374 ARCHIBALD McKiNLAY venged, if his heart was not good toward Todd it could not be good toward me. Then he sprung from his seat beating his breast, saying "my heart will never be good," & rushing out of the door ; a few minutes of a dead silence ensued. You might hear a pin drop. When Towato arose to his feet stern- ly addressing me, telling me that I was a fool, that I wanted blood & that I would get enough of it. Another term of silence ensued as impressive as the last lasting a few minutes ; it was a critical time. Giving myself time to think I asked Tawato whether he was chief or not ; he sneeringly answered, "ask my young men." I told him I knew that he was the son of a great chief, that his father was known among the early whites as a great and a good man, that no number of white men would make him through fear do wrong, that I was a chief, that not- withstanding the number that were standing around me would not make me change one iota of what I said. Then followed a murmuring sound as of a consultation in low tones which lasted for sometime. I observed the chief give an order that caused a young man to leave, the room. Shortly after Peo Peo Mox-Mox entered the room and without any preface or cere- mony came forward and offered me his hand in token of friendship. I looked with an expression of surprise and took his hand; then asked him whether his heart was good. He answered "yes," striking his breast. I then asked him whether his heart was good towards Todd ; his reply was "yes & to prove it & wipe out all ill feeling for ever my son is coming with a horse as a present for Todd." To seal the compact I made the son a present of a suit of clothes and smoked the pipe of peace, a peace which lasted the whole time I remained with him. I have been more proud of the termination of this incident than the gunpowder plot for I believe I ought to give myself the credit (for it was so conceded by my Brother Officers) I had secured a lasting peace "with honor" to all concerned without any bloodshed, whereas if I had acted in anyways hasty or without forethought or firmness it would be hard for me to say what the consequences might have been. You might think that I was devoid of forethought & ask why did I not shut the gates. In answer I had no gates; the old Fort was burnt down & I was building a new one,"
Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/382
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