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      [14] Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1648, 48.

      [101] Tonty, Mmoire, in Margry, Relations et Mmoires indits, 5.He had gone, as already mentioned, with twelve Indians, to hasten the march of the allies, who were to join the Hurons before the hostile town. Crossing Lake Ontario, the party pushed onward with all speed, avoiding trails, threading the thickest forests and darkest swamps, for it was the land of the fierce and watchful Iroquois. They were well advanced on their way when they saw a small party of them crossing a meadow, set upon them, surprised them, killed four, and took two prisoners, whom they led to Carantonan,a palisaded town with a population of eight hundred warriors, or about four thousand souls. The dwellings and defences were like those of the Hurons, and the town seems to have stood on or near the upper waters of the Susquehanna. They were welcomed with feasts, dances, and an uproar of rejoicing. The five hundred warriors prepared to depart; but, engrossed by the general festivity, they prepared so slowly, that, though the hostile town was but three days distant, they found on reaching it that the besiegers were gone. Brule now returned with them to Carantonan, and, with enterprise worthy of his commander, spent the winter in a tour of exploration. Descending a river, evidently the Susquehanna, he followed it to its junction with the sea, through territories of populous tribes, at war the one with the other. When, in the spring, he returned to Carantonan, five or six of the Indians offered to guide him towards his countrymen. Less fortunate than before, he encountered on the way a band of Iroquois, who, rushing upon the party, scattered them through the woods. Brule ran like the rest. The cries of pursuers and pursued died away in the distance. The forest was silent around him. He was lost in the shady labyrinth. For three or four days he wandered, helpless and famished, till at length he found an Indian foot-path, and, choosing between starvation and the Iroquois, desperately followed it to throw himself on their mercy. He soon saw three Indians in the distance, laden with fish newly caught, and called to them in the Huron tongue, which was radically similar to that of the Iroquois. They stood amazed, then turned to fly; but Brule, gaunt with famine, flung down his weapons in token of friendship. They now drew near, listened to the story of his distress, lighted their pipes, and smoked with him; then guided him to their village, and gave him food.

      "Oh, go on," murmured Charlie, and many smiled.Simonides funeral was conducted as beseemed a wealthy family. The corpse, crowned with myrtle and resting on embroidered pillows, was displayed upon a couch, where it was seen during the day by a throng of citizens, old and young, rich and poor, some of the latter clad in grey or black clothes with closely cut hair, asserting by this mourning garb a distant relationship.

      [31] "L'ame de tous les Conseils."Charlevoix, Voyage, 199.In 1763 they were Pontiac's best warriors.

      [5] The site of the fort was the estate now known as "La Terre du Fort," near the landing of the steam ferry. In 1856, Mr. N. H. Bowen, a resident near the spot, in making some excavations, found a solid stone wall five feet thick, which, there can be little doubt, was that of the work in question. This wall was originally crowned with palisades. See Bowen, Historical Sketch of the Isle of Orleans, 25.Had you not been a member of our hetaeria, said Sthenelus, you should never have had my vote. And when Xenocles asked the reason he replied: Because, by Zeus, you know the aqueducts far too wellyoull be a costly superintendent.

      La Salle's men were for the most part raw hands, knowing nothing of the wilderness, and easily alarmed at its dangers; but there were two among them, old coureurs de bois, who unfortunately knew too much; for they understood the Indian orator, and explained his speech to the rest. As La Salle looked around on the circle of his followers, he read an augury of fresh trouble in their disturbed and rueful visages. He waited patiently, however, till the speaker had ended, and then answered him, through his interpreter, with great composure. First, he thanked him for the friendly warning which his affection had impelled him to utter; but, he continued, [Pg 177] the greater the danger, the greater the honor; and even if the danger were real, Frenchmen would never flinch from it. But were not the Illinois jealous? Had they not been deluded by lies? "We were not asleep, my brother, when Monso came to tell you, under cover of night, that we were spies of the Iroquois. The presents he gave you, that you might believe his falsehoods, are at this moment buried in the earth under this lodge. If he told the truth, why did he skulk away in the dark? Why did he not show himself by day? Do you not see that when we first came among you, and your camp was all in confusion, we could have killed you without needing help from the Iroquois? And now, while I am speaking, could we not put your old men to death, while your young warriors are all gone away to hunt? If we meant to make war on you, we should need no help from the Iroquois, who have so often felt the force of our arms. Look at what we have brought you. It is not weapons to destroy you, but merchandise and tools for your good. If you still harbor evil thoughts of us, be frank as we are, and speak them boldly. Go after this impostor Monso, and bring him back, that we may answer him face to face; for he never saw either us or the Iroquois, and what can he know of the plots that he pretends to reveal?"[152] Nicanop had nothing to [Pg 178] reply, and, grunting assent in the depths of his throat, made a sign that the feast should proceed.

      There was little game in the Huron country; and here, as among the Iroquois, the staple of food was Indian corn, cooked without salt in a variety of forms, each more odious than the last. Venison was a luxury found only at feasts; dog-flesh was in high esteem; and, in some of the towns captive bears were fattened for festive occasions. These tribes were far less improvident than the roving Algonquins, and stores of provision were laid up against a season of want. Their main stock of corn was buried in caches, or deep holes in the earth, either within or without the houses.


      "I wish, now," sighed the sister, "we'd shown it when we got it. I've had enough of keeping things from Nan Callender. Of course, even among our heroes in prison, there still may be a 'Harry Rnard'; but it's far more likely that someone's telegraphed or printed 'Hilary Kinkaid' that way; for there was a Herry Rnard, Steve says, a captain, in Harper's calvary, who months ago quietly died in one of our own hospitals--at Lauderdale. Now, at headquarters, Steve says, they're all agreed that the name isn't a mite more suggestive than the pure daring of the deed, and that if they had to guess who did it they'd every one guess Hilary Kincaid."


      The adventurers were now, with few exceptions, disgusted with the enterprise, and longed only to escape from the scene of their miseries. After a vain attempt to reach Mexico by land, they again turned back to the Mississippi, and labored, with all the resources which their desperate necessity could suggest, to construct vessels in which they might make their way to some Christian settlement. Their condition was most forlorn. Few of their horses remained alive; their baggage had been destroyed at the burning of the Indian town of Mavila, and many of the soldiers were without armor and without weapons. In place of the gallant array which, more than three years before, had left the harbor of Espiritu Santo, a company of sickly and starving men were laboring among the swampy forests of the Mississippi, some clad in skins, and some in mats woven from a kind of wild vine.Manes silently tried to avoid his masters eye.


      "Ces Insulaires voudraient bien que les Hurons ne vinssent point aux Fran?ois & que les Fran?ois n'allassent point aux Hurons, afin d'emporter eux seuls tout le trafic," etc.Relation, 1633, 205 (Cramoisy),"desirans eux-mesmes aller recueiller les marchandises des peuples circonvoisins pour les apporter aux Fran?ois." This "Nation de l'Isle" has been erroneously located at Montreal. Its true position is indicated on the map of Du Creux, and on an ancient MS. map in the Dp?t des Cartes, of which a fac-simile is before me. See also "Pioneers of France," 347.