Study Guide

Last of the Mohicans Chapter 29

By James Fenimore Cooper

Chapter 29

  • Epigraph from The Iliad about addressing an assembly of men.
  • Cora and Alice stand close together, with Heyward to the side. Hawkeye stands a little behind them. Uncas is not there.
  • A chief stands up and asks which of the men is La Longue carabine.
  • Heyward requests weaponry, saying that skill will be all the proof needed.
  • The Delawares think he is La Longue carabine.
  • Hawkeye speaks up, saying that he's the real Longue carabine.
  • Magua points to Hawkeye as the real deal.
  • Heyward protests.
  • The Delaware chief decides to hand them some guns and test their skills. Heyward and Hawkeye are told to fire at an earthen vessel about fifty yards away.
  • Heyward raises his gun, takes careful aim, and comes very close. The Indians are impressed. They ask if Hawkeye can beat it. He laughs, throws the rifle into his left hand, and lets it go off.
  • The vessel shatters.
  • The Indians are properly impressed. Heyward feebly protests, saying it must have been an accident, and that no one can shoot without aim.
  • Sore loser. Also, Heyward is the lamest.
  • For his next trick, Hawkeye suggests a tiny target about a hundred feet away. It is an Indian water gourd.
  • Heyward becomes inflamed with the spirit of competition. He takes a deep breath and fires. He again comes very close.
  • Hawkeye tells the crowd that he hopes the owner of the gourd has more just like it, because this one will never hold water again. Okay, now he's just showing off.
  • He steadies himself and fires.
  • Young Indians run over to find the bullet.
  • Hawkeye mocks them, saying that they need to look inside the object. That's exactly where they find the bullet.
  • The Indians are amazed. Hawkeye is clearly the man they are seeking.
  • Magua is invited into the circle to speak. He speaks in French and talks about racial divisions. He talks about how the Great Spirit gave different men different skin colors and attributes.
  • He asks the crowd which people received the sands of the salt lake.
  • It was the tribe of the Lenni Lenape. Magua "modestly" claims that he should not presume to teach them their own history and traditions. He tells them that someone else, i.e. Tamenund, is better suited to tell their stories.
  • A couple terms get bandied around at this point. "Manitou" (or "Manitoo") refers to the spirit of interconnectedness that infuses all beings.
  • Magua refers to himself as a "Wyandot," which is just a reference to his status as a Huron Indian.
  • Tamenund is surprised at Magua's presence. He asks him what he wants. Magua wants his prisoners; Tamenund orders him fed, given his prisoners, and escorted out.
  • No one argues. Four or five young warriors step forward and bind Heyward and Hawkeye.
  • Cora runs to Tamenund and tells him that Magua has been feeding him lies.
  • Looking like a "beauteous and breathing model of her sex" (um, ewww), Cora moves the old man. She tells him that she has never hurt him or his people. She begs for Alice to be freed, saying that she is the daughter of an old man.
  • Cora asks him to at least hear out the last member of their party. She is referring to Uncas, whom the Delawares have been keeping in order to later torture. They believe him to have sold out to the English.
  • Uncas is brought out.
  • Tamenund sits back down.