round their necks were suspended their knives

in scabbards of wampum, Two-edged, trenchant knives, with points as

sharp as a needle. Other arms had they none, for they were cun

ning and crafty. “Welcome, English !” they said, — these words

they had learned from the traders

Touching at times on the coast, to barter and

chaffer for peltries. Then in their native tongue they began to par

ley with Standish, Through his guide and interpreter, Hobomok,

friend of the white man, Begging for blankets and knives, but mostly

for muskets and powder, Kept by the white man, they said, concealed,

with the plague, in his cellars, Ready to be let loose, and destroy his brother

the red man ! But when Standish refused, and said he would

give them the Bible, Suddenly changing their tone, they began to

boast and to bluster. Then Wattawamat advanced with a stride in

front of the other, And, with a lofty demeanor, thus vauntingly

spake to the Captain:

“Now Wattawamat can see, by the fiery eyes

of the Captain, Angry is he in his heart; but the heart of

the brave Wattawamat Is not afraid at the sight. He was not born

of a woman, But on a mountain, at night, from an oak-tree

riven by lightning, Forth he sprang at a bound, with all his weap

ons about him, Shouting, Who is there here to fight with the

brave Wattawamat?'" Then he unsheathed his knife, and, whetting

the blade on his left hand, Held it aloft and displayed a woman's face on

the handle, Saying, with bitter expression and look of sin

ister meaning : “I have another at home, with the face of a

man on the handle ;

By and by they shall marry; and there will

be plenty of children!”

Then stood Pecksuot forth, self-vaunting, in

sulting Miles Standish : While with his fingers he patted the knife that

hung at his bosom, Drawing it half from its sheath, and plunging

it back, as he muttered, By and by it shall see; it shall eat; ah, ha!

but shall speak not! This is the mighty Captain the white men have

sent to destroy us! He is a little man; let him go and work with

the women !'

66

Meanwhile Standish had noted the faces and

figures of Indians Peeping and creeping about from bush to tree

in the forest,

Feigning to look for game, with arrows set on

their bow-strings, Drawing about him still closer and closer the

net of their ambush. But undaunted he stood, and dissembled and

treated them smoothly ; So the old chronicles say, that were writ in the

days of the fathers. But when he heard their defiance, the boast,

the taunt, and the insult, All the hot blood of his race, of Sir Hugh and

of Thurston de Standish, Boiled and beat in his heart, and swelled in

the veins of his temples. Headlong he leaped on the boaster, and,

snatching his knife from its scabbard, Plunged it into his heart, and, reeling back

ward, the savage Fell with his face to the sky, and a fiendlike

fierceness upon it.

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