Gathering at Montgomery's.—While Mackenzie was in the north making arrangements to carry out this plan, word reached him that owing to alarming rumors a change of date had been decided upon by the Toronto committee, and that the attack should be made on the 4th of December. But when that day came there were less than one hundred men at Montgomery's. Colonel Van Egmond, who had seen service under Napoleon, was to lead the rebel forces, and he had not yet arrived. It was decided, therefore, to defer the attack. Two men were captured on Yonge Street, but one of them (Powell) managed to escape, after shooting his guard, and at once gave the alarm in Toronto. That same night Colonel Moodie was shot in front of Montgomery's while trying to force his way to the town through the rebel lines.
TWo Days of Anxiety.—Roused from their beds at mid-night, the loyal citizens of the capital quickly organized a volunteer force under Colonel FitzGibbon, the hero of Beaver Darns. The leading officials, including Chief Justice Robinson and his brother judges, took their places in the ranks. The force, however, was not large, and, in order to gain time to gather in the militia, Sir F. B. Head, on the morning of the 5th, sent Rolph and Baldwin with a flag of truce to the rebel headquarters to ascertain their demands. "Independence and a convention to arrange details" was the answer. It is said that Rolph himself was deeply involved in the rebellious movement ; that he accepted the mission to avoid suspicion, and that he privately urged Mackenzie to advance on the town at once. An advance was at all events made that night, but, meeting a scouting party under Sheriff Jarvis, the insurgents became panic-stricken and rapidly withdrew. Next day was one of much anxiety both in the town and in the rebel camp, but beyond a raid on a mail-coach nothing was done.
The Rebellion Crushed.—On the 7th, the day originally set for the attack, Van Egmond arrived. A council of war was held, and the rebel leaders decided to hold their position and await further reinforcements. Meanwhile the Gore militia, under Colonel MacNab, had arrived in Toronto—almost as motley a crowd as the rustic insurgents, but loyal to the core. Sir F. B. Head, having now, as he himself tells us, "an overwhelming force," marched against the rebel position. All was over in a few minutes. The artillery fire was too much for the undisciplined