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MonkeyNotes-The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
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Chapter 31

Summary

The group is silent. Uncas watches until Cora is out of sight and then he disappears. He reappears with all the regal splendor of a warrior and does a war dance, in which he is joined by all the other warriors. Then Uncas strikes the post with his tomahawk and utters a war cry, and all the warriors take up their arms. As preparations are made, Hawkeye sends off a boy into the forest to find his and Uncas' rifles. The boy receives a slight wound from the Hurons, who are hiding nearby, but is successful in his attempt. Uncas gathers his warriors, putting twenty men under Hawkeye's command, and they set off. In the forest, David Gamut suddenly appears. Hawkeye almost shoots him as he is dressed as an Indian. David tells them where the Hurons are and where Magua has hidden Cora. They make a plan to split up and converge on their enemy. Hawkeye and his men will follow the stream and pick up Munro and Chingachgook by the beaver huts and Uncas and his men will attack from the opposite flank. After defeating the Hurons, they plan to continue to the village to rescue Cora.


Notes

At last the regal splendor of the war dance is depicted. This scene is so colorfully yet primitively painted that the book would have been bereft without it. Uncas plans to rescue Cora, and he shows through his war dance that he plans to pursue this aim to the very end. The chapter builds up to a climax as the war party splits up and prepares to meet the Hurons.

Duncan shows his gratefulness to Hawkeye and the Delawares, as well as his wisdom, by offering to serve as a volunteer by Hawkeye's side, rather than lead a group of men. David Gamut again proves how useful he is as, by his singing, he leads the group to him and then tells them where the Hurons are.

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