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McLean then caused quite an uproar by shouting there were no laws, and demanding to know the name of the accuser. Upon being told it was Spence he advanced on him saying, "Come out of that, you whited sepulchre, you cannot act as judge and accuser both!"

When constables tried to remove McLean from the court room his friends sprang into action, some of them firing at the ceiling while others engaged Spence's men in fist fights. Table, lamp and stove were overturned and Spence was thrown to the floor. His men deserted him and took off into the night.

One thing Spence had never bragged about was ever having won a medal for bravery or his ridicule might have been even harder to bear! As he cowered in a corner of the darkened room he was shouting, "For God's sake, don't firel I have a wife and family."

That was the beginning of the end of the ill-fated Republic of Portage la Prairie. Britain finally refused to grant recognition and the Repu blic was disbanded.

Spence left for salt spring near Lake Manitoba where he manu­ factured salt for a couple of years before going back to Fort Garry.

Council picture courtesy of Manitoba Archives.

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