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lxvii It remains to speak of the religious and superstitious ideas which so deeply influenced Indian life.What do you advise, Myrtale?
La Salle directed two of the men to make a canoe, and go to Michilimackinac, the nearest harborage. With the remaining two, he crossed the Detroit on a raft, and, striking a direct line across the country, reached Lake Erie not far from Point Pele. Snow, sleet, and rain pelted them with little intermission: and when, after a walk of about thirty miles, they gained the lake, the Mohegan and one of the Frenchmen were attacked with fever and spitting of blood. Only one man now remained in health. With his aid, La Salle made another canoe, and, embarking the invalids, pushed for Niagara. It was Easter Monday when they landed at a cabin of logs above the cataract, probably on the spot where the "Griffin" was built. Here several of La Salle's men had been left the year before, and here they still remained. They told him woful news. Not only had he lost the "Griffin," and her lading of ten thousand crowns in value, but a ship from France, freighted with his goods, valued at more than twenty-two thousand livres, had been totally wrecked at the mouth of the St. Lawrence; and of twenty hired men on their way from Europe to join him, some had been detained by his enemy, the Intendant Duchesneau, while all but four of the remainder, being told that he was dead, had found means to return home.Meanwhile the Onondaga colonists pursued their perilous way. At Montreal they exchanged their heavy boats for canoes, and resumed their journey with a flotilla of twenty of these sylvan vessels. A few days after, the Indians of the party had the satisfaction of pillaging a small band of Mohawk hunters, in vicarious reprisal for their own wrongs. On the 26th of June, as they neared Lake Ontario, they heard a loud and lamentable voice from the edge of the forest; whereupon, having beaten their drum to show that they were Frenchmen, they beheld a spectral figure, lean and covered with scars, which proved to be a pious Huron, one Joachim Ondakout, captured by the Mohawks in their descent on the island of Orleans, five or six weeks before. They had carried him to their village and begun to torture him; after which they tied him fast and lay down to sleep, thinking to resume their pleasure on the morrow. His cuts and burns being only on the surface, he had the good fortune to free himself from his bonds, and, naked as he was, to escape to the woods. He held his course northwestward, through regions even now a wilderness, gathered wild strawberries to sustain life, and, in fifteen days, reached the St. Lawrence, nearly dead with exhaustion. The Frenchmen gave him food and a canoe, and the living skeleton paddled with a light heart for Quebec.
Out on the basement ladder, at the ragged gap of Israel's "on'y fittin' way," was visible, to prove his word, another man's head, white-turbaned like his own, and two dark limy hands passing in a pail of mortar. Welcome distraction. True, Greenleaf's luckless question still stood unanswered, but just then an orderly summoned him to the busy generals and spoke aside to Doctor Sevier.Boston, July 1, 1874.
"Tell us the cause of the pest."