Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Chapter I: Rene de Veaux
 Chapter II: A wonderful delive...
 Chapter III: Chitta's revenge
 Chapter IV: Has-se is held...
 Chapter V: The escape of Has-se...
 Chapter VI: The journey in search...
 Chapter VII: Chitta becomes...
 Chapter VIII: On the trail
 Chapter IX: A trap avoided and...
 Chapter X: Mutiny at Fort...
 Chapter XI: Rene's return
 Chapter XII: Abandoning the...
 Chapter XIII: Arrival of Jean...
 Chapter XIV: A night of terror
 Chapter XV: Rene in the hands of...
 Chapter XVI: Has-se receives the...
 Chapter XVII: Death of Has-se (the...
 Chapter XVIII: The French have...
 Chapter XIX: The old world once...

Group Title: Flamingo Feather
Title: The Flamingo Feather
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AM00000221/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Flamingo Feather
Physical Description: 246 p. : illus. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Munroe, Kirk, 1850-1930
Publisher: Harper & Bros.
Place of Publication: New York and London
Publication Date: [c1915]
Subject: History -- Fiction -- Florida -- Huguenot colony, 1562-1565   ( lcsh )
Genre: fiction   ( marcgt )
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: AM00000221
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Florida A&M University (FAMU)
Holding Location: Florida A&M University (FAMU)
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01837074

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Half Title
        Half Title
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    List of Illustrations
        List of Illustrations
    Chapter I: Rene de Veaux
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Chapter II: A wonderful deliverance
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
    Chapter III: Chitta's revenge
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
    Chapter IV: Has-se is held prisoner
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
    Chapter V: The escape of Has-se and Rene
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
    Chapter VI: The journey in search of food
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
    Chapter VII: Chitta becomes a Seminole
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
    Chapter VIII: On the trail
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    Chapter IX: A trap avoided and friends discovered
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    Chapter X: Mutiny at Fort Caroline
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
    Chapter XI: Rene's return
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
    Chapter XII: Abandoning the fort
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
    Chapter XIII: Arrival of Jean Ribault
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
    Chapter XIV: A night of terror
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
    Chapter XV: Rene in the hands of his enemies
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
    Chapter XVI: Has-se receives the token
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
    Chapter XVII: Death of Has-se (the Sunbeam)
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
    Chapter XVIII: The French have come again
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
    Chapter XIX: The old world once more
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
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I. RENi DE VEAUX. .. r. r. I
COVERED . .. 83
XI. RiNA'S RETURN . .... 104


"FAREWELL, TA-LAH-LO-KO !" r.a [. 3 r 112

THE DEATH OF HAS-SE t.i I. a nr. 20o8

The Flamingo Feather

ON a dreary winter's day, early in the year
1564, young R6n6 de Veaux, who had just
passed his sixteenth birthday, left the dear old
chateau where he had spent his happy and care-
less boyhood, and started for Paris. Less than a
month before both his noble father and his gentle
mother had been taken from him by a terrible
fever that had swept over the country, and R6n6
their only child, was left without a relative in
the world except his uncle the Chevalier R6n6
de Laudonniere, after whom he was named.
In those days of tedious travel it seemed a weary
time to the lonely lad before the messenger who
had gone to Paris with a letter telling his uncle
of his sad position could return. When at
length he came again, bringing a kind message
that bade him come immediately to Paris and be
a son to his equally lonely uncle, Rene lost no
time in obeying.


He travelled like a young prince, riding a
spirited steed, and followed by a party of serv-
ants, mounted and armed to protect him against
robbers and other perils of the way. Behind
him rode old Francois, who had been his father's
valet and was now his sole friend and protector.
The big tears rolled down the boy's cheeks as
he turned for a last look at his home; but as it
was shut from view by the trees of the park sur-
rounding it, he brushed them away resolutely,
and turning to his companion, said,
"Thou hast seen the last of my tears, Fran-
cois, and with them goes my boyhood; for here-
after I am to be a man, and men know not how
to weep."
"Well spoken, my young master," replied the
old servant, greatly pleased at the brave words
of the lad. "Thou art already a man in feeling,
and thine Uncle Laudonniere will presently
make thee one in fact, if the tales that come to
us of his valorous deeds be true, and there is
naught to disprove them."
"Tell me of him, Francois; for though he is
my only uncle, I have but little knowledge of
him or his deeds. Of what nature are they?"
"Well, then, he is a mighty navigator, and
'tis but little more than a year since he returned

from the New World, whither he sailed in com-
pany with his Excellency Admiral Jean Ribault.
He brings strange tales of those wonderful
lands beyond the sea, and rumor has it that he is
shortly to set forth again for them with a noble
company, who will establish there a sanctuary
for our blessed Protestant faith."
The boy's interest was thoroughly aroused by
this, and he plied the old servant with questions
concerning his uncle and the New World.
Francois answered these to the best of his ability,
and even drew largely upon his imagination to
aid his glowing descriptions of those distant
lands of which the men of that day held such
vague knowledge.
With such talk they beguiled much of the
tedious journey, that occupied a week ere it was
ended and they entered Paris. Here they were
finally set down before a modest dwelling near
the King's palace, in which Laudonniere was
Upon meeting his nephew, the chevalier em-
braced him warmly, and then holding him forth
at arm's-length to gain a better view of him, ex-
claimed, "In 'good sooth, R6ne, thou'rt a likely
lad; and if thy heart be as true and bold as thy
face promises, we'll soon make a man of thee

such as even thy noble father would approve."
That evening uncle and nephew talked long
and earnestly together concerning the latter's
future; and ere they slept it was fully decided
that, in spite of his youth, he should make one
of the expedition that, even as Francois had re-
ported, Laudonniere was fitting out for the New
The next three months were occupied in busy
preparation for the long voyage, not unmixed
with vexatious delays and grievous disappoint-
ments, in all of which young RWn6 de Veaux
bore manfully his share. He became each day
more useful to his uncle, who intrusted him with
many important commissions, and who, stern old
soldier as he was, learned in this time to love
the boy as though he had been his own son.
At length all was in readiness. The stores
and munitions of war had been placed on board
the three ships that formed the little fleet, the
last colonist had embarked, and Laudonniere
had taken leave of his King and Admiral Jean
Ribault, who was to follow him in a few months
with a still larger company. On a bright May
morning uncle and nephew reached the little
seaport town before which lay their ships, and
hastened to embark and take advantage of the

favorable wind that promised them a fair start
on their long and perilous voyage.
As Laudonniere stepped on board his flag-
ship his broad pennant was flung to the breeze
from the mainmast-head, the fleur-de-lis of
France floated proudly from the mizzen, and
amid the booming of cannon and the loud ac-
clamations of the throngs assembled on the quay
to bid them Godspeed, the ships moved slowly
down the harbor towards the broad ocean and
the New World that lay beyond.
For many weeks they sailed ever westward,
seeing no ship save their own, and becoming
every day more weary of the vast, endless ex-
panse of sea and sky. It is no wonder, then, that
when on the morning of the 22d of June the
welcome cry of "Land, ho!" rang through the
flag-ship every soul on board rushed on deck
with joyous exclamations to catch once more a
glimpse of the blessed land. The cry that had
brought them such pleasure had come from the
mast-head, and it was some time before those on
deck could detect the dim blue cloud, low-lying
in the west, that was said to be land. Even then
one man, who was known as Simon the Ar-
morer, was heard to mutter 'that it might be
land and then again it might not; for his part,

he believed the whole world had been drowned
in a flood, as in the days of Noah, and that the
only land they should ever see would be at the
bottom of the ocean.
As the day wore on, and before a light breeze
the ships were wafted towards the blue cloud,
it was proved beyond a doubt to be land, for
some palm-trees and tall pines became distin-
guishable, and above all other sounds came, faint
but distinct, the heavy, regular boom of surf.
,By noon the ships had approached as near to
the coast as was deemed prudent, and for the
first time since leaving France their anchors
were dropped and their sails were furled.
They had come to anchor off the mouth of an
inlet, before which extended a bar upon which
the great seas were breaking and roaring so
frightfully that no passage for the ships among
them seemed to offer itself. Laudonniere
thought he recognized the inlet as one leading
into a broad river, on the opposite side of which
ts located an Indian village called Seloy.
This place he had visited two years before in
company with Admiral Ribault, and he deter-
mined to reassure himself as to the locality;
therefore, bidding Rene accompany him, he en-
tered a small boat, and ordering another, full of

soldiers, to follow them, he gave the word to
pull straight for the breakers.
Just as R6n6 thought the boat was to be swal-
lowed by the raging seas, his uncle guided her,
with great skill, into a narrow passage that
opened in their very midst. After a few
minutes of suspense, during which R6ne dared
hardly to breathe, they shot into smooth waters,
rounded a point of land, and saw before them
the village of which they were in search. On
the beach in front of it a crowd of savage fig-
ures, nearly naked, were dancing wildly, and
brandishing bows and spears..
Meanwhile, the village that the boats were
now approaching had been thrown into a state
of the greatest excitement by the appearance of
the ships, which had been discovered while yet
so distant that their sails resembled the wings of
the white sea-gull. Upon the first alarm all the
warriors had been collected on the beach, and
the women had left their work in the fields of
maize and hurried with the children to the se-
curity of the forest depths. When, however,
the fleet came to anchor and the Indians could
distinguish the meaning of their banners, their
alarm was changed to joy; for they had learned
to love the French-who, upon their previous


visit, had treated them with kindness-as much
as they hated the cruel Spaniards, whose ships
had also visited that coast. Then the women
and children were recalled from the forest, the
warriors washed the war-paint from their faces,
and preparations for feasting were begun.
As the small boats approached, the men ran
down to the beach to meet them, dancing and
waving their weapons in their joy, and when
they recognized Laudonniere standing in the
stern of the leading boat, they raised a great cry
of welcome that caused the forest to ring with
its echoes. As the pious leader of the expedi-
tion stepped on shore, he took R6en by the hand,
and both kneeling on the sands, gave thanks to
Him who guided them thus far in safety in their
perilous wanderings. Though the simple-
minded Indians could not understand what
Laudonniere said or was doing, they were so
anxious to show their respect and love for him
that all knelt when he did and maintained a deep
silence while he prayed.
When Laudonniere arose to his feet the
Indians crowded about him with shouts and ges-
tures of welcome; but they readily made way for
him when, still holding R6n6's hand, he began to
walk towards the lodge of their chief. He was


as anxious as his followers to welcome the white
men, but his dignity had not permitted him to
rush with them down to the beach.
As they walked, R6n6 stared in astonishment
at the waving palms with richly plumaged birds
flitting among their leaves, the palmetto-
thatched huts of the Indians, the shining and in-
flated fish-bladders that the men wore suspended
from their ears, the moss-woven kirtles of the
women, and above all, at the mighty antlered
stag that, stuffed and mounted on a tall pole,
with head proudly turned towards the rising
sun, rose from the middle of the village.
He in turn was an object of astonishment and
curious interest to the natives; for, although they
had become familiar with the appearance of
bearded white men, they had never before seen
a white boy, Rene being the first to set foot in
this land. The Indians had thought that all
white men were born with beards, and that their
closely cropped hair never grew any longer; so
that this smooth-faced boy, whose golden hair
hung in ringlets over his shoulders, was a much
greater curiosity to them than they were to him.
The old chief took an immediate fancy to him,
and as he had given to Laudonniere the Indian
name of Ta-lah (a palm) upon the occasion of


his previous visit to Seloy, he now called Ren6
Ta-lah-lo-ko (the palmetto, or little palm), a
name ever afterwards used by all the Indians in
their intercourse with him.
The chief entreated Laudonniere to tarry
many days in Seloy; but the latter answered that
the orders of his own great chief were for him
to proceed without delay to the river known as
the River of May, and there erect a fort and
found his colony. So, after an exchange of
presents, they parted, and taking to their boats,
the white men regained their ship. As they left,
R6n6 gave many a backward glance at the pleas-
ant little village of Seloy, and would have loved
to linger there among its simple and kindly
As they crossed the bar, in going again to the
ships, their boats were surrounded by a number
of what they called dolphins, but what are to-
day called porpoises, sporting in the great bil-
lows; and on their account Laudonniere named
the river they had just left the River of Dol-
Spreading their white wings, the ships sailed
northward forty miles during the night, and
daylight found them standing off and on at the
mouth of the great River of May. By the aid


of a chart, made by Admiral Ribault two years
before, they crossed its dangerous bar, and sailed
up its broad channel.
Short as was the time since they had been dis-
covered off Seloy, swift runners had already
conveyed the great tidings of their coming to
Micco, the chief of this part of the country, and
he and his people were thus prepared to greet
them upon their arrival. When RMn6 and his
uncle, followed by a company from the ships,
landed, they were received with shouts and ex-
travagant gestures of joy by the friendly Indians,
and conducted by them to the top of a hill upon
which Admiral Ribault had set a pillar of stone
engraved with the French coat of arms. They
found it twined with wreaths of flowers, and sur-
rounded by baskets of maize, quivers of arrows,
and many other things that the kindly Indians
took this means of offering to their white friends.
Not far from this point Laudonniere selected
the site of his fort, and work upon it was im-
mediately begun. He named it Fort Caroline,
in honor of King Charles IX of France, and
about it he hoped to see in time a flourishing
colony of French Huguenots.
After all the stores and munitions had been
landed from the ships, they sailed for France,

leaving the little company of white men the only
ones of their race in all that vast unknown wil-
derness. As Laudonniere remained in com-
mand of Fort Caroline, Re6n de Veaux of course
remained with him, and thus became the hero
of the surprising adventures that will be related
in the chapters that follow.


T HE building of Fort Caroline occupied
about three months; and during this time
the friendly Indians willingly aided in the work
of preparing the tree-trunks which, set on end,
were let deep into the earth close beside one
another, and in digging the wide moat that
surrounded the whole. A heavy embankment
of earth was thrown up on the inner side of
the palisade of tree-trunks, and upon this were
mounted a number of great guns.
During the time thus occupied, R6n6 de
Veaux became acquainted with Micco's son, a
young Indian of about his own age, named
Has-se, which means a sunbeam, and a strong
friendship was speedily cemented between
them. They saw each other daily, and each
learned the language of the other.
After the ships had sailed away R6n6's uncle
found time, even in the midst of his pressing
duties, to attend to the lad's education; and

every morning was devoted to lessons in fenc-
ing, shooting the cross-bow, and in military en-
gineering. The evenings were passed with the
good Jacques Le Moyne the artist, who was a
very learned man, and who taught R6n6 Latin,
and how to draw.
Although his mornings and evenings were
thus occupied, R6n6 had his afternoons to him-
self, and these he spent in company with his
friend Has-se, who instructed him in the mys-
teries of Indian woodcraft. Now it happened
that while Has-se was a merry, lovable lad, he
had one bitter enemy in the village. This was
a young man somewhat older than himself,
named Chitta, which means the snake. Their
quarrel was one of long standing, and nobody
seemed to know how it had begun; but every-
body said that Chitta was such a cross, ugly fel-
low that he must needs quarrel with somebody,
and had chosen Has-se for an enemy because
everybody else loved him.
One afternoon Has-se asked R6n6 to go out
on the river with him in his canoe, as he had
that to tell him which he did not wish to run
any risk of being overheard by others. R6ne
willingly agreed to go with him, and taking his
cross-bow and a couple of steel-tipped bolts, he


seated himself in the bow of the light craft,
which Has-se paddled from the stern. Going
for some distance down the river, they turned
into a small stream from the banks of which
huge, moss-hung oaks and rustling palm-trees
cast a pleasant shade over the dark waters.
Here the canoe was allowed to drift while
Has-se unburdened his mind to his friend.
It seemed that the day of the Ripe Corn
Dance, the great feast day of his tribe, was set
for that of the next full moon. On this day
there was to be a series of contests among the
lads of the village to decide which of them was
most worthy to become Bow-bearer to Micco,
their chief and his father. This was considered
a most honorable position to occupy, and he who
succeeded in winning it and filling it satisfacto-
rily for a year was, at the expiration of that
time, granted all the privileges of a warrior.
The contests were to be in shooting with bows
and arrows, hurling the javelin, running, and
wrestling. Has-se had set his heart upon ob-
taining this position, and had long been in train-
ing for the contests. His most dreaded rival
was Chitta; and, while Has-se felt ready to meet
the snake in the games of running, shooting, and
hurling the javelin, he feared that with his


greater weight the latter would prove more than
a match for him in wrestling. Could Ta-lah-
lo-ko advise and help him in this matter?
"Ay, that can I, Has-se, my lad," cried R6n6;
"thou couldst not have hit upon a happier ex-
pedient than that of asking advice of me. 'Tis
but a week since I removed a cinder from the
eye of Simon the Armorer, and in return for the
favor he taught me a trick of wrestling that sur-
passes aught of the kind that ever I saw. I have
practised it daily since, and would now confi-
dently take issue with any who know it not
without regard to their superior size or weight.
I will show it thee if thou wilt promise to keep
it secret. Ha!"
As they talked the canoe had drifted close in
to the shore, until it lay directly beneath the gi-
gantic limb of a tree that extended far out over
the water, and from which hung a mesh of stout
vines. As he uttered the exclamation that fin-
ished his last sentence, R6ne seized hold of a
stout vine, and with a quick jerk drew the light
craft in which they were seated a few feet for-
ward. At the same instant a tawny body was
launched like a shot from the overhanging limb
and dashed into the water exactly at the spot


over which, but an instant before, Has-se had
The animal that made this fierce plunge was
a panther of the largest size; and if R6n6 had not
chanced to catch sight of its nervously twitching
tail as it drew itself together for the spring, it
would have alighted squarely upon the naked
shoulders of the unsuspecting Indian lad.
Rne's prompt action had, however, caused the
animal to plunge into the water, though it only
missed the canoe by a few feet; and when it rose
to the surface it was close beside them.
Has-se seized his paddle, and with a power-
ful stroke forced the canoe ahead, but directly
into the mesh of trailing vines, in which it be-
came so entangled that they could not extricate
it before the beast had recovered from his sur-
prise, and had begun to swim towards them.
A bolt was hurriedly fitted to RIn6's cross-
bow and hastily fired at the approaching ani-
mal. It struck him near the fore-shoulder, and
served to check his progress for a moment, as
with a snarl of rage he bit savagely at the wound,
from which the blood flowed freely, crimsoning
the water around him. Then he again turned
towards the canoe, and seemed to leap rather


than swim, in his eagerness to reach it. A
second bolt, fired with even greater haste than
the first, missed the panther entirely, and the
boys were about to plunge from the opposite
side of the canoe into the water, in their despair,
when an almost unheard-of thing occurred to
effect their deliverance.
Just as one more leap would have brought the
panther within reach of the canoe, a huge, dark
form rose from the red waters behind him, and
a pair of horrid jaws opened, and then closed
like a vice upon one of his hind-quarters. The
panther uttered a wild yell, made a convulsive
spring forward, his claws rattled against the
side of the canoe, and then the waters closed
above his head, and he was dragged down into
the dark depths of the stream, to the slimy home
of the great alligator, who had thus delivered
the boys from their peril. A few bubbles com-
ing up through the crimson waters told of the
terrible struggle going on beneath them, and
then all was still, and the stream flowed on as
undisturbed as before. For a few moments the
boys sat gazing in silent amazement at the place
of the sudden disappearance of their enemy,
hardly believing that he would not again return
to the attack.


When they had regained the fort, Laudon-
niere heard with horror Rene's story of their
adventure with the tiger and the crocodile, as
he named panthers and alligators, and bade him
be very careful in the future how he wandered
in the wilderness. He did not forbid his
nephew to associate with Has-se, for he was
most anxious to preserve a friendship with the
Indians, upon whom his little colony was largely
dependent for provisions, and he considered
Rine's influence with the Indian lad who was
the son of the chief very important.
On the afternoon following that of their ad-
venture, Has-se came into the fort in search of
R6n6, and anxious to acquire the promised trick
of wrestling. After securing his promise never
to impart the trick to another, Rene led him into
a room where they would not be observed, and
taught it to him. It was a very simple trick, be-
ing merely a feint of giving way, followed
quickly by a peculiar inside twist of the leg; but
it was irresistible, and the opponent who knew it
not was certain to be overcome by it. Has-se
quickly acquired it, and though he found few
words to express his feelings, there was a look
in his face when he left R6n6 that showed
plainly his gratitude.


When next the silver sickle of the new moon
shone in the western sky, active preparations
were begun among the Indians for their great
Dance of Ripe Corn. The race-course was laid
out, and carefully cleared; clay was mixed with
its sand, and it was trampled hard and smooth
by many moccasined feet. A large booth, or
shelter from the hot sun, under which the chiefs
and distinguished visitors might sit and witness
the games, was constructed of boughs and palm-
leaves. Bows were carefully tested and fitted
with new strings of twisted deer-sinew. Those
who had been fortunate enough to obtain from
the white men bits of steel and iron, ground them
to sharp points, and with them replaced their
arrow-heads of flint. Has-se, with great pride,
displayed to R6n6 his javelin or light spear, the
tough bamboo shaft of which was tipped with a
keen-edged splinter of milk-white quartz, ob-
tained from some far northern tribe. Guests
began to arrive, coming from Seloy and other
coast villages from the north, and from the
broad savannas of the fertile Alachua land, un-
til many hundred of them were encamped within
a few miles of Fort Caroline.
At length the day of feasting broke bright and
beautiful, and soon after breakfast Laudonniere,


accompanied by Ren' de Veaux and half the
garrison of Fort Caroline, marched out to the
scene of the games. Here they were warmly
welcomed by Micco and his people, and invited
to occupy seats of honor in the great booth.
Upon their arrival the signal was given for the
games to begin.
First of all came the races for wives, for at
this feast only of all the year could the young
men of the tribe get married. Even now they
were obliged to run after their sweethearts, who
were allowed so great a start in the race that if
they chose they could reach the goal first and
thus escape all further attentions from their pur-
suers. They generally allowed themselves to be
caught, however, and thus became blushing
brides. Thus, on this occasion, and in this man-
ner, Yah-chi-la-ne (the Eagle), a young Ala-
chua chief, gained the hand of Has-se's beauti-
ful sister Nethla, which means the Day-star.
The contests among the boys to decide who of
them should be Bow-bearer to their chief for
the ensuing year followed, and as the great
drum, 'Kas-a-lal-ki, rolled forth its hollow,
booming notes, twenty slender youths stepped
forward, of whom the handsomest was Has-se
the Sunbeam, and the tallest was dark-faced


Chitta the Snake. All were stripped to the
skin, and wore only girdles about their loins
and moccasins on their feet; but Has-se, as the
son of the chief, had the scarlet feather of a
flamingo braided into his dark hair.
From the very first Has-se and Chitta easily
excelled all their competitors in the contests;
but they two were most evenly matched. Has-se
scored the most points in hurling the javelin,
and Chitta won in the foot-race. In shooting
with the bow both were so perfect that the judges
could not decide between them, and the final
result of the trial became dependent upon their
skill at wrestling. When they stood up together
for this contest, Has-se's slight form seemed no
match for that of the taller and heavier Chitta;
and when in the first bout the former was thrown
heavily to the ground, a murmur of disapproba-
tion arose from the white spectators, though the
Indians made no sign to express their feelings.
In the second bout, after a sharp struggle,
Has-se seemed suddenly to give way, and almost
immediately afterwards Chitta was hurled to
earth, but how, no one could tell, except R6n6,
who with the keenest interest watched the effect
of his lesson. As Chitta rose to his feet he
seemed dazed, and regarded his opponent with


a bewildered air, as though there were some-
thing about him he could not understand.
Again they clinched and strained and tugged,
until the perspiration rolled in great beads from
their shining bodies, and their breath came in
short gasps. It seemed as though R6n6's friend
must give in, when, presto! down went Chitta
again; while Has-se stood erect, a proud smile
on his face, winner of the games, and Bow-
bearer to his father for a year.
Has-se had still to undergo one more test of
endurance before he could call himself a war-
rior, which he must be able to do ere he could
assume the duties of Bow-bearer. He must
pass through the ordeal of the Cassine, or black
drink. This was a concoction prepared by the
medicine-men, of roots and leaves, from a recipe
the secret of which was most jealously guarded
by them; and to drink of it was to subject one's
self to the most agonizing pains, which, how-
ever, were but of short duration. In spite of
his sufferings, the youth who drank from the
horrid bowl was expected to preserve a smiling
face, nor admit by word or sign that he was
undergoing aught but the most pleasing sensa-
tions. If he failed in this one thing, no matter
what record he had previously gained for cour-


age or daring, he was ever afterwards con-
demned to share the work of women, nor might
he ever again bear arms or take part in the chase
or in war.
Immediately after his overthrow of Chitta,
and while the shouts of joy over his victory were
still ringing in his ears, Has-se was led to an
elevated seat, where he could be seen of all the
people, and a bowl of the awful mixture was
handed him. Without hesitation, and with a
proud glance around him, the brave youth swal-
lowed the nauseous draught, and then folding
his arms, gazed with a smiling face upon the as-
sembled multitude. For fifteen minutes he sat
there amid a death-like silence, calm and un-
moved, though the great beads of perspiration
rolling from his forehead showed what he was
enduring. At the end of that time a great shout
from the people told him that his ordeal was
over; and, weak and faint, he was led away to
a place where he might recover in quiet from the
effects of his terrible sufferings, and enjoy in
peace the first glorious thoughts that now he
was indeed a Bow-bearer and a warrior.
R6n6 sprang forward from his seat to seize
and shake his friend's hand, while from all,
Indians as well as whites, arose shouts of joy at


the victory of the brave and much-loved lad
who wore the Flamingo Feather.
As the angry Chitta turned away from the
scene of his defeat, his heart was filled with
rage at these shouts, and he muttered a deep
threat of vengeance upon all who uttered them,
those of his own race as well as the pale-faces.


SO Has-se the Sunbeam became Bow-bearer
to his father, the great chief Micco, and
Chitta the Snake was disappointed of his am-
bition. By some means he became convinced
that R6n6 de Veaux had instructed Has-se in his
newly acquired trick of wrestling; and though
he had no proof of this, he conceived a bitter
hatred against the white lad. He had espe-
cially included him in his muttered threat of
vengeance against all those who greeted his final
overthrow with shouts of joy; but, like the wily
reptile whose name he bore, he was content to
bide his time and await his opportunity to strike
a deadly blow. After the games were ended
he disappeared, and was seen no more that
His absence was hardly noted, for immedi-
ately after Has-se's victory the entire assembly
repaired to the great mound which had gradu-
ally been raised by the accumulation of shells,
bones, broken pottery, and charred wood that


many generations of Indian feasters had left
behind them, and here was spread the feast of
the day. Then followed dancing and singing,
which were continued far into the night.
At length the dancers became exhausted; the
men who beat the drums and rattled the terra-
pin shells filled with dried palmetto berries grew
so drowsy that their music sounded fainter and
fainter, until it finally ceased altogether, and by
two hours after midnight the whole encampment
was buried in profound slumber. Even those
whose duty it was to stand guard dozed at their
posts, and the silence of the night was only
broken by the occasional hootings of Hup-pe
(the great owl).
Had the guards been awake instead of dream-
ing, it is possible that they might have noticed
the dark figure of a man who noiselessly and
stealthily crept amid the heavy shadows on the
edge of the forest towards the great granary,
or storehouse, in which was kept all the ripe
maize of the tribe, together with much starch-
root (koonti katki) and a large quantity of yams.
The granary was built of pitch-pine posts and
poles, heavily thatched with palm-leaves, that
the summer suns had dried to a tinder.
Occasionally the dark figure skulking among


the shadows came to little patches of bright
moonlight, and to cross these he lay flat on the
ground and writhed his way through the grass
like a snake. A close observer would have no-
ticed a dull, steady glow which came from a
round object that the skulker carried with great
care. If he had been near enough he would
have seen that this was a large gourd, in which,
on a bed of sand, were a quantity of live coals
taken from one of the fires that still smouldered
about the epola, or place of dancing. In his
other hand the man carried a few fat-pine splin-
ters that would burn almost like gun-powder.
At length, without having attracted attention
from any one of the encamped Indians, or the
drowsy guards upon whom they depended for
safety, the figure reached the granary, and dis-
appeared amid the dark shadows of its walls.
Crouching to the ground, and screening his
gourd of coals with his robe, he thrust into it
one end of the bundle of fat-pine splinters and
blew gently upon them. They smoked for a
minute, and then burst into a quick blaze.
Beginning at one end of the granary, this
torch was applied to the dry thatch that covered
it, and it instantly sprang into flame. As the
figure ran along the end of the structure, around


the corner, and down the entire length of its
side, always keeping in the shadow, he applied
the torch in a dozen places, and then flinging it
on top of the low roof, where it speedily ignited
the covering, he bounded away into the dark-
ness, uttering, as he did so, a long-drawn, ear-
piercing yell of triumph.
By the time the nodding guards had dis-
covered the flames and given the alarm, the
whole granary was in a blaze, and the startled
Indians, who rushed out from the lodges and
palmetto booths, could do nothing but stand
helpless and gaze at the destruction of their
property. All asked how it had happened, and
who had done this thing, but not even the guards
could offer the slightest explanation.
Meantime the author of all this mischief
stopped when he had gained what he considered
a safe distance from the fire, and, concealed by
the friendly shadows of the forest, stood with
folded arms and scowling features gazing at the
result of his efforts. At length the light from
the burning building grew so bright that even
the shadow in which he stood began to be illumi-
nated, and he turned to go away. As he did
so he shook his clenched hand towards the burn-
ing granary, and muttered, "The white man and


the red man shall both learn to dread the fangs
of the Snake, for thus do I declare war against
them both."
As he spoke, a voice beside him, that he in-
stantly recognized as that of Has-se, exclaimed,
"'What! is this thy work, Chitta?"
For answer Has-se received a terrible blow,
full in the face, that stretched him, stunned and
bleeding, on the ground; and Chitta, saying,
"Lie there, miserable Bow-bearer, I will meet
thee again," sprang out into the forest and dis-
When Has-se, aroused by the shouts of the
guards and the glare of light, had rushed from
the lodge in which he slept, he had seen a figure
standing between him and the light, and had
approached it to learn the cause of all the ex-
citement. He was just about to speak, when he
recognized Chitta, and heard him utter the
words that at once declared him to be the author
,of the conflagration and the enemy of his peo-
ple and their friends.
Not being able to appreciate the petty spirit
of revenge that influenced the Snake, Has-se
gave utterance to his exclamation of surprise,
and in return received the cruel blow for which
he was so little prepared.


When he recovered consciousness he found
himself in his father's lodge, lying on a bed of
deer-skins, while his sister, the beautiful Nethla,
was bathing his temples with cold water.
It was now broad daylight, and the great
granary, with all its contents, had been reduced
to a heap of smouldering ruins. About the
lodge in which Has-se lay were gathered a great
crowd of Indians, awaiting his return to con-
sciousness, to learn what he knew of the occur-
rences of the past few hours, and in what way
he had been connected with them. By the
earliest light of day a band of experienced war-
riors had tracked his assailant from the spot
in which the young iBow-bearer had been dis-
covered, through the tall grass and underbrush
from which the fugitive had brushed the dew
in his flight to the river's edge. Here one of
the canoes that had been drawn up on the beach
was found to be missing, and search parties had
been sent both up and down the river, but as
yet they had not returned.
As Has-se slowly recovered consciousness, and
opened his eyes, his sister bent over him and
whispered, "Who dealt thee the cruel blow, oh,
my brother?"
Receiving his faint answer, she sprang to her


feet, and turning to her father, who stood near,
exclaimed, 'Tis Chitta the Snake who has done
this thing in revenge for our Has-se's success in
the games of yesterday."
From the entrance of the lodge the old chief
proclaimed the news, and all through the great
assembly were heard cries of anger against
Chitta the Snake.
The destruction of this winter's supply of food
was not only a serious blow to the Indians, but
to the little garrison of Fort Caroline as well,
for Laudonniere had just completed arrange-
ments with Micco for the purchase of the greater
part of it. Only a small quantity of provisions
remained in the fort, and though the forest con-
tained an abundance of game, and the river
teemed with fish, the French soldiers were not
skilled in either hunting or fishing, and had be-
come dependent upon their Indian neighbors
for what they needed of such food. It was
therefore with feelings of surprised alarm that,
on the second day after the burning of the
granary, they noticed the absence of all Indians
from the vicinity of the fort. Scouts were sent
to the Indian encampment to discover the cause
of this unusual state of affairs, and they soon re-
turned with the report that the place was wholly


deserted, and that not an Indian was to be found.
Not only had all the visiting Indians disap-
peared, but also every soul of Micco's tribe;
and, what was more significant, they had taken
with them their lodges and all portable property.
Laudonniere at once realized the full force of
the situation. His soldiers were worn out with
the labor of building the fort, and many of them
were prostrated by a peculiar fever that racked
their joints with severe pains and unfitted them
for duty. The store of provisions upon which
he had depended to feed his men through the
approaching winter had been destroyed. The
Indians who might have provided him with
game had abandoned him and gone he knew
not whither. His men knew nothing of the art
of winning for themselves a livelihood from
the wilderness that surrounded them. Al-
though the soldiers had been allowed to think
differently, he knew that some months must still
elapse before the arrival of reinforcements and
supplies from France. He himself, worn out
by anxiety and overwork, was beginning to feel
symptoms of the approach of the dreaded fever,
and he feared that ere long he would be unfitted
to perform the duties of his important position.
In this emergency, -he decided to hold a coun-


cil with the officers of the garrison, and ask their
aid in deciding what was to be done. He there-
fore sent word to Soisson, his lieutenant, old
Hillaire, the captain of artillery, Martinez, the
quartermaster, Chastelleux, the chief of engi-
neers, Le Moyne, the artist, and to R6ne, his
nephew, bidding them meet him in council.
He added R6n6 to the number, for his uncle
wished him to fully comprehend the difficulties
of their position.
The council met in the commandant's private
room, and Laudonniere, stating the situation
clearly to them, asked what was to be done.
Some suggested one thing and some another, and
the discussion was long and earnest. Le Moyne,
the artist, added to the perplexities of the com-
mandant by stating that he had heard rumors
of dissatisfaction among the garrison, and
threats that unless provisions were speedily ob-
tained they would build a vessel, abandon the
fort and country, and attempt to make their way
back to France.
While the discussion was at its height, two sol-
diers appeared at the door, leading between
them a slender young Indian, whom R6n6, with
a joyful cry, at once recognized as his friend
Has-se the Sunbeam.


SALUTING his commandant, the sergeant
of the guard, who held the prisoner on the
right, reported that this young savage had been
seen skulking in the forest near the fort, and
that, deeming his presence and movements very
suspicious, he had sent a party of men to cap-
ture him. They had gone out by a rear gate,
and, making a long detour, had surprised him
just as he was making off through the under-
brush, and after a sharp tussle had secured and
brought him into the fort.
At the first appearance of his friend, R6n6
had started up with an exclamation of joy to go
to him, but his uncle sternly bade him keep his
seat. He obeyed, but scowled angrily at the
soldiers, who still retained their hold of Has-se,
as though fearful that- if they let go he might
in some mysterious way vanish from their sight.
Laudonniere commanded them to release their
hold of the prisoner and to retire from the room,

but to remain within call. They did so, and the
young Indian, left to face the council, drew him-
self up proudly, and folding his arms, stood
motionless. R6n6 tried in vain to catch his eye,
that he might, by a sympathetic glance, assure
him of his friendship; but the other betrayed
no recognition of his presence, nor once looked
in his direction. He was dressed in the full
costume of a young warrior who occupied the
honorable position of Bow-bearer to a great
chief, and in his hair gleamed the Flamingo
Feather that proclaimed the station in life to
which he was born. His handsome figure,
proud face, and fearless bearing caused the
members of the council to regard him with ap-
proving glances, and it was with less of stern-
ness in his tone than usual that, after the door
was closed, Laudonniere said,
"Now, sir, explain to us the meaning of this
sudden departure of thy people, and the reason
of thine own action in thus acting the part of a
spy upon us."
With flashing eyes the young Indian answered
in the French that he had learned of R6ne:
"My name is Has-se. I am the son of a chief.
My father and my people have been friendly to
you and your people. This country is ours, and


in it we go where we please when we are ready
to go, and stay where we please when we are
ready to rest from going. I have done nothing
that I should be brought here against my will,
and until I am set free I will answer no ques-
tions. Has-se has spoken."
R6n6's face flushed with pleasure at this brave
speech of his friend, and even Laudonniere ad-
mired the young Indian's coolness and courage,
but he nevertheless felt it his duty to maintain
his dignity, and questioned him sternly. To all
his questions however, Has-se remained dumb,
absolutely refusing to open his lips. The ex-
pression, "Has-se has spoken," with which he
had ended his defiant speech, signified that he
had said all that he had to say, and nothing
should induce him to speak further unless his
condition of being set at liberty were complied
At last Laudonniere called in the soldiers
and ordered them to take the prisoner to the
guard-house, and there treat him kindly, but to
watch him closely and on no account allow him
to escape. When Has-se had thus been re-
moved, Laudonniere turned to the members of
the council, and asked what, in their opinion,
should be done with him.

Le Moyne, the artist, declared that the young
Indian should be set free at once, and treated
with such kindness that he might thereby be
induced to give them the information they
sought to gain. Then Rene de Veaux, blush-
ing at his own boldness, jumped to his feet and
made a vehement little speech, in which he
said that Has-se was his dear friend, and that,
as he himself had said, they had no right to
make a prisoner of him, besides much more to
the same effect. He became so excited in his
defence of the Indian lad that finally his uncle
interrupted him, saying,
"Softly, softly, R6n6! Thou art right to de-
fend thy friend if indeed he be not our enemy,
but thou hast no authority for finding fault with
those who are much older and wiser than thy-
Blushing furiously at this rebuke, Ren6 sat
down, while his uncle continued: "I am also
of the opinion that this young savage should be
courteously entreated and set at liberty. Thus
shall we win favor with his tribe, with whom
it behooves us to remain on friendly terms."
The others of the council did not, however,
agree with this, but thought the better plan
would be to retain the Indian lad as a hostage,


and demand of his tribe a great quantity of pro-
visions as his ransom.
As they were in the majority, Laudonniere
hesitated to act contrary to their counsel, and
finally said that they would hold him for at least
one day, and that in the mean time Rene should
visit him, and endeavor to extract from him the
desired information regarding the movements
of his people.
When Ren6, armed with his uncle's authority
for so doing, passed the sentinel and entered the
guard-house, he found the Indian lad seated on
a rude bench in one corner, with his face buried
in his hands. He sprang to his feet at RMnE's
approach, and stood silently regarding him, not
knowing but what he too had become an enemy.
Carefully closing the door behind him, the im-
pulsive French boy stepped quickly over to
where the other stood, and embraced him, say-
ing, as he did so, "Surely, Has-se, my brother,
thou canst not think that I am aught but thy
Thus reassured, Has-se returned the embrace,
and said, "I know thou art my friend, Ta-lah-
lo-ko, and I did wrong to doubt thee for a mo-
ment; but it maddens me to be thus caged, and
I am become like Nutcha, the hawk when re-

strained of his liberty, suspicious of all men."
Then both boys sat down on the bench, and
R6n6 questioned Has-se regarding the sudden
departure of the Indians, and why he was there
Has-se replied that while he had no secrets
that all men might not know, he would have
died rather than answer the questions of those
who held him a prisoner, and as such com-
manded him to speak. To his friend Ta-lah-
lo-ko he would, however, talk freely and with a
straight tongue. He said that after the destruc-
tion of the storehouse containing their supply
of provisions for many months, Micco, their
chief, had decided that it would be best for his
people to remove to the land of the Alachus,
their friends,-who had provisions in plenty, and
remain there until the next season of corn plant-
ing. He caused their departure to be made se-
cretly, for fear that the white men would seek
to detain them as hunters for the fort, if they
learned of the intended movement, and he
wished to avoid any shadow of trouble between
his people and their white brothers.
"He had undoubtedly the right to act as
seemed to him best," said R6n6; "but why didst


not thou accompany thy people, and what brings
thee here to the fort?"
"To see thee, Ta-lah-lo-ko, and thee only, did
I come," answered Has-se. "I learned, after
we had been some hours on the journey, that
which affects thee so nearly that I could not
leave thee in ignorance of it and without a warn-
ing. What I learned is, that Chitta the Snake
regards thee with a deadly hatred, and has sworn
to have thy life."
"Mine!" exclaimed Rene, in great surprise.
"Why does the Snake bear malice towards me?
I have no quarrel with him."
"That I know not, unless he suspects that it
was thou who taught me the trick of wrestling
that overthrew him, and thus lost him the posi-
tion of Bow-bearer that he so greatly desired to
"It may be so," said Ren6, musingly, "though
how he could learn it I cannot think, nor why,
even if he had knowledge of it, it should be
cause for his wishing my death."
"Ah, Ta-lah-lo-ko, thou dost not know Chitta.
His nature is that of the serpent whose name he
bears, and for real or fancied wrongs to himself
his revenge is cruel. Having once conceived a

bitter hate against thee he will have thy life, or
risk his own in attempting to take it."
"In that case," said R6n6, "I am deeply grate-
ful for thy warning, and will take care that mas-
ter Chitta does not find me unprepared for him,
in case he seeks me out."
"Now," said Has-se, "I would speak- of an-
other matter. I know that you white men have
but little food within the fort, and must soon
suffer for want of it if more is not obtained.
There is none left in this country, but the Ala-
chuas, to whom my people have gone, have an
abundance. If one of thy people would go with
me to them, and offer them things such as thou
hast and they have not, in exchange for food, he
could thus obtain a supply for the fort. If
many went, the red men would be afraid; but
with one they would talk, and if he were my
friend then would his safety be assured. Wilt
thou go with me to this distant land, Ta-lah-
"Why," answered Rene, hardly knowing what
to say to this sudden and unexpected proposal,
"thou art a prisoner, Has-se, and dost not even
know if my uncle will release thee. How then
dost thou speak with such confidence of journey-
ing to the land of these Alachuas?"


With a meaning smile Has-se answered:
"Walls and bars may answer to cage men, but
they cannot confine a sunbeam. If thou wilt
go with me, then meet me when the light of the
second moon from now touches the waters where
Allapatta the great alligator delivered us from
Catsha the tiger. With my life will I answer
for thy safety, and at the next full moon, or soon
after it, thou shalt return to thy people."
R6n6 would have talked more of this plan,
but just then the door of the guard-house was
opened and the sergeant appeared, saluting, and
saying, 'Tis the hour of sunset, Master De
Veaux; the guard is about to be relieved, and I
must request you to retire and leave the 'pris-
oner for the night. Surely you must be tired
of talking with such a pig-headed young
Not caring to exhibit his real feelings towards
Has-se before the sergeant, Ren6 bade him good-
night very formally, and added, "Mayhap I will
see thee on the morrow; but count not on my
coming, for I may not deem it worth my while
to visit thee."
"I should think not," said the sergeant, as he
closed the door behind them and barred it. "A
young gentleman such as Master De Veaux can

find but little pleasure in intercourse with such
ignorant creatures. For my part, were I com-
mandant of this fort, I would make slaves of
them all, and kindly persuade them to my will
with a lash. They-"
"Hold there!" cried R6n6, as he turned
towards the sergeant with flashing eyes. "An
thou speakest another word in such strain of
those who have favored us with naught save
kindness, I will report thee to that same lash of
which thou pratest so glibly."
The astonished sergeant muttered something
by way of apology, but R6n6, not waiting to hear
it, hurried away to report to his uncle the result
of his mission to the prisoner, and then to his
own quarters to think over the startling proposal
made to him by his friend.
The next morning Has-se had, disappeared,
and was nowhere to be found. With a troubled
countenance the sergeant of the guard reported
to Laudonniere that he had looked in on the
prisoner at midnight, and found him quietly
sleeping. He had visited the room again at
sunrise, and it was empty. The sentinels at the
gates, and those who paced the walls, had been
closely questioned, but declared they had seen
nobody, nor had they heard any unusual sound.


For his part he believed there was magic in it,
and that some of the old Indian witches had
spirited the prisoner up the chimney, and flown
away with him on a broomstick.
Although troubled to find that his prisoners
could thus easily escape from the fort, Laudon-
niere was relieved that the disposal of Has-se's
fate had thus been taken from his hands. He
said to R6ne, "I am glad that thy friend has es-
caped, though I like not the manner of his going,
and I trust he may come to no harm. I would,
however, that we had been able to send a com-
pany, or even one man, with him to this land of
the Alachuas of which he told thee, for mayhap
we might thus have obtained provision; but
without a guide, I know not how it could be dis-
"Could I have gone, uncle?" inquired Rene,
"Thou, lad? No, thou art too young and
tender to be sent on such a perilous mission. It
should be one of double thy years and experi-
ence. Let no such foolish thoughts fill thy head
yet a while."


THIS speech from his uncle both pleased
and troubled R6ne. He was glad to learn
that it was deemed advisable for some one from
the fort to visit the land of the Alachuas, and
troubled to find that if he went with Has-se, he
must do so without permission from his uncle.
Nevertheless he felt certain that he, being
Has-se's friend, and also regarded by the In-
dians as the son of the great chief of the white
men, could undertake the mission with a greater
chance of safety and success than any one else.
He would have urged this view of the case upon
his uncle's attention, but feared that speaking
of the subject a second time would only result
in his being absolutely forbidden to leave the
fort on any pretence. The lad felt himself to
be truly a man, now that he was nearly seven-
teen years old, and like all manly, high-spirited
boys of his age, he was most anxious to enter


upon any adventure that promised novelty and
R6ns's appearance at this time was very dif-
ferent from that of the boy who, less than a year
before, had left the old chateau of his fathers
with tear-stained cheeks. His long curls had
fallen under the shears, and his closely cropped
hair showed to advantage his well-formed head.
He was tall for his age, his muscles had hard-
ened with constant exercise, and his face, neck,
and hands were tanned to a ruddy brown by the
hot suns beneath which he had spent so many
months. His brown eyes held a merry twinkle,
but at the same time there was an expression of
pride and fixed purpose in his face that well be-
came it.
At this time he wore a small plumed cap, a
leather jacket, knee-breeches, stockings of stout
yarn, and short boots, the legs of which fitted
closely to his ankles. Simon, the armorer, had
made for him a light steel corselet, that he wore
over his leather jacket whenever he went be-
yond the walls of the fort. Upon all such ex-
cursions he was armed with his well-tried cross-
bow (for which he carried a score of steel-tipped
bolts) and a small, but keen-edged. dagger that
hung at his belt.

After considering Has-se's proposal all the
morning, Ren6 finally decided to accept it, and,
without notifying any person in the fort of his
intention, to accompany the young Indian to the
land of the Alachuas.
In accordance with this plan he gathered to-
gether a number of trinkets, such as he knew
would be acceptable to the Indians, and during
the afternoon he conveyed these to the forest
beyond the fort, where he bound them into a
compact package and carefully hid them.
Rene could not account, any more than the
others, for Has-se's disappearance, nor imagine
how his escape had been effected; but he felt
certain that the young Indian would be true to
his word, and await his coming at the appointed
place of meeting when the moon rose above the
pine-tree tops.
As it would not rise until nearly ten o'clock
that evening, and as his uncle retired early on
account of his indisposition, R6n6 was able to
bid him an affectionate good-night and receive
his customary blessing without arousing any sus-
picion of his intended departure in the breast
of the old soldier.
Leaving his own quarters about nine o'clock,
with his cross-bow over his shoulder, R6n6


walked with an unconcerned air, but with a beat-
ing heart, directly to the main gate of the fort,
at which he was challenged by the sentinel on
duty there. R6n6 gave the countersign, and was
recognized by the soldier, who, however, firmly
refused to allow him to pass.
He said, "I am sorry to be obliged to interrupt
thy walk, Master De Veaux; but since the es-
cape of the Indian prisoner last night, we have
received strictest orders not to allow a living
soul to pass the gates between sunset and sun-
Thus turned back at the very outset of his ad-
venture, R6n6 knew not what to do. Should he
attempt to scale the walls, he might be shot while
so doing, and at any rate there was the moat be-
yond, which he could not possibly cross without
detection. Seeking the deep shadow of an
angle, the boy seated himself on a gun-carriage
and pondered over the situation. The more he
thought of it the more impossible did it seem
for him to escape beyond the grim walls and
meet Has-se at the appointed time.
While he was thus overcome by the difficul-
ties of his position, and as he had about con-
cluded that he had undertaken an impossibility,
he was startled; by the deep tones of the great

bell that hung in the archway of the gate, strik-
ing the hour of ten o'clock. Directly after-
wards came the measured tramp of the guard
and the clank of their weapons as they made
their round for the purpose of relieving the
sentinels on duty, and replacing them with fresh
men. R6n' sat so near the gate-way that he
could overhear what was said when that post
was relieved, and distinguishing above the rest
the voice of his old friend Simon, the armorer,
he became convinced that he had been placed
on duty at this most important point.
After relieving this post the guard resumed
their march, and passed so close to where R6n6
sat in the shadow of the great gun that, had the
night been a shade lighter, they must have seen
him. As it was, he escaped detection, and once
more breathed freely as their footsteps sounded
fainter and fainter in the distance. After a
while he heard them return along the opposite
side of the fort, and finally halt in front of the
guard-house, when silence again reigned
throughout the entire enclosure.
As R6ne still sat on the gun-carriage, think-
ing how he might turn to account the fact of his
friend Simon being on duty at the main gate-
way, the sound of a groan came from that direc-


tion. As it was repeated, the lad sprang to his
feet and walked quietly but rapidly towards the
place whence it came. When near the gate-
way he laid down his cross-bow and advanced
without it, until brought to a halt by a sharp
challenge in the gruff voice of old Simon.
RCn6 gave the countersign, and added, "It is
I, Ren6 de Veaux, good Simon. Hearing thy
groans, I came to learn their cause. What dis-
tresses thee so grievously?"
"Ah! Master De Veaux," answered the old
soldier, "I fear me greatly that the fever of the
bones with which so many of our men are suf-
fering has at length laid hold on me. I have
been warned for some days of its approach, and
only a few hours since obtained from good Mas-
ter Le Moyne physic which, if taken at the out-
set, prevents much pain. I left it in the smithy
near the forge, not deeming the attack so near;
but the chill of the night air hath hastened it,
and already am I suffering the torments of the
rack. Tell me, lad, wilt thou fetch me the phial
from the smithy, that I may test the virtue of its
"Not so, good Simon," answered R6n6, whose
thoughts had been busy while the old soldier
told of his troubles. "I will gladly aid thee,

but am convinced that it can better be done in
another way. Go thou for the physic, for thou
canst more readily place hands upon it than I,
and at the same time apparel thyself in garments
thicker and more suited to the chill of the night
than those thou wearest. I will stand watch
until thy return, and pledge thee my word that
none shall pass, or be the wiser for thy absence."
All his soldier's training forbade Simon to ac-
cept this offer. To desert his post, even though
he left it guarded by another, would, he knew,
be considered one of the gravest military crimes.
Therefore the struggle in his mind between duty
on the one side and his sufferings on the other
was long and pitiful.
Finally pain conquered. "Well, well, Mas-
ter R.n6," he said, gruffly, "I must e'en take thy
advice, and obtain speedy release from this pain,
or else be found here dead ere the post be re-
lieved. Keep thou open keen eyes and ears, and
I pray that no harm may come of this my first
neglect of duty in all the years that I have served
the 'King."
With these words the old soldier thrust his
pike into Ren6's hands, and hurried away as
quickly as his pain would permit towards his
own quarters in the smithy.


As soon as Simon was out of hearing, RIn6
went and recovered his cross-bow. Then he
carefully and noiselessly undid the fastenings of
the great gate, and swung it open a few inches.
This accomplished, he shouldered Simon's
heavy pike, and patiently paced, like a sentry,
up and down beneath the dark archway, until
he heard approaching footsteps.
He called softly, "Is that thou, Simon?"
"Ay, lad," came the answer.
Then laying down the pike, and seizing his
own cross-bow, R6n6 slipped quickly through
the gate (which swung to behind him), and with
noiseless footsteps fled swiftly across the bridge
that spanned the moat, and disappeared in the
black shadows of the forest beyond.
Although the moon had risen, and was now
well up in the eastern sky, so that the bridge
was brightly illumined by it, R6n6 crossed un-
noticed. As the gate was still firmly fastened
when he returned, Simon failed to detect that it
had been opened, but the old man spent some
minutes looking for the lad in the archway be-
fore he became convinced that he was gone.
Even then he considered that R6n6 was only en-
deavoring to tease him by thus slipping away,
and muttering something about a boy being as


full of mischief as a monkey, the soldier shoul-
dered his pike and once more resumed his meas-
ured pacings up and down the archway.
At the edge of the forest Rn6e stopped, drew
from his bosom a note that he had written before
leaving his room, and thrust it into the end of
a cleft branch that he stuck into the ground
near the end of the bridge. It was addressed
to his Excellency the Chevalier Laudonniere,
Commandant of Fort Caroline, and its contents
were as follows:

"MY DEARLY BELOVED UNCLE,-Doubtless I am doing
very wrong in thus leaving the fort and undertaking an im-
portant mission without thy sanction. It would seem, how-
ever, that circumstances are peculiarly favorable to my
success in this matter, and I feared lest thou wouldst forbid
the undertaking, out of a tender regard for my youth and
inexperience. I go with the Indian lad Has-se, my friend,
to the land of the Alachuas, on a quest for provisions for
the fort. In case of my success I will return again at the
end of a month, or shortly thereafter. If I fail, and return
no more, I still crave thy blessing, and to be remembered
without abatement of the love thou hast ever extended to me.
No person within the fort has aided me in this matter, nor
has any one of thy garrison knowledge of my departure.
"I remain, dear uncle, with sincerest respect and deepest
love, thy nephew,

'a-'I rlil lS^^ ."' "

.. : 'i
r?.i'..,S;WE'-I)P~ "-, r

; <{f



Having thus taken measures to inform his
uncle of his departure and the mission on which
he had set forth, Ren' tightened his belt, shoul-
dered his cross-bow, and turned into the dark
pine forest. He made his way swiftly down
the river-bank towards the appointed place of
meeting, where he hoped to find Has-se still
waiting for him, though it was already past the
hour that the latter had mentioned. On the
way he stopped and recovered the package of
trinkets that he had hidden in the forest that
As he neared the little stream on the bank of
which the Indian lad had promised to await his
coming, he uttered the cry of Hup-pe the great
owl, which was the signal Has-se had taught
him. To his joy it was immediately answered
from a short distance in advance. In another
moment he stood beside his friend, who without
a word led him to where a canoe was hidden be-
neath some overhanging branches. They
stepped in, a few strong strokes of the paddles
shot them clear of the creek, the bow of their
craft was turned down-stream, and ere a word
had been spoken between them, they were glid-
ing swiftly down the glassy moonlit surface of
the great river towards its mouth.


AS the paddles flashed brightly in the moon-
shine, and the light craft in which Ren6
and Has-se were seated moved swiftly and si-
lently down the broad river, the former related
to his companion all the particulars of his leav-
ing the fort, and the delays that had detained
him past their appointed time of meeting. As
he concluded his story, Has-se, who until then
had remained silent, said,
"Thou hast done well, Ta-lah-lo-ko, and thy
success at the outset is proof to me that the Great
Spirit favors our undertaking."
R6n6 was not so convinced of this as his com-
panion, for he was not at all certain that he was
acting rightly; but he did not seek to disturb
the other's confidence, and only said,
"Now tell me of thy escape, Has-se; for I
must confess that I would have deemed it impos-
sible, and am not a little concerned to find Fort
Caroline such a sieve as thy easy leave-taking
would seem to prove it."


Has-se was silent for some minutes, and then
he said,
"I would have no secrets from thee, my
brother, and would gladly tell thee that thou
askest; but I may not now, though at another
time my tongue may be loosed. For the present
I am bound not to reveal that which must needs
be known were the manner of my escape de-
scribed to thee."
R6n6 felt somewhat hurt at this answer, which
seemed to imply a want of confidence in him;
but he knew his friend's character too well to
press the subject further, and so, smothering his
curiosity, he turned the conversation to other
After they had travelled for several miles
down the river, Has-se turned the bow of the
canoe into a sluggish bayou, that wound, with
innumerable turnings, amid vast limitless ex-
panses of salt-marsh. This stream led into
others that formed such a maze that it seemed
to R.ne impossible that they should ever dis-
cover a way out of it.
As Has-se'kept the canoe to its course, never
for an instant hesitating as to which way he
should turn, they startled from their resting-
places myriads of water-fowl and strange birds,

that flew away with harsh notes of alarm.
These were answered from the distant forest by
the melancholy howlings of wolves and the cries
of other night-prowling wild beasts, that
sounded very fearful to R6n6's unaccustomed
At length their craft was run ashore at the
foot of a small shell mound that formed quite
an elevation amid the wide levels of the marshes,
and Has-se said they would rest there until sun-
rise. After hauling the canoe well up out of
the water, he led the way to a small hut, thatched
with palmetto-leaves, that stood half-way up
the side of the mound. In it was piled a quan-
tity of long gray moss, that formed a most ac-
ceptable bed to the tired boys; and throwing
themselves down on it, they were in a few min-
utes fast asleep.
It seemed to Rn6e that he had but just fallen
asleep when he was awakened by a light touch
upon his forehead. Springing to his feet, he
found Has-se standing smiling beside him, and
saw that the sun had already risen. Running
down to the beach, he bathed his face in the
cool salt-water, used a handful of moss as a
towel, and turned to the breakfast that Has-se
had spent an hour in preparing.


When Rcn' saw what a luxurious repast the
ingenuity of the young Indian had provided, he
opened his eyes wide in astonishment. He
knew that a bag of parched corn and several
gourds of fresh water had been brought along,
and upon this simple fare he had expected to
break his fast. Now, in addition to the parched
corn, he saw fish, oysters, eggs, and a vegetable,
all smoking hot, cooked to a nicety, and tempt-
ingly spread on some freshly cut palm-leaves.
The fish were mullet, that Has-se had speared
from the canoe as they swam in the clear water.
He had cleaned them, wrapped them in fresh,
damp leaves, raked aside a portion of the fire
that he had kindled when he first arose, buried
them in the hot sand beneath it, and covered the
spot with live coals.
The oysters had also come from the water,
in a great bunch that Has-se had just been able
to lift and carry to the fire. To cook them he
had simply placed the entire bunch on the coals,
where they had roasted in their shells, which
now gaped wide open, offering their contents
to be eaten.
The eggs were plover's eggs, of which Has-se
had discovered several nests among the tall
marsh grass. They also had been roasted in the


hot sand, from which the fire had been raked one
The vegetable puzzled R6n6 considerably,
for he had never seen its like, and knew not
what to make of it. When he asked Has-se
what it was, the latter laughed, with the soft,
musical laugh, peculiar to his people, and an-
"Dost thou not know thy namesake, Ta-lah-
lo-ko? It is the leaf bud of a young palm-tree,
and with us Indians it takes the place of bread
when we have neither a-chee" (the maize) "nor
koonti-katki" (the starch-root).
It was indeed the tender leaf bud of the cab-
bage-palm, roasted in its own husk, and to R6n6
it tasted much like roasted chestnuts.
From the shells on the beach he obtained a
small quantity of salt, that had been left in them
by the evaporated water of some former high
tide. This he wanted for both his fish and his
eggs. Then the two boys sat down to their
feast, and ate and laughed and chatted, and en-
joyed it so thoroughly that one of them at least
thought nothing had ever tasted so good to him
After breakfast, as there were no dishes to be
washed, and nothing to be packed to carry with


them, they were able to resume their journey at
once. Until nearly noon they were hemmed in
by the monotonous salt-marshes; then they
crossed a wide sheet of open water, and entered
the mouth of a wild, dark river that flowed into
it from the west. The rest of that day and most
of the next was occupied in the ascent of this
river, which ever grew darker and narrower as
they neared its source. They worked inces-
santly at the paddles, and made such speed that
Has-se said they must certainly overtake his peo-
ple before they reached the land of the Ala-
Several times during these two days he ran
the canoe ashore at places that his keen vision
noted as having been the landing-places of other
canoes. At each of these places he found the
ashes and charred sticks that denoted recent
camp-fires, and each time after making such a
discovery he returned to R6n6 with a puzzled
and thoughtful expression on his face. His
companion noticed this, and finally inquired the
"What troubles thee, my Has-se?" he asked.
"Thy looks betoken a worriment of some kind.
May I not share it with thee?"
For a few minutes Has-se plied his paddle

vigorously and in silence; then he said, more as
if thinking aloud than in answer to R6n6's ques-
tion, "Others besides ourselves are in pursuit of
my people, and I fear they are enemies."
"What is thy reason for thus thinking?"
"Because I find that each halting-place of
Micco's band has been carefully examined after
their departure. I have also found the remains
of several small but recent camp-fires on oppo-
site sides of the river from theirs, and around
them I find the traces of but two men. One of
these men is very large, and he wears moccasins
that were never made by my people. I fear
they are enemies."
"But why should they be enemies?" asked
R6n&. "May they not be some of thy band left
behind like thyself. Or may not one of them
be of thy tribe, and the other be one of the
guests who attended the Feast of Ripe Corn?"
"That is easily answered," replied the young
Indian. "If they were friends who for some rea-
son had been left behind, and were now anxious
to rejoin those whom they follow, they could
have done so long since. Their fires burned at
the same time with those of my people, and they
have visited Micco's camps before the ashes of
his fires grew cold. Besides, in each case their


own fires were carefully hidden, so that they
could not by any chance be seen by those who
were in advance of them."
"Who, then, can be following so large a band,
and for what purpose? Surely two cannot
harm so many."
"That I know not, but I fear them to be of the
outlawed Seminoles.* If so, they are following
my people for the purpose of picking up plun-
der, or of snatching the prize of a scalp-a thing
they could only gain by a cowardly attack upon
one defenceless, for they dare not seek it in open
fight. Or it may be that one of them is he who
has conceived a bitter enmity against those who
never treated him with aught save kindness, and
that he has joined with him another equally
At this thought Has-se's bright face became
clouded, and for some time he remained silent.
Finally the silence was again broken by R6n6,
who asked,
"Who are these Seminoles of whom thou dost
speak thus contemptuously?"
*Before the Seminoles became the powerful tribe into which they
finally grew they were a band of outlaws, composed of those who,
for some good reason, had fled or been driven from the Creeks,
Cherokees, Choctaws, Chidkasaws, and other tribes of the South.-
K. M.


"Seminole, in my language, signifies a run-
away. They are a band of thieves, murderers,
and other bad Indians, who have been driven
out of my tribe and other tribes on the north.
They have gradually increased in numbers, un-
til now they call themselves a tribe. They are
always at war with all men, and against them
my people have declared a fight forever."
"And who is he of whom thou speakest so
vaguely as having conceived an enmity unjustly
against those who have harmed him not?"
"One who should be well known to thee, Ta-
lah-lo-ko. I speak of Chitta the Snake, whom I
hope we may not encounter."
"It will be the worse for him if we do en-
counter him, and he ventures to interfere with
us," replied R6n6, hotly.
"Nay, Ta-lah-lo-ko. I have a feeling within
me which warns me that a meeting with the
Snake will be a sad one for us," answered
Has-se, who, though as brave as a young lion,
was inclined to be superstitious, as were all of
his race.
During this conversation the course of the
canoe had been through a mere thread of a
stream, and R6ne now noticed that they were
traversing the mazes of a dark swamp. The lit-


tie stream connected a series of stagnant pools
or bayous, and just as they came into the open
water of one of these they caught a glimpse of
another canoe leaving it on the opposite side.
Even as they sighted it, it shot in among the
trunks of a dense cypress forest, and disap-


IN order to account for the presence of the
canoe of which R6n6 and Has-se had caught
a glimpse, as it darted in among the black shad-
ows of the cypress forest in the great swamp,
we must go back to the night that followed the
Feast of Ripe Corn.
After Chitta struck Has-se the blow that
stretched him stunned and bleeding on the
ground, he sprang into the forest, and gliding
swiftly among the stately trunks of the solemn
pines, made his way to the river. On its bank
were drawn up many canoes, over which Chitta
glanced hastily, but with a practised eye. In
a moment he selected one that promised to com-
bine lightness with speed, noiselessly launched
it, and stepped into it. Grasping a paddle, he
headed the stolen craft down the river, and was
quickly buried in the mist that rose from its
As the unhappy lad pursued his solitary way


down the river, neither knowing nor caring
where he was going, so long as he placed dis-
tance between himself and those whom he knew
would shortly search for him, his mind was
filled with bitter reflections. He felt as though
he hated all men, but especially Has-se and the
white lad, who, he felt certain, had taught the
former the trick of wrestling, by means of which
the games had been won.
In destroying the great storehouse, with its
winter's supply of provisions of his tribe, his
desire had not been so much to injure his own
people as the white men, whom he knew were
also dependent upon it for food, and of whom
Has-se's friend was one who would thus suffer.
He had thought to escape detection after com-
mitting this wicked act, and that the fire would
be supposed to be the result of an accident.
This hope had been dashed by the unexpected
appearance of Has-se, who had overheard his
muttered threats; and now he knew that he must
be an outlaw from his tribe forever, and that
he would meet with a terrible punishment if
he ever fell into their hands.
Of all his bitter thoughts the one uppermost
in his mind was the desire for revenge upon the
gentle but high-spirited Has-se, who had not


only won from him his coveted position, but
against whom he had just struck such a cruel
and cowardly blow.
This is the way of the world, with white as
well as with red men, and with boys and girls
as well as with grown people. The more we in-
jure a person, the more bitter do we feel against
him; and the more we help and do good to him,
the more kindly do we feel towards him.
The deep scowl of hate had not left Chitta's
face when he ran his canoe ashore at the foot
of the high bluff upon which Admiral Ribault
had erected the stone pillar engraved with the
French coat of arms. Securing his canoe, and
carefully concealing it from those who might
pass on the river, Chitta made his way, by means
of a narrow path through the tangled under-
brush, to the summit. From here, by daylight,
he would command a view of the river for miles
in either direction, and would be able to detect
the approach of any who should come in search
of him while yet they were a long way off.
As it was still night, and nothing was now to
be seen except what was disclosed by the moon,
the young Indian gathered together a small heap
of moss and leaves, and drawing his robe over



his head, flung himself down for a few hours'
Tired as he was, Chitta fell asleep almost in-
stantly; but it was fully an hour after he had
done so that a tall Indian rose, without a sound,
from the clump of bushes, concealed by which
he had all this time been watching the motion-
less figure, and cautiously approached it. In
his hands the tall Indian held a slender cord of
twisted deer-hide, in one end of which was a
Without a movement that could arouse the
lightest sleeper, he knelt by Chitta's side, and
with great dexterity managed to pass the noose
over both his moccasined feet without disturb-
ing his slumber. Drawing it as tightly as he
dared, the tall Indian made the other end fast
to a sapling, and sat down beside the sleeper to
patiently await his awakening.
At length, just as the sun was appearing in
the far east, Chitta stirred uneasily, yawned,
threw the blanket off from his head, and sat up.
As his gaze fell upon the motionless figure be-
side him he uttered a sort of a gasping cry and
sprang to his feet. He had hardly gained them
before the noose did its work, and, tripped by it,

he fell heavily to the ground. The tall Indian
had also sprung to his feet, and now stood over
the prostrate form of his victim, with a cruel
smile lighting his dark features.
Although wicked, Chitta was no coward, and
finding himself thus trapped by an unknown
enemy, he coolly asked, as he lay there,
"Who art thou, and what have I done to thee
that thou shouldst thus snare me like Pet-che?"
(the pigeon).
For answer the tall Indian said, "I will first
tell thee who thou art. Thy name is Chitta.
Thou wast overthrown but yesterday at the
Feast of Ripe Corn by the lad who wears in his
hair the To-fa chat-te" (red feather). "Thou
art he who set fire to the storehouse of corn.
Above all, thou art now, like myself, an outlaw
forever from thy people; for know that I am
that Seminole called Cat-sha" (the tiger).
At this name Chitta gave a start of surprise,
for though he had never before seen this Indian,
the name of Cat-sha had been familiar to him
from his childhood. It was one used by Indian
mothers to frighten their unruly children, and
quiet them into obedience, for it belonged to the
cruelest, boldest, and most dreaded of all the
outlawed Seminoles.

When still a youth, Cat-sha had, in a fit of un-
governable anger, struck one of his young com-
panions a blow, from the effects of which he
died. For this he was driven from his tribe,
and from that day he had been an outcast, whose
hand was raised against all men, and who had
become famed and dreaded for his deeds of sav-
age cruelty. He had gathered together and be-
come chief of that band of Seminoles of whom
Has-se had told R6n6, and under his leadership
it was rapidly becoming a scourge to all the
more peaceful inhabitants of that country.
Knowing all this, it is no wonder that Chitta
gave a start of surprise not unmixed with alarm
when he learned into whose hands he had fallen.
Evidently gratified at the impression the mere
mention of his name produced upon his pris-
oner, Cat-sha continued:
"For many days have I watched the place of
the pale-faces from beyond the great waters.
I hate them, and would gladly drive them back
into the sea whence they came. It was to learn
their strength and discover in what manner they
might be most successfully attacked that I came
to this place. Thy people, at their feasting and
dancing, have I also seen, and I had 'thought to
do with my own hand the deed accomplished by


thee last night. Since thou hast relieved me of
that labor, I am inclined favorably towards thee,
and will spare thy life upon condition that thou
renounce forever thy own people and become
one of my band."
"Become a Seminole exclaimed Chitta, in
a tone expressive of dislike and contempt. He
had never thought, even amid his wildest
schemes for obtaining revenge upon those whom
he considered his enemies, to make one of this
band of outcasts.
"Un-cah" (yes), answered Cat-sha, fiercely,
angered by the tone of the other; "and why not?
Art thou not already an outlaw and a runaway
from thy people? Having thus left them for-
ever, to whom else canst thou turn save to
the brave and warlike Seminoles? Besides, if
thou dost not join us, I will kill thee where thou
liest, and none shall ever know thy fate. We
Seminoles know but two kinds of men, those
who are of us and those who are against us."
Thus Chitta had no choice left him between
making one of the band of outlaws whose name
was a term of reproach among all good Indians,
and meeting with a cruel death, from which he
shrank. After a moment's silence he made up
his mind, and said, "So be it then, Cat-sha.


From this hour call me Chitta the Seminole.
From this hour the wisdom of the serpent shall
be for them with whom he thus joins his for-
tunes, and henceforth his fangs shall be held
ready for all who are their enemies."
Cat-sha's dark face was again lighted by a
cruel smile of triumph as he listened to these
words, for he knew that one of Chitta's nature
would be a valuable addition to his band. He
released his new recruit, helped him to his feet,
embraced him, and said,
"Chitta the Seminole, I welcome thee gladly
to our number. The time will come when we
shall have increased to a great and powerful
tribe, and when the name given us by our en-
emies shall be honored of all men. Let us go."


C AT-SHA, the Seminole chief, rejoiced
greatly at having gained to his band so
promising a young warrior as Chitta, who had
so incurred the enmity of both the white men
and his own people as to be obliged to fly from
them for his life.
After eating together a meal of dried venison
that the elder produced from his wallet, the
two Seminoles sat, concealed behind a thick
cluster of cactus, watching the river for any
signs of pursuit, and forming plans for future
action. Cat-sha told Chitta that he had left his
band in their most inaccessible stronghold
among the bayous and deep morasses of the great
Okeefenokee Swamp. He also said that, were
it not for the presence of so large a number of
friendly Indians in the immediate vicinity of
Fort Caroline, he should bring his warriors to
attack it; for he had decided that the chances
were in favor of his success in so doing.
"Ha!" exclaimed Chitta, interrupting his


chief at this point, "I may, in that case, be of
service to thee, though I am as yet untried in
battle." Then he told Cat-sha a secret that was
known to but few of his people, and which he
himself had only discovered by accident. It
was the same that Has-se had declined to con-
fide to R6ne when the latter questioned him as
to the manner of his escape from the fort, and it
was indeed a secret of the utmost value to en-
emies of the white men.
Cat-sha listened attentively, and when Chitta
had finished he exclaimed, "Well done, my
young brave! Thy serpent's wisdom is already
proving of value to us. What thou hast just
told me makes clear our plan of attack upon this
nest of pale-faces, and removes one of the chief
difficulties in our way. Having this informa-
tion, I regard the fort and all that it contains
as already in our power. We have only to bide
our time. Well may the white man tremble;
for ere many days the tiger, guided by the ser-
pent, will spring at his throat."
As they talked, their attention was directed to
a dark moving mass floating down the river,
close under its bank. Cat-sha soon pronounced
it to be a fleet of canoes filled with people, and
they watched them with eager curiosity.


It was, indeed, the tribe from which Chitta
had fled, moving, under the leadership of their
chief, Micco, towards the land of the Alachuas,
where food in abundance awaited them. At the
outset of their journey they kept as close as pos-
sible under the river-bank, to avoid observa-
tion from the white men in Fort Caroline, who,
they feared, might oppose their departure if
they learned of it. It was not until they reached
the bold bluff from the summit of which the two
Seminoles watched their progress that they felt
they were safe from the eyes of the fort, and
might strike boldly out into the river. Here,
aided by the full strength of the ebbing tide,
they proceeded rapidly on their way towards
its mouth.
Seeing that the canoes which were thus pass-
ing beneath them contained, besides the warriors
of the tribe, its women and children, and all of
its movable property, Cat-sha concluded that it
was a general movement of Micco's people to-
wards some distant place; and from the direc-
tion they were taking, he guessed that their des-
tination was the fertile land of the Alachuas.
"This is thy doing," he said to Chitta, who was
regarding in bitter silence this departure of his
people, towards whom he still felt drawn by


old association in spite of what he had so re-
cently done and become. "This is thy doing,
my young Seminole. Thou hast destroyed their
store of food, and thus compelled them to go in
search of more. Now let us follow them, and
when we have seen them at a safe distance, we
will bring my brave warriors to the attack of
the white men shut up in yonder gopher hole."
When the departing tribe was nearly out of
sight down the river, the two Seminoles, drawing
Chitta's stolen canoe from its hiding-place,
started in pursuit. They so arranged their own
movements that they ran no chance of discovery
from those in advance of them, though they
were never far behind. They carefully exam-
ined each camping-place of the moving tribe,
to assure themselves that no person was left
behind who might discover them, and they al-
ways placed their own little camp so that it
should be entirely concealed from those whom
they followed.
Cat-sha was much pleased to find that in thus
following Micco's tribe he was also journey-
ing in the direction of his own band, who
awaited him in the depths of the great swamp.
He even meditated an attack upon his Indian
foes as they travelled, with their women, chil-

dren, and baggage, before leading his warriors
back to Fort Caroline.
It was these two, then, whose traces had so
puzzled Has-se as he and R6n6 de Veaux in
turn followed them, and it was their canoe of
which the two boys caught a fleeting glimpse
in the great swamp.
"Look!" exclaimed Has-se, whose keen eye
was the first to detect the vanishing canoe.
"These are either my own people, whom we
have thus overtaken, or those whom we know
to be in close pursuit of them. Here is work
for us, Ta-lah-lo-ko, or rather for me, for it is
my duty to discover the meaning of this pur-
suit, and warn my people if danger is near them,
while I am also bound to keep thee as far as
possible from all harm."
"Nonsense, Has-se! It is well for thee to
keep me out of danger so long as thou keepest
from it thyself; but since I have thrown my for-
tunes with thine, thy friends are my friends, thy
enemies are my enemies, and thy safety or dan-
ger is mine to share with thee. So say no more
of my safety, save as it concerns thine as well,
but lead on as thou thinkest best, and I will fol-
low thee as truly as though I were enlisted be-
neath thy banner. Not that I suppose you


Indians have such things as banners, or under-
stand their significance; but thou might well
have them, and be none the worse for the hav-
Although Has-se made no reply to this brave
speech, he accepted it as an evidence of true
friendship, and gave R6n6 a grateful smile,
which the latter understood to mean "Very well,
Ta-lah-lo-ko, I accept thy offer of service as
heartily as thou dost tender it."
Under ordinary circumstances, Has-se's In-
dian instinct would not have permitted him
to cross the open water of the bayou in broad
daylight when he suspected that an enemy might
be lying in wait for him on its farther side. On
this occasion, however, it seemed so impossible
that the occupants of the canoe, of which he had
caught but the merest glimpse, should have
looked back and detected them at the same in-
stant, that he decided to push on, and if possible
discover more of it. So he and R6n6 crossed
the open water as quickly and with as little noise
as possible, and as they approached its opposite
side, Has-se gazed keenly into the dark lanes
between the moss-hung cypresses. He neither
saw nor heard anything to cause him alarm,
and congratulating themselves that they had not


been discovered, the boys pushed on over the
waters of another extremely narrow stream.
This, to R6n6's surprise, flowed, though with
an almost imperceptible current, in the direction
they were taking, or exactly opposite to that of
the river they had ascended from the salt-
marshes of the east. As Has-se had requested
him to keep absolute silence, and on no account
to speak, he restrained his curiosity for the
present, but determined to seek an explanation
of this phenomenon when an opportunity should
He afterwards discovered that the river they
had ascended, and that they were now descend-
ing, both rose in the great swamp, and that their
headwaters were connected by navigable
streams, but that while one flowed east into the
Atlantic, the other flowed west into the Gulf
of Mexico.
In thus deeming themselves undiscovered by
those in advance of them, the boys made an al-
most fatal mistake. The wily Cat-sha, accus-
tomed to look for danger behind every tree, and
almost expecting to hear the war-cry of his en-
emies in every breath of wind, knew better than
to leave open waters without looking behind as
he did so. On this occasion the quick glance


thrown backward at the instant his canoe en-
tered the shadows of the cypresses detected the
gleam of a paddle, and he knew at once that he
and Chitta were being followed, even as they
were following Micco and his people.
He said nothing until they were safely within
the shadows, when he told Chitta of his dis-
covery. The latter advised going into hiding
at once, and awaiting the approach of their un-
known pursuers; but the more experienced Cat-
sha said no, for if they had also been discovered,
that was exactly what they would be expected to
do, and their pursuers would exercise more than
a usual amount of caution in approaching that
point. Once safely past it they would advance
more boldly, thinking that their own presence
had been undetected. He therefore continued
on down the little stream for nearly a mile, un-
til they reached a point where the channel was
so seriously obstructed by overhanging vines and
stranded driftwood that only a passage barely
wide enough for a single canoe was left open.
Here they drew their canoe from the water
and carefully concealed it. Then they took
positions one on each side of the stream; and,
hidden behind screens of tangled vines, with
arrows held ready to be fitted to their bow-


strings, they patiently awaited the coming of
their unknown pursuers.
Towards this well-planned trap, that seemed
to insure their destruction, R6n6 and Has-se ad-
vanced, cautiously, to be sure, but without a
warning of what awaited them. At length they
had approached within a quarter of a mile of
the ambush, and one would have said that noth-
ing could prevent their falling into it.
At this point Has-se whispered, "Keep wide
open thy ears as well as thy eyes, Ta-lah-lo-ko";
and R6n6 answered also in a whisper,
"They are already so wide open that not the
faintest hum of a gnat escapes them. What's
The sudden snapping of a twig by some bird
or small animal caused them to start, and listen
for a moment with uplifted paddles. The
canoe thus left to itself, unguided, drifted aside,
and hung for an instant upon the upraised end
of a sunken log. Rene reached his hand down
into the water to push it clear of the obstruction,
but suddenly withdrew it with a suppressed cry
of pain and fright. At the same moment a large
water-snake, of the kind known as a moccasin,
glided away, and disappeared beneath the slimy


AT R6n6's cry, suppressed though it was
Has-se turned quickly, and in time to see
the moccasin glide away through the water.
He also noted the spot of blood on his compan-
ion's finger, at which the latter was gazing with
a look of horror.
Without a word the young Indian sprang to
R6ne's side, drew the little sharp-pointed dag-
ger from its sheath, and firmly but deliberately
enlarged with it the minute wound made by the
fangs of the snake, until the blood flowed freely
from it; then raising the hand to his own mouth,
he sucked all that was possible of the poisoned
blood from the wound, stopping several times
during the operation to rinse his mouth with
When this was done he took a handful of
slimy river mud and placed it over the wounded
place, bidding his friend hold it there. Then,
seizing his paddle, he turned the bow of the

canoe up-stream in the direction from which
they had come. He paddled back to a small
lagoon that emptied into the stream, and in
which he had noticed a peculiar species of
water-lily growing as they passed it on their way
down. Pulling a handful of these up by the
roots, he selected one of the bulbs attached to
them, pounded it until it was a mass of fibre,
and washing the river mud from the wounded
hand, he replaced it with this.
The hand had already swollen and become
very painful, but the application of the bruised
lily-root acted so like a charm that R6n6's face
showed an instant sense of relief, and he ex-
pressed his gratitude to Has-se.
"It is nothing to do," replied the other. "It
is but the remedy of my people for such things."
Then he added, with a sort of pride,
"The pale-faces are wise in many matters that
we poor red men know nothing of; but we have
at least learned that for every evil there is a
remedy close at hand, and that wherever poison-
ous serpents are found there also grows a plant
that will render their poison harmless. In a
short time thy hand will be as sound as before it
laid hold of Chitta-wewa, the great water-


"'Tis marvellous!" exclaimed R6n6; "and if
thou wouldst return with me to France, bring-
ing with thee a few of these samples and thy
knowledge of their application, thou wouldst
become a great medicine-man and obtain much
honor of my people."
Has-se only shook his head and smiled at this
suggestion; then he said,
"For a time thou must lie perfectly quiet, and
keep that upon thy hand wet with cool water.
Meantime I will carry out a plan of which I
have just conceived the idea. Near by, from the
head of this lagoon, there runs a narrow trail by
which a great bend in the stream is cut off, and
a point much lower down upon it is reached.
If thou wilt remain here and nurse thy hand, I
will cross to the lower stream by this trail, and
it may be that I will thus gain more speedy in-
formation concerning those whom we follow."
R6ne at once agreed to this plan, and was
soon left alone to nurse his hand and meditate
upon his present strange position. From his
savage surroundings his thoughts ran back to
the uncle whom he had left in Fort Caroline to
battle with sickness, and possibly with starva-
tion and the upbraidings of his own men. The
boy's heart was full of tenderness for the brave

old soldier who had so promptly assumed the
part of a father towards him; and had he not
been restrained by the consciousness of the vital
importance of the mission he had undertaken, he
would have been inclined to return at once and
share whatever trials were besetting the cheva-
lier. From him the boy's thoughts sped to
France and the old chateau in which he was
born. He almost laughed aloud as he imagined
the look of consternation with which old Fran-
cois would regard him if he could now see him,
lying alone in a fragile craft, such as the old
servant had never imagined, in the midst of a
terrible wilderness of great moss-hung trees,
queer-looking plants, black waters, and blacker
From these reveries he was suddenly startled
by the sound of a slight splash in the water and
a subdued human voice. Raising his head very
cautiously above the side of the canoe, R6n6
caught a glimpse, at the mouth of the little la-
goon in which his own craft was concealed, of
another canoe, in which were seated two Indians.
It was headed up-stream, but its occupants had
paused in their paddling, and from their ges-
tures were evidently considering the explora-
tion of the very place in which he lay hidden


from them. In one of them Ren6 recognized
the unwelcome face of Chitta the Snake, but the
other he had never before seen.
With a loudly beating heart and almost with-
out breathing he watched them, thankful enough
for the shelter of broad lily-leaves that raised
their green barrier in front of him. He was
fully conscious that upon the result of the con-
versation the two were holding, in such low
tones that he could not distinguish a word, de-
pended his own fate. He knew, from what
Has-se had told him, that Chitta regarded him
as an enemy, and he knew also that for his
enemies an Indian reserves but one fate, and will
kill them if he can.
Thus it was with the feeling that he had es-
caped a mortal peril, and with a long-drawn
sigh of relief, that he saw the discussion come to
an end, and the strange canoe continue on its
course up-stream. It disappeared in the direc-
tion from which he and Has-se had come before
encountering the moccasin. Then he became
feverishly impatient to leave a place that seemed
so full of danger, and he longed eagerly for
Has-se's return.
Although R6ne watched anxiously for Has-se,
he also cast frequent glances towards the stream,


fearful lest Chitta and his companion should
again appear. Thus he was not looking when
his friend emerged from the forest, and did not
hear the light tread of his moccasined feet. Nor
was he aware of any presence near him, until a
low laugh, which so startled him that he almost
upset the canoe, gave the first hint of his friend's
"Oh, Has-se!" he exclaimed, in a whisper
rendered hoarse by his excitement, "glad am I
to see thee once more. Chitta is in pursuit of
us, and with him is as evil-looking an Indian as
ever I saw, but large and powerful withal."
Then he related the whole incident of the ap-
pearance of the strange canoe, to which Has-se
listened with grave attention.
When Ren6 had finished he said, "Has-se also
has something to tell. Far down the river, on
the side opposite the end of the trail, he heard
the sound of many voices, and he knows his
people are there. Let us go to them."
"But if we venture out into the stream, will
not Chitta and the one with him see us?"
"If they do not until we float on the river, they
must prove themselves ,swifter than Hu-la-
lah" (the wind) "to catch us before we reach


friends. How is thy hand? Is the sting of
Chitta-wewa still painful?"
"Oh my hand? Why, no; I had no thought
of it until now. Thanks to thy application, the
pain and the swelling seem alike to have been
"Then let us go, and if it comes to meeting
Chitta, we will see if we cannot render his
sting as harmless as that of his namesake Chitta-
Very cautiously the two boys paddled their
canoe out from the lagoon, and headed it down
the narrow river towards the place where they
hoped to find friends.
Having reached the stream in safety, they
were about to congratulate each other on their
good-fortune, when suddenly a wild scream,
such as is made by an enraged panther, came
ringing down through the dark forest glade be-
hind them.
"It is the yell of Cat-sha the Tiger, chief of
the Seminoles!" cried Has-se. "For the Snake,
with the Tiger to aid him, we are no match. If
those white arms of thine have strength in them,
now is the time to prove it, Ta-lah-lo-ko."
With this the two boys bent over their paddles,


and plied them with such energy that their light
craft fairly hissed through the water, and flew
past the gray, motionless columns of the cy-
presses. Not far behind came their pursuers,
also straining every muscle, and already exult-
ing over the prize that was so nearly within their
Cat-sha and Chitta had become impatient of
waiting in their ambush for those who failed to
come, but who they knew had been following
them, and they finally decided to cautiously re-
trace their course in order to learn what had
become of them. At the mouth of the lagoon
in which R6n6 had awaited Has-se's return they
paused, undecided, for a moment. From the
very trail taken by Has-se there branched an-
other, which led to the distant Seminole fast-
ness in the heart of the great swamp. Cat-sha at
first thought they would do well to examine this
trail; for if it should prove to be some of his own
band of whose canoe he had caught a glimpse, he
would surely discover traces of them here.
Chitta, however, said that those who had fol-
lowed them might chance to pass on unnoticed
while they were in the lagoon. It would be
time enough to examine the trail after they had
been back as far as the bayou, and made certain


that nobody was between them and it. Happily
for RMne de Veaux, this counsel had prevailed,
and they had gone on up the stream.
It was while on their return from the bayou
that they had caught sight of the two boys just
leaving the lagoon, and that Cat-sha had uttered
his war-cry with such startling effect.
Even at the distance they were, both he and
Chitta had seen the Flamingo Feather braided
in Has-se's hair, and had also recognized the
peculiar costume worn by him whom they knew
as the son of the great white chief.
Faster and faster flew the two canoes in their
race of life or death down the narrow stream.
That of the two boys was the lighter, but the
other, impelled by the powerful strokes of the
gigantic Cat-sha, kept pace with it from the out-
set, and at length began slowly to gain upon it.
Foot by foot, closer and closer, it came, and as
the labored breath of the panting boys came
shorter and quicker, while the perspiration
rolled in great beads from their faces, it seemed
as though they were moving at a snail's pace,
and they knew that the unequal struggle could
not last much longer.
Suddenly Has-se paused from his labor for
an instant, and placing a hand to his mouth,


uttered a long, tremulous cry, so wild and shrill
that it roused the forest echoes for miles around.
He had hardly resumed his paddle, after a
quick backward glance that showed the other
canoe to be fearfully near them, when his cry
was answered by one precisely similar, uttered
only a short distance ahead of them.
In another minute an arrow from behind
whizzed so close to Has-se's head that it cut the
red feather from his hair, and passing on, it
buried itself in R6n6's shoulder. At the same
instant a canoe filled with Micco's warriors ap-
peared around a point ahead of them, and the
two hunted and exhausted boys, seeing it, knew
they were saved.

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