The Adventures Of Captain Bonneville By Washington Irving


Accordingly, convoking their chiefs, he inveighed against their
craven policy, and urged the necessity of vigorous and
retributive measures that - Page 120
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Accordingly, Convoking Their Chiefs, He Inveighed Against Their Craven Policy, And Urged The Necessity Of Vigorous And Retributive Measures That Would Check The Confidence And Presumption Of Their Enemies, If Not Inspire Them With Awe.

For this purpose, he advised that a war party should be immediately sent off on the trail of the marauders, to follow them, if necessary, into the very heart of the Blackfoot country, and not to leave them until they had taken signal vengeance.

Beside this, he recommended the organization of minor war parties, to make reprisals to the extent of the losses sustained. "Unless you rouse yourselves from your apathy," said he, "and strike some bold and decisive blow, you will cease to be considered men, or objects of manly warfare. The very squaws and children of the Blackfeet will be set against you, while their warriors reserve themselves for nobler antagonists."

This harangue had evidently a momentary effect upon the pride of the hearers. After a short pause, however, one of the orators arose. It was bad, he said, to go to war for mere revenge. The Great Spirit had given them a heart for peace, not for war. They had lost horses, it was true, but they could easily get others from their cousins, the Lower Nez Perces, without incurring any risk; whereas, in war they should lose men, who were not so readily replaced. As to their late losses, an increased watchfulness would prevent any more misfortunes of the kind. He disapproved, therefore, of all hostile measures; and all the other chiefs concurred in his opinion.

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