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      La Salle was of a different mind. His goal was the Ohio, and not the northern lakes. A few days before, while hunting, he had been attacked by a fever, sarcastically ascribed by Galine to his having seen three large rattle-snakes crawling up a rock. He now told his two colleagues that he was in no condition to go forward, and should be forced to part with them. The staple of La Salle's character, as his life will attest, was an invincible determination of purpose, which set at naught all risks and all sufferings. He had cast himself with all his resources into this enterprise; and, while his faculties remained, he was not a man to recoil from it. On the other hand, the masculine fibre of which he was made did not always withhold him from the practice of the arts of address, [Pg 25] and the use of what Dollier de Casson styles belles paroles. He respected the priesthood, with the exception, it seems, of the Jesuits; and he was under obligations to the Sulpitians of Montreal. Hence there can be no doubt that he used his illness as a pretext for escaping from their company without ungraciousness, and following his own path in his own way.Where were the men? Lyrcus repeated, in a tone which demanded an answer.

      Late in the day they landed and drew up their canoes, ranging them closely, side by side. Some stripped sheets of bark, to cover their camp sheds; others gathered wood, the forest being full of dead, dry trees; others felled the living trees, for a barricade. They seem to have had steel axes, obtained by barter from the French; for in less than two hours they had made a strong defensive work, in the form of a half-circle, open on the river side, where their canoes lay on the strand, and large enough to enclose all their huts and sheds. 28 Some of their number had gone forward as scouts, and, returning, reported no signs of an enemy. This was the extent of their precaution, for they placed no guard, but all, in full security, stretched themselves to sleep,a vicious custom from which the lazy warrior of the forest rarely departs.Myrtale blushed faintly, but shook her head.

      They arrived at Tadoussac on the fifteenth of July; and the nuns ascended to Quebec in a small craft deeply laden with salted codfish, on which, uncooked, they subsisted until the first of August, when they reached their destination. Cannon roared welcome from the fort and batteries; all labor ceased; the storehouses were closed; and the zealous Montmagny, with a train of priests and soldiers, met the new-comers at the landing. All the nuns fell prostrate, and kissed the sacred soil of Canada. [17] They heard mass at the church, dined at the fort, and presently set forth to visit the new settlement of Sillery, four miles above Quebec.

      His three followers were all unfit for travel: he alone retained his strength and spirit. Taking with him three fresh men at Niagara, he resumed his journey, and on the sixth of May descried, looming through floods of rain, the familiar shores of his seigniory and the bastioned walls of Fort Frontenac. During sixty-five days he had toiled almost incessantly, travelling, by the course he took, about a thousand miles through a country beset with every form of peril and obstruction,"the most arduous journey," says the chronicler, "ever made by Frenchmen in America.""Israel!" she laughed, "why do you enter--?"


      Meanwhile, the governor proceeded at his leisure towards Montreal, stopping by the way to visit the officers settled along the bank, who, eager to pay their homage to the newly risen sun, received him with a hospitality which under the roof of a log hut was sometimes graced by the polished courtesies of the salon and the boudoir. Reaching Montreal, which he had never before seen, he gazed, we may suppose, with some interest at the long row of humble dwellings which lined the bank, the massive buildings of the Seminary, and the spire of the church predominant over all. It was a rude scene, but the greeting that awaited him savored nothing of the rough simplicity of the wilderness. Perrot, the local governor, was on the shore with his soldiers and the inhabitants, drawn up under arms and firing [Pg 88] a salute to welcome the representative of the King. Frontenac was compelled to listen to a long harangue from the judge of the place, followed by another from the syndic. Then there was a solemn procession to the church, where he was forced to undergo a third effort of oratory from one of the priests. Te Deum followed, in thanks for his arrival; and then he took refuge in the fort. Here he remained thirteen days, busied with his preparations, organizing the militia, soothing their mutual jealousies, and settling knotty questions of rank and precedence. During this time, every means, as he declares, was used to prevent him from proceeding; and among other devices a rumor was set on foot that a Dutch fleet, having just captured Boston, was on its way to attack Quebec.[67]Villeneuve gallantly amended that somebody else owned an undivided half in the glory of that salvation and would own more as soon as the union fleet (daily growing in numbers) should try to enter the bay: a hint at Anna, of course, and at the great ram Tennessee, which the Confederate admiral, Buchanan, had made his flag-ship, and whose completion, while nothing else was ready but three small wooden gunboats, was due--they had made even Anna believe--to the safe delivery of the Bazaar fund.


      Saint-Lusson wintered at the Manitoulin Islands; while Perrot, having first sent messages to the tribes of the north, inviting them to meet the deputy of the governor at the Saut Ste. Marie in the following spring, proceeded to Green Bay, to urge the same invitation upon the tribes of that quarter. They knew him well, and greeted him with clamors of welcome. The Miamis, it is said, received him with a sham battle, which was designed to do him honor, but by which nerves more susceptible would have been severely shaken.[38] They entertained him also with a grand game of la crosse, the Indian ball-play. Perrot gives a marvellous account of the authority and state of the Miami chief, who, he says, was attended day and night by a guard of warriors,an assertion which would be incredible, were it not sustained by the account of the same chief given by the Jesuit Dablon. Of the tribes of the Bay, the greater part promised to send delegates to the Saut; but the Pottawattamies dissuaded the Miami potentate from attempting so long a journey, lest the fatigue incident to it might injure his health; and he [Pg 51] therefore deputed them to represent him and his tribesmen at the great meeting. Their principal chiefs, with those of the Sacs, Winnebagoes, and Menomonies, embarked, and paddled for the place of rendezvous, where they and Perrot arrived on the fifth of May.[39][8] Archives du Sminaire de Villemarie, cited by Faillon, I. 466. The amount of the gift was not declared until the next year.


      The Indians set out in a body to the number of two hundred and fifty warriors, with their women and children. The three Frenchmen, who though in different villages had occasionally met during the two months of their captivity, were all of the party. They descended Rum River, which forms the outlet of Mille Lac, and which is called the St. Francis by Hennepin. None of the Indians had offered to give him passage; and, fearing lest he should be abandoned, he stood on the bank, hailing the passing canoes and begging to be taken in. Accau and Du Gay presently appeared, paddling a small canoe which the Indians had given them; but they would not listen to the missionary's call, and Accau, who had no love for him, cried out that he had paddled him long enough already. Two Indians, however, took pity on him, and brought him to the place of encampment, where Du Gay tried to excuse himself for his conduct; but Accau was sullen, and kept aloof.[196] Membr in Le Clerc, ii. 199. The other authorities for the foregoing chapter are the letters of La Salle, the Relation des Dcouvertes, in which portions of them are embodied, and the two narratives of Tonty, of 1684 and 1693. They all agree in essential points.