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I shall give the Particulars of this from the French Accounts; for by it the nature of the Indians, and the manner of their making Warı may be more easily understood.
Piskaret, with four other Captains, set out from Trois Rivieres in one Canoe, each being provided with three Fuzees. In two Days they reach'd Sorel River, where they perceiv'd five Canoes of the Five Nations with ten Men in each. At first those of the Five Nations believed that this Canoe was the van of some considerable Party, and therefore went from it with all the force of their Paddles. When they saw that after a considerable time, no others followed, they returned, and as soon as they came within call, they raised their WarShout, which they call Sassakue, and bid Piskaret and his Fellows Surrender. He answered, That he was their Prisoner, and that he could no longer survive the Captain they had burnt; but that he might not be accused of surrendering Cowardly, he bid them advance to the middle of the River which they did, with surprizing Swiftness. Piskaret had before hand loaded all his Arms with two Bullets each, which he joyn’d together with a small Wire ten Inches in length with design to tear the Canoes in pieces (which it could not fail to do, they being made only of Birch Bark) and gave his Companions DireB 2
Etion, each to chuse a Canoe, and level his shot between Wind and Water
As the Canoes approached, he made as if he had design'd to escape; and to prevent him, those of the Five Nations seperated from each other with too much Precipitation, and Surrounded him. The Adirondacks, the better to amuse the Enemy, sung their Death Song, as ready to surrender themselves, when every one suddenly took his Piece and fired upon the Canoes, which they Reiterated three times, with the Arms that lay ready. Those of the Five Nations were extreamly surpriz'd; for Fire Arms were still terrible to them, and they tumbled out of their Canoes, which immediately sunk: The Adirondacks knock't them all on the head in the Water, except some of the chiefs that they made Prisoners, who's Fate was as cruel as that of the Adirondack Captain, who had been burnt alive.
Piskaret was so far from having his Revenge glutted with this Slaughter, and the cruel Torments with which he made his Prisoners dye, that it seem'd rather to give a keener edge to it; for he soon after attempted another enterprize in which the boldest of his Country-men durst not accompany him.
He was well acquainted with the Country of the Five Nations, he set out alone about the time that the Snow began to melt, with the
precaution precaution of putting the hinder part of his Snow Shoes forward, that if any should happen upon his foot-steps, they might think that he was gone the contrary way ; and for further security went along a Ridge, where the Snow was melted, and where his foot-steps could not be discovered, but in a few places. When he found himself near one of the Villages of the Five Nacious he hid himself in a hollow Tree: In the Night he found out a Place nearer at hand, and more proper to retire into, for the execution of any Enterprize. He found four Piles of Wood standing close together, which the Indians had provided against the Winter and their busie times, in the middle of which was a hollow place, in which he thought he could safely hide. The whole Village was fast asleep when he enter'da Cabbin, kill'd four Persons and took off their Scalps, being all that were in the House, and then return'd quietly into his Hole. In the Morning the whole Village was in an Alarm, as soon as the Murder was discovered, and the young Men made all possible haste to follow the Murderer. They discover'd Piskarets foot-steps, which appear'd to them to be the foot-steps of some Person that fled; this encourag'd them in their Pursuit: Sometimes they lost the Tract, and sometimes found it again, till at last they entirely lost it, where the Snow was melted, and
they were forced to return, after much useless fatigue. Piskaret quiet in the midst of his Enemies waited with impatience for the Night. As soon as he saw that it was time to act (viz. in the first part of the night, when the Indians are observed to sleep very fast) he enter'd into another Cabbin, where he kill'd every Person in it, & immediately retir'd into his Wood-pile. In the morning there was a greater Outcry than before, nothing was seen but Wailing, Tears, and a general Consternation. Every one runs in quest of the Murderer, but no Tract to be seen besides the Tract which they saw the day before. They search'd the Woods, Swamps and Clifts of the Rocks, but no Murderer to be found. They began to suspect Piskaret, who's Boldness and Cunning was too well known to them. They agreed that two men next night should watch in every Cabbin. All day long he was contriving some new Stratagem, he bundles up his Scalps, and in the night he slips out of his lurking place, He approaches one of the Cabbins as quietly as possible and peeps thro' a hole to see what could be done, there he perceived Guards on the Watch, he went to another, where he found the same care. When he discover'd that they were everywhere upon their Guard he resolved to strike his last blow, and opened a Door, where he found a Centinel nodding with his Pipe in his mouth,
Piskaret Piskaret split his Scull with his Hatchet, but had not time to take his Scalp, for another man who watched at the other end of the Cabbin, raised the cry, and Piskaret fled. The whole Village immediately was in an Uproar, while he got off as fast as he could ; Many pursued him, but as he was so swift as to run down the Wild Cows and the Deer, the pursuit gave him no great uneasiness; When he pereeived they came near him, he would Halloe to them, to quicken their pace, then spring from them like a Buck. When he gain’d any distance he would loiter till they came near, then halloe, and fly. Thus he continued all day, with design to tire them out, with the hopes of over-taking him.
As they pursued only a single Man, five or six only of the Nimblest young Men continued the Chace, till being tired they were forced to rest in the Night, which when Pifkaret observed, he hid himself near them in a hollow Tree. They had not time to take Victuals with them, and being wearied & hungry, and not apprehending any Attack from a single Person that fled, they all soon fell a sleep. Pifkaret observ'd them, fell upon them, kill'd them all, and carried away their (6) Scalps."
(6) These are the Trophies of Victory which all the Indian Nations carry home with them, if they have time