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THE LIFE OF HON. RIX ROBBINSON A PIONEER OF WESTERN MICHIGAN

BY GEORGE H. WHITE

Mr. Robinson told the writer, and so he did Mr. John F. Godfroy, that his study of the Indian character had resulted in two rules to govern his intercourse with them, which he had pursued undeviatingly. The first was to never show any fear of an Indian, however many might be his followers or comrades. The other was never to take an insult from an Indian without chastisement, but not to administer chastisement until he had proceeded so far as to be beyond retreat or retraction, for then the administration of proper chastisement would not cause a feeling or desire of revenge, or provoke the interference of his friends. Before the departure of his guest, the chief accompanied by a number of his tribe, entered the log shanty whose threshold they had not before crossed. Mr. Robinson had, as all Indian traders in those days had, some fire-water for sale, but this was kept in a strong log addition, whose hewn plank door (fastened together with wooden pins without any iron whatever) was closed and fastened. The chief seated himself upon a heavy three-legged stool and the following colloquy occurred: "Got any whiskey?" "Yes. " "I want some. " Trader (looking around as if to see his furs), "Where are your furs, your peltries?" "Haven't any. " "Well, I keep whiskey to sell,. not to give away. " "I help myself when they are not willing to give it freely. " Upon' saying this the chief jumped up, seized the stool and threw it against the door with such force as to break it open and started towards it. He had hardly got three steps before Mr. Robinson struck him with his fist under the ear. He fell senseless into the fireplace where three logs were burning, Robinson putting his foot on the chief's head.

Michigan


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