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      Lysiteles took the couch farthest in the rear, while Sthenelus stretched himself at full length on one of the front ones, close beside the master of the house.Next, they became entangled in a cane-brake, where La Salle, as usual with him in such cases, took the lead, a hatchet in each hand, and hewed out a path for his followers. They soon reached the villages of the Cenis Indians, on and near the river Trinity,a tribe then powerful, but long since extinct. Nothing could surpass the friendliness of their welcome. The chiefs came to meet them, bearing the calumet, and followed by warriors in shirts of embroidered deer-skin. Then the whole village swarmed out like bees, gathering around the [Pg 414] visitors with offerings of food and all that was precious in their eyes. La Salle was lodged with the great chief; but he compelled his men to encamp at a distance, lest the ardor of their gallantry might give occasion of offence. The lodges of the Cenis, forty or fifty feet high, and covered with a thatch of meadow-grass, looked like huge bee-hives. Each held several families, whose fire was in the middle, and their beds around the circumference. The spoil of the Spaniards was to be seen on all sides,silver lamps and spoons, swords, old muskets, money, clothing, and a bull of the Pope dispensing the Spanish colonists of New Mexico from fasting during summer.[317] These treasures, as well as their numerous horses, were obtained by the Cenis from their neighbors and allies the Camanches, that fierce prairie banditti who then, as now, scourged the Mexican border with their bloody forays. A party of these wild horsemen was in the village. Douay was edified at seeing them make the sign of the cross in imitation of the neophytes of one of the Spanish missions. They enacted, too, the ceremony of the mass; and one of them, in his rude way, drew a sketch of a picture he had seen in some church which he had pillaged, wherein the friar plainly recognized the Virgin weeping at the foot of the cross. They invited the French to join them on a raid into New Mexico; and they spoke with contempt, as their tribesmen will speak to this day, of the Spanish [Pg 415] creoles, saying that it would be easy to conquer a nation of cowards who make people walk before them with fans to cool them in hot weather.[318]



      Sthenelus eyes twinkled; he knew all Acestors tricks of art.A NEW ENTERPRISE.

      There was good cause. Canada, it was plain, was not to be wholly abandoned to a trading company. Louis XIV. was resolved that a new France should be added to the old. Soldiers, settlers, horses, sheep, cattle, young women for wives, were all sent out in abundance by his paternal benignity. Before the season was over, about two thousand persons had landed at Quebec at the royal charge. At length, writes Mother Juchereau, our joy was completed by the arrival of two vessels with Monsieur de Courcelle, our governor; Monsieur Talon, our intendant, and the last companies of the regiment of Carignan. More state and splendor more young nobles, more guards and valets: for Courcelle, too, says the same chronicler, had a superb train; and Monsieur Talon, who naturally loves glory, forgot nothing which could do honor to the king. Thus a sunbeam from the court fell for a moment on the rock of Quebec. Yet all was not sunshine; for the voyage had been a tedious one, and disease had broken out in the ships. That which bore Talon had been a hundred and seventeen days at sea, * and others were hardly more fortunate. The hospital was crowded with the sick; so, too, were the church and the neighboring houses; in 1647. The walls and roof were finished in 1649. The

      Meules au Ministre, 1685.As spring approached, the starving multitude on Isle St. Joseph grew reckless with hunger. Along the main shore, in spots where the sun lay warm, the spring fisheries had already begun, and the melting snow was uncovering the acorns in the woods. There was danger everywhere, for bands of Iroquois were again on the track of their prey. [1] The miserable Hurons, gnawed with inexorable famine, stood in the dilemma of a deadly peril and an assured death. They chose the former; and, early in March, began to leave their island and 412 cross to the main-land, to gather what sustenance they could. The ice was still thick, but the advancing season had softened it; and, as a body of them were crossing, it broke under their feet. Some were drowned; while others dragged themselves out, drenched and pierced with cold, to die miserably on the frozen lake, before they could reach a shelter. Other parties, more fortunate, gained the shore safely, and began their fishing, divided into companies of from eight or ten to a hundred persons. But the Iroquois were in wait for them. A large band of warriors had already made their way, through ice and snow, from their towns in Central New York. They surprised the Huron fishermen, surrounded them, and cut them in pieces without resistance,tracking out the various parties of their victims, and hunting down fugitives with such persistency and skill, that, of all who had gone over to the main, the Jesuits knew of but one who escaped. [2]


      CHAPTER XIII.

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      this plan, and accordingly went on board another vessel, which was to sail immediately. The council caused the six cannon of the battery in the Lower Town to be pointed at her, and threatened to sink her if she left the harbor; but she disregarded them, and proceeded on her way.[15] See Le Jeune, Relation, 1633, 35."Quelles hures!" exclaimed some astonished Frenchman. Hence the name, Hurons.

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      Even with this madcap enterprise lopped off, La Salle's scheme of Mississippi trade and colonization, perfectly sound in itself, was too vast for an individual,above all, for one crippled and crushed with debt. While he grasped one link of the great chain, another, no less essential, escaped from his hand; while he built up a colony on the Mississippi, it was reasonably certain that evil would befall his distant colony of the Illinois.Simonides understood that the parcels contained the ready money and articles of value Lycon had brought with him from Athens.

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