Study Guide

Last of the Mohicans Chapter 14

By James Fenimore Cooper

Chapter 14

  • Epigraph from Henry VI.
  • Hawkeye again leads the way. Everyone is too nervous to even whisper.
  • At one point, the men take off their shoes and wade in the water so as to leave no trail.
  • Eventually they come to some gorges. Heyward asks if they are near William Henry yet.
  • Hawkeye notes that they have a ways to go, but they need to figure out the best path.
  • Hawkeye then starts talking about the old battles he fought with Sir William against the French.
  • Heyward encourages the reminiscences.
  • Soon a voice calls out in French. Heyward and Cora reply in the same language. The party moves further on, leaving the sentinel pacing the banks of a little pond and humming a French song.
  • Soon a groan rings out into the night. They are convinced it was human. Hawkeye looks around and notices that Chingachgook is missing. When he rejoins them, he has the scalp of the French soldier at his waist. Eek.
  • Hawkeye is saddened, but Heyward tells him to buck up and direct their path before the ladies suspect what's happened.
  • They discuss various plans, eventually settling on Hawkeye's proposal of hiding in the mountains. They move off with Hawkeye in the lead again.
  • As morning dawns, they reach the summit of the mountains and turn the women's horses loose.
  • From their position they can look down onto the sprawling geography. Fort William Henry is at the shores of a lake nearer to the western margin.
  • Farther to the south smoke rises in the air, which Hawkeye points out to Heyward as evidence of French presence.
  • Hawkeye says they are a few hours too late; Montcalm has filled the woods with Iroquois.
  • Cora suggests going straight to Montcalm and asking permission to see her father.
  • Hawkeye tells her that's really, really not the best idea. He asks if she's courageous enough to go down there, since he's really itching to kill a few Mingoes.
  • Cora replies (rather eagerly) that she's ready.
  • Hawkeye is pleased with her bravery.
  • They all descend to lower ground and, after the fog rolls in, do some scouting around.
  • Hawkeye returns rather annoyed. The prospects of avoiding either the Frenchmen or their Indian allies seem slim.
  • They seem even slimmer once a cannon fires into their midst.
  • Uncas and Hawkeye rapidly confer.
  • The group inches closer to what they believe to be William Henry.
  • Unfortunately, a French soldier rapidly questions them.
  • Heyward tries his best to prove they are safe, but the soldier orders his men to fire.
  • Muskets immediately fire in their direction, but the French have terrible aim. Still, the sisters and David are quite fearful.
  • Hawkeye suggests that they fire back, and perhaps the French will believe enemy troops are attacking.
  • This does not work so well.
  • The group flees, then Hawkeye regains his bearings.
  • They run in the correct direction, and soon a commanding voice in English booms out.
  • Alice screams in jubilation, telling her father not to fire.
  • The voice commands his troops to hold fire, and then embraces his daughters.
  • Munro is "an officer of gigantic frame, whose locks were bleached with years and service, but whose air of military grandeur had been rather softened than destroyed by time."
  • He thanks God and tells Him he is ready for any oncoming danger.