Thomas Dunham, a sergeant of the Fort Oswego garrison in the western New York territory during the French and Indian Wars. He has his daughter Mabel brought to the fort in order to promote a marriage between her and his friend Natty Bumppo, the wilderness scout called Pathfinder by the English. On a tour of duty among the Thousand Islands, his party captures and sinks three French ships; when they return to an island blockhouse, however, he and his men are ambushed by Iroquois Indians, and he is mortally wounded. Attended by his daughter, he dies blessing her and Jasper Western, whom he believes to be Pathfinder.
Mabel Dunham, his young, warm, frank, and pretty daughter. After Pathfinder has saved the party with which she travels from hostile Indians, she comes to respect Pathfinder’s courage and skill in the woods, but the man she truly loves is his friend, Jasper Western. At Fort Oswego, she finds herself courted by Jasper, Pathfinder, and Davy Muir, each of whom accompanies her father on a tour of duty. During an Indian ambush, she is saved by the warnings of an Indian girl and the resolute defense of Pathfinder and her uncle. In the end, Pathfinder relinquishes her to Jasper, whom she marries.
Charles Cap, Mabel Dunham’s crusty uncle, a hardy fellow who accompanies his niece to Fort Oswego and later goes with Sergeant Dunham on his tour of duty to relieve a garrison in the Thousand Islands. A seagoing sailor, he suspects and derides Jasper Western, a freshwater sailor, but learns to respect the young seaman when Jasper saves the cutter Scud after Cap had almost wrecked it during a storm. After barely escaping an Indian ambush, he ably assists Pathfinder in the defense of a beleaguered blockhouse until help arrives. He sees his niece married to Jasper and returns to the sea.
Natty Bumppo, called Pathfinder, the frontier...
(The entire section is 818 words.)