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MonkeyNotes-The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
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Chapter 10

Summary

The natives do not rob the group of their possessions as yet. Mortally disappointed by Hawkeye's absence, they question Duncan in French. Magua translates in broken English after Duncan entreats him to do so. Duncan tells him that Hawkeye and the Mohicans have escaped. The savages scream in fury. A Huron makes a motion as if to scalp Alice. Duncan cannot do anything as he is bound.

The Hurons call for a council and all of them cross to the south bank of the river. Six Indians, led by Magua, are left in charge of the prisoners. Duncan speaks to Magua and in order to flatter him, compliments him on his wise decision to trick the Hurons. He promises Magua that if he takes them to safety he will get ample firewater. Magua shows his wounded shoulder and asks, "Do friends make such marks?" Duncan suggests in turn that if Hawkeye had really wished to kill him, he would not have left so light a wound. They quibble for some time, and Magua refuses to give Duncan an answer, either way.

As the party heads south, Cora tries to mark their trail, but, under the watchful eyes of the Indians, finds it difficult to do so. She drops a glove, but a Huron sees her doing so and warns her of the consequences. The party continues until they reach the top of a steep hill.


Notes

This chapter is primarily a battle of wits between Duncan and Magua. The obscure Indian runner can no longer be ignored, as he has become a leader of a war group. Duncan tries to get out of the situation by bribing Magua. Again the "white" idea of dealing with Indians through bribery and trickery is emphasized. But Magua has been hurt, wounded by their bullets and the actions of Munro. When Duncan deigns to call him his friend, he comments contemptuously "Do friends make such marks?" Despite having resentment toward his own tribe, Magua is not willing to betray them for Duncan's promises.

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