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A few days later in the safety of the fort, they begin to suspect that Webb has forgotten them. Montcalm has advanced almost into the woods. On the fifth day of the siege, Duncan, gazing down from the ramparts, suddenly sees a bound Hawkeye advancing towards them in the custody of a French soldier. As he rushes down he is met by Alice and Cora. Alice playfully admonishes him for not showing his face for so many days, but Cora is more restrained. Cora is worried about the course of battle and questions Duncan about it. Duncan reaches Munro's apartment, where he questions the general about Hawkeye's return. Munro informs him that Montcalm had captured him as he was on his way back with a letter from Webb. Montcalm has kept the letter, so they do not know its contents, though it is apparent to all that Webb has abandoned them. Montcalm has invited Munro to his camp for what he says is "some additional information." Munro sends Duncan instead. Montcalm receives him politely and suggests to him that Munro surrender, as it is apparent that Webb will not be sending reinforcements. Duncan speaks well in defense of the fort's strength, but is unable to get the letter, however, or learn anything more about the enemy's strength. Montcalm sends him back with an offer to Munro of a further parley.
For the first time in the entire book, Hawkeye's reputation as a skilled hunter and soldier has failed him, as the French capture him. Cooper very vividly depicts the meeting between Duncan and Montcalm. Though the two parties are enemies, a code of conduct is maintained throughout, and they treat each other with courtesy. There is no meaningless killing. Hawkeye is returned, bound, with a message for the English side.