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      Pendleton fairly babbled in his excitement. "When I first read the story he was in the drawing-room with you. I didn't know what to do! I didn't know what to do!""Certainly."

      [225] Leslie to a Merchant of Philadelphia, 30 July, 1755, in Hazard's Pennsylvania Register, V. 191. Leslie was a lieutenant of the Forty-fourth.V1 Acadians on the side of France. There was another person in the fort worthy of notice. This was Thomas Pichon, commissary of stores, a man of education and intelligence, born in France of an English mother. He was now acting the part of a traitor, carrying on a secret correspondence with the commandant of Fort Lawrence, and acquainting him with all that passed at Beausjour. It was partly from this source that the hostile designs of the French became known to the authorities of Halifax, and more especially the proceedings of "Moses," by which name Pichon always designated Le Loutre, because he pretended to have led the Acadians from the land of bondage. [249]

      Early in the spring that followed the capture of Pemaquid, a band of Indians fell, after daybreak, on a number of farm-houses near the village of Haverhill. One of them belonged to a settler named Dustan, whose wife Hannah had borne a child a week before, and lay in the house, nursed by Mary Neff, one of her neighbors. Dustan had gone to his work in a neighboring field, taking with him his seven children, of whom the youngest was two years old. Hearing the noise of the attack, 386 he told them to run to the nearest fortified house, a mile or more distant, and, snatching up his gun, threw himself on one of his horses and galloped towards his own house to save his wife. It was too late: the Indians were already there. He now thought only of saving his children; and, keeping behind them as they ran, he fired on the pursuing savages, and held them at bay till he and his flock reached a place of safety. Meanwhile, the house was set on fire, and his wife and the nurse carried off. Her husband, no doubt, had given her up as lost, when, weeks after, she reappeared, accompanied by Mary Neff and a boy, and bringing ten Indian scalps. Her story was to the following effect."Oh Pen, I hate skulking!"

      The glade with its tiny temple presented a scene of unearthly beauty. A shaft of moonlight was silvering the pale dome. The deep bowl below the bank was full to the brim of moonlight.Ten days later Vaudreuil wrote again: "I have already had the honor, by my letter written in cipher on the thirteenth of last month, to give you a sketch of the character of Monsieur the Marquis of Montcalm; but I have just been informed of a stroke so black that I think, Monseigneur, that I should fail in my duty to you if I did not tell you of it." He goes on to say that, a little before his death, and "no doubt in fear of the fate that befell him," Montcalm placed in the hands of Father Roubaud, missionary at St. Francis, two packets of papers containing remarks on the administration of the colony, and especially on the manner in which the military posts were furnished with supplies; that these observations were accompanied by certificates; and that they involved charges against him, the Governor, of complicity in peculation. Roubaud, he continues, was to send these papers to France; "but now, Monseigneur, that you are informed about them, I feel no anxiety, and I am sure that the King will receive no impression from them without acquainting himself with their truth or falsity."

      [240] See ante, Chapter IV.


      401[77] Vaudreuil et Beauharnois au Ministre, 17 Novembre, 1704.



      V1 them entirely free of taxation. They made clothing of flax and wool of their own raising, hats of similar materials, and shoes or moccasons of moose and seal skin. They bred cattle, sheep, hogs, and horses in abundance; and the valley of the Annapolis, then as now, was known for the profusion and excellence of its apples. For drink, they made cider or brewed spruce-beer. French officials describe their dwellings as wretched wooden boxes, without ornaments or conveniences, and scarcely supplied with the most necessary furniture. [269] Two or more families often occupied the same house; and their way of life, though simple and virtuous, was by no means remarkable for cleanliness. Such as it was, contentment reigned among them, undisturbed by what modern America calls progress. Marriages were early, and population grew apace. This humble society had its disturbing elements; for the Acadians, like the Canadians, were a litigious race, and neighbors often quarrelled about their boundaries. Nor were they without a bountiful share of jealousy, gossip, and backbiting, to relieve the monotony of their lives; and every village had its turbulent spirits, sometimes by fits, though rarely long, contumacious even toward the cur, the guide, counsellor, and ruler of his flock. Enfeebled by hereditary mental subjection, and too long kept in leading-strings to walk alone, they needed him, not for the next world only, but for this; and their submission, compounded of love and fear, was commonly without bounds. He was their 260[11] Frontenac au Ministre, 15 Nov., 1689; Champigny au Ministre, 16 Nov., 1689. Compare Belmont, whose account is a little different; also N. Y. Col. Docs., IX. 435.