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      Their voyage up the St. Lawrence was enlivened by an extraordinary bear-hunt, and by the antics of one of their Indian attendants, who, having dreamed that he had swallowed a frog, roused the whole camp by the gymnastics with which he tried to rid himself of the intruder. On approaching Onondaga, they were met by a chief who sang a song of welcome, a part of which he seasoned with touches of humor, apostrophizing the fish in the river Onondaga, naming each sort, great or small, and calling on them in turn to come into the nets of the Frenchmen and sacrifice life cheerfully for their behoof. Hereupon there was much laughter among the Indian auditors. An unwonted cleanliness reigned in the town; the streets had been cleared of refuse, and the arched roofs of the long houses of bark were covered with red-skinned children staring at the entry of the black robes. Crowds followed behind, and all was jubilation. The dignitaries of the tribe met them on the way, and greeted them with a speech of welcome. A feast of bears meat awaited them; but, unhappily, it was Friday, and the fathers were forced to abstain."He has covered the decks with boxes and chests of such prodigious size that neither the cannon nor the capstan can be worked."

      substance of this letter is given by Marie de lIncarnation,

      Now, at length, they disburdened themselves of their gloomy secret; but the sole result seems to have been an order from the King for the arrest of the murderers, should they appear in Canada.[349] [Pg 463] Joutel was disappointed. It had been his hope throughout that the King would send a ship to the relief of the wretched band at Fort St. Louis of Texas. But Louis XIV. hardened his heart, and left them to their fate.

      being priests, monks, or nuns, shall each be paid out of the moneys sent by his Majesty to the said country a pension of three hundred livres a year, and those who shall have twelve children, a pension of four hundred livres; and that, to this effect, they shall be required to declare the number of their children every year in the months of June or July to the intendant of justice, police, and finance, established in the said country, who, having verified the same, shall order the payment of said pensions, one-half in cash, and the other half at the end of each year. * This was applicable to all. Colbert had before offered a reward, intended specially for the better class, of twelve hundred livres to those who had fifteen children, and eight hundred to those who had ten. bishop from a share in them. The West India Company made the

      Lettres de Ratification, MS.

      On one occasion, Aquipaguetin killed a bear, and invited the chiefs and warriors to feast upon it. They accordingly assembled on a prairie, west of the river, where, after the banquet, they danced a "medicine-dance." They were all painted from head to foot, with their hair oiled, garnished with red and white feathers, and powdered with the down of birds. In this guise they set their arms akimbo, and fell to stamping with such fury that the hard prairie was dented with the prints of their moccasins; while the chief's son, crying at the top of his throat, gave to each in turn the pipe of war. Meanwhile, the chief himself, singing in a loud and rueful voice, placed his hands on the heads of the three Frenchmen, and from time to time interrupted his music to utter a vehement harangue. Hennepin could not understand the words, but his heart sank as the conviction grew strong within him that these ceremonies tended to his destruction. It seems, however, that, after all the chief's efforts, his party was in the minority, the greater part being adverse to either killing or robbing the three strangers.


      A low, but eager murmur instantly arose behind the retreating figures. Many were talking at the same time and in an angry tone. * These proceedings were probably intended to produce the


      [31] Le Roy Frontenac, 30 Avril, 1681.


      * Meules au Ministre 12 Nov, 1684.Dr. Tach, after a zealous and minute examination of the Huron country, extended through five years, writes to me as follows. "From the remains I have found, I can vouch for the scrupulous correctness of our ancient writers. With the aid of their indications and descriptions, I have been able to detect the sites of villages in the midst of the forest, and by time study, in situ, of arch?ological monuments, small as they are, to understand and confirm their many interesting details of the habits, and especially the funeral rites, of these extraordinary tribes."