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      Lycon perceived that there was no time to lose. Anxiously as his own heart throbbed, he encouraged278 Dorion and Conops. They took off Paegnion, though not without difficulty and, uniting their strength, urged the boat towards the womens apartment.

      Besides Tonty, La Salle found in France another ally, La Motte de Lussire, to whom he offered a share in the enterprise, and who joined him at Rochelle, the place of embarkation. Here vexatious delays occurred. Bellinzani, director of trade, who had formerly taken lessons in rascality in the service of Cardinal Mazarin, abused his official position to throw obstacles in the way of La Salle, in order to extort money from him; and he extorted, in fact, a considerable sum, which his victim afterwards reclaimed. It was not till the fourteenth of July that La Salle, with Tonty, La Motte, and thirty men, set sail for Canada, and two months more elapsed before he reached Quebec. Here, to increase his resources and strengthen his position, he seems to have made a league with several Canadian merchants, [Pg 130] some of whom had before been his enemies, and were to be so again. Here, too, he found Father Louis Hennepin, who had come down from Fort Frontenac to meet him.[103]

      [55] Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1648, gives a description of one of these ceremonies at length. Those of the Iroquois on such occasions were similar. Many other tribes had the same custom, but attended with much less form and ceremony. Compare Perrot, 73-76.Yet he did not go to meet her. Of course she would have been frightened by the sight of a strange man. And what should he talk about? He had nothing to say to her.

      He doubled Cape Sable, and entered St. Mary's Bay, where he lay two weeks, sending boats' crews to explore the adjacent coasts. A party one day went on shore to stroll through the forest, and among them was Nicolas Aubry, a priest from Paris, who, tiring of the scholastic haunts of the Rue de la Sorbonne and the Rue d'Enfer, had persisted, despite the remonstrance of his friends, in joining the expedition. Thirsty with a long walk, under the sun of June, through the tangled and rock-encumbered woods, he stopped to drink at a brook, laying his sword beside him on the grass. On rejoining his companions, he found that he had forgotten it; and turning back in search of it, more skilled in the devious windings of the Quartier Latin than in the intricacies of the Acadian forest, he soon lost his way. His comrades, alarmed, waited for a time, and then ranged the woods, shouting his name to the echoing solitudes. Trumpets were sounded, and cannon fired from the ships, but the priest did not appear. All now looked askance on a certain Huguenot, with whom Aubry had often quarrelled on questions of faith, and who was now accused of having killed him. In vain he denied the charge. Aubry was given up for dead, and the ship sailed from St. Mary's Bay; while the wretched priest roamed to and fro, famished and despairing, or, couched on the rocky soil, in the troubled sleep of exhaustion, dreamed, perhaps, as the wind swept moaning through the pines, that he heard once more the organ roll through the columned arches of Sainte Genevieve.The Jesuits had borne all that the human frame seems capable of bearing. They had escaped as by miracle from torture and death. Did their zeal flag or their courage fail? A fervor intense and unquenchable urged them on to more distant and more deadly ventures. The beings, so near to mortal sympathies, so human, yet so divine, in whom their faith impersonated and dramatized the great principles of Christian truth,virgins, saints, and angels,hovered over them, and held before their raptured sight crowns of glory and garlands of immortal bliss. They burned to do, to suffer, and to die; and now, from out a living martyrdom, they turned their heroic gaze towards an 147 horizon dark with perils yet more appalling, and saw in hope the day when they should bear the cross into the blood-stained dens of the Iroquois. [9]

      "The treasure?" she gasped. "The dagger?"

      "Therefore!" he cried, "you men of Kincaid's Battery--and you, sir,--and you,"--nodding right and left to Mandeville and the detective,--"on this our solemn pledge to supply as soon as ever we can all form of law and social usage here omitted which can more fully solemnize this union--do now--"A fortnight later, an officer named Vasseur went up the river to pursue the adventure. The fever for gold had seized upon the French. As the villages of the Thimagoas lay between them and the imagined treasures, they shrank from a quarrel, and Laudonniere repented already of his promised alliance with Satouriona.


      This port of Tadoussac was long the centre of the Canadian fur-trade. A desolation of barren mountains closes round it, betwixt whose ribs of rugged granite, bristling with savins, birches, and firs, the Saguenay rolls its gloomy waters from the northern wilderness. Centuries of civilization have not tamed the wildness of the place; and still, in grim repose, the mountains hold their guard around the waveless lake that glistens in their shadow, and doubles, in its sullen mirror, crag, precipice, and forest."Be a man, Miranda!" murmured Constance.


      [14] It was the usual practice to give guns to converts, "pour attirer leur compatriotes la Foy." They were never given to heathen Indians. "It seems," observes Vimont, "that our Lord wishes to make use of this method in order that Christianity may become acceptable in this country."Relation, 1643, 71.