The morning after, Munro, Heyward, Hawkeye, Uncas, and Chingachgook walk out on the field where the massacre has taken place. The Hurons have fled, triumphantly, to the woods, and the French have retreated back to their own camp. The five men look for signs of Cora and Alice, and behold the devastation before them. Hawkeye claims he has never seen such bloodshed of innocents, and vows to take revenge on the French and Hurons. Uncas, walking among the dead bodies, finds a bit of Cora’s shawl, and announces that, since there is no blood on it, it must point to her escape into the woods. Munro cries out to Uncas, begging the young Mohican to find his two young girls, and Uncas vows that he will.
Now the die has been cast, and the novel’s action speeds toward its resolution. Magua’s latest kidnapping of Cora and Alice will set in motion a series of interactions with the Huron and Delaware villages approximately forty miles away, north of Lake George—and Heyward, Hawkeye, and the Mohicans will do all that they can to rescue both young women and return them to Munro. The colonel, for his part, will do little from now on, other than await his daughters’ return—the massacre outside the fort has devastated him.
Uncas, Chingachgook, and Hawkeye also find signs of David’s and Magua’s footprints and clothing near Cora’s torn shawl, causing them to conclude that Magua has taken Cora with him, and that David has followed along. Neither the Mohicans nor Hawkeye, however, can find any evidence of Alice’s footprint or clothing, causing Heyward to worry aloud about what has become of her.
Alice, of course, leaves no footprint because she has been hoisted immediately onto horseback..
But Hawkeye says that Alice is perhaps in the company of Cora, Magua, and David, and Hawkeye and the Mohicans vow to search through the wilderness for them. Although Munro and Heyward wish to begin the search that day, Hawkeye believes it is important to rest for an evening and develop a plan, and Heyward accedes to Hawkeye’s wisdom. The group heads back to the ruined, abandoned fort to prepare and sleep.
Once again, Hawkeye, Uncas, and Chingachgook believe it is more useful to spend the night formulating a plan than it is to rush into the wilderness without one. The time they lose hunting Magua will be time they gain, owing to greater efficiency once they do decide on a course of action.