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      [10] Relation, 1633, 38.


      [5] Brbeuf, Relation des Hurons, 1636, 86.


      As for Montreal, though it had given a Governor to the colony, its prospects were far from hopeful. The ridiculous Dauversire, its chief founder, was sick and bankrupt; and the Associates of Montreal, once so full of zeal and so abounding in wealth, were reduced to nine persons. What it had left of vitality was in the enthusiastic Mademoiselle Mance, the earnest and disinterested soldier, Maisonneuve, and the priest, Olier, with his new Seminary of St. Sulpice.

      "I hope to give myself the honor of sending you a more particular account of this enterprise when it shall have had the success which I hope for it; but I have need of a strong protection for its support. It traverses the commercial operations of certain persons, who will find it hard to endure it. They intended to make a new Paraguay in these parts, and the route which I close against them gave them facilities for an advantageous correspondence with Mexico. This check will infallibly be a mortification to them; and you know how they deal with whatever opposes them. Nevertheless, I am bound to render them the justice to say that the poison which was given me was not at all of their instigation. The person who was conscious of the guilt, believing that I was their enemy because he saw that our sentiments were opposed, thought to exculpate himself by accusing them, and I confess that at the time I was not sorry to have this indication of their ill-will; but having afterwards carefully examined the affair, I clearly discovered the falsity of the accusation which this rascal had made against them. I nevertheless pardoned him, in order not to give notoriety to the affair; as the mere suspicion might sully their reputation, to which I should scrupulously avoid doing the slightest injury unless I thought it necessary to the good of the public, and unless the fact were fully proved. Therefore, [Pg 118] Monsieur, if anybody shared the suspicion which I felt, oblige me by undeceiving him."[94]The Viceroy's company was of a mixed complexion. There were nobles, officers, soldiers, sailors, adventurers, with women too, and children. Of the women, some were of birth and station, and among them a damsel called Marguerite, a niece of Roberval himself. In the ship was a young gentleman who had embarked for love of her. His love was too well requited; and the stern Viceroy, scandalized and enraged at a passion which scorned concealment and set shame at defiance, cast anchor by the haunted island, landed his indiscreet relative, gave her four arquebuses for defence, and, with an old Norman nurse named Bastienne, who had pandered to the lovers, left her to her fate. Her gallant threw himself into the surf, and by desperate effort gained the shore, with two more guns and a supply of ammunition.

      [297] A map, entitled Entre du Lac où on a laisse le Sr. de la Salle, made by the engineer Minet, and preserved in the Archives de la Marine, represents the entrance of Matagorda Bay, the camp of La Salle on the left, Indian camps on the borders of the bay, the "Belle" at anchor within, the "Aimable" stranded at the entrance, and the "Joly" anchored in the open sea.SUCCESS OF LA SALLE.


      The question at issue was not new. It had agitated the colony for years, and had been the spring of some of Argensons many troubles. Nor did it cease with Avaugour, for we shall trace its course hereafter, tumultuous as a tornado. It was simply the temperance question; not as regards the colonists, though here, too, there was great room for reform, but as regards the Indians.

      In the name of the gods, what has happened? he asked.Lalemant, physically weak from childhood, and slender almost to emaciation, was constitutionally unequal to a display of fortitude like that of his colleague. When Brbeuf died, he was led back to the house whence he had been taken, and tortured there all night, until, in the morning, one of the Iroquois, growing tired of the protracted entertainment, killed him with a hatchet. [3] It was said, that, at times, he seemed beside himself; then, rallying, with hands uplifted, he offered his 391 sufferings to Heaven as a sacrifice. His robust companion had lived less than four hours under the torture, while he survived it for nearly seventeen. Perhaps the Titanic effort of will with which Brbeuf repressed all show of suffering conspired with the Iroquois knives and firebrands to exhaust his vitality; perhaps his tormentors, enraged at his fortitude, forgot their subtlety, and struck too near the life.

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      The interests arrayed against him were incessantly at work. His men were persuaded to desert and rob him; the Iroquois were told that he was arming [Pg 329] the western tribes against them; the western tribes were told that he was betraying them to the Iroquois; his proceedings were denounced to the court; and continual efforts were made to alienate his associates. They, on their part, sore as they were from disappointment and loss, were in a mood to listen to the aspersions cast upon him; and they pestered him with letters, asking questions, demanding explanations, and dunning him for money. It is through his answers that we are best able to judge him; and at times, by those touches of nature which make the whole world kin, they teach us to know him and to feel for him.

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      Meanwhile her relatives, or those of her husband, had confirmed her pious purposes by attempting to thwart them. They pronounced her a romantic visionary, incompetent to the charge of her property. Her father, too, whose fondness for her increased with his advancing age, entreated her to remain with him while he lived, and to defer the execution of her plans till he should be laid in his grave. From entreaties he passed to commands, and at length threatened to disinherit her, if she persisted. The virtue of obedience, for which she is extolled by her clerical biographers, however abundantly exhibited in respect to those who held charge of her conscience, was singularly wanting towards the parent who, in the way of Nature, had the best claim to its exercise; and Madame de la Peltrie was more than ever resolved to go to Canada. Her father, on his part, was urgent that she should marry again. On this she took counsel of a Jesuit, [4] who, 171 "having seriously reflected before God," suggested a device, which to the heretical mind is a little startling, but which commended itself to Madame de la Peltrie as fitted at once to soothe the troubled spirit of her father, and to save her from the sin involved in the abandonment of her pious designs. cared for no qualification except the capacity of maternity.

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      Daniel Gookin, of Massachusetts, indicated this as theirNothing, indeed, was ever heard of her. Indians, fur-traders, and even Jesuits, have been charged with contriving her destruction. Some say that the Ottawas boarded and burned her, after murdering those on board; others accuse the Pottawattamies; others affirm that her own crew scuttled and sunk her; others, again, that she foundered in a storm.[155] As for La Salle, the belief grew in him to a settled conviction that she had been treacherously sunk by the pilot and the sailors to whom he had intrusted her; and he thought he had found evidence that the authors of the crime, laden with the merchandise they had taken from her, had reached the Mississippi and ascended it, hoping to join Du Lhut, a famous chief of coureurs de bois, and enrich themselves by traffic with the northern tribes.[156]


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