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      The comic alternated with the tragic. On the twenty-third, they reached the bank of a river too deep to ford. Those who knew how to swim crossed without difficulty, but Joutel, Cavelier, and Douay were not of the number. Accordingly, they launched a log of light, dry wood, embraced it with one arm, and struck out for the other bank with their legs and the arm that was left free. But the friar became frightened. "He only clung fast to the aforesaid log," says Joutel, "and did nothing to help us forward. While I was trying to swim, my body being stretched at full length, I hit him in the belly with my feet; on which he thought it was all over with him, and, I can answer for it, he invoked Saint Francis with might and main. I could not help laughing, though I was myself in danger of drowning." Some Indians who had joined the party swam to the rescue, and pushed the log across.

      But at the same instant he beheld, as he had done in his dream, the oil-jar suspended by a blue ribbon over the door of his house. He pressed his hands upon his eyes and, when he entered his lonely sleeping-room, he said, sighing:

      It was only in rare cases that crime among the Iroquois or Hurons was punished by public authority. Murder, the most heinous offence, except witchcraft, recognized among them, was rare. If the slayer and the slain were of the same household or clan, the affair was regarded as a family quarrel, to be settled by the immediate kin on both sides. This, under the pressure of lxii public opinion, was commonly effected without bloodshed, by presents given in atonement. But if the murderer and his victim were of different clans or different nations, still more, if the slain was a foreigner, the whole community became interested to prevent the discord or the war which might arise. All directed their efforts, not to bring the murderer to punishment, but to satisfy the injured parties by a vicarious atonement. [53] To this end, contributions were made and presents collected. Their number and value were determined by established usage. Among the Hurons, thirty presents of very considerable value were the price of a man's life. That of a woman's was fixed at forty, by reason of her weakness, and because on her depended the continuance and increase of the population. This was when the slain belonged to the nation. If of a foreign tribe, his death demanded a higher compensation, since it involved the danger of war. [54] These presents were offered in solemn council, with prescribed formalities. The relatives of the slain might refuse them, if they chose, and in this case the murderer was given them as a slave; but they might by no means kill him, since, in so doing, they would incur public censure, and be compelled in their turn to make atonement. Besides the principal gifts, there was a great number of less value, all symbolical, and each delivered with a set form of words: as, "By this we wash out the blood of the slain: By this we cleanse his wound: By this we clothe his corpse with a new shirt: By this we place food on his grave": and lxiii so, in endless prolixity, through particulars without number. [55]When Ragueneau and his party left Isle St. Joseph for Quebec, the greater number of the Hurons chose to remain. They took possession of the stone fort which the French had abandoned, and where, with reasonable vigilance, they could maintain themselves against attack. In the succeeding 427 autumn a small Iroquois war-party had the audacity to cross over to the island, and build a fort of felled trees in the woods. The Hurons attacked them; but the invaders made so fierce a defence, that they kept their assailants at bay, and at length retreated with little or no loss. Soon after, a much larger band of Onondaga Iroquois, approaching undiscovered, built a fort on the main-land, opposite the island, but concealed from sight in the forest. Here they waited to waylay any party of Hurons who might venture ashore. A Huron war chief, named tienne Annaotaha, whose life is described as a succession of conflicts and adventures, and who is said to have been always in luck, landed with a few companions, and fell into an ambuscade of the Iroquois. He prepared to defend himself, when they called out to him, that they came not as enemies, but as friends, and that they brought wampum-belts and presents to persuade the Hurons to forget the past, go back with them to their country, become their adopted countrymen, and live with them as one nation. tienne suspected treachery, but concealed his distrust, and advanced towards the Iroquois with an air of the utmost confidence. They received him with open arms, and pressed him to accept their invitation; but he replied, that there were older and wiser men among the Hurons, whose counsels all the people followed, and that they ought to lay the proposal before them. He proceeded to advise them to keep him as a hostage, and send over his companions, with some of their chiefs, to open the negotiation. 428 His apparent frankness completely deceived them; and they insisted that he himself should go to the Huron village, while his companions remained as hostages. He set out accordingly with three of the principal Iroquois.

      Red-hot with a determined purpose, the Adelantado would brook no delay. To him, says the chronicler, every day seemed a year. He was eager to anticipate Ribaut, of whose designs and whose force he seems to have been informed to the minutest particular, but whom he hoped to thwart and ruin by gaining Fort Caroline before him. With eleven ships, therefore, he sailed from Cadiz, on the twenty-ninth of June, 1565, leaving the smaller vessels of his fleet to follow with what speed they might. He touched first at the Canaries, and on the eighth of July left them, steering for Dominica. A minute account of the voyage has come down to us, written by Mendoza, chaplain of the expedition,a somewhat dull and illiterate person, who busily jots down the incidents of each passing day, and is constantly betraying, with a certain awkward simplicity, how the cares of this world and of the next jostle each other in his thoughts.

      Lamon, who was again drawing the green curtain between the pillars, made a sign of assent.The gentilhomme had no vocation for emigrating. He liked the army and he liked the court. If he could not be of it, it was something to live in its shadow. The life of a backwoods settler had no charm for him. He was not used to labor; and he could not trade, at least in retail, without becoming liable to forfeit his nobility. When Talon came to Canada, there were but four noble families in the colony. * Young nobles in abundance came out with Tracy; but they went home with him. Where, then, should be found the material of a Canadian noblesse? First, in the regiment of Carignan, of which most of the officers were gentilshommes; secondly, in the issue of patents of nobility to a few of the more prominent colonists. Tracy asked for four such patents; Talon asked for five more; ** and such requests were repeated at intervals by succeeding governors and intendants, in behalf of those who had gained their favor by merit or otherwise. Money smoothed the path.

      an important, if not an essential, step in this mystical

      flock. There was wherewith to content the most fantastical in these three harems; for here were to be seen the tall and the short, the blond and the brown, the plump and the lean; everybody, in short, found a shoe to fit him. At the end of a fortnight not one was left. I am told that the plumpest were taken first, because it was thought that, being less active, they were more likely to keep at home, and that they could resist the winter cold better. Those who wanted a wife applied to the directresses, to whom they were obliged to make known their possessions and means of livelihood before taking from one of the three classes the girl whom they found most to their liking. The marriage was concluded forthwith, with the help of a priest and a notary, and the next day the governor-general caused the couple to be presented with an ox, a cow, a pair of swine, a pair of fowls, two barrels of salted meat, and eleven crowns in money. *[71] Le Jeune, Relation, 1633, 16.The musk-rat is always a conspicuous figure in Algonquin cosmogony.


      So will I, added a second.The intendant Talon announces, in his despatches of this year that he had sent La Salle southward and westward to explore.


      THE COMET.[5] The Jesuits on these distant missions were usually attended by followers who had taken no vows, and could leave their service at will, but whose motives were religious, and not mercenary. Probably this was the character of their attendants in the present case. They were known as donns, or "given men." It appears from a letter of the Jesuit Du Peron, that twelve hired laborers were soon after sent up to the mission.


      Lycon, Dorion, and Conops had succeeded, with the help of oars and poles, in keeping their craft clear of trees and houses. As if in a dream they heard wild cries of terror and saw the two buildings nearest the harbor sink under the force of the water, while some of276 the small vessels were stranded on the fallen walls and pillars. ** Lettre de Laval Queylus, 4 Ao?t, 1661.