Chapter 13 Summary
After True Son and Half Arrow pass Fort Pitt, they no longer feel as if they must hide during the day. They stop for the night in a lush part of the river bank, and in the morning they make a net to catch fish for a meal. It is such a pleasant place that they spend several months here.
The cousins spend their days hunting and fishing and enjoying all that nature provides them. True Son and Half Arrow are experiencing the life they have dreamed of living. They are their own masters and are able to gather their own provisions from the land in a kind of “primitive deliciousness.”
The cousins cut one another’s ears to “make them seemly,” and they pull out all the hair on one another’s head except for a long center growth, which hangs freely. They lie under their dugout boat listening to the rain, and they live the life of true Indians. The land provides them everything they need, and they care nothing about either their pasts or their futures.
Finally True Son and Half Arrow know they must leave this idyllic life, although they would certainly rather stay. As they round the final bend in the river and see their village in the distance, they hear dogs barking and see the Indians doing their ordinary tasks. It is just as True Son remembered in his mind, and he trembles at the sight.
Soon everyone on land begins to look intently at them, trying to identify the people in the boat. By the time the boys land, a crowd has gathered to meet them, including True Son’s beautiful sisters. Half Arrow and True Son walk proud and tall through their village.
When True Son finally goes to his cabin and sees his mother, she steps aside to allow her husband to greet True Son first. When the boy greets his father, Cuyloga’s face is impassive but his eyes reflect a “deep welcome.” The crowd in the doorway cheers as the two of them embrace.