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Some of the claims to these Kennebec lands were based on old Crown patents, some on mere prescription, some on Indian titles, good or bad. Rale says that an Englishman would give an Indian a bottle of rum, and get from him in return a large tract of land. Something like this may have happened; though in other cases the titles were as good as Indian titles usually are, the deeds being in regular form and signed by the principal chiefs for a consideration[Pg 223] which they thought sufficient. The lands of Indians, however, are owned, so far as owned at all, by the whole community; and in the case of the Algonquin tribes the chiefs had no real authority to alienate them without the consent of the tribesmen. Even supposing this consent to have been given, the Norridgewocks would not have been satisfied; for Rale taught them that they could not part with their lands, because they held them in trust for their children, to whom their country belonged as much as to themselves.Tracy had at first meant to abandon Fort St. Anne; but he changed his mind after returning to Quebec. Meanwhile the season had grown so late that there was no time to send proper supplies to the garrison. Winter closed, and the place was not only ill provisioned, but was left without a priest. Tracy wrote to the superior of the Sulpitians at Montreal to send one without delay; but the request was more easily made than fulfilled, for he forgot to order an escort, and the way was long and dangerous. The stout-hearted Dollier de Casson was told, however, to hold himself ready to go at the first opportunity. His recent campaigning had left him in no condition for braving fresh hardships, for he was nearly disabled by a swelling on one of his knees. By way of cure he resolved to try a severe bleeding, and the Sangrado of Montreal did his work so thoroughly that his patient fainted under his hands. As he returned to consciousness, he became aware that two soldiers had entered the room. They told him that they were going in the morning to Chambly, which was on the way to St. Anne; and they invited him to go with them. Wait till the day after to-morrow, replied the priest, and I will try. The delay was obtained; and, on the day fixed, the party set out by the forest path to Chambly, a distance of about four leagues. When they reached it, Dollier de Casson was nearly spent, but he concealed his plight from the commanding officer, and begged an escort to St. Anne, some twenty leagues farther. As the officer would not give him one, he threatened to go alone, on which ten men and an ensign were at last ordered to conduct him. Thus attended, he resumed his journey after a days rest. One of the soldiers fell through the ice, and none of his comrades dared help him. Dollier de Casson, making the sign of the cross, went to his aid, and, more successful than on the former occasion, caught him and pulled him out. The snow was deep; and the priest, having arrived in the preceding summer, had never before worn snow-shoes, while a sack of clothing, and his portable chapel which he carried at his back, joined to the pain of his knee and the effects of his late bleeding, made the march a purgatory.
adds: Lon dit, et il est vrai, que dans ces temps si
V1 of leisure as camps and garrisons afforded, and cherished to the end of his life the ambition of becoming a member of the Academy. Yet, with all his liking for study, he sometimes revolted against the sway of the pedagogue who wrote letters of complaint to his father protesting against the "judgments of the vulgar, who, contrary to the experience of ages, say that if children are well reproved they will correct their faults." Dumas, however, was not without sense, as is shown by another letter to the elder Montcalm, in which he says that the boy had better be ignorant of Latin and Greek "than know them as he does without knowing how to read, write, and speak French well." The main difficulty was to make him write a good hand,a point in which he signally failed to the day of his death. So refractory was he at times, that his master despaired. "M. de Montcalm," Dumas informs the father, "has great need of docility, industry, and willingness to take advice. What will become of him?" The pupil, aware of these aspersions, met them by writing to his father his own ideas of what his aims should be. "First, to be an honorable man, of good morals, brave, and a Christian. Secondly, to read in moderation; to know as much Greek and Latin as most men of the world; also the four rules of arithmetic, and something of history, geography, and French and Latin belles-lettres, as well as to have a taste for the arts and sciences. Thirdly, and above all, to be obedient, docile, and very submissive to your orders and those of my 358 like that of 1663. He adds that the evidence that such
FOOTNOTES: question of movable curs.
Meanwhile Stephen Harding, having sent his wife and child to a safe distance, returned to his blacksmith's shop, and, seeing nobody, gave a defiant whoop; on which four Indians sprang at him from the bushes. He escaped through a back-door of the shop, eluded his pursuers, and found his wife and child in a cornfield, where the woman had fainted with fright. They spent the night in the woods, and on the next day, after a circuit of nine miles, reached the palisaded house of Joseph Storer.
V1 six miles of the Indian town. By rapid marching and rare good luck, his party had escaped discovery. It was ten o'clock at night, with a bright moon. The guides were perplexed, and knew neither the exact position of the place nor the paths that led to it. The adventurers threaded the forest in single file, over hills and through hollows, bewildered and anxious, stopping to watch and listen. At length they heard in the distance the beating of an Indian drum and the whooping of warriors in the war-dance. Guided by the sounds, they cautiously moved forward, till those in the front, scrambling down a rocky hill, found themselves on the banks of the Alleghany, about a hundred rods below Kittanning. The moon was near setting; but they could dimly see the town beyond a great intervening field of corn. "At that moment," says Armstrong, "an Indian whistled in a very singular manner, about thirty perches from our front, in the foot of the cornfield." He thought they were discovered; but one Baker, a soldier well versed in Indian ways, told him that it was only some village gallant calling to a young squaw. The party then crouched in the bushes, and kept silent. The moon sank behind the woods, and fires soon glimmered through the field, kindled to drive off mosquitoes by some of the Indians who, as the night was warm, had come out to sleep in the open air. The eastern sky began to redden with the approach of day. Many of the party, spent with a rough march of thirty miles, had fallen asleep. They were now cautiously roused; and 425