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There is one point on which we would wish to say a word before closing
this preface. Hawkeye calls the Lac du Saint Sacrement, the "Horican."
As we believe this to be an appropriation of the name that has its
origin with ourselves, the time has arrived, perhaps, when the fact
should be frankly admitted. While writing this book, fully a quarter of
a century since, it occurred to us that the French name of this lake
was too complicated, the American too commonplace, and the Indian too
unpronounceable, for either to be used familiarly in a work of fiction.
Looking over an ancient map, it was ascertained that a tribe of Indians,
called "Les Horicans" by the French, existed in the neighborhood of this
beautiful sheet of water. As every word uttered by Natty Bumppo was
not to be received as rigid truth, we took the liberty of putting the
"Horican" into his mouth, as the substitute for "Lake George." The name
has appeared to find favor, and all things considered, it may possibly
be quite as well to let it stand, instead of going back to the House of
Hanover for the appellation of our finest sheet of water. We relieve our
conscience by the confession, at all events leaving it to exercise its
authority as it may see fit.