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He knew that Inkpaduta, the most cruel and bloodthirsty leader of all the Sioux Nation, together with a throng of his outlawed followers who had participated with him in the atrocious massacre of the white settlers at Spirit Lake, Iowa, in 1857, was hovering about the Lower Agency and mingling with the four or five thousand dissatisfied Indians who werePg 20 gathered there, waiting with increasing impatience for the arrival of the annuity, and in a mood to listen eagerly to any suggestions of massacre and pillage which might be poured into their ears by Inkpaduta and his villainous companions. But what he did not know until he rode into Fort Ridgely on that terrible morning of August 18, 1862, was that on the previous day a wandering party of young M'dewakanton braves had murdered three white men and two white women near the hamlet of Acton, forty miles north of Fort Ridgely and about twenty from his own claim; that the young assassins had then ridden post-haste to the Lower Agency and with their news of bloodshed, which was like a match in a powder magazine, had set the whole savage horde assembled there into a frenzy for the blood of the whites; that Little Crow, seeing in a flash the opportunity for regaining the chief control of his tribe and, indeed, of the whole Sioux Nation, by leading them in a triumphant war, had given the word to the Indians—who had instinctively turned to him in the crisis—for a general uprising and massacre of all the whites; and that, in accordance with his orders andPg 21 the mad impulse of the crowd, they had swarmed over the Agency, slaughtering every white person whom they could find,—store-keepers, Government employees, men, women, and children.