After two rather sordid nights spent in the damp forests and swamps of Sodom Vale, Capitaine de Givenchy is determined to escape the Devil’s Kitchen. Having been forced to retire on the morning of his first day, he has decided to seek battle on ground best suited to his regular troops by Sodom village. Though the way is certain to be blocked by the skirted devils of the 42nd Foot, de Givenchy and his men are spoiling for a fight.
The Milice Canadienne forge well ahead on the right flank, to be supported by Cardin’s grenadiers whilst de Givenchy and the balance of his force advance through the woods past the Widow Fuchs’ cabin towards the open ground in front of the Widow Cocklinck’s house.
Murray has sent his Mohawk allies to contest the advance of the Milice.
Meanwhile, de Givenchy urges his fusiliers onward through the trees.
The Widow Cocklinck’s Cabin is garrisoned by the veteran of Flanders, Lieutenant Mill, Sergeant M’Andrews and sixteen doughty highlanders.
There is a fold of ground by the Cabin in which Murray has had the balance of his force lie down. De Givenchy advances to the boundary fence and fires at the house, with surprising success. Nearly half a dozen of Mill’s small garrison are killed or wounded. As one, Murray’s men rise from the grass and fire a crashing volley which sends de Givenchy’s line into much disarray. The return fire from the French is almost completely ineffectual.
De Givenchy orders his men to fall back into the forest to regroup. Meanwhile, Mohawk and Milice have been fighting it out, with the natives getting by far the best of the exchange. Four Milice from Laroux’s small band have been shot for no loss, and Cutlass has embarked on a skilful fighting withdrawal, seeking to lead the remaining French out into the open.
De Givenchy falls back, pausing from time to time to fire on the advancing highlanders.
Mill leads his men from the cabin and fires on Lechat and Laroux’s men. Cardin’s grenadiers advance behind the Milice, their moustaches bristling.
Cutlass’ braves shoot down another couple of the Milice but lose two of their number to the return fire. Enraged, Cutlass launches a blood-curdling charge while Laroux and Lechat are reorganising, hurling their tomahawks and whooping on the way in. The fight is bloody and one-sided.
Two more Mohawk are slain but the French are scalped to a man.
The Mohawk are now too few to hope to hold up Cardin’s grenadiers.
But de Givenchy’s line is beginning to crumple in the face of relentless fire. Their losses are mounting.
Murray presses on across the Widow Cocklinck’s fields with little loss.
Cardin pushes on towards the Treacle Stream – a tributary of the Brimstone. Mill gets his men into line.
Cutlass and his remaining braves are about to swim the Treacle, hoping to get out of range of the advancing grenadiers.
Mill hopes some long range volleys might irritate Cardin enough to turn and face him. Cardin shrugs off the flanking fire with disdain, forges across the Treacle Stream and his men’s volley kills the last of Cutlass’ companions. The brave Mohawk can do nothing but hurl insults, and the odd rock, as the grenadiers make good their escape.
For De Givenchy though, things are looking bleak. Now faced by more than twice his number of remaining muskets and with his men’s morale teetering on the brink, he orders an honourable surrender, ‘Pour éviter l’effusion inutile de sang.’
Another defeat for the French. But at least Cardin’s grenadiers managed to escape the trap. De Givenchy must hope for suitable exchange. Perhaps the Huron might be persuaded to give up Lieutenant Quintin Kennedy, if that gentleman has not already been burned alive.