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      [800] Copie du Conseil de Guerre tenu par M. de Ramesay Qubec, 15 Sept. 1759.

      Another plan, scarcely less absurd, was proposed[Pg 6] about the same time by the celebrated Le Moyne d'Iberville. The essential point, he says, is to get possession of Boston; but there are difficulties and risks in the way. Nothing, he adds, referring to the other plan, seems difficult to persons without experience; but unless we are prepared to raise a great and costly armament, our only hope is in surprise. We should make it in winter, when the seafaring population, which is the chief strength of the place, is absent on long voyages. A thousand Canadians, four hundred regulars, and as many Indians should leave Quebec in November, ascend the Chaudire, then descend the Kennebec, approach Boston under cover of the forest, and carry it by a night attack. Apparently he did not know that but for its lean neckthen but a few yards wideBoston was an island, and that all around for many leagues the forest that was to have covered his approach had already been devoured by numerous busy settlements. He offers to lead the expedition, and declares that if he is honored with the command, he will warrant that the New England capital will be forced to submit to King Louis, after which New York can be seized in its turn.[2]With a painful struggle for self-command he took still another tone. "Well, that's all right. I'll say no more about him.... But give me a pledge!"

      [8] On its condition in 1670, Estat du Fort et Place de Pentegoet fait en l'anne 1670, lorsque les Anglois l'ont rendu. In 1671, fourteen soldiers and eight laborers were settled near the fort. Talon au Ministre, 2 Nov., 1671. In the next year, Talon recommends an envoi de filles for the benefit of Pentegoet. Mmoire sur le Canada, 1672. As late as 1698, we find Acadian officials advising the reconstruction of the fort.

      Blanche quieted down. In her abrupt way she got to her feet and went to the bureau. Emptying out the little beaded bag, she commenced to rub fresh color into her cheeks, making strange faces into the glass meanwhile. But the tears flowed faster than she could repair the damage.

      "You could take it ... without being like other people," he said.

      Through centuries of strife and vicissitude the French monarchy had triumphed over nobles, parliaments, and people, gathered to itself all the forces of the State, beamed with illusive splendors under Louis the Great, and shone with the phosphorescence of decay under his contemptible successor; till now, robbed of prestige, burdened with debt, and mined with corruption, it was moving swiftly and more swiftly towards the abyss of ruin.

      These savages belonged to a group of stationary tribes, only one of which, the Caddoes, survives to our day as a separate community. Their enemies, the Chickasaws, Osages, Arkansas, and even the distant Illinois, waged such deadly war against them that, according to La Harpe, the unfortunate Nassonites were in the way of extinction, their numbers having fallen, within ten years, from twenty-five hundred souls to four hundred.[372]Earl of Bellemont.


      Such was the character and the fate of many incipient settlements of the utmost border. Farther east, they had a different aspect. Here, small farms with well-built log-houses, cattle, crops of wheat and Indian corn, were strung at intervals along some woody valley of the lower Alleghanies: yesterday a scene of hardy toil; to-day swept with destruction from end to end. There was no warning; no time for concert, perhaps none for flight. Sudden as the leaping panther, a pack of human wolves burst out of the forest, did their work, and vanished.Behold the conquering Cross! 'T is God the triumph wrought." [638]


      Conclusion.V2 unquestionably the best that could have been taken, since obstinacy in holding Ticonderoga might have involved the surrender of Bourlamaque's whole force, while Isle-aux-Noix offered rare advantages for defence.


      At this moment the head of Theodo', Aunt Maria's sixth or thereabouts, appeared outside the kitchen window. Aunt Maria unseen by Pen silently and frantically waved him back, but his momentum was too great. He came on in with his foolish, engaging grin.In spite of darkness and surprise, the assailants met a stiff resistance and a hot and persistent fusillade. Vaudreuil says that they could dislodge the defenders only by setting fire to both houses and fort. In this they were not very successful, as but few of the dwellings were burned. A fire was kindled against the meeting-house, which was saved by one Davis and a few others, who made a dash from behind the adjacent parsonage, drove the Indians off, and put out the flames. Rolfe, the minister, had already been killed while defending his house. His wife and one of his children were butchered; but two[Pg 98] otherslittle girls of six and eight yearswere saved by the self-devotion of his maid-servant, Hagar, apparently a negress, who dragged them into the cellar and hid them under two inverted tubs, where they crouched, dumb with terror, while the Indians ransacked the place without finding them. English accounts say that the number of persons killedmen, women, and childrenwas forty-eight; which the French increase to a hundred.