Chapter 9 Summary
Hawkeye, Uncas, and Chingachgook have left. Only two men remain behind: David Gamut because he was wounded and Major Duncan Heywood because he refused to leave the Monro sisters behind.
Again believing that the Iroquois (or Huron) have retreated, Heywood helps Gamut walk back to the cave where Alice and Cora Munro are in hiding. Once everyone is settled, in an attempt to soothe the young women's nerves, Heywood tells them that he believes they are safe. They have only to wait for Hawkeye to come back with a troop of soldiers.
Heywood gathers the branches the women used as beds the night before and places them around the entrance of the cave so it will not be detected should anyone appear. He then suggests that Gamut sing a song. The women are concerned that the sound of Gamut's voice might attract attention, but Hewood is confident that the cave is dense enough to mute their voices.
Suddenly they hear voices a short distance away from the cave. The Iroquois are shouting. Heywood concludes that they have come back to gather their dead and will soon go away again.
A short while later, however, Heywood realizes that they have surrounded the cave. There are two chambers to the cave, and the Iroquois are now in the main section. Heywood and the women and Gamut are in the smaller portion, which is closed off from the outer section. They still hope that they will not be detected.
The Indians are celebrating in the other chamber because they have found a gun they recognize as Hawkeye's, and they see blood on the floor of the cave. The blood comes from Gamut's wounds, but the Iroquois do not know this; they think that Hawkeye is wounded.
Hearing the Iroquois' reactions makes Heyward happy. The Indians would not have been so excited if they had already killed Hawkeye, so Heyward assumes that Hawkeye is still alive and successfully escaped.
The Indians finally leave, and Heyward relaxes. He tells the women that they are, once again, safe from capture. Everyone gives thanks for their good fortune.
In the middle of their celebration, they notice a look of horror on Alice's face. When they turn, they see a fierce-looking Iroquois man standing at the entrance of the cave.
In desperation, Heyward raises the small pistol he has been holding and fires it. The sound of the gun reverberates throughout the cave, rumbling as loud as thunder. In a few minutes, the remaining Indians have run up the hill and advanced into the cave.
Heywood, Gamut, and the women are taken away as hostages.