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The French failure at Pemaquid completed the discontent of the Abenakis; and despondency and 360 terror seized them when, in the spring of 1693, Convers, the defender of Wells, ranged the frontier with a strong party of militia, and built another stone fort at the falls of the Saco. In July, they opened a conference at Pemaquid; and, in August, thirteen of their chiefs, representing, or pretending to represent, all the tribes from the Merrimac to the St. Croix, came again to the same place to conclude a final treaty of peace with the commissioners of Massachusetts. They renounced the French alliance, buried the hatchet, declared themselves British subjects, promised to give up all prisoners, and left five of their chief men as hostages.  The frontier breathed again. Security and hope returned to secluded dwellings buried in a treacherous forest, where life had been a nightmare of horror and fear; and the settler could go to his work without dreading to find at evening his cabin burned and his wife and children murdered. He was fatally deceived, for the danger was not past.
V1 designs."  And he wrote to Lord Halifax: "The negro slaves have been very audacious on the news of defeat on the Ohio. These poor creatures imagine the French will give them their freedom. We have too many here; but I hope we shall be able to keep them in proper subjection." Suspense grew intolerable. "It's monstrous they should be so tardy and dilatory in sending down any farther account." He sent Major Colin Campbell for news; when, a day or two later, a courier brought him two letters, one from Orme, and the other from Washington, both written at Fort Cumberland on the eighteenth. The letter of Orme began thus: "My dear Governor, I am so extremely ill in bed with the wound I have received that I am under the necessity of employing my friend Captain Dobson as my scribe." Then he told the wretched story of defeat and humiliation. "The officers were absolutely sacrificed by their unparalleled good behavior; advancing before their men sometimes in bodies, and sometimes separately, hoping by such an example to engage the soldiers to follow them; but to no purpose. Poor Shirley was shot through the head, Captain Morris very much wounded. Mr. Washington had two horses shot under him, and his clothes shot through in several places; behaving the whole time with the greatest courage and resolution."
It was long since a project of purging Acadia of French influence had germinated in the fertile mind of Shirley. We have seen in a former chapter the condition of that afflicted province. Several thousands of its inhabitants, wrought upon 235
OrdonnancesMeanwhile Stephen Harding, having sent his wife and child to a safe distance, returned to his blacksmith's shop, and, seeing nobody, gave a defiant whoop; on which four Indians sprang at him from the bushes. He escaped through a back-door of the shop, eluded his pursuers, and found his wife and child in a cornfield, where the woman had fainted with fright. They spent the night in the woods, and on the next day, after a circuit of nine miles, reached the palisaded house of Joseph Storer.
V2 hand; and just as the bluff yeoman emerged from them to enter the forest-growth beyond, the air was rent with yells, the thickets before him were filled with Indians, and one of them, a Caughnawaga chief, sprang upon him, hatchet in hand. He had time to cock his gun and snap it at the breast of his assailant; but it missed fire, and he was instantly seized and dragged back into the forest, as were also a lieutenant named Tracy and three private men. Then the firing began. The French and Indians, lying across the path in a semicircle, had the advantage of position and surprise. The Connecticut men fell back among the bushes in disorder; but soon rallied, and held the enemy in check while Dalzell and Rogersthe latter of whom was nearly a mile behindwere struggling through briers and thickets to their aid. So close was the brushwood that it was full half an hour before they could get their followers ranged in some kind of order in front of the enemy; and even then each man was forced to fight for himself as best he could. Humphreys, the biographer of Putnam, blames Rogers severely for not coming at once to the aid of the Connecticut men; but two of their captains declare that he came with all possible speed; while a regular officer present highly praised him to Abercromby for cool and officer-like conduct.  As a man his deserts were small; as a bushfighter he was beyond reproach.The soldiers killed the hogs, burned the old corn, and hacked down the new with their swords. Next they advanced to an abandoned Seneca fort on a hill half a league distant, and burned it, with 155 all that it contained. Ten days were passed in the work of havoc. Three neighboring villages were levelled, and all their fields laid waste. The amount of corn destroyed was prodigious. Denonville reckons it at the absurdly exaggerated amount of twelve hundred thousand bushels.