Chapter 33: Fake Peace and Iroquois Reinforcements
On the morning of the sixth day of the battle, a white flag was raised over the Iroquois Palisade.
"They want a council," said Annahotaha."
"Can we trust them?" said Dollard.
Annahotaha sniffed contemptuously. "Trust? No. If they come unarmed to talk, how can we not talk to them? But they are devious. Do not trust them."
"All right, " said Dollard. He turned to the men. "The Onondagas want to talk," Dollard yelled. "We'll let them approach, but be on guard." He turned back to Annahotaha. "They can come ahead."
Annahotaha motioned to Louis Taondechoren, the sixty-year-old war veteran, and he called to the Onondagas in the Iroquois language.
Three enemy braves strode out of the palisade, unarmed. Dollard watched them closely. They came within hearing distance, and one began to speak.
"It is not necessary that we prolong this feud longer. People have died needlessly. We should stop this and have friendly words."
Suddenly a gang of Iroquois raced out of the woods close to the far side of the barricade. Pilote was there.
He fired and so did the Hurons at his loophole. Two Iroquois dropped, and fire from the other loopholes drove the attackers back to the woods.
"Son of a bitch!" said Pilote. "They attacked during a parley!" He reloaded. "Son of a bitch," he muttered, amazed. Dollard looked at Annahotaha who watched the Iroquois run into the forest then he turned and watched the three braves run back to their palisade. He said nothing.
"Do they think we're stupid?" said Pilote.
"No," said Annahotaha. "Sometimes they do talk properly. When it suits them. It does not suit them at the moment." "How can they expect us to respond if they request a parley again?"
It is the viper way. People can say whatever they want about meeting them, and they will all be different in their opinions, and they will all be correct. It depends on the situation. Some will say they can be trusted, others say no. They will have had different experiences. That is exactly why they cannot be trusted.
The Onondagas tried the ploy once more. The second time the French and Hurons waited for Dollard's signal to fire. He did this before the Iroquois could speak. The attackers were twenty feet from the barricade before he gave the order.
They met a furious fire and fell in a heap where they had been running a second before. The survivors retreated in disarray.
Some Hurons leaped over the barricade and chopped off two Iroquois heads, then ran back to safety. They planted these heads on the palisade with the first chief's head. Then, smelling the chief's head which had been there for days, they laughed, picked it up, and threw it on the ground outside the barricade.
Chief Annenraes of the Onondagas stood grimly watching. He threw his hatchet in anger at the ground. He had hoped to make a break-through today. He wanted to have the whole thing over before Chief Agariata and his Mohawks arrived from the Iroquois Islands. He would not be in disfavor either for asking for assistance or failing to break the barricade, but he thought of the glory if he could do it alone. Now he knew he couldn't.
Eleven more men had died. He had now lost fifty-seven, a large number by Indian warfare standards. But times were changing, and he must accept it. When they destroyed Montreal, there would be more losses, but Montreal would fall, and that meant three or four hundred fewer Frenchmen. He didn't want to suffer the losses, but he liked what he envisioned at the end of the fighting.
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