Nevertheless, Cooper sees a sad, pathetic, and tragic side to the Indians because they are the victims of the encroaching white civilization. Even Cooper's Mingos, receiving their due punishment for circumventions, scalping, and treachery, are victimized after their defeat by superior forces. Rivenoak, the leader of the Mingos in The Deerslayer, holds himself proudly even when he is the prisoner of Captain Warley and the rescue party. He was, in Cooper's view, defending the ancient traditions of his people by going on the warpath and striving valiantly to annihilate the invaders of the American hinterland. However, the majority of the "bad" Indians (the Mingos) are cruel, bloodthirsty warriors who serve to make the romances thrilling, exciting, and dangerous adventures. Their "gifts" are restricted to the primitive code of savagery. The "good" Indians, although they are limited in number throughout the "Leatherstocking Tales," are
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