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cuting his design upon their prisoner. He even sought Smith in his prison-house, so determined was he to wreak upon him the strength of his savage vengeance. And, finally, to keep their prisoner secure from his enemy's passion, they were forced to quit the village, and resume their line of march.
It would be both tedious and unimportant to recount the names of the many Indian villages and tribes through which they now passed. Without doubt Opechancanough felt much pride in thus conducting from tribe to tribe the great chief of the white settlers as his prisoner; and he extended the route in consequence over as much territory as he thought would minister to that very natural feeling. They went among at least as many as ten or a dozen different people, every one of which regarded the appearance of the prisoner with much amazement, and did honor to his captor as a warrior above all other warriors for his skill and bravery. In their journey, besides the smaller streams and creeks which they came to, they passed along both the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers, and finally brought back their prisoner to Panumkee again, where Opechanca
nough himself dwelt. Here they went through a singular ceremony which was called an incantation; a performance by means of which they could conjure up secret spirits within him, and thus find out what his real intentions toward them were. They bedaubed themselves with paint, attired themselves in the hideous skins of wild beasts, and, to the noise of rattling gourds, and yells and whoops, danced and capered about him all day long. This scene was continued for three days. Afterwards, they gave him food to eat in abundance, though carefully abstaining from eating with him themselves. And pretty soon he was taken to the lodge of a brother of Powhatan, who bore the not very pleasant name of Opitchapam. There they continued to stuff him with all the food he could be made to swallow, while his own fears of being eaten himself in turn returned with increasing force and perplexity.
During this time they tried their utmost to bribe him to betray his companions at Jamestown. They offered him the richest gifts, if he would only tell them how they could get into the fort without hurt from the guns. But Smith
resolved to die before he would turn traitor. He would never tell them a syllable of what they wanted so much to know. How different - one cannot help reflecting while he reads — from the conduct of his selfish and heartless comrades toward him !
They got possession of his gunpowder, that he kept about him in a little bag; and, asking him to show them how to put it to some sort of service, he explained by telling them it must be sown, like onion-seed, in the ground, — which they straightway proceeded to do, looking patiently and hopefully for their crop some time in the coming spring. They asked him to discharge one of his pistols for them, that they might learn how to use it themselves; and, taking it into his hand, he dexterously broke the cock, telling them that it was an accident, and that the pistol was, thereafter, good for nothing. They refused to let him try to explain the use of the other, lest he should break that, too, and then laugh them to scorn for their ignorance. He was a puzzle and a wonder to them on all sides. They could not conquer his spirit by appealing to his fears ; they were not rich enough in gifts to bribe him
into treachery; they felt assured, in their untutored minds, that he possessed a far superior wisdom to their own; and the respect which they consequently entertained for him was the very shield and buckler that in his extremity afforded him the surest protection. In a few days more they determined to carry him to the other kingly residence of Powhatan, and deliver him up to their mighty chief.
HERE is nothing more truly touching and
dramatic in all history than this same
story of Pocahontas. It has moved the heart of every one who ever heard it told. Every new generation reads the tender tale over again, narrated perhaps by a new writer, and in a new way; yet the story itself is always the same, and never fails to touch the feelings of the listener profoundly.
Captain Smith was in continual dread of his life while Opechancanough kept him a prisoner, believing that he was only being fattened and reserved for the celebration of some of their future orgies. The thought kept him in a state of such suspense that he could scarcely shut his eyes to sleep at night. To deck the triumph of a savage prince was no part of his choice, if his