“And why should I? Why can’t we meet here without being disturbed? What right have you to come upon us like this? What do you want, anyway?”
“I want you and a few others, and you know very well what for, so don’t begin any nonsense.”
“This is an outrage,” Flazeet stormed. “I always thought this was a free country, where men can meet together if they want to without being held up like this.”
“It is a free country, Joe, and we are trying to keep it so. But when men start plotting against peaceable people, they must be restrained. That is the reason why we are here.”
“Do you mean to say that we are plotters?”
“Yes, and the meanest kind at that. You have been stirring up the Indians and others for some time. You will be surprised, no doubt, to know that every word that you and Rauchad uttered at your big council by the Wedneebak was overheard and reported to me. I know what you said to the Acadians and the Indians who were there that night, and how you cursed King George. You planned to wipe out the Loyalists, though that was easier said than done.”
Flazeet and Rauchad stared dumbfounded at the speaker. Their rage was changing now to a nameless fear. They thought of that night by the Wedneebak when they imagined that only those concerned in the plot were present. Had they been betrayed by one of their number? they asked themselves. They could not believe it, for they had kept in close touch with all the men ever since. There must have been spies surrounding them that night, and this thought sent cold chills up and down their spines, causing their faces to turn a ghastly hue.
Davidson noted their confusion, and smiled. He knew that they were greatly puzzled, and it pleased him. The Acadians and Indians were deeply impressed, and showed it by the expressions of fear and awe upon their faces. Their respect for the King’s purveyor had always been great, but they considered him now as more than human. That he knew of every word which had been spoken at their council by the Wedneebak, was beyond their comprehension. That they were completely cowed, Davidson knew. He turned to the Indians and addressed them in their own language. He told them how their false leaders had led them into trouble, and caused them to rebel against King George’s people. But if they were willing to behave themselves, he would let them go. He wished to take only the ringleaders with him, and hand them over to Major Studholme at Fort Howe.
“King George will treat you well,” he said in conclusion. “There is plenty of land for both you and the white people. You will still have your hunting-grounds, so you and your families will have plenty of food. But if you listen to such men as Flazeet and Rauchad here, and make any more trouble, King George will send soldiers as many as the trees of the forest, and will drive you all out. He does not want to do that. He is anxious to be your great chief, and help you. Are you willing to obey him?”