Soon the cry of revenge is heard above that of lamentation. “It is not possible,” said Sullen Face, “that we can allow these English to starve us, and take the lives of our warriors. They have taken from us the food that would nourish our wives and children; and more, they have killed seven of our bravest men! we will have revenge—we will watch for them, and bring home their scalps, that our women may dance round them!”
A war party was soon formed, and Sullen Face, at the head of more than fifty warriors, stationed himself in the vicinity of the road by which the half-breeds from Red river drive their cattle to Fort Snelling.
Some days after, there was an unusual excitement in the Sioux village on Swan lake, about twenty miles northwest of Traverse des Sioux. A number of Indians were gazing at an object not very distant, and in order to discover what it was, the chief of the village, Sleepy Eyes, had sent one of his young men out, while the rest continued to regard it with looks of curiosity and awe.
They observed that as the Sioux approached it, he slackened his pace, when suddenly he gave a loud cry and ran towards the village.
He soon reached them, and pale with terror, exclaimed, “It is a spirit, it is white as the snow that covers our prairies in the winter. It looked at me and spoke not.” For a short time, his fears infected the others, but after a while several determined to go and bring a more satisfactory report to their chief. They returned with the body, as it seemed only, of a white man; worn to a skeleton, with his feet cut and bleeding, unable to speak from exhaustion; nothing but the beating of his heart told that he lived.
The Indian women dressed his feet, and gave him food, wiped the blood from his limbs, and, after a consultation, they agreed to send word to the missionaries at Traverse des Sioux, that there was a white man sick and suffering with them.
The missionaries came immediately; took the man to their home, and with kind nursing he was soon able to account for the miserable situation in which he had been found.
“We left the state of Missouri,” said the man, whose name was Bennett, “for the purpose of carrying cattle to Fort Snelling. My companions’ names were Watson and Turner. We did not know the road, but supposed a map would guide us, with what information we could get on the way. We lost our way, however, and were eagerly looking for some person who could set us right. Early one morning some Sioux came up with us, and seemed inclined to join our party. One of them left hastily as if sent on a message; after a while a number of warriors, accompanied by the Indian who had left the first party, came towards us. Their leader had a dark countenance, and seemed to have great influence over them. We tried to make them understand that we had lost our way; we showed them the map, but they did not comprehend us.
“After angrily addressing his men for a few moments, the leader shot Watson through the shoulder, and another sent an arrow through his body and killed him. They then struck Watson’s brother and wounded him.