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      The other pulled down the corners of her lips mockingly. "Old stuff, sister. Every con game that ever was started opened with that. Can the friendship. You'll need it next winter. Give it to me straight. What's the likes of you doing, trailed by a bull?"V1 so can do nothing ourselves. Besides, I do not think that any inconvenience will come of letting the Acadians mingle among them, because if they [the Acadians] are captured, we shall say that they acted of their own accord." [88] In other words, he will encourage them to break the peace; and then, by means of a falsehood, have them punished as felons. Many disguised Acadians did in fact join the Indian war-parties; and their doing so was no secret to the English. "What we call here an Indian war," wrote Hopson, successor of Cornwallis, "is no other than a pretence for the French to commit hostilities on His Majesty's subjects."

      V2 then in his thirty-fourth year, had the qualities of a leader of men. The army felt him, from general to drummer-boy. He was its soul; and while breathing into it his own energy and ardor, and bracing it by stringent discipline, he broke through the traditions of the service and gave it new shapes to suit the time and place. During the past year he had studied the art of forest warfare, and joined Rogers and his rangers in their scouting-parties, sharing all their hardships and making himself one of them. Perhaps the reforms that he introduced were fruits of this rough self-imposed schooling. He made officers and men throw off all useless incumbrances, cut their hair close, wear leggings to protect them from briers, brown the barrels of their muskets, and carry in their knapsacks thirty pounds of meal, which they cooked for themselves; so that, according to an admiring Frenchman, they could live a month without their supply-trains. [612] "You would laugh to see the droll figure we all make," writes an officer. "Regulars as well as provincials have cut their coats so as scarcely to reach their waists. No officer or private is allowed to carry more than one blanket and a bearskin. A small portmanteau is allowed each officer. No women follow the camp to wash our linen. Lord Howe has already shown an example by going to the brook and washing his own." [613]

      [830] Murray to Pitt, 25 May, 1760."Well, anyway at night we can wander around where we please."

      All the mission Indians in the colony were invited to join it, the Iroquois of the Saut and Mountain, Abenakis from the Chaudire, Hurons from Lorette, and Algonquins from Three Rivers. A hundred picked soldiers were added, and a large band of Canadians. All told, they mustered six hundred and twenty-five men, under three tried leaders, Mantet, Courtemanche, and La Noue. They left Chambly at the end of January, and pushed southward on snow-shoes. Their way was over the ice of Lake Champlain, for more than a century the great thoroughfare of war-parties. They bivouacked in the forest by squads of twelve or more; dug away the snow in a circle, covered the bared earth with a bed of spruce boughs, made a fire in the middle, and smoked their pipes around it. Here crouched the Christian savage, muffled in his blanket, his unwashed face still smirched with soot and vermilion, relics of the war-paint he had worn a week before when he danced the war-dance in the square of the mission village; and here sat the Canadians, hooded like Capuchin monks, but irrepressible in loquacity, as the blaze of the camp-fire glowed on their hardy visages and 311 fell in fainter radiance on the rocks and pines behind them.

      [7] Lettre du Roy pour faire chanter le Te Deum, 12 Mars, 1698.The English spent some days in preparing their camp and reconnoitring the ground. Then Scott, with five hundred provincials, seized upon a ridge within easy range of the works. An officer named Vannes came out to oppose him with a hundred and eighty men, boasting that he would do great things; but on seeing the enemy, quietly returned, to become the laughing-stock of the garrison. The fort fired furiously, but with little effect. In the night of the thirteenth, Winslow, with a part of his own battalion, relieved Scott, and planted in the trenches two small mortars, brought to the camp on carts. On the next day they opened fire. One of them was disabled by the French cannon, but Captain Hazen brought up two more, of larger size, on ox-wagons; and, in spite of heavy rain, the fire was brisk on both sides.

      V2 The evil news was despatched to Albany, and in two or three days the messenger who bore it passed the house of Mrs. Schuyler on the meadows above the town. "In the afternoon," says her biographer, "a man was seen coming from the north galloping violently without his hat. Pedrom, as he was familiarly called, Colonel Schuyler's only surviving brother, was with her, and ran instantly to inquire, well knowing that he rode express. The man galloped on, crying out that Lord Howe was killed. The mind of our good aunt had been so engrossed by her anxiety and fears for the event impending, and so impressed with the merit and magnanimity of her favorite hero, that her wonted firmness sank under the stroke, and she broke out into bitter lamentations. This had such an effect on her friends and domestics that shrieks and sobs of anguish echoed through every part of the house."

      "I am determined," wrote Lawrence to the Lords of Trade, "to bring the inhabitants to a compliance, or rid the province of such perfidious 264


      Canada was the prey of official jackals,true lion's providers, since they helped to prepare a way for the imperial beast, who, roused at last from his lethargy, was gathering his strength to seize her for his own. Honesty could not be expected from a body of men clothed with arbitrary and ill-defined powers, ruling with absolute sway an unfortunate people who had no voice in their own destinies, and answerable only to an apathetic master three thousand miles away. Nor did the Canadian Church, though supreme, check the corruptions that sprang up and flourished under its eye. The Governor himself was charged with sharing the plunder; and though he was acquitted on his trial, it is certain that Bigot had him well in hand, that he was intimate with the chief robbers, and that they found help in his weak compliances and wilful blindness. He put his stepson, Le Verrier, in command at 31


      Blanche bared her teeth suddenly like a hurt animal. "Keep off that!" she said sharply.


      On the twelfth, at three o'clock in the afternoon, Denonville began his march, leaving four hundred men in a hastily built fort to guard the bateaux and canoes. Troops, officers, and Indians, all carried their provisions at their backs. Some of the Christian Mohawks guided them; but guides were scarcely needed, for a broad Indian trail led 150 from the bay to the great Seneca town, twenty-two miles southward. They marched three leagues through the open forests of oak, and encamped for the night. In the morning, the heat was intense. The men gasped in the dead and sultry air of the woods, or grew faint in the pitiless sun, as they waded waist-deep through the rank grass of the narrow intervales. They passed safely through two dangerous defiles, and, about two in the afternoon, began to enter a third. Dense forests covered the hills on either hand. La Durantaye with Tonty and his cousin Du Lhut led the advance, nor could all Canada have supplied three men better for the work. Each led his band of coureurs de bois, white Indians, without discipline, and scarcely capable of it, but brave and accustomed to the woods. On their left were the Iroquois converts from the missions of Saut St. Louis and the Mountain of Montreal, fighting under the influence of their ghostly prompters against their own countrymen. On the right were the pagan Indians from the west. The woods were full of these painted spectres, grotesquely horrible in horns and tail; and among them flitted the black robe of Father Engelran, the Jesuit of Michillimackinac. Nicolas Perrot and two other bush-ranging Frenchmen were assigned to command them, but in fact they obeyed no man. These formed the vanguard, eight or nine hundred in all, under an excellent officer, Callires, governor of Montreal. Behind came the main body under Denonville, each of the four battalions of regulars 151 alternating with a battalion of Canadians. Some of the regulars wore light armor, while the Canadians were in plain attire of coarse cloth or buckskin. Denonville, oppressed by the heat, marched in his shirt. "It is a rough life," wrote the marquis, "to tramp afoot through the woods, carrying one's own provisions in a haversack, devoured by mosquitoes, and faring no better than a mere soldier." [15] With him was the Chevalier de Vaudreuil, who had just arrived from France in command of the eight hundred men left to guard the colony, and who, eager to take part in the campaign, had pushed forward alone to join the army. Here, too, were the Canadian seigniors at the head of their vassals, Berthier, La Valterie, Granville, Longueuil, and many more. A guard of rangers and Indians brought up the rear.Pen for the moment disregarded what followed. She had to stop and think, she would have said, but as a matter of fact she was incapable of thinking. She was conscious only of a dull horror that numbed her faculties. She had not yet taken it in. Outwardly she was quite composed. With the palm of her hand she thoughtfully polished a dull spot on the velvety surface of the table.