Nineteen-year-old Mable Dunchen, accompanied by his uncle – the old seaman Cap – and two Indians (Fowling Arrow and his wife, the June Dew) have been for many days making their way through the endless American jungle from New York to a small English fortress on the shore of Lake Ontario. They keep the path to Mabel’s father, Sergeant Dunham. Overcoming the next “winded” – the place where the upturned trees are stacked on top of each other, the travelers notice the smoke of the fire. During the war (and between the British and the French from 1755 to 1763 almost no battle subsided) occasional meetings are always dangerous – a small detachment with great precaution is exploring who is preparing a dinner: friends or enemies? Fortunately, friends: The Pathfinder (all the same, known to us earlier under the names of St. John’s wort and Falcon Eye, Nathaniel Bampo) with the constant companion Chingachgook and a new friend, the young man Jasper Weston. (Indians allied to the French appeared in the vicinity of the fortress, and Sergeant Dunham sent a small but reliable detachment to meet his daughter.)
The remaining several miles of the way were remembered by Mabel for a long time. Possible due to the skill of Jasper descent in the pie over the waterfall and the rushes, victorious (under the guidance of the Pathfinder) clashes with the superior forces of the enemy, the desperate courage of Chingachgook – this is not forgotten.
Before departure, the commander of the fortress confesses to Sergeant Dunham that he received an anonymous letter accusing captain Jessper Westner of treachery of betrayal. Dunham will closely follow the young man and, in case of what, will remove him from his captain’s duties, entrusting the ship to his wife’s brother, the former seaman Cap. And, despite years of familiarity with Jasper, the sergeant starts all of it – the most innocuous! – reinterpret actions in their own way. Finally, the burden of responsibility becomes unbearable for Dunham: he removes Westerna from the command of the cutter and trusts the ship with Cap. Brave sailor bravely tackles the matter, but… – “lake” navigation has its own specifics! Not only that about the location of the desired island no one knows – just “ride” on the cutter can not really! The storm, which is played out in earnest, drives the ship to the stones. And, probably, if not for Mabel and Pathfinder’s persuasion – for a minute, by the way, not doubting Jasper’s honesty, – Cap and Dunham would prefer to die “right” than not by the rules to be saved. But a pity for his daughter shook the sergeant’s obstinacy – he returns to the command of the Western. The amazing art of a young man rescues a ship.
While the cutter, at the last moment detained by anchors a few meters from the stone ridge, waited for excitement, the sergeant – supposedly for hunting – invited the Pathfinder and Mabel to go along with him ashore. After landing, the group broke up: Dunham went one way, Bampo with the girl – in the other, the Pathfinder nothing, it seems, does not interfere with explaining, but, decisive and brave in battle, he becomes timid with the girl. Finally, having overcome the excitement and somehow coped with. suddenly speechless language, it is explained. Mabel at first does not understand, having understood, – is confused. She herself to a well-aimed arrow and a skilled warrior nourishes feelings of a different kind. If not completely daughter, then only friendly. And no other. Gratitude, thanks to the girl, it seems that this is not enough for a happy marriage. On the other hand, she does not want to disappoint her father or the Pathfinder. The question, however, put directly – from a direct answer can not go. With all possible tact, carefully choosing the words, Mabel refuses to become the Pathfinder’s wife.
After the return of the “hunters”, the cutter is removed from the anchor – good, the storm subsided and the excitement subsided. Further swimming – under the command of a well-known lake of Jasper West – is made not in an easier manner. The sergeant, who took command, prepares the expedition – the British intend to intercept from the French supplied to those Indian allies “strategic” goods: guns, gunpowder, lead, knives, and tomogawa. The ranger, together with Chingachgook, goes to the reconnaissance. At night, the garrison, headed by a sergeant, marches on a campaign. Blockhouse – cut down from Thick logs, with loopholes instead of windows, a two-story fortification – remains in the care of not very skillful warriors: corporal, three soldiers, Cap and Lieutenant Muir. (The latter, volunteering for Mabel, volunteered.)
The girl is restless. She worries about her father and – for some reason! – for suspected of betraying Jasper. To ease the alarm, Mabel strolls along the island. Suddenly, from behind the bushes, the girl is called by a quiet familiar voice – the June Dew. It turns out that her husband – Fencing Arrow – an old secret agent of the French, openly took their side and led the group of intending to attack the island of the Indians. The June Rosa advises Mable to take refuge in the blockhouse and wait for the attack there. Unreasonable anxiety is replaced by fear – what now waits for the father? And her? June’s Dew reassures: it’s a great honor to become the second wife of the Splitting Arrow. But this prospect seems Mabel worse than death. And there is no one to consult: the uncle and the lieutenant have disappeared somewhere, and the corporal is a stubborn Scot! – does not want to know anything about some Indians there. The girl tries to convince him, but the corporal is full of contempt for the “savages.” Mable sees how, suddenly jumping, the Scot falls face down. At first she did not understand anything, she rushed to the rescue, but the corporal emits a spirit, having managed to wheeze: “Quickly into the blockhouse.” The girl hides in the building and locks the door – the Indians, from behind the bushes shooting the soldiers who rushed to the rescue, seize the island. At night in the blockhouse, the Pathfinder makes his way – the frightened Mabel is slightly encouraged. But for a short time – led by the sergeant and returning with a victory squad is ambushed. The ranger, using darkness, manages to drag into the blockhouse of the seriously wounded Dunham. The ensuing attack, Nathaniel, decisively reflects, shooting several Indians about to set fire to the fortification. The next morning the winners offer surrender – The tracker refuses. Appears kutter – the position changes dramatically: The Indians, who fell under the cross fire, lost the killed and wounded, scattered around the island and hid. Now the French captain, who was heading the recent winners, is asking for surrender. Having negotiated advantageous conditions for themselves, Pathfinder with Jasper agree. Disarmed Indians leave the island. All this time Lieutenant Mühur, who was in captivity, insists that – evidence is in vain! – The traitor is Jasper. Unexpectedly Undoing the Arrow with the words: “Where are the guns, where are the scalps?” – Hits the lieutenant with a knife and starts to run. The French captain confirms that in reality a traitor was killed by an Indian Muir. Pathfinder with Jasper agree. Disarmed Indians leave the island. All this time Lieutenant Mühur, who was in captivity, insists that – evidence is in vain! – The traitor is Jasper. Unexpectedly Undoing the Arrow with the words: “Where are the guns, where are the scalps?” – Hits the lieutenant with a knife and starts to run. The French captain confirms that in reality a traitor was killed by an Indian Muir. Pathfinder with Jasper agree. Disarmed Indians leave the island. All this time Lieutenant Mühur, who was in captivity, insists that – evidence is in vain! – The traitor is Jasper. Unexpectedly Undoing the Arrow with the words: “Where are the guns, where are the scalps?” – Hits the lieutenant with a knife and starts to run. The French captain confirms that in reality a traitor was killed by an Indian Muir.
Dying from wounds, Sergeant Dunham managed to tie Mabel with a promise that the girl would give her hand to the Pathfinder. Then she – filled with gratitude to Nathaniel and not having the strength to deny the dying father – agreed. But… the sergeant was buried, Jasper says in a trembling voice, good-bye to her, the girl is oppressing something. The ranger, delighted with consent, suddenly sees: at last he is revealed who is really superfluous in the formed triangle. After talking with Jasper alone, he calls Mabel and, with difficulty holding back tears, says: “The sergeant left me your protector, and not the tyrant the main thing for me is your happiness…” The girl tries to protest, but babbling is unconvincing – is consistent with the deep in the heart; the tongue utters: “Nathaniel” – heart taps: “Jasper”. Youth, alas, as always right: Pathfinder – a voluntary victim of his own generosity! – having said goodbye to the enamored, lingers on the island. Something necessary in this world is forever lost to them, but something – not less necessary in that! – Probably purchased. And if not, the essence still remains unchanged: by someone, but the tyrant can not be a Ranger… – only as a defender…