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[399] as it was fortunate in its issue. When the Pequods
Chap. IX.} 1637
were left to contend single-handed against the English, it was their ignorance only which could still inspire confidence in their courage.

Continued injuries and murders roused Connecticut to action; and the court of its three infant towns

May 1.
decreed immediate war. Uncas, sachem of the Mohegans, Mwas their ally. To John Mason the staff of command was delivered at Hartford by the venerated Hooker; and after nearly a whole night spent, at the request of the soldiers, in importunate prayer by the very learned and godly Stone, about sixty men, one
third of the whole colony, aided by John Underhill and twenty gallant recruits, whom the forethought of Vane had sent from the Bay State, sailed past the Thames,
and, designing to reach the Pequod fort unobserved entered a harbor near Wickford, in the bay of the
Narragansetts. The next day was the Lord's, sacred to religion and rest. Early in the week, the captains
of the expedition, with the pomp of a military escort, repaired to the court of Canonicus, the patriarch and ruler of the tribe; and the younger and more fiery
Miantonomoh, surrounded by two hundred of his bravest warriors, received them in council. ‘Your design,’ said he, ‘is good; but your numbers are too weak to brave the Pequods, who have mighty chieftains, and are skilful in battle;’ and after doubtful friendship, he deserted the desperate enterprise.

Nor did the unhappy clans on Mistic River distrust their strength. To their hundreds of brave men their bows and arrows still seemed formidable weapons; ignorant of European fortresses, they viewed their rush work palisades with complacency; and as the English boats sailed by the places where the

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