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      The baffled invaders sailed crestfallen to Casco Bay, and a vessel was sent to carry news of the miscarriage to Dudley, who, vexed and incensed, ordered another attempt. March was in a state of helpless indecision, increased by a bad cold; but the governor would not recall him, and chose instead the lamentable expedient of sending three members of the provincial council to advise and direct him. Two of them had commissions in the militia; the third, John Leverett, was a learned bachelor of divinity, formerly a tutor in Harvard College, and soon after[Pg 130] its president,capable, no doubt, of preaching Calvinistic sermons to the students, but totally unfit to command men or conduct a siege.[604] Correspondance de Vaudreuil, 1758. Livre d'Ordres, Juin, 1758.

      He seemed to be convinced, but he did not take the matter seriously enough to suit Pen. He seemed to be thinking more of her than of his own situation. He took a step nearer to her.

      Still pushing upward against the current, he reached in eleven days a village of the Bayagoula Indians, where he found the chief attired in a blue capote, which was probably put on in honor of the white strangers, and which, as the wearer declared, had been given him by Henri de Tonty, on his descent of the Mississippi in search of La Salle, thirteen years before. Young Le Moyne de Bienville, who accompanied his brother Iberville in a canoe, brought him, some time after, a letter from Tonty which the writer had left in the hands of another[Pg 302] chief, to be delivered to La Salle in case of his arrival, and which Bienville had bought for a hatchet. Iberville welcomed it as convincing proof that the river he had entered was in truth the Mississippi.[292] After pushing up the stream till the twenty-fourth, he returned to the ships by way of lakes Maurepas and Ponchartrain.

      [1] Censuses of Canada, iv. 61. Rameau (La France aux Colonies, II. 81) estimates the Canadian population, in 1755, at sixty-six thousand, besides voyageurs, Indian traders, etc. Vaudreuil, in 1760, places it at seventy thousand.V2 that opens upon the St. Lawrence; an amphitheatre of lofty precipices, their brows crested with forests, and their steep brown sides scantily feathered with stunted birch and fir. Into this abyss leaps the Montmorenci with one headlong plunge of nearly two hundred and fifty feet, a living column of snowy white, with its spray, its foam, its mists, and its rainbows; then spreads itself in broad thin sheets over a floor of rock and gravel, and creeps tamely to the St. Lawrence. It was but a gunshot across the gulf, and the sentinels on each side watched each other over the roar and turmoil of the cataract. Captain Knox, coming one day from Point Levi to receive orders from Wolfe, improved a spare hour to visit this marvel of nature. "I had very nigh paid dear for my inquisitiveness; for while I stood on the eminence I was hastily called to by one of our sentinels, when, throwing my eyes about, I saw a Frenchman creeping under the eastern extremity of their breastwork to fire at me. This obliged me to retire as fast as I could out of his reach, and, making up to the sentry to thank him for his attention, he told me the fellow had snapped his piece twice, and the second time it flashed in the pan at the instant I turned away from the Fall." Another officer, less fortunate, had a leg broken by a shot from the opposite cliffs.

      Having thus delivered himself to an audience not much more susceptible of the ludicrous than he was, the old man went home well pleased, and recorded in his diary that the lieutenant-governor and councillors rose and remained standing while he was speaking, "and they expressed a handsom Acceptance of what I had said; Laus Deo."[259]The defeat of Washington was a heavy blow to the Governor, and he angrily ascribed it to the delay of the expected reinforcements. The King's companies from New York had reached Alexandria, and crawled towards the scene of action with thin ranks, bad discipline, thirty women and children, no tents, no blankets, no knapsacks, and for munitions one barrel of spoiled gunpowder. [161] The case was still worse with the regiment from North Carolina. It was commanded by Colonel Innes, a countryman and friend of Dinwiddie, who wrote to him: "Dear James, I now wish that we had none from your colony but yourself, for I foresee nothing but confusion among them." The men 163


      [23] Frontenac au Ministre, 9 et 12 Nov., 1690.[30] See the signatures in N. Y. Col. Docs., IX. 385, 386.


      Iroquois Inroads ? Death of Bienville ? English Attack ? A Desperate Fight ? Miseries of the Colony ? Alarms ? A Winter Expedition ? La Chesnaye burned ? The Heroine of Verchres ? Mission Indians ? The Mohawk Expedition ? Retreat and Pursuit ? Relief arrives ? Frontenac Triumphant.It was less tranquil than it seemed. All on board knew that a blow would be struck that night, though only a few high officers knew where. Colonel Howe, of the light infantry, called for volunteers to lead the unknown and desperate venture, promising, in the words of one of them, "that if any of us survived we might depend on 283


      At length, most of them took to their canoes, and recrossed Lake St. Louis in a body, giving ninety yells to show that they had ninety prisoners in their clutches. This was not all; for the whole number carried off was more than a hundred and twenty, besides about two hundred who had the good fortune to be killed on the spot. As the Iroquois passed the forts, they shouted, "Onontio, you deceived us, and now we have deceived you." Towards evening, they encamped on the farther side of the lake, and began to torture and devour their prisoners. On that miserable night, stupefied and speechless groups stood gazing from the strand of La Chine at the lights that gleamed along the distant shore of Chateaugay, where their 181 friends, wives, parents, or children agonized in the fires of the Iroquois, and scenes were enacted of indescribable and nameless horror. The greater part of the prisoners were, however, reserved to be distributed among the towns of the confederacy, and there tortured for the diversion of the inhabitants. While some of the invaders went home to celebrate their triumph, others roamed in small parties through all the upper parts of the colony, spreading universal terror. [37]"Of course Riever has been entirely discreet in making his new announcement. He had it written out and sent it over to the Island last night to be posted up outside the store. His offer reads: 'Ten thousand dollars for the apprehension of Donald Counsell.' But everybody understands that it means dead or alive. Many of the men are armed."


      Pen was afraid to put her name to this. She hated anonymity, and realized that it would raise a justifiable suspicion in the other girl's breast, but within the past few days the newspapers had made the name of Pendleton Broome almost as famous as that of Donald Counsell. How could she take the risk? Suppose her letter ended in the newspapers? She turned hot and cold at the thought. Even the post-mark Absolom's Island would give too much away. But she had to take that chance. She couldn't put down a false name either. She finally signed her letter: "Your Would-be Friend."As they bowled over the causeway to the Island Riever said: "I haven't given up hope of you, though. You have a natural hatred of sham. I'll teach you to face the truth yet!"