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While General Middleton, Colonel Otter, and others of our military officers, were hastening to the scene of tumult, tidings of the most startling kind were received from Frog Lake. Frog Lake is a small settlement, about forty miles north of Fort Pitt, and here a number of thrifty settlers had established themselves, tilling the soil. Latterly, however, some enterprising persons came there to erect a saw and grist mill, for much lumber fringes the lake, and a considerable quantity of grain is produced upon the prairie round about. There were only a few white settlers here, all the rest being half-breeds. Not far away lived detachments of various tribes of Indians, who frequently came into the little settlement, and smoked their pipes among the inhabitants. Here, as elsewhere, the most bitter feelings were entertained by the half-breeds and Indians against the Government, and chief of all against Governor Dewdney. Every one with white skin, and all those who in any way were in the service of the Government, soon came to be regarded as enemies to the common cause. Therefore, when night came down upon the settlement, Indians, smeared in hideous, raw, earthy-smelling paint, would creep about among dwellings, and peer, with eyes gleaming with hate, through the window-frames at the innocent and unsuspecting inmates. At last one chief, with a diabolical face, said,

"Brothers, we must be avenged upon every white man and woman here. We will shoot them like dogs. No harm can come to us; for the great man has said so." (Alluding to Riel.) "When they are all shot the Government will get a big fright, and give the Indians and half-breeds what they ask for." The answer to this harangue was the clanking of barbaric instruments of music, the brandishing of tomahawks, and the gleam of hunting-knives. Secretly the Indians went among the half-breeds squatting about, and revealed their plans; but some of these people shrank with fear from the proposal. Others, however, said,

"We shall join you. Let us with one blow wipe out the injustices done to us, and teach the Government that if they deny us our rights, we will fight for them; and murder those who are the agents of its will." So the plan was arranged, and it was not very long before it was carried out. And now runners were everywhere on the plains, telling that Dumont had a mighty army made up of most of the brave Indians of the prairies, and comprising all the dead shots among the half-breeds; that he had encountered heavy forces of police and armed civilians, and overthrown them without losing a single man. They likewise declared that he had hosts of prisoners, and that the whole of Canada was trembling with fear at the mention of the names of Riel and Dumont.

"Now is our time to strike," said the Indian with the fiendish face, and the wolf-like eyes.

Therefore, the 2nd day of April was fixed for the holding of the conference between the Indians and the white settlers. The malignant chief had settled the plan.

"When the white faces come to our lodge, they will expect no harm. Ugh! Then the red man will have his vengeance." So every Indian was instructed to have his rifle at hand in the lodge. The white folk wondered why the Indians had arranged for a conference.

"We can do nothing to help their case," they said, "we ourselves find it difficult enough to get the ear of Government. It will only waste time to go." Many of them, therefore, remained at home, occupying themselves with their various duties, while the rest, merely for the sake of agreeableness, and of shewing the Indians that they were interested in their affairs, proceeded to the place appointed for the pow-wow.

"We hope to smoke our pipes before our white brothers go away from us," was what the treacherous chief, with wolfish eyes, had said, in order to put the settlers off their guard.

The morning of the 2nd opened gloomily, as if it could not look cheerily down upon the bloody events planned in this distant wilderness. Low, indigo clouds looked down over the hills, but there was not a stir in all the air. Nor was any living thing to be seen stirring, save that troops of blue-jays went scolding from tree to tree before the settlers as they proceeded to the conference, and they perceived a few half-famished, yellow, and black and yellow dogs, with small heads and long scraggy hair, sculking about the fields and among the wigwams of the Indians in search for food.

The lodge where the parley was to be held stood in a hollow. Behind was a tall bluff, crowned with timber; round about it green poplar, white oak, and some firs, while in front rolled by a swift stream, which had just burst its winter fetters. Unsuspecting aught of harm, two priests of the settlement, Oblat Fathers, named Fafard and La Marchand, were the first at the spot.

"What a gloomy day," Pere Fafard said, "and this lodge set here in this desolate spot seems to make it more gloomy still. What, I wonder, is the nature of the business?" Then they knocked, and the voice of the chief was heard to say,

"Entrez." Opening the door, the two good priests walked in, and turned to look for seats. Ah! what was the sight presented to them! Eyes like those of wild beasts, aflame with hate and ferocity, gleamed at them from the gloom of the back portion of the room. The priests were amazed. They knew not what all this meant. Then a wild shriek was given, and the chief cried, "Enemies to the red man, you have come to your doom." Then raising his rifle, he fired at Father Marchand. The levelling of his rifle was the general signal. A dozen other muzzles were pointed, and in a far briefer space of time than it takes to relate it, the two priests lay weltering in their blood, pierced each by half a dozen bullets.

"Clear away these corpses," shouted the chief, "and be ready for the next." There was soon another knock at the door, and the same wolfish voice replied as before, saying,

"Entrez." This time a full, manly-looking young fellow, named Charles Gowan, opened the door and entered. Always on the alert for Indian treachery, he had his suspicion now, before entering he suspected strongly that all was not right. He had only reached the settlement that morning, and had he returned sooner he would have counselled the settlers to pay no heed to the invitation. He was assured that several had already gone up to the pow-wow, so being brave and unselfish, he said,

"If there is any danger afoot, and my friends are at the meeting-lodge, that is the place for me, not here." He had no sooner entered than his worst convictions were realized. With one quick glance he saw the bloodpools, the wolfish eyes, the rows of ready rifles.

"Hell hounds!" he cried, "what bloody work have you on hand? What means this?" pointing to the floor.

"It means," replied the chief, "that some of your pale-face brethren have been losing their heart's blood there. It also means that the same fate awaits you." Resolved to sell his life as dearly as lay in his power, he sprang forward with a Colt's revolver, and discharged it twice. One Indian fell, and another set up a cry like the bellowing of a bull. But poor Gowan did not fire a third shot. A tall savage approached him from behind, and striking him upon the head with his rifle-stock felled him to the earth. Then the savages fired five or six shots into him as he lay upon the floor. The body was dragged away and the blood-thirsty fiends sat waiting for the approach of another victim. Half an hour passed, and no other rap came upon the door. An hour went, and still no sound of foot-fall. All this while the savages sat mute as stones, each holding his murderous rifle in readiness for instant use.

"Ugh!" grunted the chief, "no more coming. We go down and shoot em at em houses." Then the fiend divided his warriors into four companies, each one of which was assigned a couple of murders. One party proceeded toward the house of Mr. Gowanlock, of the firm of Gowanlock & Laurie, who had a large saw and grist mill in course of erection; creeping stealthily along, and concealing their approach by walking among the trees they were within forty yards of the house without being perceived. Then Mrs. Gowanlock, a young woman, recently married, walked out of the house, and gathering some kindling-wood in her apron, returned again. When the Indians saw her, they threw themselves upon their faces, and so escaped observation. Little did the inmates know the deadly danger that so closely menaced them. They went on talking cheerfully, dreaming of no harm. Gowanlock, as I have said, had been recently married, and himself and his young wife were buoyant with hope, for the future had already begun to promise them much. Mr. Gowanlock had gathered the wood with which to make biscuits; and W. C. Gilchrist, and Williscroft, two fine young men, both in Mr. Gowanlock's employ, were chatting with him on general matters. No one happened to be looking out of the window after Mrs. Gowanlock came in; but about half a minute afterwards some shadow flitted by the window, and immediately afterwards six or seven painted Indians, with rifles cocked, and uttering diabolical yells, burst into the house. The chief was with this party; and aiming his rifle, shot poor Gowanlock dead, another aimed at Gilchrist, but Mrs. Gowanlock heroically seized the savage's arms from behind, and prevented him for a moment or two; but the vile murderer shook her off, and falling back a pace or two, fired at her, killing her instantly. Three had now fallen, and as the poor young wife fell crying, "my God!" Croft fell pierced by two or three bullets. Lest the work might not have been sufficiently done, the murderers fired once more at the fallen victims, and then came away from the house.

One of the most deserving of the settlers, but at the same time one of the most bitterly hated, was Dunn, the Indian agent. He was a half-breed, and had for a wife a very pretty Cree woman. For some days past, it is said, that she had been aware that the massacre had been planned; but uttered no word of warning. Stealthily the blood-thirsty band approached the dwelling of Dunn, for they knew him to be a brave man, who would sell his life very dearly. They were aware that in the Minnesota massacre which happened some years ago, that he had fought as if his life were charmed, and escaped with a few trifling wounds. The doomed man was alone on this terrible day, his wife having taken her blanket at an early hour and gone abroad to "talk" with some Cree maidens. Poor Dunn was busy in the little yard behind his house, putting handles in some of his farming implements, and did not perceive the approach of the murderers at all. There were five Indians in the party, and they crept up to within a dozen paces of where the unsuspecting man was at his work. Then, while he whistled a merry tune, they silently raised their rifles and took aim. The unfortunate man fell, pierced with all their bullets and made no stir.

Another detachment of the bloodhounds directed their steps towards the residence of Barnez Fremoine, the Belgian rancher. He was a tall, magnificently-built man, and when the savages got in sight of his house they perceived that he was engaged oiling the axle of his waggon.

Aided by the shelter of an outhouse, they approached within twenty yards of this victim; raised their arms and arrows and fired. He fell likewise without uttering a cry, and made no stir. When found afterwards there were two bullet holes in his head, and an arrow lay lodged in his breast. [Footnote: This fact I get from correspondence to the Ottawa _Free Press_, a newspaper which, under the great journalistic enterprise of Mr. J. T. Hawke, has kept the people at the Capital well informed from day to day on affairs at the scene of tumult.] Two other persons were surprised in the same way, and shot down like dogs, making a total of eleven slaughtered.

The first official confirmation of the dreadful tragedy was given in a despatch, sent from Fort Pitt to Sir John Macdonald, by police inspector Dickens, a son of the immortal novelist. -The Story of Louis Riel: the Rebel Chief

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