The DeerSlayer Study Guide (Choose to Continue)


The DeerSlayer: Chapter 19

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Summary – Chapter Nineteen
This begins with an explanation of what happened when Hetty and Judith left the ark. Hutter and Hurry awoke and found out from Chingachgook where the camp is now. Hutter said that Deerslayer could only blame himself for falling into enemy hands and they sailed nearer to the land to see where Hetty and Judith were. When the sentinel saw the ark, he shouted and in recklessness Hurry shot and killed the woman accidentally. Chingachgook did not respond but Wah-ta! –Wah did and Hurry was daunted by her reprimand and walked away from her.
Meanwhile, Hetty and Judith decide to sleep in the canoe and as it gets lighter Hutter heads towards the castle. He looks through his glass and sees Judith and Hetty in the canoe and shows his pleasure with a slight exclamation.
First Chingachgook then Wah-ta! –Wah look through the glass and both see something at the castle. He tells them the enemy is near and when Hurry sees nothing he patronizes them for being wrong. Hutter looks and notices the moccasin the two had also seen, but they cannot agree if this means anything.
Wah-ta! –Wah offers to sail in the canoe to see if she is able to identify the decorations on it. Chingachgook does not want her to and Hurry asks why he does not go instead. He agrees to this and does so because of pride and ‘rivalry of color’. If he had been older or if Deerslayer had been present he would not have done so as the risk would have outweighed the advantage gained.
He sets off and is cautious as he paddles round and retrieves the moccasin. He sees no sign of anybody, but feels uncertain and when back in the ark he says he thinks it is too ‘still’ and can see the silence. Wah-ta! –Wah recognizes the shoe as belonging to the Huron (the enemy), but this is also seen to prove nothing as it is possible it floated there.
Hurry goes into the castle first and brags about how there is no one there (and that Chingachgook was wrong). He shouts for Hutter to follow him and there is a noise and the fall of a heavy body.
Chingachgook knows he cannot help the two in the castle, and moves the ark away. Hutter is tied up and Hurry is still fighting at this point.
The narrative switches to explain how the Native Americans got in the castle earlier. They entered by the roof, and so left no trace of their entrance, and took enough arms and provisions to hold siege. The chief hid the arms to prevent too much ferocity and did not know at this time about the death of the woman on the beach.
Analysis – Chapter Nineteen
The impatience of the aptly named Hurry is on display both when he shoots and kills the woman on the beach and when he goes into the castle with little regard for his safety. His quick and wrong decisions mean that he endangers himself and others, and is, therefore, a useful character for maintaining the tension and increasing the dramatic incidents.
By contrast, Chingachgook and Wah-ta! –Wah are cautious and this could be regarded as being stereotypical of their ethnic origins. That is, as Native Americans we are led to believe here and elsewhere that such stoicism is a part of their race. Because of these implications, the reader should question the nature of these characterizations and query the simplistic way that they are portrayed.


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