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[400] rude works of the natives frowned defiance, it was ru-
Chap. IX.} 1637.
mored through the tribe, that its enemies had vanished through fear. Exultation followed; and hundreds of the Pequods spent much of the last night of their lives in revelry, at a time when the sentinels of the English were within hearing of their songs. Two hours be-
May 26.
fore day, the soldiers of Connecticut put themselves in motion towards the enemy; and, as the light of morning began to dawn, they made their attack on the principal fort, which stood in a strong position at the summit of a hill.1 The colonists felt that they were fighting for the security of their homes; that, if defeated, the war-whoop would immediately resound near their cottages, and their wives and children be abandoned to the scalping-knife and the tomahawk. They ascend to the attack; a watch-dog bays an alarm at their approach; the Indians awake, rally, and resist, as well as bows and arrows can resist weapons of steel. The superiority of number was with them; and fighting closely, hand to hand, though the massa cre spread from wigwam to wigwam, victory was tardy. ‘We must burn them!’ shouted Mason, and cast a firebrand to the windward among the light mats of the Indian cabins. Hardly could the English withdraw to encompass the place, before the whole encampment was in a blaze. Did the helpless natives climb the palisades, the flames assisted the marksmen to take good aim at the unprotected men; did they attempt a sally, they were cut down by the English broadswords. The carnage was complete: about six hundred Indians, men, women, and children, perished; most of them in the hideous conflagration. In about

1 Compare E. R. Potter's Early History of Narragalsett, 24. Williams in III. Mass. Hist. Coll. III. 133.

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