Entewa, the Mountain Bird — The Conclusion

Would it surprise you if I told you that since Entewa is an Indian and Barkley is a “paleface,” their love is doomed? Probably not. And since you are not likely to ever read the book, I will go ahead and tell you how it ends.

Entewa mourns, because she thinks that Barkley has deserted her, but Kee-wano (the good Indian) assures her that the “paleface warrior” loves her. He goes to find Barkley and bring him to her at the Battle Rock.

But, alas, when they reach the Battle Rock, Entewa has disappeared! Kee-wano and all the tribe search for her, while Barkley returns to his camp to await news, and there he is attacked and kidnapped by Kan-tee-baw! (He’s the bad Indian.)

Just as Kan-tee-baw is about to execute Barkley, Kee-wano intervenes in his behalf and speaks on his behalf before the gathered tribe.

But as the last words fell from his lips, a battle axe, wielded by the unerring hand of Kan-tee-baw, was circling ready to descend upon the head of the pale face warrior. The chief saw it, and with a quick and well directed aim, he grasped his own and drove it with full force into the merciless head of the ungrateful savage.

Close call! but Barkley is saved. He and Kee-wano join Giles and Weedow, who suspect that Entewa has been stolen by the band of robbers. They soon come to a beautiful landscape of knolls, lakes, nearby mountains, and a cliff — keep your eye on that cliff. There they find four bandits in a card game, and the one who loses has a dreadful deed to carry out. “Here,” says the his companion, “take my pistol; place it in your bosom, I see him coming now — he’s left the pretty black-eyed forester upon the cliff. She will be ours, you know, when once we get this damn’d old captain dead.”

Our heroes attack: “Down ‘ith ’em! Drot their gallinipperd, blood-suckin’, Ingen stealin’, ‘sassinnatin’, devilish hearts!” cries Giles. They kill the bandits, then Giles go after Old Cub (the damn’d old captain), who is just coming down the hill. Although he has failed to reload his rifle, Giles has a secret weapon hidden in his bosom — a huge flask, filled with alcohol — what we would call a Molotov cocktail. He lights it, scuffles with Old Cub, thrusts it in his shirt, and Old Cub is blown to smithereens.

Indian cliff

She’s not standing — I couldn’t find that one.

But what of Entewa?

“But hark! across the water comes the soft and lute-like tones of a seraphic voice, singing a dirge.” Her friends see Entewa, standing on the edge of the cliff. Though they “flew toward the cliff with aerial wings of rapidity” they are too late. “Unknowing that her friends are near” (in spite of all the commotion) and robbed by the “tyrant ruffian” of her spotless purity, she leaps into the waters of the lake.

And so ends the tragic tale of Entewa and Barkley. Accompanied by his friend Kee-wano, Barkley leaves for San Francisco, where “on the morning if the 15th December 1849” he passes through the Golden Gate on his way home. Kee-wano lingers on the wharf, keeping his vigil until the vessel passes out of sight.

DSCF6024 (2)Next time I will tell you what little I know about J.R. Poynter, the author of Entewa, the Mountain Bird.




About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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