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ascribe this writers many errors to carelessness. Journal de la Campagne que moy Cloron, Chevalier de l'Ordre Royal et Militaire de St. Louis, Capitaine Commandant un dtachement envoy dans la Belle Rivire par les ordres de M. le Marquis de La Galissonire, etc.
A boom of logs chained together was drawn across the mouth of the St. Charles, which was further guarded by two hulks mounted with cannon. The bridge of boats that crossed the stream nearly a mile above, formed the chief communication between the city and the camp. Its head towards Beauport was protected by a strong and extensive earthwork; and the banks of the stream on the Quebec side were also intrenched, to form a second line of defence in case the position at Beauport should be forced. See the preface of the Spanish translation by Don Sebastian Fernandez de Medrano, 1699, and also the letter of Gravier, dated 1701, in Shea's Early Voyages on the Mississippi. Barcia, Charlevoix, Kalm, and other early writers put a low value on Hennepin's veracity.
Dubuisson left the answer to his allies. The appeal of the suppliant fell on hearts of stone. The whole concourse sat in fierce and sullen silence, and the envoys read their doom in the gloomy brows that surrounded them. Eight or ten of the allied savages presently came to Dubuisson, and one of them said in a low voice: "My father, we come to ask your leave to knock these four great chiefs in the head.[Pg 294] It is they who prevent our enemies from surrendering without conditions. When they are dead, the rest will be at our mercy."
Many incidents of this troubled time are preserved, but none of them are so well worth the record as the defence of the fort at Verchres by the young daughter of the seignior. Many years later, the Marquis de Beauharnais, governor of Canada, caused the story to be written down from the recital of the heroine herself. Verchres was on the south shore of the St. Lawrence, about twenty miles below Montreal. A strong blockhouse stood outside the fort, and was connected with it by a covered way. On the morning of the twenty-second of October, the inhabitants were at work in the fields, and nobody was left in the place but two soldiers, two boys, an old man of eighty, 303 and a number of women and children. The seignior, formerly an officer of the regiment of Carignan, was on duty at Quebec; his wife was at Montreal; and their daughter Madeleine, fourteen years of age, was at the landing-place not far from the gate of the fort, with a hired man named Laviolette. Suddenly she heard firing from the direction where the settlers were at work, and an instant after Laviolette cried out, "Run, Mademoiselle, run! here come the Iroquois!" She turned and saw forty or fifty of them at the distance of a pistol-shot. "I ran for the fort, commending myself to the Holy Virgin. The Iroquois who chased after me, seeing that they could not catch me alive before I reached the gate, stopped and fired at me. The bullets whistled about my ears, and made the time seem very long. As soon as I was near enough to be heard, I cried out, To arms! to arms! hoping that somebody would come out and help me; but it was of no use. The two soldiers in the fort were so scared that they had hidden in the blockhouse. At the gate, I found two women crying for their husbands, who had just been killed. I made them go in, and then shut the gate. I next thought what I could do to save myself and the few people with me. I went to inspect the fort, and found that several palisades had fallen down, and left openings by which the enemy could easily get in. I ordered them to be set up again, and helped to carry them myself. When the breaches were stopped, I went to the blockhouse where the ammunition is kept, and 304 here I found the two soldiers, one hiding in a corner, and the other with a lighted match in his hand. 'What are you going to do with that match?' I asked. He answered, 'Light the powder, and blow us all up.' 'You are a miserable coward,' said I, 'go out of this place.' I spoke so resolutely that he obeyed. I then threw off my bonnet; and, after putting on a hat and taking a gun, I said to my two brothers: 'Let us fight to the death. We are fighting for our country and our religion. Remember that our father has taught you that gentlemen are born to shed their blood for the service of God and the king.'"This result was due partly to the promises of La Ronde Denys, and still more to a pastoral letter from the Bishop of Quebec, supporting the assurances of the missionaries that the heretics would rob them of the ministrations of the Church. This was not[Pg 195] all. The Acadians about Annapolis had been alienated by the conduct of the English authorities, which was not conciliating, and on the part of the governor was sometimes outrageous. Yet those of the banlieue had no right to complain, since they had made themselves liable to the penalties of treason by first taking an oath of allegiance to Queen Anne, and then breaking it by trying to seize her fort.
The answer came in the following summer: "Monsieur le Comte de Frontenac," wrote Louis XIV., "I am surprised to learn all the new troubles and dissensions that have occurred in my country of New France, more especially since I have clearly and strongly given you to understand that your sole care should be to maintain harmony and peace among all my subjects dwelling therein; but what surprises me still more is that in nearly all the disputes which you have caused you have advanced claims which have very little foundation. My edicts, declarations, and ordinances had so plainly made known to you my will, that I have great cause of astonishment that you, whose duty it is to see them faithfully executed, have yourself set up pretensions entirely opposed to them. You have wished to be styled chief and president on the records of the Supreme Council, which is contrary 50 to my edict concerning that council; and I am the more surprised at this demand, since I am very sure that you are the only man in my kingdom who, being honored with the title of governor and lieutenant-general, would care to be styled chief and president of such a council as that of Quebec."Here the whole force was soon assembled, the regulars in their tents, the Canadian militia and the Indians in huts and under sheds of bark. Of these red allies there were several hundred: Abenakis 104 and Algonquins from Sillery, Hurons from Lorette, and converted Iroquois from the Jesuit mission of Saut St. Louis, near Montreal. The camp of the French was on a low, damp plain near the fort; and here a malarious fever presently attacked them, killing many and disabling many more. La Hontan says that La Barre himself was brought by it to the brink of the grave. If he had ever entertained any other purpose than that of inducing the Senecas to agree to a temporary peace, he now completely abandoned it. He dared not even insist that the offending tribe should meet him in council, but hastened to ask the mediation of the Onondagas, which the letters of Lamberville had assured him that they were disposed to offer. He sent Le Moyne to persuade them to meet him on their own side of the lake, and, with such of his men as were able to move, crossed to the mouth of Salmon River, then called La Famine.
The two yokefellows were excellently fitted to exasperate each other: Montcalm, with his southern vivacity of emotion and an impetuous, impatient volubility that sometimes forgot prudence; and Vaudreuil, always affable towards adherents, but full of suspicious egotism and restless jealousy that bristled within him at the very thought of his colleague. Some of the byplay of the quarrel may be seen in Montcalm's familiar correspondence with Bourlamaque. One day the Governor, in his own house, brought up the old complaint that Montcalm, after taking Fort William Henry, did not take Fort Edward also. The General, for the 168