The Canadian Brothers, or the Prophecy Fulfilled a Tale of the Late American War — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 533 pages of information about The Canadian Brothers, or the Prophecy Fulfilled a Tale of the Late American War — Complete.

“No reasoning can be more candid, General,” returned Major Montgomerie; “and far be it from me wholly to deny the justice of your observation.  My own private impressions tend less to impugn your policy than to deplore the necessity for the services of such an ally:  for, however, it may be sought on the part of the British Government, (and I certainly do differ from the majority of my countrymen in this instance, by believing it will impose every possible check to unnecessary cruelty,) however, I repeat, it may be sought to confine the Indians to defensive operations, their predatory habits will but too often lead them to the outskirts of our defenceless settlements, and then who shall restrain them from imbruing their hands in the blood of the young and the adult—­the resisting and the helpless.”

“If we should be accused of neglecting the means of preventing unnecessary cruelty,” observed Colonel D’Egville, “the people of the United States will do us infinite wrong.  This very circumstance has been foreseen and provided against.  Without the power to prevent the Indians from entering upon these expeditions, we have at least done all that experience and a thorough knowledge of their character admits, to restrain their vengeance, by the promise of head money.  It has been made generally known to them that every prisoner that is brought in and delivered up, shall entitle the captor to a certain sum.  This promise, I have no doubt, will have the effect, not only of saving the lives of those who are attacked in their settlements, but also of checking any disposition to unnecessary outrage in the hour of conflict.”

“The idea is one certainly reflecting credit on the humanity of the British authorities,” returned Major Montgomerie; “but I confess I doubt its efficacy.  We all know the nature of an Indian too well to hope that in the career of his vengeance, or the full flush of victory, he will waive his war trophy in consideration of a few dollars.  The scalp he may bring, but seldom a living head with it.”

“It is, I fear, the horrid estimation in which the scalp is held, that too frequently whets the blades of these people,” observed the Commodore.  “Were it not considered a trophy, more lives would be spared; but an Indian, from all I can understand, takes greater pride in exhibiting the scalp of a slain enemy, than a knight of ancient times did in displaying in his helmet, the glove that had been bestowed on him as a mark of favor by his lady-love.”

“After all,” said the General, “necessary as it is to discourage it by every possible mark of our disapprobation, I do not (entre nous) see, in the mere act of scalping, half the horrors usually attached to the practice.  The motive must be considered.  It is not the mere desire to inflict wanton torture, that influences the warrior, but an anxiety to possess himself of that which gives indisputable evidence of his courage and success in war.  The

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The Canadian Brothers, or the Prophecy Fulfilled a Tale of the Late American War — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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