Epigraph from Walter Scott's The Lady of the Lake on how to capture or kill a fox.
The two men have come into the center of children's play time. The kids call out and a dozen warriors emerge.
The two head into the "principal edifice of the village." Basically the White House of this Indian village.
Heyward is nervous. The chief of the group comes forward to question him.
Heyward pretends to be a French doctor sent from the French army to tend to the tribe. They accept the story.
A warrior has stood up and is about to speak when a terrible noise comes from the forest.
Everyone in the tribe runs outside, overjoyed.
Turns out they have heard the "death-hallo," signifying enemy deaths. A line of warriors emerges carrying human scalps on a pole. Yeesh.
Two captives have been selected for what is apparently group execution. Double yeesh.
One of the victims is extremely agile and manages to run and reach a safe spot. This is a post where apparently the Hurons will not touch him.
This doesn't stop everyone from mocking him, however, so some Indians wander over and start heckling him. One woman in particular is very into it; she yells at the victim for being a worthless Delaware.
A kid runs up to the captive with a tomahawk. The man looks down on the kid with contempt. In that moment Heyward recognizes Uncas.
It takes a few moments for the Indians to arrange themselves according to rank.
Heyward glances over at the other original captive, a silent Huron warrior who has not been participating in any of the tribal rites.
The chief compliments Uncas, then tells him two of his men are pursuing Hawkeye.
Uncas scornfully tells him the two men are probably dead, given Hawkeye's skillz with the rifle.
Uncas points over to the Huron warrior, saying "He followed in the steps of a flying coward, and fell into a snare. The cunning beaver may be caught!"
Them's fighting words.
The whole tribe gathers closely to watch what's going on. The young man writhes in agony. The woman who mocked Uncas earlier also mocks this young warrior.
The chief chastises the warrior, calling him "reed-that-bends," and saying that his name will never again be mentioned and that he is a cowardly warrior.
The culprit raises his eyes to the chief, then bares his chest.
The chief sinks a knife into the young man's heart. The corpse falls at Uncas's feet.
The spectators leave the building "like troubled sprites" illuminated by torchlight.
Heyward is left with the eerie feeling that only he and the corpse are the only people left in the lodge.