Cooper is at his best in these two chapters of dynamic and exciting episodes as the Mingos and their enemies come to open warfare on land and on Glimmerglass. There are no long, digressive moments of describing either the beauty of the lake, the surrounding woods, the sunset, or the sunrise. All the previous descriptions have provided abundant details of the physical setting, and the novelist can proceed at a rapid pace in telling his story. Significantly, perhaps, Deerslayer vanishes completely (his name is seldom mentioned) from the action, and his fate seems settled. Deerslayer's absence likewise appears to be a sign that the fortunes of the besieged group are declining: Judith and Hetty are in danger as they attempt to reach the relative security of the ark; Hurry Harry is exhausted after his harrowing experience at Muskrat Castle; and Tom Hutter is close to death. Only
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