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      [258] Journal of Pichon, cited by Beamish Murdoch.There is reason to believe that he sometimes exercised a humanizing influence over his flock. The war which he helped to kindle was marked by fewer barbaritiesfewer tortures, mutilations of the dead, and butcheries of women and infantsthan either of the preceding wars. It is fair to assume that this was due in part to him, though it was chiefly the result of an order given, at the outset, by Shute that non-combatants in exposed positions should be sent to places of safety in the older settlements.[266]


      The aid of Indians as scouts and skirmishers was of the last importance to an army so weak in the arts of woodcraft, and efforts were made to engage the services of the friendly Cherokees and Catawbas, many of whom came to the camp, where their caprice, insolence, and rapacity tried to the utmost the patience of the commanders. That of Sir John Sinclair had already been overcome by his dealings with the provincial authorities; and he wrote in good French, at the tail of a letter to the Swiss colonel: "Adieu, my dear Bouquet. The greatest curse that our Lord can pronounce against the worst of sinners is to give them business to do with provincial commissioners and friendly Indians." A band of sixty warriors told Colonel Burd that they would join the army on condition that it went by Braddock's road. "This," wrote Forbes, on hearing of the proposal, "is a new system of military discipline truly, and shows that my good friend Burd is either made a cat's-foot of himself, or little knows me if he imagines that sixty scoundrels are to direct me in my measures." [651] Bouquet, with a pliant tact rarely seen in the born Briton, took great pains to please these troublesome allies, 140 ** Lettre de Charles Aubert de la Chesnaye, 24 Oct., 1693.


      CHAPTER XVI.

      While Mademoiselle Mance was gaining recruits in La Flche, Marguerite Bourgeoys was no less successful in her native town of Troyes, and she rejoined her companions at Rochelle, accompanied by Sisters Chatel, Crolo, and Raisin, her destined assistants in the school at Montreal. Meanwhile, the Sulpitians and others interested in the pious enterprise, had spared no effort to gather men to strengthen the colony, and young women to serve as their wives; and all were now mustered at Rochelle, waiting for embarkation. Their waiting was a long one. Laval, bishop at Quebec, was allied to the Jesuits, and looked on the colonists of Montreal with more than coldness. Sulpitian writers say that his agents used every effort to discourage them, and that certain persons at Rochelle told the master of the ship in which the emigrants were to sail that they were not to be trusted to pay their passage-money. Hereupon ensued a delay of more than two months before means could be found to quiet the scruples of the prudent commander. At length the anchor was weighed, and the dreary voyage begun.

      Canada at this time was an object of very considerable attention at court, and especially in what was known as the parti dvot. The Relations of the Jesuits, appealing equally to the spirit of religion and the spirit of romantic adventure, had, for more than a quarter of a century, been the favorite reading of the devout, and the visit of Laval at court had greatly stimulated the interest they had kindled. The letters of Argenson, and especially of Avaugour, had shown the vast political possibilities of the young colony, and opened a vista of future glories alike for church and for king.[426] Vaudreuil au Ministre, 12 Ao?t, 1756. Montcalm sa Femme, 20 Juillet, 1756.


      V1 a surgeon, came to tell him that the second division of boats had come up, and that the men had landed. Bradstreet ordered them to stay where they were, and defend the lower crossing: then hastened forward; but when he reached the upper ford, the French had passed the river, and were ensconced in a pine-swamp near the shore. Here he attacked them; and both parties fired at each other from behind trees for an hour, with little effect. Bradstreet at length encouraged his men to make a rush at the enemy, who were put to flight and driven into the river, where many were shot or drowned as they tried to cross. Another party of the French had meanwhile passed by a ford still higher up to support their comrades; but the fight was over before they reached the spot, and they in their turn were set upon and driven back across the stream. Half an hour after, Captain Patten arrived from Onondaga with the grenadiers of Shirley's regiment; and late in the evening two hundred men came from Oswego to reinforce the victors. In the morning Bradstreet prepared to follow the French to their camp, twelve miles distant; but was prevented by a heavy rain which lasted all day. On the Monday following, he and his men reached Albany, bringing two prisoners, eighty French muskets, and many knapsacks picked up in the woods. He had lost between sixty and seventy killed, wounded, and taken. [407]

      October woods. Te Deum was sung and mass said; and then the victors began their backward march, burning, as they went, all the remaining forts, with all their hoarded stores of corn, except such as they needed for themselves. If they had failed to destroy their enemies in battle, they hoped that winter and famine would do the work of shot and steel.In this emergency, La Salle went in search of some watercourse by which they might reach Lake Erie, and soon came upon a small river, which was probably the Huron. Here, while the sick men rested, their companions made a canoe. There were no birch-trees; and they were forced to use elm-bark, which at that early season would not slip freely from the wood until they loosened it with hot water. Their canoe being made, they embarked in it, and for a time floated prosperously down the stream, when at length the way was barred by a matted [Pg 197] barricade of trees fallen across the water. The sick men could now walk again, and, pushing eastward through the forest, the party soon reached the banks of the Detroit.

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      V1 enemy rarely molested even the feeblest of them, preferring to ravage the lonely and unprotected farms. There were two or three exceptions. A Virginian fort was attacked by a war-party under an officer named Douville, who was killed, and his followers were put to flight. [445] The assailants were more fortunate at a small stockade called Fort Granville, on the Juniata. A large body of French and Indians attacked it in August while most of the garrison were absent protecting the farmers at their harvest; they set it on fire, and, in spite of a most gallant resistance by the young lieutenant left in command, took it, and killed all but one of the defenders. [446]

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      FOOTNOTES:We have seen La Salle in his acts. While he crosses the sea, let us look at him in himself. Few men knew him, even of those who saw him most. Reserved and self-contained as he was, with little vivacity or gayety or love of pleasure, he was a sealed book to those about him. His daring energy and endurance were patent to all; but the motive forces that urged him, and the influences that wrought beneath the surface of his character, were hidden where few eyes could pierce. His enemies were free to make their own interpretations, and they did not fail to use the opportunity.


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