A Cross-Fire Thus Took Place, Which Occasionally Did
Mischief To Friends As Well As Foes.
An Indian was shot down,
close to Wyeth, by a ball which, he was convinced, had been sped
from the rifle of a trapper on the other side of the fort.
The number of whites and their Indian allies had by this time so
much increased by arrivals from the rendezvous, that the
Blackfeet were completely overmatched. They kept doggedly in
their fort, however, making no offer of surrender. An occasional
firing into the breastwork was kept up during the day. Now and
then, one of the Indian allies, in bravado, would rush up to the
fort, fire over the ramparts, tear off a buffalo robe or a
scarlet blanket, and return with it in triumph to his comrades.
Most of the savage garrison that fell, however, were killed in
the first part of the attack.
At one time it was resolved to set fire to the fort; and the
squaws belonging to the allies were employed to collect
combustibles. This however, was abandoned; the Nez Perces being
unwilling to destroy the robes and blankets, and other spoils of
the enemy, which they felt sure would fall into their hands.
The Indians, when fighting, are prone to taunt and revile each
other. During one of the pauses of the battle, the voice of the
Blackfeet chief was heard.
"So long," said he, "as we had powder and ball, we fought you in
the open field:
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