Chapter 13 Summary
As they continue their journey to Fort William Henry to take the Munro sisters to their father, the group grows weary, having traveled all day. Before they stop, Hawkeye remembers an old building he once used somewhere close by. If he has been reading the marks on the trail correctly, they are not too far from a battleground on which Hawkeye, as a youth, fought against the Mohawks.
When he finds a thick grove of chestnut trees, Hawkeye recognizes the spot where he first drew the blood of another man. If they have any luck remaining, Hawkeye hopes they will also find a roughly built lodge in which he and a group of Mohicans (that had included Chingachgook) fought a band of their dreaded enemy, the Mohawks. Hawkeye and Chingachgook had built the log cabin as a jail in which they kept the defeated Mohawks.
Hawkeye is pleased to see that the building is still there. The roof is missing, but the walls still stand. The small cabin will provide a degree of safety while they rest. The sun is just setting. They will need to rise with the moon and continue their trek to the fort.
Everyone but Chingachgook closes their eyes for a few hours. Then Heywood feels someone tugging on his shoulder. When he awakens, he finds Chingachgook at his side. The Indian is whispering, telling Heyward to awaken the women. Chingachgook smells danger in the air.
Shortly after they gather inside the cabin, they hear voices on the other side of the woods. The voices draw nearer. Chingachgook recognizes the language of the Hurons. It is obvious that a group of Hurons, possibly including Magua, has been following them.
The Hurons appear to be arguing. Chingachgook senses that they have lost the trail of Hawkeye's group. In the night, it is more difficult to see footprints, especially through the thicket of chestnut trees growing tightly together around the small cabin.
Some of the Hurons wander off, but one of them enters the thicket and discovers the cabin. He disappears and returns with one other Indian. The two men draw closer to the small lodge.
Hawkeye has brought the horses inside the lodge and worries that one of the horses might make a sound. However, everyone inside remains silent.
As the Hurons walk nearer, they stumble upon the mound of dirt under which the casualties of the battle between the Mohawks and Mohicans were buried. The Hurons sense that the mound is a burial ground. Either in respect for or in fear of the dead Indians' spirits, the Hurons turn around and return to the rest of their band.
After the Hurons are gone, Hawkeye tells everyone to mount the horses; they must now leave and make their way to the safety of Fort William Henry.