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      Brbeuf and his Huron companions having landed, the Indians, throwing the missionary's baggage on the ground, left him to his own resources; and, without heeding his remonstrances, set forth for their respective villages, some twenty miles distant. Thus abandoned, the priest kneeled, not to implore succor in his perplexity, but to offer thanks to the Providence which had shielded him thus far. Then, rising, he pondered as to what course he should take. He knew the spot well. It was on the borders of the small inlet called Thunder Bay. In the neighboring Huron town of Toanch he had lived three years, preaching and baptizing; [13] but Toanch had now ceased to exist. Here, tienne Brul, Champlain's adventurous interpreter, had recently been murdered by the inhabitants, who, in 57 excitement and alarm, dreading the consequences of their deed, had deserted the spot, and built, at the distance of a few miles, a new town, called Ihonatiria. [14] Brbeuf hid his baggage in the woods, including the vessels for the Mass, more precious than all the rest, and began his search for this new abode. He passed the burnt remains of Toanch, saw the charred poles that had formed the frame of his little chapel of bark, and found, as he thought, the spot where Brul had fallen. [15] Evening was near, when, after following, bewildered and anxious, a gloomy forest path, he issued upon a wild clearing, and saw before him the bark roofs of Ihonatiria.24 The youth who had felled the old chieftain again seized his bow, but Lyrcus dashed it from his hands.


      Boston, 1st May, 1867"But you will do your part," pursued the Frenchman; "you will not leave us all the honor."


      [23] There is a letter extant from Sister Anne de Ste Claire, an Ursuline who came to Quebec in 1640, written soon after her arrival, and containing curious evidence that a reputation of saintship already attached to Marie de l'Incarnation. "When I spoke to her," writes Sister Anne, speaking of her first interview, "I perceived in the air a certain odor of sanctity, which gave me the sensation of an agreeable perfume." See the letter in a recent Catholic work, Les Ursulines de Qubec, I. 38, where the passage is printed in Italics, as worthy the especial attention of the pious reader.Lyrcus silently departed. Byssa hid her face in her hands, tears trickled through her fingers.

      73 The corpses were lowered from their scaffolds, and lifted from their graves. Their coverings were removed by certain functionaries appointed for the office, and the hideous relics arranged in a row, surrounded by the weeping, shrieking, howling concourse. The spectacle was frightful. Here were all the village dead of the last twelve years. The priests, connoisseurs in such matters, regarded it as a display of mortality so edifying, that they hastened to summon their French attendants to contemplate and profit by it. Each family reclaimed its own, and immediately addressed itself to removing what remained of flesh from the bones. These, after being tenderly caressed, with tears and lamentations, were wrapped in skins and adorned with pendent robes of fur. In the belief of the mourners, they were sentient and conscious. A soul was thought still to reside in them; [3] and to this notion, very general among Indians, is in no small degree due that extravagant attachment to the remains of their dead, which may be said to mark the race.

      And now La Salle's work must be begun afresh. He had staked all, and all had seemingly been lost. In stern, relentless effort he had touched the limits of human endurance; and the harvest of his toil was disappointment, disaster, and impending ruin. The shattered fabric of his enterprise was prostrate in the dust. His friends desponded; his foes were blatant and exultant. Did he bend before the storm? No human eye could pierce the depths of his reserved and haughty nature; but the surface was calm, and no sign betrayed a shaken resolve or an altered purpose. Where weaker men would have abandoned all in despairing apathy, he turned anew to his work with the same vigor and the same apparent confidence as if borne on the full tide of success.Her captain moved to the pilot-house. Miranda and the junior officers left Hilary with Anna. "Did you say 'the day,'" she softly asked, "or 'the bay'?"


      [7] The above particulars have been unearthed by the indefatigable Abb Faillon. Some of La Salle's grants are still preserved in the ancient records of Montreal.

      X.

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      [5] The measurement between the angles of the two southern bastions is 123 feet, and that of the curtain wall connecting these bastions is 78 feet. Some curious relics have been found in the fort,among others, a steel mill for making wafers for the Host. It was found in 1848, in a remarkable state of preservation, and is now in an English museum, having been bought on the spot by an amateur. As at Sainte Marie on the Wye, the remains are in perfect conformity with the narratives and letters of the priests.The truth.

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      THE IROQUOIS WAR.After touching at several other towns of this people, the voyagers resumed their course, guided by two of the Arkansas; passed the sites, since become historic, of Vicksburg and Grand Gulf; and, about three hundred miles below the Arkansas, stopped by the edge of a swamp on the western side of the [Pg 301] river.[238] Here, as their two guides told them, was the path to the great town of the Taensas. Tonty and Membr were sent to visit it. They and their men shouldered their birch canoe through the swamp, and launched it on a lake which had once formed a portion of the channel of the river. In two hours, they reached the town; and Tonty gazed at it with astonishment. He had seen nothing like it in America,large square dwellings, built of sun-baked mud mixed with straw, arched over with a dome-shaped roof of canes, and placed in regular order around an open area. Two of them were larger and better than the rest. One was the lodge of the chief; the other was the temple, or house of the Sun. They entered the former, and found a single room, forty feet square, where, in the dim light,for there was no opening but the door,the chief sat awaiting them on a sort of bedstead, three of his wives at his side; while sixty old men, wrapped in white cloaks woven of mulberry-bark, formed his divan. When he spoke, his wives howled to do him honor; and the assembled councillors listened with the reverence due to a potentate for whom, at his death, a hundred victims were to be sacrificed. He received the visitors graciously, and joyfully [Pg 302] accepted the gifts which Tonty laid before him.[239] This interview over, the Frenchmen repaired to the temple, wherein were kept the bones of the departed chiefs. In construction, it was much like the royal dwelling. Over it were rude wooden figures, representing three eagles turned towards the east. A strong mud wall surrounded it, planted with stakes, on which were stuck the skulls of enemies sacrificed to the Sun; while before the door was a block of wood, on which lay a large shell surrounded with the braided hair of the victims. The interior was rude as a barn, dimly lighted from the doorway, and full of smoke. There was a structure in the middle which Membr thinks was a kind of altar; and before it burned a perpetual fire, fed with three logs laid end to end, and watched by two old men devoted to this sacred office. There was a mysterious recess, too, which the strangers were forbidden to explore, but which, as Tonty was told, contained the riches of the nation, consisting of pearls from the Gulf, and trinkets obtained, probably through other tribes, from the Spaniards and other Europeans.

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      XI.


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