Chapter 29 Summary
When the elders are seated, Hawkeye and the others are asked to come to the council meeting. When they arrive, one of the elders asks for the one who is called "La Longue Carabine" to identify himself.
To protect Hawkeye, Heyward steps forward, announcing that he is "La Longue Carabine." Upon hearing this, Hawkeye denies it, saying that he hesitated answering the call to identify himself because he does not accept the French nickname. It is a name that Hurons have used but not one that Hawkeye appreciates or is used to hearing the Delaware call him.
The Delaware chiefs are confused, so they ask Magua to identify the real "La Longue Carabine." Magua points to Hawkeye. Heyward insists that Magua is lying. So the chiefs decide to test Hawkeye and Heyward, knowing that "La Longue Carabine" is notorious for his shooting skills.
The Delawares give Hawkeye and Heyward guns and ask them to shoot at a gourd hanging on a tong a distance above their heads. Heyward shoots first and comes close but misses. Hawkeye is reluctant to shoot, and when he goes to put his gun down, he drops it, the gun goes off from the impact, and the bullet hits the gourd. The Delaware are amazed.
Heyward says this was an accident and demands another test. One of the chiefs then points out another gourd even father away. Again Heyward comes close but misses. Then Hawkeye shoots his gun. A couple of youths run to see if Hawkeye's bullet has hit its mark. They check the tree trunk on which the gourd is tied, but they find no bullet marks, so they announce that Hawkeye missed the gourd. Hawkeye, confident of his skills, tells them to look inside the gourd, and sure enough, the youths find that the bullet pierced the bottom of the gourd.
After Hawkeye is properly identified, Magua stands and delivers a message that stirs the Delaware's hearts, hoping that his oration will turn the Delaware against Hawkeye and his group. After Magua's speech, the chiefs order that Hawkeye's and Heyward's hands and feet be bound. The chiefs then tell Magua to take the other captives away.
Fearing more for her sister Alice than for herself, Cora breaks free from the crowd and throws herself at the feet of the eldest chief, begging him to save her sister. She calls Magua a monster and says she is worried about what Magua will do to her sister.
The chief is not moved. Cora tries to get the chief to remember that not all white people are evil. Some white people have helped the Delaware, she attempts to convince the chief. Again, the chief is not impressed.
Finally Cora pleads with the chief to listen to the words of someone who is dear to him, someone who is friends with the Delaware. When he asks who this might be, Cora alludes to Uncas.