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320   CANADIAN HISTORY FOR BOYS AND GIRLS.

the scattered settlers, whose only protection was about 500 men of the Mounted Police force, which had been formed in 1873 to keep order in the North-Nest.

Riel had given the command of his follow-Duck Lake. ers to a half-breed of great strength and courage, named Gabriel Dumont, and towards the end of March this man seized the Indian agent and the government stores at a little settlement called Duck Lake. A

day or two later a few Mounted Policemen and volun=teers, under Major Crozier, who had been sent too late

to guard the stores, fell in unexpectedly tyith Dumont's men. Twelve of the loyalists were killed, and the rest, many of whom were seriously wounded, were forced to retreat to Fort Carlton. There they were joined by Colonel Irvine, with eighty Mounted Policemen and thirty volunteers from Prince Albert, to which town they soon fell back.

The Indian The success of the rebels had a bad effect Rising. on the Indians. On April 2nd a band of Cree warriors, tinder Chief Pig Bear, cruelly shot ten people at Frog Lake and took a number of prisoners. About the same time several settlers were murdered at other places.

The Indians nett marched on Fort Pitt, which they hoped to plunder easily, for its defences were weak. But they found the stores guarded by a few determined Mounted Policemen. tinder the command of Francis Dickens, a son of the great novelist, and, after a hot fight, they were beaten off. The police then destroyed the stores and retreated to Battleford.

Several hundred' men, women, and children, leaving their hornes to be znbbed or burned by the Indians, had fled for refuge to the fort at Battleford. But even there they were in great danger, and as the rebels had destroyed the telegraph wires, the settlers seemed terribly cut off from the outside -world. +


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