Another early settlers' tale that Marion Kuclo chronicles concerns "The Nain Rouge," or the Red Dwarf. Although his origin remains unknown, the ugly spiteful monster with piercing eyes and rotten teeth plagued early Detroit settlers bringing or forewarning of misfortune whenever he appeared.
Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the founder of Detroit, was haunted by the creature and soon lost his vast fortune and political standing.
On July 30,1763, the Red Dwarf was seen stalking Capt. James Dalyell on the banks of the Detroit River. The following day, the British captain and 58 of his soldiers were ambushed by Chief Pontiac at the Battle of Bloody Run. The small tributary of the Detroit River, which still flows through what is now Elmwood Cemetery, turned red with the blood of the soldiers for days after the battle.
Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac was haunted by the Red Gnome.
The gnome reappeared to early Detroit settlers just before the entire city of wooden structures burned to the ground in 1805. A blundering Gen William Hull claimed to have seen the "Nain Rouge" in the fog just before his surrender of Detroit to the British without firing a shot in the War of 1812 .
Author Kuclo also reports eyewitness accounts by Detroiters who watched the creature roam the streets of Detroit in the hot summer days before to the 1967 riots.