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Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete

Page: 118

Invoking a ban on any who should follow, Tashmu proclaimed that he would pass that night in Wizard's Glen, where, by invocations, he would learn the divine will. At sunset he stalked forth, but he had not gone far ere the Mohawk joined him, and the twain proceeded to Wahconah Falls. There was no time for magical hocus-pocus that night, for both of them toiled sorely in deepening a portion of the stream bed, so that the current ran more swiftly and freely on that side, and in the morning Tashmu announced in what way the Great Spirit would show his choice. Assembling the tribe on the river-bank, below a rock that midway split the current, a canoe, with symbols painted on it, was set afloat near the falls. If it passed the dividing rock on the side where Nessacus waited, he should have Wahconah. If it swerved to the opposite shore, where the Mohawk and his counsellor stood, the Great Spirit had chosen the old chief for her husband. Of course, the Mohawk stood on the deeper side. On came the little boat, keeping the centre of the stream. It struck the rock, and all looked eagerly, though Tashmu and the Mohawk could hardly suppress an exultant smile. A little wave struck the canoe: it pivoted against the rock and drifted to the feet of Nessacus. A look of blank amazement came over the faces of the defeated wooer and his friend, while a shout of gladness went up, that the Great Spirit had decided so well. The young couple were wed with rejoicings; the Mohawk trudged homeward, and, to the general satisfaction, Tashmu disappeared with him. Later, when Tashmu was identified as the one who had guided Major Talcott's soldiers to the valley, the priest was caught and slain by Miacomo's men.


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