HIADEONI, THE SENECA
“Hiadeoni was the father of the late chief Young-king. He was a Seneca warrior,
a man of great prowess, dexterity, and swiftness of foot, and had established his
reputation for courage and skill on many occasions. He resolved while the
Seneca were still living on the Genesee river to make an incursion alone into the
country of the Cherokee. He plumed himself with the idea that he could
distinguish himself in this daring adventure, and he prepared for it, according to
the custom of warriors. They never encumber themselves with baggage. He took
nothing but his arms and the meal of a little parched and pounded corn. The
forest gave him his meat.
Hiadeoni reached the confines of the Cherokee country in safety and alone. He
waited for evening before he entered the precincts of a village. He found the
people engaged in a dance. He watched his opportunity, and when one of the
dancers went out from the ring into the bushes he dispatched him with his
hatchet. In this way he killed two men that night in the skirts of the woods
without exciting alarm, and took their scalps and retreated. It was late when he
came to a lodge, standing remote from the rest, on his course homeward.
Watching here, he saw a young man come out, and killed him as he had done the
others, and took his scalp. Looking into the lodge cautiously he saw it empty,
and ventured in with the hope of finding some tobacco and ammunition to serve
him on his way home.
While thus busied in searching the lodge he heard footsteps at the door, and
immediately threw himself on the bed from which the young man had risen, and covered his face, feigning sleep. They proved to be the footsteps of his last
victim’s mother. She, supposing him to be her son, whom she had a short time
before left lying there, said, “My son, I am going to such a place, and will not be
back till morning.” He made a suitable response, and the old woman went out.
Insensibly he fell asleep, and knew nothing till morning, when the first thing he
heard was the mother’s voice. She, careful for her son, was at the fireplace very
early, pulling some roasted squashes out of the ashes, and after putting them out,
and telling him she left them for him to eat, she went away. He sprang up
instantly and fled; but the early dawn had revealed his inroad, and he was hotly
pursued. Light of foot, and having the start, he succeeded in reaching and
concealing himself in a remote piece of woods, where he laid till night, and then
pursued his way toward the Genesee, which, in due time he reached, bringing his
three Cherokee scalps as trophies of his victory and prowess.”—Schoolcraft,Notes on Iroquois, p. 253, 1847.
Myths of the Cherokee, James Mooney