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      [113] "Les sauvages et Accadiens mirent le feu dans toutes les maisons et granges, pleines de bled et de fourrages, ce qui a caus une grande disette." La Vallire, ut supra."Yes," said Don, "now that you speak of it; Dongan had been acting queerly towards me for some time past. Relations were a little strained. But I never gave it much thought."


      There was a grand council, at which the French officer was present; and Post delivered the peace message from the council at Easton, along with another with which Forbes had charged him. "The messages pleased all the hearers except the French captain. He shook his head in bitter grief, and often changed countenance. Isaac Still [an Indian] ran him down with great boldness, and pointed at him, saying, 'There he sits!' They all said: 'The French always deceived us!' pointing at the French captain; who, bowing down his head, turned quite pale, and could look no one in the face. All the Indians began to mock and laugh at him. He could hold it no longer, and went out." [659]She bit her tongue as soon as it was out, but could not have helped herself. Some power stronger than her will forced her to put her worst foot foremost. Pendleton pre was frankly shocked, but the young man was not put out at all. He grinned at her delightfully and murmured too low for her father to hear:


      V1 subjects;" and he and his followers made their way through the forest till they came opposite the fort, where they stationed themselves on two densely wooded hills, adjacent, though separated by a small brook. One of these was about a hundred paces from the English, and the other about sixty. Their position was such that the French and Indians, well sheltered by trees and bushes, and with the advantage of higher ground, could cross their fire upon the fort and enfilade a part of it. Washington had meanwhile drawn his followers within the entrenchment; and the firing now began on both sides. Rain fell all day. The raw earth of the embankment was turned to soft mud, and the men in the ditch of the outwork stood to the knee in water. The swivels brought back from the camp at Gist's farm were mounted on the rampart; but the gunners were so ill protected that the pieces were almost silenced by the French musketry. The fight lasted nine hours. At times the fire on both sides was nearly quenched by the showers, and the bedrenched combatants could do little but gaze at each other through a gray veil of mist and rain. Towards night, however, the fusillade revived, and became sharp again until dark. At eight o'clock the French called out to propose a parley.V1 Duke of Cumberland's own heart, was appointed to the chief command. The two regimentsthe forty-fourth and the forty-eighthembarked at Cork in the middle of January. The soldiers detested the service, and many had deserted. More would have done so had they foreseen what awaited them.

      The garrison were already disheartened. Colonel Mercer, the soul of the defence, had just been cut in 413During the afternoon an automobile with a broken spring managed to win through by the road. It brought a load of New York reporters. These in asking their way had spread the news along the Neck, and the poor whites who lived there hidden in the woods began to straggle in in ox-carts, to share in the excitement.

      Towards the end of August the sky brightened again. It became known that Amherst was not moving on Montreal, and Bourlamaque wrote that his position at Isle-aux-Noix was impregnable. On the twenty-seventh a deserter from Wolfe's army brought the welcome assurance that the invaders despaired of success, and would soon sail for home; while there were movements in the English camps and fleet that seemed to confirm what he said. Vaudreuil breathed more freely, and renewed hope and confidence visited the army of Beauport.V2 disheartening to the French, since, some weeks before, they had gained a success which they hoped would confirm the adhesion of all their wavering allies. Major Grant, of the Highlanders, had urged Bouquet to send him to reconnoitre Fort Duquesne, capture prisoners, and strike a blow that would animate the assailants and discourage the assailed. Bouquet, forgetting his usual prudence, consented; and Grant set out from the camp at Loyalhannon with about eight hundred men, Highlanders, Royal Americans, and provincials. On the fourteenth of September, at two in the morning, he reached the top of the rising ground thenceforth called Grant's Hill, half a mile or more from the French fort. The forest and the darkness of the night hid him completely from the enemy. He ordered Major Lewis, of the Virginians, to take with him half the detachment, descend to the open plain before the fort, and attack the Indians known to be encamped there; after which he was to make a feigned retreat to the hill, where the rest of the troops were to lie in ambush and receive the pursuers. Lewis set out on his errand, while Grant waited anxiously for the result. Dawn was near, and all was silent; till at length Lewis returned, and incensed his commander by declaring that his men had lost their way in the dark woods, and fallen into such confusion that the attempt was impracticable. The morning twilight now began, but the country was wrapped in thick fog. Grant abandoned his first plan, and sent a few Highlanders into the 152


      [240] Sewall's Memorial relating to the Kennebec Indians is an argument against war with them.

      His charges are strange ones from a man who was by turns the patron, advocate, and tool of the official villains who cheated the King and plundered the people. Bigot, Cadet, and the rest of the harpies that preyed on Canada looked to Vaudreuil for support, and found it. It was but three or four weeks since he had written to the Court in high eulogy of Bigot and effusive praise of Cadet, coupled with the request that a patent of nobility should be given to that notorious public thief. [811] The corruptions which disgraced his government were rife, not only in the civil administration, but also among the officers of the colony troops, over whom he had complete control. They did not, as has been seen already, extend to the officers of the line, who were outside the circle of peculation. It was these who were the habitual associates of Montcalm; and when Vaudreuil 320

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      Wolfe, with twelve hundred men, made his way six or seven miles round the harbor, took possession of the battery at Lighthouse Point which the French had abandoned, planted guns and mortars, and opened fire on the Island Battery that guarded the entrance. Other guns were placed at different points along the shore, and soon opened on the French ships. The ships and batteries replied. The artillery fight raged night and day; till on the twenty-fifth the island guns were dismounted and silenced. Wolfe then strengthened his posts, secured his communications, and returned to the main army in front of the town.Well, if he was still looking for men Don was not yet caught, nevertheless, Pen's heart sickened at the sight. It was clear enough what was happening. During the last few days popular interest in the chase had fallen off, but the news of the finding of the canoe had revived it. The blood lust was aroused again. When she got down to the kitchen Pen learned from the excited negroes that Riever had increased the reward to ten thousand dollars. That was what had brought the crowd.

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      It was twenty years since the Acadians had taken such an oath; and meanwhile a new generation had grown up. The old oath pledged them to fidelity and obedience; but they averred that Phillips, then governor of the province, had given them, at the same time, assurance that they should not be required to bear arms against either French or Indians. In fact, such service had not been demanded of them, and they would have lived in virtual neutrality, had not many of them broken their oaths and joined the French war-parties. For this reason Cornwallis thought it necessary that, in renewing the pledge, they should bind themselves to an allegiance as complete as that required of other British subjects. This spread general consternation. Deputies from the Acadian settlements appeared at Halifax, bringing a paper signed with the marks of a thousand persons. The following passage contains the pith of it. "The inhabitants in general, sir, over the whole extent of this country are resolved not to take the oath which your Excellency requires of us; but if your Excellency will grant us our old oath, with an exemption for ourselves and our heirs from taking up arms, we 98"Sometimes."

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      To arm every man in his government would have been difficult. He did, however, what he could, and ordered Captain Nanfan, the lieutenant-governor, to repair to Albany; whence, on the first news that the French were approaching, he was to march to the relief of the Iroquois with the four shattered companies of regulars and as many of the militia of Albany and Ulster as he could muster. Then the earl sent Wessels, mayor of Albany, to persuade the Iroquois to deliver their prisoners to him, and make no treaty with Frontenac. On the same day, he despatched Captain John Schuyler to carry his letters to the French governor. When Schuyler reached Quebec, and delivered the letters, Frontenac read them with marks of great displeasure. "My Lord Bellomont threatens me," he said. "Does he think that I am afraid of him? He claims the Iroquois, but they are none of his. They call me father, and they call him brother; and shall not a father chastise his children when he sees fit?" A conversation followed, in which Frontenac asked the envoy what was the strength of Bellomont's government. Schuyler parried the question by a grotesque exaggeration, and answered that the earl could bring about a hundred thousand men into the field. Frontenac pretended to believe him, and returned with careless gravity that he had always heard so."I'll rig it from the branches," he said. "Won't drive stakes."


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