Last of the Mohicans

what does Hawkeye mean by the statement?

"Twould have been a cruel and inhuman act for a white-skin: but 'tis the gift and natur; of an Indian

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As soon as Chingachgook scalps the young Frenchman who approaches the party, asking questions, Hawkeye is visibly shaken. We do not usually see him express weakness so openly. Then, the first words out of his mouth slightly condemn the action of the old Mohican: "Twould have been cruel and inhuman for a white skin." Now the reader is truly surprised. Never before has the scout said anything against his friends. Hawkeye wishes that the tomahawk had fallen upon a Huron instead of "a gay young boy from the old countries." It is fine for an Indian to die the Indian way, but Hawkeye is repulsed when a white man is attacked in that manner. Furthermore, he himself would not do such a horrendous deed. The incredible solidarity that Hawkeye has with his Mohican friends is slightly cracked at this moment.