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Duncan realizes that the other "Indians" he saw were really beavers. Hawkeye is amused by Duncan's mistake and by David's disguise. David tells them that Cora is with a neighboring tribe and that Alice is with the women of the Hurons. When asked why he has been left alone, David meekly says that the power of his singing has awed the savages. Hawkeye offers a more believable reason, however; Indians never harm a crazy man. They question David, but he is unable to give much in the way of details. However, from David's discourse, they are able to discover that Cora has been left with some Delawares. This disturbs Hawkeye and the Mohicans, and Hawkeye explains to Duncan it is a terrible thing that the Delaware and the Mingo are working hand-in-hand, and that the wars of the white man are largely to blame.
Hawkeye suggests sending David to warn the women of their approach, and Duncan insists on going also, over Hawkeye's objections. Finally, Chingachgook paints his body and disguises him as a buffoon. Munro is to hide with Chingachgook, David and Duncan are to approach the Hurons, and Uncas and Hawkeye are to go to the village where Cora is being kept.
The Indians do not harm holy men -- or crazy men. This is seen from the fact that they let David Gamut wander freely. They are tolerant to and amused by his singing psalms.
Duncan is still capable of being foolish, but he will soon earn a chance to prove himself. Duncan paints his body and walks into the hostile area of the Hurons disguised as a peaceful and harmless French man. This act is an indication of his bravery and love for Alice.
David as usual is too preoccupied to see or hear anything that would help Hawkeye. This makes Hawkeye contemptuous of him. However, the strength and loyalty of David comes out in the later chapters, when he helps the group without thinking of his own safety.