In The Last of the Mohicans, Hawkeye, played by Daniel Day Lewis, appears out of the forest to save the Major from a raiding party of Indians. When the Major grabs a gun and is about to fire at one of the Indians who is running away from Chingachgook (Hawkeye's father), Hawkeye stops him and says

In case your aim's any better than your judgement

Shouldn't he have said

In case your aim's **not** any better than your judgement

I can't imagine the Major would intentionally shoot the people that saved his life.

Here is the action sequence:

The scene in question is about 2:50 in.

  • are they in hiding at the time? If so by shooting he would have given away their location. People tend to notice when their comrades drop dead from a bullet.
    – AidanO
    May 22, 2012 at 7:55
  • no, it was the ambush scene where the sh!t hit the fan.
    – puk
    May 22, 2012 at 14:53

2 Answers 2


The problem here is that the major is aiming at Chingachgook. The major may think he's one of the attackers running away. It's clear that he's aiming at Chingachgook because even after Chingachgook kills the only other Indian within the line of site of the Major, the Major keeps taking aim.

Obviously HawkEye doesn't want Chingachgook shot, So since the Major's Judgement is that he should shoot Chingachgook, one of the guys who just saved him, his Judgement is considered by Hawkeye to be bad. If his aim is better he might actually hit Chingachgook


No. The premise of the quote is his judgement is terrible. If his aim is better than that (better than terrible, i.e. good) he might hit what he's aiming at.

If his aim was not better than his judgement, he would obviously miss, and could be allowed to shoot wildly into the air. Unless you're concerned about collateral damage, I suppose... ^_^

  • Yes but your argument is only valid if what he's aiming at is Chingachgook. Who was Hawkeye worried the Major was aiming at?
    – puk
    May 22, 2012 at 1:33
  • 1
    If his aim was better than terrible (ie good), wouldn't the Major hit the Indian Chingachgook was chasing?
    – puk
    May 22, 2012 at 1:48

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