The battle was over. All were safe, David Gamut had made some tremendous character development, and Cora and Uncas were alive.
He’d been cut by Magua on the chest. Though he bled, Chingachgook put pressure on the wound by tying his own hunting shirt around his son. But since it was nothing that couldn’t be fixed and healed, it was no problem. Besides, it was a sign of bravery to have scars on your chest. No matter how damn much they hurt at the time.
The whole group returned with the other Delawares, all rejoicing greatly. The warriors whooped and yet were on guard, lest more Hurons coming after them. David sang his tunes loud enough for God himself in heaven to hear. Heyward and Hawkeye spoke together, Duncan offering endless praise to his friend. Chingachgook beamed at his victorious son and Munro openly wept tears of joy for his daughters, who held each hand of their aging father.
"Cora, Elsie, I promise on my own grave that I will never put you in such danger - such trauma - again." Munro used Alice's hand to wipe some cold tears from his cheek.
"Papa, it doesn't matter now that we're together." She replied, putting her head on his shoulder.
"It does, my little darling. I was not doing what I ought to have as a father. And you believe me when I say that it will take an act of divine intervention to ever let the two of you out of my sight ever again. I may just die of grief at the thought of us ever so much as being under separate roofs." He squeezed his daughter's hands.
Heyward and Uncas both heard and took note of this.
Cora looked lovingly to her father. "I am indebted to the Mohicans and Delawares for coming so quickly to my aid. Especially Uncas. Without his quick feet, I would be no more." She gave a glance back to him, happy as can be. His mouth did not move but his eyes glowed.
Chingachgook replied "It was the dark-skin Munro who was bravest."
"Uncas did not much." The warrior added.
Hawkeye smiled, seeing his brother's affections. "Yet he did take such a special interest and effort to ensure your wellbeing. I suppose he was overcome with want to defeat the Hurons. Is that it boy?"
Still not changing his expression, Uncas used a quick foot to step on Hawkeye's, eliciting a little yelp from him.
Obliviously, Munro replied "Of course he was! He is a brave young Indian! The Indians are not unlike the white boys in their pursuit of justice! I see the same righteous fire in the eyes of my men..." He trailed off, realizing he should have used the past tense for that last sentence, but was too broken-hearted to. He simply continued crying.
David rested for a second from singing to speak his praise instead. "Whether they be fierce soldiers or new born babes, I pledge my allegiance and friendship to you men forever." He patted Chingachgook on the back, who nodded in return. "And, of course, most of all to Miss Munro."
They continued to walk a little while until they were back, and the rest of the Delawares were equally as thankful for their success. Women hugged their husbands and children leapt into the arms of their fathers. The ancient Tamenund gave them his praise and ordered that that night be a celebration.
The people happily followed this order. They ate and drank and were merry. During the festivities, Cora and Alice learned to dance like the Delaware women - much to the amusement of everyone else. They gave it their best efforts and often lost their breath amidst all the leaping and hopping.
When the women were seemingly done, Heyward got up and said "Now teach them how we dance in England!"
The girls looked to their new native friends, who were very willing to give it a shot. They paired each lady up with a man. Alice took Heyward by the hand and Cora looked for someone who might have her.
Hawkeye pushed his brother forward. "Uncas loves dancing! You should have seen his dance to Manitou before we got you!"
The noble man seemed ever-so-slightly embarrassed to be singled out, but Cora was very pleased. "I'd love to, but would it aggravate your injury?"
"What harm could a dancing maiden cause?" Hawkeye replied in Uncas' place.
"Plenty, sir!" She replied, and said quietly to her partner, "But I will be gentle.”
He nodded, hanging onto every word.
"First, hold your partner's hand and put the other on your own hip." Cora displayed this with Uncas, who translated what she said for the natives. His hand was warm against her cold fingers.
"Then kick your left leg and step..." They all did so.
"Now step with the outside foot and turn to face one another." Some began to struggle and giggled as they fell apart.
"Now put your left foot behind you, put your right with it, and cross over... And now gallop over to one another!"
No one but Alice and Duncan did this right. Everyone else knocked right into one another and laughed. Uncas tried very hard to do as Cora said, but he accidently stepped on her foot. When she tried to step back, she was stuck under his foot and fell over on her backside. Uncas was appalled at himself and quickly went to pick her up. "Uncas is sorry. Sorry." He said.
Cora reached out took his arms before quickly and playfully pulling him right down on the ground into her lap. Unbalanced, he rolled off her and onto the ground. Everyone laughed at the befooled warrior. Even Uncas himself couldn't help but smile.
Alice whispered to Duncan "She's silly! She's never silly."
"That's for stepping on my foot!" Cora joked.
He replied sarcastically "Has Uncas earned this betrayal?"
"But I thought you did it to get those dastardly Hurons!"
He idly dusted the dirt off his pants. "There are many reasons to do things."
"Yes, I'm sure. Well you're lucky I let you fall onto me. I took pity on the injury you sustained on my behalf. You're well, yes?"
"Good. I couldn't sleep at night if I'd so much as bruised you."
Alice kneeled on the ground between Uncas and her sister. "Well, now that we've had our fun, we ought to call it a night."
Uncas' smile was gone and he returned to his resting, beautiful face.
"Oh, well, thank you Uncas." They took each other's hands and stood up independently. "You were a perfect dance partner."
He shook his head.
"Yes, you were!.. Mostly."
Alice and Cora walked off with their father to their temporary wigwam as Uncas watched them. Hawkeye and Chingachgook approached the boy, both fully prepared to tease him into oblivion for his crush.
The old man merely laughed. Hawkeye said (speaking their own language) in a womanly tone "I couldn't sleep at night if I'd so much as bruised you! Oh Uncas-"
He gave his white brother a shove, which just made him giggle more.
"So defensive all of a sudden?"
"You're not funny, Hawkeye."
"No, I'm not. I'm hilarious!"
Chingachgook spoke up. "We only jest because we love you."
"I believe you." His son replied.
"It feels as though one moment I could hold you in my arms and now you're up and running after the white men's daughters!"
Uncas buried his head in his hands out of embarrassment as Hawkeye cackled. He decided to add one last piece to the teasing.
"Singer, come sing us a sentimental song! Sing to us a love song with thine tooting weapon!"
Uncas revealed his frowning face. Gamut, however, was more than ready to meet the request. Bounding on his gangly legs, he was at his side at once. "I am so glad you asked! I suppose my psalmery is getting through to you my dear friend!"
"I wish I could say so, my friend, but it is in fact the young Mohican here who is in absolutely dire need of your dulcet tones!"
"Then for you, our brave Uncas, I shall sing from the great poet Abraham Crowley, who composed Davideis. This piece is called 'The Given Heart'."
He blew an F3 on the pitch-pipe and began singing gently and sweetly.
"I wooooondeeer what thooose looovers mean who say...
They have giv'n their heeeeeeaaarts away...
Some good-kind lover, teeeell me hooooooow!
For mine is but a tooooorment tooo me nooooow..."