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VII.

THE MARCH OF MILES STANDISH.

MEANWHILE the stalwart Miles Standish was

marching steadily northward, Winding through forest and swamp, and along

the trend of the sea-shore, All day long, with hardly a halt, the fire of his

anger Burning and crackling within, and the sul

phurous odor of powder Seeming more sweet to his nostrils than alì

the scents of the forest. Silent and moody he went, and much he re

volved his discomfort;

He who was used to success, and to easy vic

tories always, Thus to be flouted, rejected, and laughed to

scorn by a maiden, Thus to be mocked and betrayed by the friend

whom most he had trusted! Ah! 'twas too much to be borne, and he fret

ted and chafed in his armor!

" * I alone am to blame,” he muttered, " for

mine was the folly. What has a rough old soldier, grown grim and

gray in the harness, Used to the camp and its ways, to do with the

wooing of maidens ? 'T was but a dream, - let it pass, - let it van

ish like so many others! What I thought was a flower, is only a.weed,

and is worthless ; Out of my heart will I pluck it, and throw it

away, and henceforward

8

Be but a fighter of battles, a lover and wooer

of dangers !”

Thus he revolved in his mind his sorry defeat

and discomfort, While he was marching by day or lying at

night in the forest, Looking up at the trees, and the constellations

beyond them.

After a three days' march he came to an In

dian encampment Pitched on the edge of a meadow, between the

sea and the forest; Women at work by the tents, and the warriors,

horrid with war-paint, Seated about a fire, and smoking and talking

together; Who, when they saw from afar the sudden ap

proach of the white men, Saw the flash of the sun on breastplate and

sabre and musket,

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:

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