After the investigation of the chest, Deerslayer and Judith converse about their respective futures. Judith, for all practical purposes, proposes to Deerslayer. His first refusal is based on his code: She could never truly love and respect a man who showed his dishonesty by violating the terms of the furlough. When this argument fails to dissuade Judith, Deerslayer refers to their different stations in life: He is unable to read, and she is educated above the usual level of pioneer women; he dislikes the civilized settlements, and she enjoys the social activities of populated places; he is plain, and she is very beautiful. Parrying his responses, Judith insists that the reasons given by Deerslayer are exactly the qualities that attract her and would attract any reasonable girl. Deerslayer, as Judith concludes, would be a faithful and loving husband, the ideal of any girl.
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