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[374] to their promise, the Norridgewock and Penobscot Indians. They found the place deserted, and, after waiting for some days, were forced to the conclusion that the Eastern tribes had broken their pledge of cooperation. Under these circumstances a council was held; and the original design of the expedition, namely, the destruction of the whole line of frontier towns, beginning with Portsmouth, was abandoned. They had still a sufficient force for the surprise of a single settlement; and Haverhill, on the Merrimac, was selected for conquest.

In the mean time, intelligence of the expedition, greatly exaggerated in point of numbers and object, had reached Boston, and Governor Dudley had despatched troops to the more exposed out posts of the Provinces of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Forty men, under the command of Major Turner and Captains Price and Gardner, were stationed at Haverhill in the different garrison-houses. At first a good degree of vigilance was manifested; but, as days and weeks passed without any alarm, the inhabitants relapsed into their old habits; and some even began to believe that the rumored descent of the Indians was only a pretext for quartering upon them two score of lazy, rollicking soldiers, who certainly seemed more expert in making love to their daughters, and drinking their best ale and cider, than in patrolling the woods or putting the garrisons into a defensible state. The grain and hay harvest ended without disturbance; the men worked in their fields, and the women pursued their household avocations, without any very serious apprehension of danger.

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