Study Guide

Last of the Mohicans Chapter 26

By James Fenimore Cooper

Chapter 26

  • Epigraph from A Midsummer Night's Dream.
  • Hawkeye is cautious as he approaches the Huron camp. The narrator notes that if Hawkeye had been an Indian, Magua and the conjurer would be dead. Being a white man, however, Hawkeye is nicer than that. Way to be racist, Cooper.
  • He makes his way to the lodges, zeroing in on a neglected hut where light is shining through.
  • Hawkeye (still in his bear disguise, by the way) crawls in and finds David Gamut moping.
  • David is clearly distraught—he is still trying to process the idea that the bear earlier had been singing.
  • Hawkeye ambles over and starts chatting with David, finally revealing his real identity.
  • The two men update each other. Uncas's situation still looks dire. David is looking for a nice hymn to sing at his funeral.
  • The two of them concoct a plan for busting Uncas out of Indian jail.
  • Hawkeye disguises himself once more and follows David. Uncas is being held in a building in the center of the village.
  • Most people have gone to sleep at this point, but there are still about five or six warriors hanging around. Hawkeye goes straight to the building where Uncas is held, and lets David do the talking.
  • By the way, "Yengeese" = English. "Fathers in the Canadas" = French.
  • David tells them the conjurer can cast a spell on Uncas so that he turns into a crybaby at his execution in the morning.
  • The warriors back off and let the supposed conjurer do his work.
  • Uncas is bound in the corner. Hawkeye pretends to be a bear, and then finally mimics the hissing of a serpent. Uncas recognizes his friend. David cuts Uncas's bonds.
  • Hawkeye gives Uncas a knife, and tells him that Hurons are outside.
  • Uncas suggests they flee to the Tortoise clan, who are distant relations.
  • Hawkeye notes that they have six Hurons standing in the way of their freedom.
  • Uncas says he will stay.
  • Hawkeye tells him that's ridiculous and tells him to put on the bear skin. He then exchanges clothes with David, who is willing to remain in the cabin in Uncas's place.
  • Hawkeye cautions him that this is dangerous, but since David is a non-combatant, he's likely to remain unharmed. If the Indians scalp David, Hawkeye promises him that he and Uncas will take revenge.
  • David stops him, saying that he wants no victims to his name.
  • Hawkeye and Uncas pass through the warriors with minimal problems. Hawkeye, pretending to be David, sings a few songs.
  • The two men muster all their self-control to continue their slow pace.
  • Once they reach the woods, they hear loud noises indicating that the switch has been discovered. Uncas tears off his disguise. Hawkeye hands him some weapons.
  • The two run like mad.