James Fenimore Cooper: The Deerslayer

28. Chapter XXVIII. (continued)

The insult that had been offered to the Sumach was deemed an insult to the whole tribe; not so much, however, on account of any respect that was felt for the woman, as on account of the honor of the Huron nation. Sumach, herself, was generally considered to be as acid as the berry from which she derived her name, and now that her great supporters, her husband and brother, were both gone, few cared about concealing their aversion. Nevertheless, it had become a point of honor to punish the pale-face who disdained a Huron woman, and more particularly one who coolly preferred death to relieving the tribe from the support of a widow and her children. The young men showed an impatience to begin to torture that Rivenoak understood, and, as his older associates manifested no disposition to permit any longer delay, he was compelled to give the signal for the infernal work to proceed.

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