Posted by Bill R on July 23, 2000 at 20:31:12:
In Reply to: Re: They had on too many clothes -The girls could have taken them off... posted by Vita on July 23, 2000 at 20:20:56:
: : : The following is just a logical guess on my part:
: : : The British officer did not jump because he considered it cowardly, but more importantly he felt he must stay behind to protect the ladies.
: : : The ladies did not jump because they would likely have drowned with all the clothes they were wearing. Remember, women wore WAY more clothes than women of today and even more than their contemporary male counterparts. Here is a list of everyday womens' wear, starting from the outside and working in: Long skirt of cotton or linen, waistjacket of linen. Two or three petticoats, 1 pair of bloomers, 1 pair of stockings. On top: whalebone corset (sometimes called a stay), and a cotton or linen dickie (sort of a linen tank top/bra garment, but it was more intended to prevent the corset from rubbing against and irritating the breasts) The stay was laced tight enough to make heavy breathing difficult. As if all those clothes were not restrictive enough, imagine them soaking wet, while being swept down a raging river, you'd be pulled straight to the bottom. I would not wish to try it.
: : Let's not forget that they also had an injured Britsh soldier with them. Duncan would been honour bound to stay to protect him as well as the ladies.....Jeri
: This is is a good question, I've too wondered about why did Cora and Alice not jump...
: a - Hawkeye figured they could not swim and thus did not encourage? (even though he never asked them if they could...)
: b - The girls ah hem ladies were dumbfounded and did not think of taking off their clothes? I mean how long does it take to " ..off goes the petticoat, one swell swoop goes the whalebone corset... etc.."
: And if asked, would the wounded officer not preferred to go off into the falls rather than the surefire chop-chop in the hands of Mague and Co.?
: c - Duncan, of course, had no chance at all... what with Cora and Alice deciding to stay there... for sure, if he had jumped, naturally he would have had to divest himself of the heavier clothing... but if he had jumped he'd have saved himself the fate of bar-b-q...
: Yeah, really WHY did they notjump? Why did Hawkeye assume her chances were better if she surrenders rather than goes diving with him?
I imagine, if the girls HAD disrobed for the big jump, Hawkeye would have STAYED!!!! As well as Uncas! AND, likely Magua would have walked into an entirely DIFFERENT scene in that cave!
Of course, then, seeing Cora in the throes with Hawkeye, probably would have driven Duncan over the edge!
Why didn't they? Seriously? Not many folks could swim back then. Certainly not English ladies likely. And even if they could, who knew what rocks etc were at the bottom of the falls, and a drop of a hundred feet into water is not a soft landing, especially if hitting the water wrong, let alone rocks! So, all things considered, it was sure death for Hawkeye to remain in the cave, but less sure they would die in that fall, rocks and rapids. However, for the wounded and the girls, it was probably MORE sure they would die if they jumped, than if they remained.
Of course, tell THAT to the wounded Soldier #2!!!!
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