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gave no outward token, because his fiendish cravings were unutterable through any human organ.
Calmly, now, as if nothing had occurred to ruffle the wonted placidity of his disposition, Ta-in-ga-ro proceeded to occupy himself, for the rest of the day, in the few concerns that required his attention. The still warm body of Zecana, after being carefully wrapped in a buffalo-skin, was disposed of for the time in the receptacle wherein his few valua. bles were usually kept, and, after carefully adjusting everything to insure its concealment, he occupied himself in taking care of his favourite horse, which after the late arduous journey required both attention and refreshment. When these necessary duties were fulfilled, the soli. tary, at the approach of evening, tranquilly lighted his pipe, and pass. ing several hours under its soothing influence, with as much equanimity as if nothing had occurred to interrupt his customary enjoyment, he at last wrapped himself in his wolf-skin robe, and was soon sleeping as soundly as if no dream of human ill had ever thrown a shadow over his slumbers.
It was two nights after this that the Spanish trader lay securely asleep within the guarded walls of his station. His repose was apparently as unmolested as that which has just been ascribed to Ta-in. ga-ro; and at the foot of his bed sat the dusky form of the Indian warrior, watching the sleep of his enemy with as mild an eye as if he were hanging upon the downy slumbers of an infant. All was as quiet as the tenantless lodge of the lonely watcher. The chamber, or cabin, stood on the ground floor, in an angle of the blockhouse. It was guarded by sentries, both within and without the station; and how this strange visitant had penetrated within the walls, no human being has ever known; but there, by the flickering light of a low fire, could be seen the wily and daring savage, sitting as calm, cool, and collected, as if patience were all that was required to effect the purpose that had brought him thither.
The tramp of armed men was now audible near the gate of the fort, while the customary relief of sentinels was taking place. The slight commotion incident to the occasion soon ceased, and all around the post became again perfectly silent.
A considerable space of time elapsed, and the Indian still main. tained his statue-like position ; at last he sank noiselessly from the couch to the floor, and placing his ear to the ground, listened for a while, as if assuring himself that all was as he wished. His measures were then instantly taken; he first loosed the wampum belt from his person, and possessed himself of a long cord or lariat, which he had either brought with him or found in the chamber of the Spaniard : placing now his scalping-knife in his teeth, he glided like a shadow to the head of the bed, and at the same moment that the noose of the lariat was adroitly thrown over the neck of the sleeping trader with one hand, the belt of beaded woollen was forced into his mouth with the other, and his waking cries effectually stifled. The ill-starred Span. iard made but a short struggle for release, for the arms of the sinewy savage pinioned him so closely, that he saw in a moment his efforts were in vain, and the threatening motion of his determined foe, in tightening the noose, when his struggles were more vigorous, intimidated him into deferring the attempt to escape to some more promising opportunity. He submitted to be bound in silence ; and the Indian swathed his limbs together, till he lay utterly helpless, an inanimate log upon the couch whereon he had been reposing.
Having thus secured his prize, Ta-in-ga-ro went to work with the same imperturbability, to place it beyond the danger of recapture. He first displaced a portion of the bark roof of the rude chamber, and list. ing his unresisting captive through the aperture, carefully placed his burden beside the wooden chimney of the primitive structure, where it projected above the timber-built walls of the station, and threw its shadows far over the area of the fort. Returning then to the room, from which he had just emerged, he took an arrow thickly feathered from the combustible pods of the wild cotton tree, which grows pro-, fusely along the river bottoms of this region, and lighting it by the dy. ing embers before him, he swung himself once more above the rafters, and, standing in the shadow of the chimney, launched the flaming shaft far within the window of a cabin, which opened upon the central square of the station immediately opposite to the shantie of the trader. The fiery missile performed its errand with speed and fidelity, the sleeping apartment of the commandant was instantly in a blaze, and the ill-disciplined sentinels, eager to make up for their want of vigi. lance by present officiousness, rushed from their posts to shield their officer from the danger which had so suddenly beset him. The exult. ing savage availed himself of the commotion, and the fettered trader was lowered instantaneously on the outside of the fort.
One dozing sentry only, who had hitherto been unobserved in the deep shadow of the wall, witnessed the daring act, and he started aghast at the inani. mate form which was placed so abruptly at his feet: but the Indian dropt like a falcon on his prey beside it, and a half-uttered cry of as. tonishment died away in a death-groan, as the knife of the descending savage buried itself in the chest of the unfortunate soldier. The dis. appearance of the trader was not observed amid the pressing concern of the moment. The fire spread rapidly among the inflammable build. ings, and the incendiary, who had a couple of horses waiting for him in a slight ravine which traversed the prairie, mounted by the light of the blazing cabins, and was far on his journey before the flames which had been kindled from his captive's chamber were extinguished.
Arriving at his own lodge by several short turns through the broken country, known only to himself, Ta-in.ga-ro unbound the trader from his horse, and keeping his hands still tied behind him, attentively ministered to his wants, while refusing to reply to a single question, or to heed the pleadings of the anxious Spaniard for liberty. At length, being fully refreshed, the Indian left him for a few moments to his reflections, while he went to select a large and powerful charger from a herd of half-domesticated horses that were grazing near. The animal was soon caught, and tethered by the door of the cabin. Ta. in-ga-ro then proceeded to strip his captive, and compelling him to mount the horse, he secured him to the wooden saddle by thongs of elk-skin, attached to the broad surcingle which girt it in its place. The wretched man trembled with apprehension, and, with a choking voice, offered all he was worth in the world to be redeemed from the fate to which he now believed he was to be devoted. But the doomed profili. gate had not yet begun to conceive the nature of the punishment to which he was destined, or his pleadings for immediate death would have been as earnest as his prayers for life were now energetic.
“ Slave of a Pale-face !" thundered the Indian, while the only words that had yet passed his lips betrayed a momentary impatience at the craven cries of the other. “ Think not that I am about to commit thee alone to the desert !”
A murmur of thanks escaped the faltering tongue of the Spaniard ; but died away in a cry of horror, as the Indian placed a gory and dis. figured corpse astride the horse before him.
When he recovered from the swoon into which the recognition of Zecana's features had thrown him, the unhappy trader found himself bound to the stark and grim effigy of her who was once so soft and beautiful. So closely, too, was he bound, that the very effort to free himself only rendered closer the hideous compact. Trunk for trunk, and limb for limb, was he lashed to his horrible companion. His in. veterate foeman stood ready mounted beside him, and waited only to feast his eyes with the first expression of shrinking horror evinced by the trader, when he should regain his consciousness. A blow from his tomahawk then severed the halter by which the horse of the Spaniard was tethered : and the enfranchised animal, tossing his mane in fury as he snuffed the tainted burden, bounded off in full career, followed by the fleet courser of the vindictive savage.
Instinct laught him to make at once for the Great Desert, on whose borders lay the little prairie from which he had started ; and on he went with the speed of an antelope. The dreary waste of sand was soon gained, and the limbs of the steed seemed to gather new vigour as they touched once more his native plains. But not so with his hapless rider. The fierce sunbeams, unmitigated by shade or vapour, fell with scorching heat on the disrobed person of the Spaniard, while the moisture that rolled from his naked body seemed to mould him more intimately into the embraces of the corpse to which he was bound. Night, with its blistering dews, brought no relief, and seemed only to hasten the cor. ruption to which he was linked in such frightful compact. The cessation of motion at this time, when the horse, now accustomed to his burden, was recruiting upon the rough grasses which form the subsistence of his hardy breed, seemed even more horrible than the flight by day. The gore that oozed from the limbs of the trader stiffened around the cords which bound him, while his struggles to release him. self, when the Indian was no longer by his side, served only, by further excoriating his skin, to pollute the surface beneath it with the festering limbs which were twined around him. Sleep was allowed to bring no intermission to his sufferings. His head would indeed droop with languor and exhaustion, and his eyes would close for a moment in grateful forgetfulness of his situation; but the next mo. ment, his untiring and ever vigilant enemy was before him. like the curses of a damned spirit pealed in his dreaming ears ; the startled charger bounded off in affright, and the break of dawn still found the remorseless pursuer howling on his track.
And day succeeded to day, and still those ill-matched riders speeded on their goalless journey. At length the pangs of hunger, which were soon added to the other tortures of the fated Spaniard, be. came too excruciating for endurance. His thirst being always, with ingenious cruelty, quenched by the proffered cup of the savage, when their horses stopped to drink, the vitality of the system was still as exacting as ever. The gnawing torments to which his body was now subjected surpassed even those with which its more delicate senses
were agonized. In vain did he strive to stifle the cruel longing that consumed him, in vain did he turn with loathing and abhorrence from the only subsistence within his reach. An impulse stronger than that of mere preservation wrought within his frenzied bosom; an agony more unendurable than that which affected his revolting senses, con. sumed his vitals. A horrid appetite corroded every feeling and per. ception, that might have stayed ihe vulture.like eagerness with which he came at last to gloat upon the hideous banquet before him. A de. moniac craving, like that of the fabled Ghouls of eastern story impelled him to
But why protract these harrowing details of superhuman suffering! The awful vengeance exacted from the foul-hearted and treacherous trader, like all things mortal, had its end. But the implacable Indian still hovered near, and feasted his eyes with the maddening anguish of his victim, until his last idiotic cry told that reason and nature were alike subdued—that brain and body were alike consumed by the cease. less and lingering tortures which ate them away by inches.
The subsequent fate of Ta-in-ga-ro has never been known. Some say that he still dwells, a harmless old man, in the wandering tents of the Cheyennes ; others that he leads a predatory band of the ferocious and untameable Blackfeet; but there are those who insist that he has long since gone to the land of spirits—and these aver that when the Ghost Riders are abroad, the grim phantom of the savage warrior may be seen chasing them over the interminable wastes of the GREAT AMERICAN DESERT.
STANZAS WRITTEN IN AUTUMN.
SUMMER has fled! yet many a lingering flower
Amid this fading scene may still be found,
And shedding sweet, though dying, fragrance round.
To those gay hues our summer twilight wove;
Though the harsh winds have marr'd it in its bloom,
The yellow sunlight struggling 'mid the gloom,-
Ling'ring amid the ruins of the heart,
That now comes softly on the moaning wind;
Nor leave one sparkle of its light behind ;
Shrouded in white, all ghastly will appear;
M. TORRE HOLME.
PLUTO AND PROSERPINE.
On Enna's height, (1) where now twere vain
And cast protecting looks around
Trinacria's fair and fertile ground. (2)
As thus she was engaged one day,
And (lest all gentler means should fail,)
Leaving her maids to tell the tale.
Was, “that a horrible old fright”-
“ Had snatch'd their lady from their sight !" The goddess long was doom'd to range, (4) In useless search, o'er regions strange; But I have seen and know the route, By which King Pluto mock'd pursuit, And will at once attend the daughter To where her mother should have sought her.