THE GUN POWDER STORY 371 kicked him unmercifully. On separating them I inquired of them who his opponent was; he told me he was the son of Pio Pio Mox-Mox, the big chief of the Walla Walla (tribe). I blamed Todd for being so hasty and told him we would have some trouble. All the men except Todd, the saddle-maker and myself, were out in the fields about two miles away. However, I expected a big talk, but did not anticipate anything worse. About an hour after the old chief accompanied by some forty or sixty men came in by the, back gate of the Fort through the kitchen into my room. On seeing him wishing to be polite I offered him a chair, instead of accepting the same he & his men flew by me to Todd and took hold of him ; as soon as I could get among them I was in time, to take hold of the chief's arm who had a tomahawk in his hand & was about bringing it down on Todd's head. I managed to draw him toward my desk where I had three pistols (not revolvers) hanging prob- ably not loaded. As the chief and I were scuffeling the men who had hold of Todd let go apparently to see what we were about to do. I handed one pistol to Todd, kept two for my- self with the order not to fire till I give the word. The chief then presented his naked breast & asked me whether I was going to shoot him. "Shoot me. You shoot a man," said he. I replied such was by no means my wish, but if he again at- tempted to use his tomahawk on Todd's head I would certainly use my pistol. Then ensued a long conversation about Dr. White's laws, wherein if an Indian struck a white man he would be flogged & if a white man struck an Indian that he also would be flogged. I told the chief that I would not sub- mit to anything of the kind, that if his son had thrashed my young man, I would have thought nothing more of it. He still insisted of having Todd flogged. I told him that they would have to kill me first. While thus talking the young man who had been thrashed by Todd gave me a severe blow from be- hind hitting me under the fifth rib. I took him by the hair of the head intending first to strike him, but knowing to do so would be sure death, I let him go & thinking of a keg of
Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/379
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