But Davidson was a man not easily daunted. His courage, combined with his cool judgment, was well known all along the river. And since his entrance into the King’s service he had given many outstanding proofs of his bravery and ability. He was quick to act, but never more so than when Dane Norwood brought him word at Oromocto of the plot against the Loyalists.
When he at length rose to speak, all talking ceased, and the people of the settlement felt that they were now to learn the reason of the rangers’ presence in their midst. And neither were they mistaken. After Davidson had thanked them for their kindly reception, he told them of the danger which threatened their homes, and perhaps their lives. He mentioned the council which had been held on the shore of the Wedneebak, and how Dane Norwood and Pete, the Indian, had brought him the news. He and his men had accordingly hastened down river as fast as possible to ask the men of Loyal to join them in overcoming and putting the plotters to rout.
“But why should they attack us?” the Colonel asked when Davidson had ended. “They do not know us, and we have never harmed them.”
“Simply because you are loyal to King George,” was the reply. “The half-breeds, who are descended from the Acadians, think they have a great grievance against England for expelling their forefathers from Grand Pre in 1755. During the war they made no end of trouble, and did their best to stir up the Indians to rebellion. I know only too well what they did, for they drove me from my home on the Miramichi, and caused me a great deal of annoyance up river. They are at their old tricks again, and this is their last hope.
“But have they not reason for being angry at what England did to their forefathers at Grand Pre?” Henry Watson, a Loyalist, asked. “We have heard much about that transaction, and it was all very unfavourable to England. Perhaps there is another side to the story.”
“Indeed there is,” Davidson replied, “although it is very difficult to separate the truth from the fiction. It was a very sad affair, and it is a pity that it ever happened. Perhaps England made a mistake and acted hastily, but we must consider how serious was the situation when the expulsion took place. Sentiment has played an important part, and the thought of thousands of people deprived of their lands, and driven out to wander as exiles in strange countries has naturally stirred many hearts.”