Chapter 11 Summary
Magua directs his group of fellow Indians and their white prisoners to stop on top of a tall butte. The height gives them a distinct and clear view of their surroundings, an advantage should other, unfriendly Indians or white soldiers happen upon them.
It is on the butte that Magua finally lies down and rests while the other Indians hunt and kill a deer. The Indians eat the deer without cooking it, which the narrator describes as a disgusting manner of consuming food.
Once again, Heyward approaches Magua and stresses how appreciative the girls' father would be if Magua sees to their safe return. As he speaks, Heyward sees an expression take control of Magua's face, but Heyward is unable to read it. He cannot tell if Magua has become intrigued with Heyward's idea or if Magua is scheming something more sinister than Heyward wants to imagine.
Magua instructs Hayward to tell the older Monro sister, Cora, to come to him. Magua wants to speak to her alone. When Cora arrives, Magua tells her that there is one way that she can save the lives of her sister, Alice, and the two white men. All Cora has to do is to agree to go with Magua back to the Great Lakes, his tribal home, and live with him as his wife.
This proposal disgusts Cora so deeply that she cannot help but display her contempt for Magua's idea. She tries to cover her feelings by pleading with Magua that he could never be satisfied with her because she is not a member of his tribe, does not share the same skin color, and knows nothing about his manner of life. She suggests that Magua would be much better off if he were to return both her and her sister to their father, take the rewards awaiting him, and find a woman of his own kind.
After Magua sends her away, Cora does not divulge his plan to the others. She and the other hostages wait to see how Magua will react to his and Cora's discussion.
Magua calls all his fellow Indians to his side. He rouses them by reminding them of the men they recently lost at the hands of these white people. He then tells them that it is time to seek their revenge.
The Indians rush toward the prisoners, tie them to trees, and prepare to kill them, when Magua tells them that they should torture them first. They prepare several forms of torture while Magua tells everyone that Cora has stated that she is too good for him and has refused to become his wife.
Upon hearing this, Heyward praises Cora for doing so, and even Alice says she would rather die than to have Cora give herself to Magua.
As the Indians advance toward them, prepared to make the hostages suffer before their deaths, a shot is heard; one of the Indians falls to the ground in front of the hostages. The Indian is dead.