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and urged upon the president the necessity of cultivating his friendship; who, not wishing to offend his neighbors by a slight to their sovereign, set sail with a small party, on a visit to this lordly savage, who, like the renowned Atilla, had made his name a terror in the land. But adverse winds, and the intense cold of season, made it impossible to persevere to the end of so long a voyage in their open boats; and much to the disappointment of the savages, as well as the president himself, they were obliged to return: but the sachems, who had manifested such regard for the honor of their prince, were careful to inform him of the good intentions of the president, and a few weeks afterward, Dehamida announced the approach of the Bashaba's son, with a retinue of some twenty savages, bearing a 'talk' to the white chief of St. George.
Thinking it good policy to impress this wild embassy with a proper idea of his importance, he assembled his trusty council to receive them with a degree of state suited to the dignity of his station. The hall of council was an oblong structure of hewn timber, joined to the rude mansion of the president, and bearing to it a relation which rendered it somewhat difficult to determine which of the two should in justice be considered as forming an appendage to the other. The side fronting the interior of the fort was garnished with three small windows of diamond-shaped glass; while the side opposite presented but an unbroken surface of roughly-hewn timbers. At one extremity was a fire-place, of mammoth dimensions, filled with blazing logs of wood; opposite to which was the entrance, and about midway of the hall, were seated, at a long and narrow table, the members of the honorable council. At the head of the table, fronting the entrance to the room, sat the president of the council, in broidered doublet and plumed beaver; holding in his hand a sword, whose greatest glories were its gilded ornaments. On his right, were Masters Raleigh Gilbert, bearing the honors of Admiral; Robert Davis, Sergeant Major and commander of the militia; and James Davis, commander of the fort; opposite whom, were Masters Edward Harlow, master of the ordnance; Ellis Best, marshal; and Gome Carew, searcher; and fronting the president, with ink-horn and book of records, Master John Scammon, secretary of the colony. Before the door, armed with an enormous musket, and enveloped in thick furs to shield him from the cold, paced a single sentinel, who seemed engaged, to the great peril of his toes, in striving to poise his unwieldy weapon by the least possible contact with his person. Within and around the council house were several small groups of idlers, both whites and Indians, impatiently waiting the expected interview.
About an hour after mid-day, the canoes of the Indians were seen approaching the fort; and shortly afterward, the whole party, accompanied by Deharida, the interpreter, were ushered into the presence of the council. The president rose to welcome them, and offering his hand to the young prince, assured him of his pleasure in greeting him at St. George. The young chief, in return, pronounced it very good!' and gave the president to understand that, although they were a great people, whose trade was war, they had washed the war-paint from their faces, and had come to say welcome to the friends of the
Bashaba. He said that the great chief, his father, had heard of the intended visit of his brother to Pemaquid, and it made him very glad : he had taken his white brother to his heart, and his people should sell him furs, and teach him to hunt the great beasts of the forest. As an earnest of their kind intentions, he added, that during the coming month, he should go with twenty of his braves to hunt the big moose on the borders of the Kennebeck, and invited the white chief to send a party of his young warriors in company, to procure venison for his people.
Here ended the 'talk' of the Bashaba; and while the rest of his party were gazing at the wonders of the fort, the president loaded the young prince with gaudy presents for his father, and bestowed upon the young savage himself a small hunting-knife, and a hat ornamented with a scarlet ribbon; which so wrought uppon y gratitude of ye generous salvage y' hee stripped himselfe of a mauntle of rich beaver, and placed it uppon y shoulders of ye president.'
Highly delighted with their reception, the Indians returned to Pemaquid, and opened with the colony a trade in furs from all parts of the adjacent country; receiving in return showy trinkets, and blankets of gaudy colors, with which they took great pleasure in decorating their persons.
A few days after the departure of the Indians, there came a furious snow storm, followed by a fall of rain and sleet, which formed upon the surface of the deep snow a crust of sufficient thickness to render travelling practicable, without the aid of the cumbersome snow-shoe. The succeeding day the promised hunting party appeared at the fort, and joined by about a dozen of the colonists, set off to the wilderness for their famous hunt.
Among the whites of the party, was a young Irishman, who, having filled the somewhat important office of game-keeper on the preserves of my lord Popham, imagined himself able to cope with the stoutest hunter in the destruction of the more noble game of the American forest. This Nimrod of modern times was familiarly known at the fort as Paddy Longbow;' so prone was he to trespass upon the credulity of his companions. Always given to indulgence in boasting of their prowess in war and hunting, the Indians told many a startling tale of their contests with the big moose, who, when hotly pressed by the hunter, sometimes makes deadly fight with his hoofs and branching antlers: Ah! I see' said Paddy to Dehamida, who explained to him the meaning of the deep gutturals of his savage companions' I see it takes a thrue son of ould Ireland, and one who has kilt the red deer of ould England besides, to bring down your big moose wid a single crack o' his musquetoon! And seeing his white companions winking at each other incredulously, he added, 'an' aint I the boy that for a bet o' my lord's, kilt the bird on the wing so far that ye could not see it at all? Lave paddy alone, and jist give him a shot atween the peepers o' your moose deer, an divil a bit 'll he care for his head or his heels aither, arter that!' And highly elated with the idea of his imaginary exploits, he carolled forth:
'Oh the paddy's the lad for the green-wood dell,
Ugh! said an old hunter; at which they all laughed, and poor paddy, finding that no one heeded him, judged it expedient to grant them a short respite from his troublesome gasconade.
Dehamida now told the party from the fort, that during the depths of winte the moose, tired with wading through the deep morass of the forest, sought a spot where his food was plenty, and confining himself to a small circuit in browsing upon the low branches of the trees, he insensibly trod down the snow, so as to form a kind of enclosure, with a wall on every side; and finding them thus pent up in a yard of their own construction, the hunter easily dispatched them with his arrows. Still, a great deal of caution was necessary; for if but slightly wounded, the bucks would invariably turn and make fearful fight upon their foes; and if the hunter was so near as to be unable to effect an escape, great was the risk, that the infuriated animal would send him to dwell with the spirits of his fathers.
They had wandered about a day's journey from the fort, meeting various fortune in the pursuit of smaller game, when the Indians were aroused by the discovery of signs of the moose; and a little farther on they came to one of those curious enclosures, containing a considerable herd of these noble animals of the northern forest; who, finding themselves beset by foes, looked wistfully round in hope of escape; but the hunters had stationed themselves at the various points of the yard, and whichever way the poor animals turned in their flight, they were met by the deadly arrows of the Indian hunter. One huge buck remained alive of the herd, and this, Paddy Longbow claimed as his exclusive victim; alleging, in support of his claim, that he first had 'catched sight o' the ould divil a-feedin on the green branches;' and moving cautiously toward him, until well assured of his aim, he let fly his charge of buck shot'atween his peepers;' which rattled loudly upon the antlers of the buck, but did no farther execution than to inflict a deep cut under one of his eyes, thereby rendering him furious with pain. The soi-disant Nimrod, in his anxiety to get a good shot at the moose, had ventured several rods within the enclosure; and when the maddened beast turned furiously upon his rash pursuer, he thought his last hour had come indeed dropping his potent musket, as he jumped from tree to tree to elude his fearful adversary, he screamed at the top of his brogue, 'An sure 't is the ould Divil his self, and 't is kilt that I am intirely!' when an arrow from one of the Indians brought the fierce monster to the ground, and freed poor paddy from the clutches of the ould divil his self.' When he rejoined his companions, he was somewhat annoyed at beholding them all in convulsions of laughter at the sight of his discomfiture, and the savages made the wild-wood ring, as it echoed their screams of delight at the prowess of the great white hunter.' Paddy Longbow did not finish his song of the green-wood dell, nor did he forgive the ridicule which the tawny chiefs were ever afterward ready to bestow upon his feats of daring. For the remainder of the hunt, he was the unhappy butt of his white companions, and the subject of many a sly jest from their dingy friends.
At the end of a week they returned to the fort, bringing upon rude sleds abundance of venison, and well satisfied with the kind companionship of the Bashaba's hunters. But alas! for Paddy Long
bow! He burned to retaliate upon them a tithe of the ridicule which had so warred against his vanity; and sadly to the misfortune of the now prosperous colony, did he succeed in his desire.
During a subsequent visit of the Indians to the fort, the council judged it expedient to plant a piece of artillery upon a neighboring height, for the better defence of a small vessel under process of construction near the shore; and most of the colony being engaged about the vessel, the transportation of the piece was confided to the Irishman; who, thinking this a favorable opportunity to retort upon them a little of the ridicule of his exploits in the field, prevailed upon a dozen of the Indians to assist in drawing the piece to its station. Secretly loading it with powder, and fastening a piece of slow-match to the vent, he directed his assistants to lay hold of the drag-ropes and draw it up the ascent. They had nearly reached the crest of the little hillock, when the gun was discharged; giving them all a dreadful fright, and actually killing one of their number, who was lifting at the wheels. The simple author of the mischief little dreamed the consequences of his rash and cruel act, and though the colonists deeply regretted the event, even they thought it would soon be forgotten. But they soon learned that Indians did not so readily forgive an injury to their people.
From this time misfortunes seemed to await the little colony at every step. The president of the council was attacked by a strange malignant fever, which, to the unspeakable regret of the colony, proved suddenly fatal; and he was succeeded in his office by Admiral Gilbert.
The neighboring Indians, though still keeping up a trade with the colony, seemed distrustful of their good faith; and having upon a certain occasion introduced a large number of their warriors within the fort, they suddenly fell upon the garrison with their clubs, and drove them from the walls. The whites succeeded in reaching the cover of their vessel, without other loss than the disabling of three of their men; but deprived of their stores, their situation seemed almost hopeless; when, to their great surprise, they heard a frightful explosion at the fort, and saw the Indians running with yells of lamentation from its walls. They even sent a deputation to sue for peace; but Gilbert, suspecting some evil design at the bottom of this sudden desire for peace, would not venture from the ship. The Indians soon afterward departed; and on reentering the fort, the adventurers discovered no other injury than the destruction of their store-house, with most of its contents. They learned from the interpreter that in ransacking among the stores, the Indians came upon several barrels of powder; and being unacquainted with its properties, had carelessly strewed it around the floor; and in attempting to set fire to the building, had ignited the powder, causing the tremendous explosion which so surprised the exiled garrison. Ignorant of the cause of this fearful shock, they imagined that the Great Spirit was angry on account of their molestation of their white brothers; and under the terror of the moment, had sent to make overtures of peace.
The garrison had regained possession of their fort, but with it the knowledge that thenceforth they could count upon nothing but hostility from their former friends. Knowing that their future safety
must depend upon keeping the natives in awe of their power, it was even thought expedient to act on the offensive; and in accordance with this determination, President Gilbert made careful preparation for a sudden invasion of the Indian country.
It was almost sun-set, upon one of those early spring days, so peculiar to New-England, that a traveller might be seen cautiously picking his way along the western shore of the Kennebeck, toward Fort Saint George. He was a short, muscular man, of that peculiar shape whose every motion betrays a frame inured to hardship. A garment of dressed buckskin, half doublet, half sailor's jacket, in its fashion, and a pair of leggins,' whose fringed ornaments left no doubt of their savage origin, gave an air to his person which seemed to belong to no one age or people; but claimed relationship with every race among whom his fortunes had been cast. A powderhorn and bullet-pouch by his side, a long musket resting in the hollow of the left arm, and a pack upon his shoulders, showed him equipped for a longer journey in the wilderness than his distance from the fort would indicate. As he proceeded along the shore, an occasional pause, with a quick glance at the priming of his musket, as he stopped to listen, indicated some doubt of the safety of his way. As the day-light faded, the increasing coldness of the evening caused the traveller to quicken his hitherto lingering pace to a brisk walk; and the fatigues of his solitary journey were almost forgotten, as the now visible hamlet appeared through the opening trees, with its pleasant lights streaming' through crack and cranny,' to cheer him with the announcement that his labors were nearly ended.
Our traveller was no other than an emissary of President Gilbert's, despatched a few days previously, to gather information of any wandering parties of Indians who might be hovering near the fort, and if possible penetrate to a small village about ten miles to the north-east, and almost midway between the Kennebeck and Sheepscot rivers. The information gathered in his perilous journey, was such as to induce the council to make immediate preparation for a warlike movement against their hostile neighbors; hoping, no doubt, to recover by force of arms the advantages so unfortunately sacrificed to the wanton cruelty of one of their people.
Two boats and twenty men, headed by Gilbert himself, composed the force destined to the warlike enterprise. The men were armed with cutlasses and heavy musquetoons, and each boat carried a small swivel in its bows, in case a premature discovery should cause their landing to be opposed.
Soon after dark, on the day following the return of the spy, the party embarked in their boats, and moved slowly along under cover of the night, in the direction of the Indian village. But a few leagues to the north of the fort, on the eastern side of the river, was the mouth of a winding inland passage, joining the Kennebeck with the broad waters of the Sheepscot bay. In keeping with the surrounding country, its banks were often high cliffs overhanging the foaming whirlpools of the dangerous passage, and giving it an additional gloom, as they threw their dark shadows across the perilous abyss. Not far from its northern banks, and nearly three miles from the point of junction with the Kennebeck, was a village