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      155 She had so much to tell that she scarcely took time to greet Clytie and her mother. She had met at the fountain two other bride-maids; they had talked together, and Coronis therefore knew all about the weddings which were to take place the next day; she knew the fathers, mothers, brides, and bridegrooms, and had a great deal to say about the marriage garments, bridesmen, and nuptial banquets.Soon after, he succeeded in landing at a point somewhere between Matagorda Island and Corpus Christi Bay. The aspect of the country was not cheering, with its barren plains, its reedy marshes, its interminable oyster-beds, and broad flats of mud bare at low tide. Joutel and his men sought in vain for fresh water, and after shooting some geese and ducks returned to the "Aimable." Nothing had been seen of Beaujeu and the "Joly;" the coast was trending southward; and La Salle, convinced that he must have passed the missing ship, turned to retrace his course. He had sailed but a few miles when the wind failed, a fog covered the sea, and he was forced to anchor opposite one of the openings into the lagoons north of Mustang Island. At length, on the nineteenth, there came a faint breeze; the mists rolled away before it, and to his great joy he saw the "Joly" approaching.

      Champlain was, at the time, in Paris; but his unquiet thoughts turned westward. He was enamoured of the New World, whose rugged charms had seized his fancy and his heart; and as explorers of Arctic seas have pined in their repose for polar ice and snow, so did his restless thoughts revert to the fog-wrapped coasts, the piny odors of forests, the noise of waters, the sharp and piercing sunlight, so dear to his remembrance. He longed to unveil the mystery of that boundless wilderness, and plant the Catholic faith and the power of France amid its ancient barbarism.

      The Indians of this village were the Natchez; and their chief was brother of the great chief, or Sun, of the whole nation. His town was several leagues distant, near the site of the city of Natchez; and thither the French repaired to visit him. They saw what they had already seen among the Taensas,a religious and political despotism, a privileged caste descended from the sun, a temple, and a sacred fire.[241] [Pg 305] La Salle planted a large cross, with the arms of France attached, in the midst of the town; while the inhabitants looked on with a satisfaction which they would hardly have displayed had they understood the meaning of the act.

      When he reached the boat, he found the whole savage crew gathered at the spot. He mildly rebuked their bad faith, but added, that, though they had deceived him, he, as far as might be, would fulfil his pledge. To this end, he directed Marais, with the boat and the greater part of the men, to return to Quebec, while he, with two who offered to follow him, should proceed in the Indian canoes.

      Accompanied by the gigantic Conops, who had volunteered his services, Lycon went to the market. It was a little open square, one side occupied by the council-hall, a pretty new pillared building, another by271 an ancient temple of Poseidon, one of the noteworthy objects in the city, a third by an arcade used for a shelter in rainy weather, and the fourth by the houses of the citizens.iii In the obscure recesses of Greek literature, where we are abandoned by all translators, and whereas everybody knows who has devoted himself to the interpretation of the classicsonly short excursions can be made, we are sometimes surprised at finding, by pure accident, useful matter. Dion Chrysostomus (VII) gives extremely interesting descriptions of life in the Greek villages and commercial towns. But what is discovered is always so scattered that only a few notes can be obtained from numerous volumes.

      They drew near a guard: "Dese is ole folks o' mine, Mr. Gyuard, ef you please, suh, dess a-lookin' at de ole home, suh."On the next morning, the first of May, they found themselves off the mouth of a great river. Riding at anchor on a sunny sea, they lowered their boats, crossed the bar that obstructed the entrance, and floated on a basin of deep and sheltered water, "boyling and roaring," says Ribaut, "through the multitude of all kind of fish." Indians were running along the beach, and out upon the sand-bars, beckoning them to land. They pushed their boats ashore and disembarked,sailors, soldiers, and eager young nobles. Corselet and morion, arquebuse and halberd, flashed in the sun that flickered through innumerable leaves, as, kneeling on the ground, they gave thanks to God, who had guided their voyage to an issue full of promise. The Indians, seated gravely under the neighboring trees, looked on in silent respect, thinking that they worshipped the sun. "They be all naked and of a goodly stature, mightie, and as well shapen and proportioned of body as any people in ye world; and the fore part of their body and armes be painted with pretie deuised workes, of Azure, red, and blacke, so well and so properly as the best Painter of Europe could not amende it." With their squaws and children, they presently drew near, and, strewing the earth with laurel boughs, sat down among the Frenchmen. Their visitors were much pleased with them, and Ribaut gave the chief, whom he calls the king, a robe of blue cloth, worked in yellow with the regal fleur-de-lis.


      I. Lettres Historiques, and Relations des Jsuites, 1657 and


      Starting now here, now there, Flora wavered as he reeled to the broken wall and seized the trowel. The knife dropped to the floor but he set foot on it, brandished the tool and began to sing:


      [304] The Bay of St. Louis, St. Bernard's Bay, or Matagorda Bay,for it has borne all these names,was also called Espiritu Santo Bay by the Spaniards, in common with several other bays in the Gulf of Mexico. An adjoining bay still retains the name."Oh, nor yours! nor Connie's! nor all--his; nor our whole past of the last two interminable years; but this whole poor terrified city's fate, and, for all we know, the war's final issue! And so I--Here, Con," (handing a newspaper), "from Steve, husband."