- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 832MB
Biard communicated with Father Coton, Father Coton with Madame de Guercheville. No more was needed. The zealous lady of honor, "indignant," says Biard, "to see the efforts of hell prevail," and resolved "that Satan should not remain master of the field," set on foot a subscription, and raised an ample fund within the precincts of the court. Biard, in the name of the "Province of France of the Order of Jesus," bought out the interest of the two merchants for thirty-eight hundred livres, thus constituting the Jesuits equal partners in business with their enemies. Nor was this all; for, out of the ample proceeds of the subscription, he lent to the needy associates a further sum of seven hundred and thirty-seven livres, and advanced twelve hundred and twenty-five more to complete the outfit of the ship. Well pleased, the triumphant priests now embarked, and friend and foe set sail together on the twenty-sixth of January, 1611.
Denonville, accordingly, while biding his time, made use of counter intrigues, and, by means of the useful Lamberville, freely distributed secret or "underground" presents among the Iroquois chiefs; while the Jesuit Engelran was busy at Michillimackinac in adroit and vigorous efforts to prevent the alienation of the Hurons, Ottawas, and other lake tribes. The task was difficult; and, filled with anxiety, the father came down to Montreal to see the governor, "and communicate to me," writes Denonville, "the deplorable state of affairs with our allies, whom we can no longer trust, owing to the discredit into which we have fallen among them, and from which we cannot recover, except by gaining some considerable advantage over the Iroquois; who, as I have had the honor to inform you, have labored incessantly since last autumn to rob us of all our allies, by using every means to make treaties with them independently of us. You may be assured, Monseigneur, that the English are the chief cause of the arrogance and insolence of the Iroquois, adroitly using them to extend the limits of their dominion, 122 and uniting with them as one nation, insomuch that the English claims include no less than the Lakes Ontario and Erie, the region of Saginaw (Michigan), the country of the Hurons, and all the country in the direction of the Mississippi." In the morning, La Salle saw a change in the behavior of his hosts. They looked on him askance, cold, sullen, and suspicious. There was one Omawha, a chief, whose favor he had won the day before by the politic gift of two hatchets and three knives, and who now came to him in secret to tell him what had taken place at the nocturnal council. La Salle at once saw in it a device of his enemies; and this belief was confirmed, when, in the afternoon, Nicanop, brother of the head chief, sent to invite the Frenchmen to a feast. They repaired to his lodge; but before dinner was served,that is to say, while the guests, white and red, were seated on [Pg 176] mats, each with his hunting-knife in his hand, and the wooden bowl before him which was to receive his share of the bear's or buffalo's meat, or the corn boiled in fat, with which he was to be regaled,while such was the posture of the company, their host arose and began a long speech. He told the Frenchmen that he had invited them to his lodge less to refresh their bodies with good cheer than to cure their minds of the dangerous purpose which possessed them, of descending the Mississippi. Its shores, he said, were beset by savage tribes, against whose numbers and ferocity their valor would avail nothing; its waters were infested by serpents, alligators, and unnatural monsters; while the river itself, after raging among rocks and whirlpools, plunged headlong at last into a fathomless gulf, which would swallow them and their vessel forever.
Country people, standing in booths made of interwoven green branches, were selling fresh cheese, eggs, honey, oil, fruit, and green vegetables; one or two potters were loudly praising their painted jars; bakers wives were half concealed behind huge piles of bread and cakes, and young flower-girls sat among their bright-hued, fragrant wares, busily making wreaths. Freemen, as well as male and female slaves, wandered among the booths, bargaining here and there, while youths in light mantles, with embroidered fillets around their hair, jested with the prettiest saleswomen. But the most successful person was a neurospastes, the owner of a puppet-show, who had taken his stand on a spot generally used for a slave-mart. Unseen himself, he pulled the hidden strings which set the ugly puppets bodies in motion so that, to the delight of the children and their pedagogues, the figures made the most ridiculous gestures.
The mill was an object of the last importance. It was built of stone and pierced with loopholes, to serve as a blockhouse in case of attack. The great mill at Montreal was one of the chief defences of the place. It was at once the duty and the right of the seignior to supply his tenants, or rather vassals, with this essential requisite, and they on their part were required to grind their grain at his mill, leaving the fourteenth part in payment. But for many years there was not a seigniory in Canada, where this fraction would pay the wages of a miller and, except the ecclesiastical corporations, there were few seigniors who could pay the cost of building. The first settlers were usually forced to grind for themselves after the tedious fashion of the Indians.
But Clytie tore herself from his embrace, gathered the folds of her robe around her, and fled as lightly as a deer up the steps, where her slender figure vanished in the darkness.When he reached the village, he gave the whoop of one who brings good tidings, and proclaimed with a loud voice that the hearts of their enemies had changed, that the Iroquois would become their countrymen and brothers, and that they should exchange their miseries for a life of peace and plenty in a fertile and prosperous land. The whole Huron population, full of joyful excitement, crowded about him and the three envoys, who were conducted to the principal lodge, and feasted on the best that the village could supply. tienne seized the opportunity to take aside four or five of the principal chiefs, and secretly tell them his suspicions that the Iroquois were plotting to compass their destruction under cover of overtures of peace; and he proposed that they should meet treachery with treachery. He then explained his plan, which was highly approved by his auditors, who begged him to charge himself with the execution of it. tienne now caused criers to proclaim through the village that every one should get ready to emigrate in a few days to the country of their new friends. The squaws began their preparations at once, and all was bustle and alacrity; for the Hurons themselves were no less deceived than were the Iroquois envoys.
When all was ready, Kiotsaton arose, strode into the open space, and, raising his tall figure erect, stood looking for a moment at the sun. Then he gazed around on the assembly, took a wampum belt in his hand, and began: