In the last chapter, King Noah sent his army after Alma and his people. They managed to escape the pursuing army (with the help of God, no doubt). When the king's army returned, there was a division among the people. One strong man, Gideon, sought to slay the king.
And now there was a man among them whose name was Gideon, and he being a strong man and an enemy to the king, therefore he drew his sword, and swore in his wrath that he would slay the king. 19:4Gideon and the king fought, and just as Gideon was about to slay him, King Noah ran away to his tower. Once Gideon caught up with him, Noah saw that the Lamanites were preparing to attack the city. He saw it as the perfect opportunity to bargain for his life. He told Gideon that he shouldn't kill him now, or else his people will be killed by the Lamanites. His ploy works, and Gideon spares his life.
And Gideon pursued after him and was about to get upon the tower to slay the king, and the king cast his eyes round about towards the land of Shemlon, and behold, the army of the Lamanites were within the borders of the land. 19:6
And now the king cried out in the anguish of his soul, saying: Gideon, spare me, for the Lamanites are upon us, and they will destroy us; yea, they will destroy my people. 19:7
And now the king was not so much concerned about his people as he was about his own life; nevertheless, Gideon did spare his life. 19:8Noah commanded his people to flee into the wilderness. They do, but the Lamanites quickly catch up and start killing people.
And the king commanded the people that they should flee before the Lamanites, and he himself did go before them, and they did flee into the wilderness, with their women and their children. 19:9
And it came to pass that the Lamanites did pursue them, and did overtake them, and began to slay them. 19:10Then Noah tells his people to abandon their wives and children, and to run for their lives. Some of them do, and the others choose to stay and try and defend their families by other means: whoring out their daughters.
Now it came to pass that the king commanded them that all the men should leave their wives and their children, and flee before the Lamanites. 19:11
Now there were many that would not leave them, but had rather stay and perish with them. And the rest left their wives and their children and fled. 19:12
And it came to pass that those who tarried with their wives and their children caused that their fair daughters should stand forth and plead with the Lamanites that they would not slay them. 19:13
And it came to pass that the Lamanites had compassion on them, for they were charmed with the beauty of their women. 19:14So the Lamanites took them captive, and let them live their lives relatively unchanged, except for a 50% tax. (Geez, I thought King Noah's tax was high!)
Therefore the Lamanites did spare their lives, and took them captives and carried them back to the land of Nephi, and granted unto them that they might possess the land, under the conditions that they would deliver up king Noah into the hands of the Lamanites, and deliver up their property, even one half of all they possessed, one half of their gold, and their silver, and all their precious things, and thus they should pay tribute to the king of the Lamanites from year to year. 19:15Limhi, the new "King", agreed to this Draconian tax. He didn't have much choice, though. The Lamanite king drove a hard bargain.
And it came to pass that the king of the Lamanites made an oath unto them, that his people should not slay them. 19:25
And also Limhi, being the son of the king, having the kingdom conferred upon him by the people, made oath unto the king of the Lamanites that his people should pay tribute unto him, even one half of all they possessed. 19:26The Lamanite king was clever, though. He knew that Limhi's people might try running away again, so he posted guards around the city. In spite of the crippling tax that was upon them, there was continual peace in the land for two years.
And the king of the Lamanites set guards round about the land, that he might keep the people of Limhi in the land, that they might not depart into the wilderness; and he did support his guards out of the tribute which he did receive from the Nephites. 19:28
And now king Limhi did have continual peace in his kingdom for the space of two years, that the Lamanites did not molest them nor seek to destroy them. 19:29