“This is about Family, sure as the History of England. Inside any one Tribe of Indians, they’re all related, see? Kill you one Delaware, you affront the Family at large. Out there, if it’s Blood of mine, of course I must go out and seek redress,— tho’ I’ll have far less company.”
“Each alone lacking the Numbers, our sole Recourse is to band together.”
“These were said to be harmless, helpless people,” Dixon points out in some miraculous way that does not draw challenge or insult in return. Apprehensive among these Folk, Mason, who would have perhaps us’d one Adjective fewer, regards his Georgie Partner with a strange Gaze, bordering upon Respect.
“They were blood relations of men who slew blood relations of ours.” Jabez explains.
“Then if You know who did it, for the Lord’s sake why did You not go after them?”
“This hurt them more,” smiles a certain Oily Leon, fingering his Frizzen and Flint.
“Aye, they go on living, but without dear old Grandam,— puts a big Hole in the Blanket, don’t it?”
“You must hate them exceedingly,” Mason pretending to a philosophikal interest actually far more faint than his interest in getting out of here alive.
“No,” looking about as if puzzl’d, “not any more. That debt is paid. I’ll live in peace with them,— happy to.”
—Mason & Dixon, by Thomas Pynchon (pp 343-44).