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A breach of twenty or thirty feet was soon made in the wall, by severing the withes that bound together the upright planks. Before this could be effected, another party crept through the small holes, serving the purpose of gates, and penetrated to the centre of the town, where, assembling around the great council-tree, they gave three cheers.

"Here is the nest of the eagle," returned Conanchet, pointing at the object he named perched on the upper and whitened branches of a dead pine; "and my father may see the council-tree in this oak but there are no Wampanoags!" "There are many eagles in this forest, nor is that oak one that may not have its fellow. Thine eye hath been deceived, Sachem, and some false sign hath led us astray."

If, when a tribe is debating the expediency of going to war, the women come beneath the council-tree, and represent the evils that will result, their opinion will have great weight, and may probably turn the scale in favor of peace. On the other hand, if the women express a wish that they were men, in order that they might go to war, the warriors declare for it at once.

"King of the Angles, the right of open speech has belonged to my race as long as the right to the crown has belonged to yours. So my father's fathers spoke to yours under the council-tree, and so I shall speak to you while I live." Back in the shadow, each yeoman laid one hand upon his weapon, and with the other, thrust an exulting thumb into his neighbor's ribs.