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choice could even be said to lie that way. His present captivity was bad enough, but there might be things, he imagined, even worse than that.
The journey was at length undertaken to the seat of Powhatan, which was called Werowo
On every side he was surrounded by terrible looking savages, and his path lay through the heart of a dense and gloomy forest. Every. thing contributed to add to his fears. The countenances of the Indians were grim and inhuman. Their communications with one another were by means of dark looks, mysterious frowns, and a gibberish, that to our unhappy prisoner were almost unintelligible. In one way and another he was kept in this state of alarm, until he finally reached, with his escort, the place where the royal chieftain, Powhatan, dwelt.
But even then he was for a considerable time denied an interview. It was the Indian policy to impress him as deeply as possible with a sense of the greatness and majesty of their noble king. They accordingly did not hurry to bring about a meeting, but put it off on one pretext and another, all the while taking pains to make such shows and ceremonies as would be most likely to give their intended victim an impressive idea of their power and number. Smith they knew to be the chief of his people. Whether the narrow-minded ones at the settlement so considered him, was nothing to the purpose ; it was enough that he had made himself the master-spirit of all their designs, and alone led the bold way forward to the established success of the colony. And they determined that a prisoner of such a fame should be presented at the savage court with all the state and ceremony with which they could manage to surround him.
Already two hundred warriors were assembled about his person, watching every movement he made with unaffected wonder; and savages came flocking in from other tribes in the vicinity, eager to lay their eyes upon a captive whose name had gone abroad throughout their midst. They gazed on him as if he had been a monster. They crowded around him so thickly, that he could see only hideously dressed and bedaubed savages, let him look in whatever direction be might. Their presence cast a deeper gloom over his already depressed spirits, and perplexed him
still more and more respecting their intentions and his own probable fate.
When, at length, all the preparations were made, Smith was led from the retreat where till this time he had been kept, and brought before the august personage for whom all this pomp had been undertaken. Powhatan was seated on his throne, with his dusky retinue around him. The place fixed upon for the interview was in the very depths of the forest, with only the grand old trees encircling them, and the deep blue sky overhead. Hundreds of savages stood crowded near their chieftain, lending a picturesque beauty, fearful even as it was, to the strange and impressive scene. Immediately about the royal chief sat, or reclined, Indian maidens, wonderful for their free and natural grace, throwing a wild charm over the place by their presence, and looking on as deeply-interested spectators of the imposing interview. The several groups, that helped carry out the solemnity of the occasion, were attired and ornamented as only Indians know how to attire and ornament themselves, - some with feathers, some with beads, clad with skins and curiously
bedecked blankets, and all painted a bright and brilliant red. Civilized courts, imposing as their array is meant to be made, could scarcely offer a more wildly-beautiful exhibition. Great as must have continued to be our adventurer's fears, too, he could not well help forgetting them all for the time, and being absorbed in the grotesque pageant around him. The new sights that he saw appealed strongly to his imagination, and filled it with pictures he had never before dreamed of beholding. And about these fantastic human groups thickly stood the noble foresttrees, some of them monarchs and princes, like this Indian king, stretching out their wizard arms protectingly above their heads, or uttering in a sad and monotonous tone the wailing music of the faintly blowing wind. Powhatan himself was the observed of all ob
Smith said of his appearance on that occasion, “He wore such a grave and majestical countenance, as drove me into admiration to see such state in a naked salvage" (savage). He had upon him chains of enormous pearls, and a robe of raccoon-skins enveloped his noble and commanding figure, the bushy tails of the skins
hanging in an ornamental row around the hem of his robe. His bearing was manly and noble. The very expression of his face was that of an emperor. Serene and majestic as any king in christendom, he sat there in state before the eyes of the multitude, the object of their highest respect and wonder. With them his decree was law and commandment together. His glance quickened or reproved; his frown expressed unuttered anger; his benignant glance filled every savage heart with a courage that was equal to the wildest deeds of human daring or strength. Smith describes the impression made upon him by the savage in such emphatic language as this : “Powhatan was sitting uppon a throne with such a majestie as I cannot expresse, nor yet have often seene, either in pagan or Christian."
Thus much for the scene itself to which the reader has been introduced. The moment the distinguished captive was brought into the presence of the great Indian chief, a shout went up from the throats of the savages, that rent the very heart of the forest-silence. A youthful Indian queen was ordered to furnish water for him