The Hurons rush to the prison-hut and discover David in Uncas’s place; they raise a loud cry, but David begins singing his hymns loudly, and the Hurons are once again reminded that David is “insane,” and they don't hurt him. The Huron warriors then gather near the caverns, where the sick native woman has been lying, attended to by the original Huron conjuror, from whom Hawkeye stole the bear costume. The native woman has now died from her sickness—which the Hurons still attribute to an evil spirit, perhaps brought into the village by Heyward and Uncas—and the conjuror begins telling of Hawkeye’s trickery in helping to rescue Alice, when Magua emerges from the caverns, having broken his bonds, and seething with rage.
Magua’s slippery ability to evade complete defeat is one of the novel’s most obvious plot points. Because Magua is so adept at avoiding total defeat, the novel manages to maintain its structure of escape, rescue, and pursuit throughout changes of village and scenery..
The Hurons are shocked to find that Magua, so great a warrior, has been trapped and duped by Heyward, Uncas, and Hawkeye. Magua, enraged, screams that he will exact revenge, and wonders aloud how best to capture and kill the three men. But Magua quickly regains his composure, and to a group of assembled Huron warriors, women, and children, he makes a long argument flattering the Hurons, and stating that, because Cora is still being held by the Delawares, and because Magua wants Cora for his wife, the Hurons must proceed with caution, in order to find and capture the three men, and Alice, and in order not to startle the Delawares, who hold Cora.
Another speech of Magua’s. Now, as the novel nears its close, Magua has become, among other things, a kind of politician and diplomat between the Huron and the Delaware villages. Here, Magua attempts to convince all the Hurons with whom he speaks that Uncas, Chingachgook, and Hawkeye are dangerous, and that the only method of combatting this danger is the waging of complete war against the band and their allies.
After this long speech, complete with exhortations to the gods and to the strength of his people, Magua convinces the Hurons to follow his plan. He passes the night in his hut, and in the morning, twenty warriors join him with rifles. The Huron warriors depart from the village, single-file. Passing the beaver mounds Magua, whose totem-animal is the beaver, begins speaking with the four-legged creatures, as part of a ritual for good luck in the ensuing hunt. After this “speech” with the beavers, is done, the Hurons move on, slowly, toward the Delaware village, and because they do not look back, they do not see that one of the beavers is actually Chingachgook in beaver-disguise—he has overheard the Hurons’ plan.
A curious scene, one that is not really referred to throughout the remainder of the novel. Chingachgook, among his other abilities, is perhaps a master of disguise, not unlike Hawkeye, who has hid for a time in a bear suit. Chingachgook’s mission, here, is presumably one of information recovery—he wishes to overhear Magua’s plans, and to find out where the Hurons are headed. It is presumed that Chingachgook does in fact do this, and supplies the Delawares with information regarding Magua’s arrival. Also: those must have been some big beavers!