The DeerSlayer: Chapter 10

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Summary – Chapter Ten
Although Hetty is described as ‘feeble-minded’, she knows that the canoe must not fall into enemy hands. When she gets on to land, she pushes it away and knows it will float back to the castle. The ark intercepts the empty canoe before they set off for the castle and they tie it to the side. Judith shouts for Hetty and Hetty replies that she will hide in the woods if they try to follow her. She also says that God will care for her and has something to tell the chief. She thinks this will frighten him and he will then let her father go. Deerslayer asks what this is and she informs him that she plans to tell the chief that her father and Hurry came for scalps and he must return good for evil and let them go or he will suffer ‘everlasting punishment’.
 
They then hear twigs snap and realize she has left the shore. It is so dark that they know a search will be fruitless and set off for the castle again.
 
The narrative switches back to Hetty and she is described as walking until she becomes weary. She then makes a bed of leaves and falls asleep after saying her prayers.
 
She is woken at dawn by a bear cub and sees its mother is close by. She says a prayer, as she usually does on waking, and the mother collects the cub and leaves her alone. As she moves on, a female Native American warns her of danger and Hetty is surprised but not frightened.  The narrator explains that this woman is Wah-ta! –Wah, and she leads Hetty to the lake away from the others and asks her where she has come from. Hetty tells her and Wah-ta! –Wah explains her father tried to scalp her last night and reveals she knows Deerslayer too. Hetty tells her that his friend the Big Serpent is with him now and the two women talk and get to know each other.
 
Hetty explains that she is not full-witted and Wah-ta! –Wah realizes this is true and says she will take her to the camp after all as she knows that the Native Americans will be protective towards her. Before they go, she ensures Hetty recognizes the importance of saying nothing about Deerslayer or Chingachgook.
 
Analysis – Chapter Ten
Hetty’s innocence is a main focus in this chapter as she comes to the camp to dissuade the enemy for seeking revenge on her father and Hurry. Her faith in Christianity is at the root of her inspiration, and this is yet another aspect of her characterization. Her innocence is also related in the ease with which she falls asleep and in the way she is saved from harm from the bears she encounters.
 
 

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