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      dettes ou chargs de crimes. etc. La Tour, Vie de Laval,[24] Denonville, Mmoire du 8 Ao?t, 1688.


      Whooping and screeching, they ran to their canoes, crossed the river, climbed the woody hill, and swarmed down upon the plain beyond. About a hundred of them had guns; the rest were armed with bows and arrows. They were now face to face with the enemy, who had emerged from the woods of the Vermilion, and were advancing on the open prairie. With unwonted spirit, for their repute as warriors was by no means high, the Illinois began, after their fashion, to charge; that is, they leaped, yelled, and shot off bullets and arrows, advancing as they did so; while the Iroquois replied with gymnastics no less agile and howlings no less terrific, mingled with the rapid clatter of their guns. Tonty saw that it would go hard with his allies. It was of the last [Pg 227] moment to stop the fight, if possible. The Iroquois were, or professed to be, at peace with the French; and, taking counsel of his courage, he resolved on an attempt to mediate, which may well be called a desperate one. He laid aside his gun, took in his hand a wampum belt as a flag of truce, and walked forward to meet the savage multitude, attended by Boisrondet, another Frenchman, and a young Illinois who had the hardihood to accompany him. The guns of the Iroquois still flashed thick and fast. Some of them were aimed at him, on which he sent back the two Frenchmen and the Illinois, and advanced alone, holding out the wampum belt.[188] A moment more, and he was among the infuriated warriors. It was a frightful spectacle,the contorted forms, bounding, crouching, twisting, to deal or dodge the shot; the small keen eyes that shone like an angry snake's; the parted lips pealing their [Pg 228] fiendish yells; the painted features writhing with fear and fury, and every passion of an Indian fight,man, wolf, and devil, all in one.[189] With his swarthy complexion and his half-savage dress, they thought he was an Indian, and thronged about him, glaring murder. A young warrior stabbed at his heart with a knife, but the point glanced aside against a rib, inflicting only a deep gash. A chief called out that, as his ears were not pierced, he must be a Frenchman. On this, some of them tried to stop the bleeding, and led him to the rear, where an angry parley ensued, while the yells and firing still resounded in the front. Tonty, breathless, and bleeding at the mouth with the force of the blow he had received, found words to declare that the Illinois were under the protection of the King and the governor of Canada, and to demand that they should be left in peace.[190]


      * This is no figure of speech. The Associates of Montreal,[2] Dongan to Denonville, 9 Sept., 1687, in N. Y. Col. Docs., III. 472.

      among them are the Jesuit Lafitau, author of M?urs desIt may be remembered that La Salle had met two of his men, La Chapelle and Leblanc, at his fort on the St. Joseph, and ordered them to rejoin Tonty. Unfortunately, they obeyed. On arriving, they told their comrades that the "Griffin" was lost, that Fort Frontenac was seized by the creditors of La Salle, that he was ruined past recovery, and that they, the men, would never receive their pay. Their wages were in arrears for more than two years; and, indeed, it would have been folly to pay them before their return to the settlements, as to do so would have been a temptation to desert. Now, however, the effect on their minds was still worse, believing, as many of them did, that they would never be paid at all.

      * La Reception de Monseigneur le Vicomte dArgenson par


      Fort Ponchartrain, better known as Fort Detroit, was an enclosure of palisades, flanked by blockhouses at the corners, with an open space within to serve as a parade-ground, around which stood small wooden houses thatched with straw or meadow-grass. La Mothe-Cadillac, founder of the post, had been made governor of the new colony of Louisiana, and the Sieur Dubuisson now commanded at Detroit. There were about thirty French traders, voyageurs, and coureurs de bois in the place, but at this time no soldiers.

      From an engraving by P. Aubry, in the Bibliothque Nationale.With little hope left that the grand enterprise against New York could succeed, Frontenac made sail for Quebec, and, stopping by the way at Isle Perce, learned from Rcollet missionaries the irruption of the Iroquois at Montreal. He hastened on; but the wind was still against him, and the autumn woods were turning brown before he reached his destination. It was evening when he landed, amid fireworks, illuminations, and the firing of cannon. All Quebec came to meet him by torchlight; the members of the council offered their respects, and the Jesuits made him an harangue of welcome. [7] It was but a welcome of words. They and the councillors had done their best to have him recalled, and hoped that they were rid of him for ever; but now he was among them again, rasped by the memory of real or fancied wrongs. The count, however, had no time for quarrelling. The king had told him to bury old animosities and forget the past, and for the present he was too busy to break the royal injunction. [8] He caused boats to be made ready, and in spite of incessant rains pushed up the river to Montreal. Here he found Denonville and his frightened wife. Every thing was in confusion. The Iroquois were gone, leaving dejection and terror behind them. Frontenac reviewed the troops. There were seven or eight hundred of them in the town, the rest being in garrison at the 192 various forts. Then he repaired to what was once La Chine, and surveyed the miserable waste of ashes and desolation that spread for miles around.

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      When Braddock heard the firing in the front, he pushed forward with the main body to the support of Gage, leaving four hundred men in the rear, under Sir Peter Halket, to guard the baggage. At the moment of his arrival Gage's soldiers had abandoned their two cannon, and were falling back to escape the concentrated fire of the Indians. Meeting the advancing troops, 217

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      The foregoing is drawn from a comparison of the following authorities, all of which will be found in the Bibliothque Nationale of Paris, where the examination was made: Mmoires de Marolles, abb de Villeloin, II. 201; L'Hermite-Souliers, Histoire Gnalogique de la Noblesse de Touraine; Du Chesne, Recherches Historiques de l'Ordre du Saint-Esprit; Morin, Statuts de l'Ordre du Saint-Esprit; Marolles de Villeloin, Histoire des Anciens Comtes d'Anjou; Pre Anselme, Grands Officiers de la Couronne; Pinard, Chronologie Historique-militaire; Table de la Gazette de France. In this matter of the Frontenac genealogy, 454 I am much indebted to the kind offices of my friend, James Gordon Clarke, Esq.

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      Count Frontenac's grandfather was


      alllittle