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      "Hilary?" frowningly asked Adolphe.


      At Quebec there was little ability and no inclination to shelter the new colonists for the winter; and they would have fared ill, but for the generosity of M. Puiseaux, who lived not far distant, at a place called St. Michel. This devout and most hospitable person made room for them all in his rough, but capacious dwelling. Their neighbors were the hospital nuns, then living at the mission of Sillery, in a substantial, but comfortless house of stone; where, amidst destitution, sickness, and irrepressible disgust at the filth of the savages whom they had in charge, they were laboring day and night with devoted assiduity. Among the minor 204 ills which beset them were the eccentricities of one of their lay sisters, crazed with religious enthusiasm, who had the care of their poultry and domestic animals, of which she was accustomed to inquire, one by one, if they loved God; when, not receiving an immediate answer in the affirmative, she would instantly put them to death, telling them that their impiety deserved no better fate. [21]At this comparison Thuphrastos knit his brows; the blood rushed to his brain and, clenching his hands, he rose from the couch. Every one was aware that he182 had known Pericles and admired him with his whole soul.


      The King was edified by his zeal. An enterprise of such spiritual and temporal promise was not to be slighted, and Menendez was empowered to conquer and convert Florida at his own cost. The conquest was to be effected within three years. Menendez was to take with him five hundred men, and supply them with five hundred slaves, besides horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs. Villages were to be built, with forts to defend them, and sixteen ecclesiastics, of whom four should be Jesuits, were to form the nucleus of a Floridan church. The King, on his part, granted Menendez free trade with Hispaniola, Porto Rico, Cuba, and Spain, the office of Adelantado of Florida for life, with the right of naming his successor, and large emoluments to be drawn from the expected conquest.


      In the spring of 1648 the excitement of the heathen party reached a crisis. A young Frenchman, named Jacques Douart, in the service of the mission, going out at evening a short distance from the Jesuit house of Sainte Marie, was tomahawked by unknown Indians, [9] who proved to be two brothers, instigated by the heathen chiefs. A great commotion followed, and for a few days it seemed that the adverse parties would fall to blows, at a time when the common enemy threatened to destroy them both. But sager counsels prevailed. In view of the manifest strength of the Christians, the pagans lowered their tone; and it soon became apparent that it was the part of the Jesuits to insist boldly on satisfaction for the outrage. They made no demand that the murderers should be punished or surrendered, but, with their usual good sense in such matters, conformed to Indian usage, and required that the nation at large should make atonement for the crime by presents. [10] The number of these, their value, and the mode of delivering them were all fixed by ancient custom; and some of the converts, acting as counsel, advised the Fathers of every step it behooved them to take in a case of such importance. As this is the best illustration of Huron justice on record, it may be well to observe 355 the method of procedure,recollecting that the public, and not the criminal, was to pay the forfeit of the crime.

      [3] "Nostre Chapelle estoit extraordinairement bien orne, nous auions dress vn portique entortill de feüillage, mesl d'oripeau, en vn mot nous auions estall tout ce que vostre R. nous a enuoi de beau," etc., etc.Le Mercier, Relation des Hurons, 1637, 175, 176.In his Relation of the next year he recurs to the subject, and describes the pictures displayed on this memorable occasion.Relation des Hurons, 1638, 33."Oh, doggon me. The moment that boat's gun sounds--if only you're out o' the way--I'll make a try. Go! for Heaven's sake, go!"

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      Both looked grave, nay troubled; they were talking about the Cychreans and Tydeus murder.

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      La Salle now resolved to leave the Indian camp, and fortify himself for the winter in a strong position, where his men would be less exposed to dangerous influence, and where he could hold his ground against an outbreak of the Illinois or an Iroquois invasion. At the middle of January, a thaw broke up the ice which had closed the river; and he set out in a canoe, with Hennepin, to visit the site he had chosen for his projected fort. It was half a league below the camp, on a low hill or knoll, two hundred yards from the southern bank. On either side was a deep ravine, and in front a marshy tract, overflowed at high water. Thither, then, the party was removed. They dug a ditch behind the hill, connecting the two ravines, and thus completely isolating it. The hill was nearly square in form. An embankment of earth was thrown up on every side: its declivities [Pg 181] were sloped steeply down to the bottom of the ravines and the ditch, and further guarded by chevaux-de-frise; while a palisade, twenty-five feet high, was planted around the whole. The lodgings of the men, built of musket-proof timber, were at two of the angles; the house of the friars at the third; the forge and magazine at the fourth; and the tents of La Salle and Tonty in the area within.


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