Red Boy was wounded, but not badly; he hurried in to tell the sad news, and the two Chippeways were soon out of the power of their enemies. They fled, it is supposed, to Missouri.
The friends of the dead warrior immediately sought his body, and brought it to the house of the interpreter. There his friends came together; and as they entered one by one, on every side pressing, forward to see the still, calm, features of the young man; they threw on the body their blankets, and other presents, according to their custom of honoring the dead.
Troops are kept at Fort Snelling, not only as a protection to the whites in the neighborhood, but to prevent, if possible, difficulties between the different bands of Indians; and as every year brings the Chippeways to Fort Snelling, either to transact business with the government or on a visit of pleasure, the Chippeways and Dahcotahs must be frequently thrown together. The commanding officer of the garrison notifies the two bands, on such occasions, that no hostilities will be permitted; so there is rarely an occurrence to disturb their peace.
But now it is impossible to restrain the excited passions of the Dahcotahs. Capt. B——; who was then in command at Fort Snelling, sent word to the Chippeway chief of the murder that had been committed, and requested him to bring all his men in, as the murderer must be given up.
But this did not satisfy the Dahcotahs; they longed to raise the tomahawk which they held in their hands. They refused to wait, but insisted upon following the Chippeways and revenging themselves; the arguments of the agent and other friends of the Dahcotahs were unavailing; nothing would satisfy them but blood, The eyes, even of the women, sparkled with delight, at the prospect of the scalps they would dance round; while the mother of Beloved Hail was heard to call for the scalp of the murderer of her son!
Seeing the chiefs determined on war, Capt. B—— told them he would cease to endeavor to change their intentions; “but as soon” said he, “as you attack the Chippeways, will I send the soldiers to your villages; and who will protect your wives and children?”
This had the desired effect, and the warriors, seeing the necessity of waiting for the arrival of the Chippeways, became more calm.
Hole in the Day with his men came immediately to the Fort, where a conference was held at the gate. There were assembled about three hundred Dahcotahs and seventy Chippeways, with the officers of the garrison and the Indian agent.
It was ascertained that the murder had been committed by the two pillagers, for none of the other Chippeway warriors had been absent from the camp. Hole in the Day, however, gave up two of his men, as hostages to be kept at Fort Snelling until the murderers should be given up.
The Dahcotahs, being obliged for the time to defer the hope of revenge, returned to their village to bury their dead.