Later that night, while the men discussed everything in Cincinnatus' store, Daniel and I were left to guard Mingo in the single cell the town had. Daniel was pacing in front, and I was sitting on a barrel right next to the door. Mingo was staring at me through the small window with such a terrible expression that I couldn't bring myself to look back. "Mingo, stop looking at me like that!" I finally cried.
He looked away moodily at the door of the store. "Listen to them, Kehana. They yearn for my blood."
Daniel noticed how I was struggling to reply, so he came in with, "Well, they're not yellin' so loud now. Maybe they're simmering down."
Mingo shook his head and turned back to me. "Sister, let me go!" he beseeched. "Let me go while there's still time!"
I sighed, trying to keep from crying, and answered, "It'll be alright, Mingo. We'll take you to Salem tomorrow, and..."
"You're taking me to my grave!" When I didn't reply, he said, "Very well, then. But what was between us is over! You are no longer my sister if you deliver me into the hands of my enemies. And that's what we are now. Enemies!" he shouted.
I stood up so quickly that the barrel fell over. I was about to run away, but Daniel grabbed my arm and addressed Mingo. "Now, listen! You don't mean that! While you're safe in Salem, we'll find out the truth. You know we won't stop until we do!"
"I told you the truth!"
"But we don't have any proof!" I cried, tears now streaming down my face. "We need proof!"
Mingo softened a bit, and asked, "Kehana, what's more important? The law, or my life?"
"How can you ask me that?" I whispered.
He didn't have to answer because Becky came over. "I brought you a bite of supper, Mingo," she said quietly.
"Rebecca! Will you tell them to let me go? Before it's too late! Will you tell them?"
"Can't you understand?" I exclaimed. "BOTH are important. The law AND your life!"
"I don't know what to say, Mingo," Becky sighed sadly. "I'm frightened for all of you."
Mingo reached through the window and begged, "Give me a gun! Can't you see that something is going to happen? Give me a gun!" He knew he couldn't ask Daniel to let him go because Daniel had his responsibility to Boonesborough, but me...I had no such requirements. "Kehana, I'm asking you to let me go. Give me a fighting chance!"
I was saved from having to reply by Jericho's approach. "Dan, there's a young squaw in the tavern. She just got here. Her name's Cootawari, and she's telling everybody that she saw Mingo do it."
I spun around. "She did what?"
"She said she was there, hiding in the woods. She said she saw it all."
"She lies!" Mingo said. "She lies."
"She said she came to say that the Cherokees are our friends," Jericho added. "But right now, she's telling everyone in that tavern that she saw Mingo do it!"
"Go home," Daniel told his wife. Then he handed his gun to Jericho and told him, "Watch Mingo."
Then, he and I ran off to the tavern, Mingo yelling from behind, "Let me out of here! Let me out!"
As we reached the door, all the men came streaming out. "Wait a minute!" Daniel cried. "Hold on! Listen to me!"
"Listen to who? Mingo's friend?" Zack said. He held up a rope and finished, "This is going to be Mingo's friend."
"The squaw saw him!" one of the others said.
"Well, let's talk to her!" Daniel said.
"You talk to her," Zack told him. "We're going to hang Mingo."
"You've got no right to take the law into your own hands!" I yelled as I followed them to the cell.
"Mingo did!" someone answered.
"Every man is supposed to have a fair trial!"
"And Mingo's had it," Zack said, pushing me out of the way.
Daniel caught me, and said, "If you do this, it'll be the end of the settlement. The Indians won't trust us any longer."
"Well, maybe this is the only way they can learn."
"And new settlers won't think it's safe to come here!"
"My brother thought it was safe to come here, and look what happened to him." The crowd pushed on.
"Zack, you're making a huge mistake!"
We got back to the cell to find Jericho on the ground and the cell empty. I rushed to Jericho's side and gently rolled him over as Zack cried, "He's gone! Mingo's gone! And it's all you're fault, you held us up. Alright, round up everybody! We're goin' after him!"
"Wait, Mingo's got a gun!" Daniel said, noting the absence of his.
"What do you think this is?" one of the men asked, holding up his rifle. "It ain't no stick. We got guns too."
"And we got this," Zack said, holding up the rope.
"Listen, Mingo will use that gun if he has to," I said. "He's dangerous now!"
"He won't get a chance to use that gun."
"And what makes you think you can hunt him better than he can hunt you? If you try to, there's no telling how many of you will get hurt. Let me and Daniel go alone, and I promise you we'll bring him back."
"You did that once before, and all you did was protect him!"
"There's always a chance that he's innocent! You're turning him into a criminal, and you'll really turn him into a murderer if you go after him in this way!"
"I'm tired of all this talk," Zack said. "Meanwhile, he's just getting further away. Are we goin' after him or not?"
The crowd shouted its agreement and they left. My attention was drawn back to Jericho when he woke up and murmured my name. "You ok?" I asked.
"My head's throbbing a bit, but yeah."
Suddenly, Becky came running over. "Dan!"
"Mingo got away. He hurt Jericho," he responded.
"It's about that Indian squaw," she continued. "The one who told about Mingo."
"What about her?" I asked.
"I tried to talk to her, and she wouldn't answer me. In fact, she fought me to get away. She ran out of the fort into the woods. There's something strange about her."
"She was frightened. Very frightened. And maybe she was lying. She wanted to get away."
Jericho tried to sit up, so I helped him. He said, "She looked like a half-breed, Dan. She had blue eyes."
Daniel nodded. "Becky, look after Jericho. We're going after Mingo."
As I stood, Jericho grabbed the leg of my pants. "I'm going with you."
I shook my head. "You have to stay here. There's only you and Cincinnatus to look after Boonesborough."
Daniel and I rushed out. Once we were a good spell away, he said, "You see what I mean about Jericho? He just got himself whacked over the head, and he's trying to go walk miles to help you out, but you denied."
"Because what I told him was true! There is only him and Cincinnatus."
"This is not the moment to discuss this, Daniel."
"You're probably right."