Study Guide

Last of the Mohicans Chapter 7

By James Fenimore Cooper

Chapter 7

  • Epigraph from Gray, "The Bard."
  • Hawkeye tells the company that it would be foolish to stay in their hideout while the scary noises continue.
  • Cora protests.
  • Hawkeye explains that neither he nor the Mohicans can identify the noises. It's best that they leave.
  • The woods look beautiful bathed in moonlight as they leave. The atmosphere raises everyone's spirits.
  • The sound issues forth again, and Heyward identifies it as coming from an agonized horse.
  • Hawkeye acknowledges that he does not know horses very well, and directs Uncas to possibly disperse the wolves that are bothering the horse.
  • Before Uncas can leave, the wolves (judging from the sound) run off of their own accord.
  • Everyone hides themselves in various positions. They are waiting to see what happens next. Everyone falls asleep, except for Hawkeye and the Indians, who stand guard.
  • As the sun rises, Hawkeye instructs Heyward to wake the women and have them ready for when Hawkeye brings the canoe over. We learn that Heyward meant to stay up but failed to keep guard.
  • As soon as Heyward wakes the women, a horrible fight commences. David Gamut is hit. Heyward starts to think that Hawkeye has deserted them when a rifle shot puts away one of the attackers. Heyward retrieves Gamut's body. The songmaster is still alive.
  • Since it's assumed that the Iroquois will return to finish the fight, they agree to put the sisters and Gamut back into the caverns.
  • As Heyward is leaving, Cora turns and begs him to remember that his main duty is protecting the sisters, and that the entire Munro family (i.e., her) has a great deal of affection for him.
  • Heyward assures her that the men are simply going to keep their enemies at bay for a few hours; there is nothing to be concerned about.
  • He leaves right after and joins the other men.
  • Heyward is giving Uncas a rifle lesson.
  • Everyone takes positions. After watching for a long time, there doesn't appear to be an attack.
  • Heyward asks Hawkeye if maybe the Mingos (this term is interchangeable with Maqua, Iroquois, and Huron) have given up. Hawkeye emphatically shuts his companion down, pointing out the numbers of Iroquois who have entered the river and are swimming their way.
  • The swim is quite dangerous; the current grabs one of the Iroquois. Heyward moves to help him, but Hawkeye stops him from giving away their position. He tells everyone to ready their weapons. Everyone steadies themselves.
  • Hawkeye tells the group that the "long barreled, true grooved, soft metalled rifle is the most dangerous in skillful hands."
  • Heyward reports that the Iroquois are preparing themselves to rush them.
  • Four Indians leap out. Heyward wants to immediately rush them, but Hawkeye and Uncas restrain him. Two are felled with rifle fire. Two remain, and are promptly engaged by Hawkeye and Heyward in hand-to-hand combat. The two white men use their superior upper body strength to overcome their adversaries.
  • Hawkeye cries for them to run for cover, as the fight is apparently not over. They head for protective shrubbery.