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      and ceaseless rains drenched them as they toiled on, knee-deep in slush. Happily, the St. Lawrence was open. They found an old wooden canoe by the shore, embarked, and reached Montreal after a journey of four weeks.

      Being, says Hennepin, exceedingly tall and active, they walked at a prodigious speed, insomuch that no European could long keep pace with them. Though the month of May had begun, there were frosts at night; and the marshes and ponds were glazed with ice, which cut the missionary's legs as he waded through. They swam the larger streams, and Hennepin nearly perished with cold as he emerged from the icy current. His two companions, who were smaller than he, and who could not swim, were carried over on the backs of the Indians. They showed, however, no little endurance; and he declares that he should have dropped by the way, but for their [Pg 258] support. Seeing him disposed to lag, the Indians, to spur him on, set fire to the dry grass behind him, and then, taking him by the hands, ran forward with him to escape the flames. To add to his misery, he was nearly famished, as they gave him only a small piece of smoked meat once a day, though it does not appear that they themselves fared better. On the fifth day, being by this time in extremity, he saw a crowd of squaws and children approaching over the prairie, and presently descried the bark lodges of an Indian town. The goal was reached. He was among the homes of the Sioux.

      with ministers and other functionaries, both in and out ofWe have already touched on the domestic life of the Jesuits. That we may the better know them, we will follow one of their number on his journey towards the scene of his labors, and observe what awaited him on his arrival.

      ** Lettre de Laval Queylus, 4 Ao?t, 1661.HUNGER RELIEVED.

      The chief condescended to visit La Salle at his camp,a favor which he would by no means have granted, had the visitors been Indians. A master of ceremonies and six attendants preceded him, to clear [Pg 303] the path and prepare the place of meeting. When all was ready, he was seen advancing, clothed in a white robe and preceded by two men bearing white fans, while a third displayed a disk of burnished copper,doubtless to represent the Sun, his ancestor, or, as others will have it, his elder brother. His aspect was marvellously grave, and he and La Salle met with gestures of ceremonious courtesy. The interview was very friendly; and the chief returned well pleased with the gifts which his entertainer bestowed on him, and which, indeed, had been the principal motive of his visit.Chaumonot records yet another miracle. "One evening, when all the chief men of the town were deliberating in council whether to put us to death, Father Brbeuf, while making his examination of conscience, as we were together at prayers, saw the vision of a spectre, full of fury, menacing us both with three javelins which he held in his hands. Then he hurled one of them at us; but a more powerful hand caught it as it flew: and this took place a second and a third time, as he hurled his two remaining javelins. Late at night our host came back from the council, where the two Huron emissaries had made their gift of hatchets to have us killed. He wakened us to say that three times we had been at the point of death; for the young men had offered three times 145 to strike the blow, and three times the old men had dissuaded them. This explained the meaning of Father Brbeuf's vision." [6]





      The reported change of feeling had indeed taken place; and the occasion of it was characteristic. On his previous visit to the Mohawks, Jogues, meaning to return, had left in their charge a small chest or box. From the first they were distrustful, suspecting that it contained some secret mischief. He therefore opened it, and showed them the contents, which were a few personal necessaries; and having thus, as he thought, reassured them, locked the box, and left it in their keeping. The Huron prisoners in the town attempted to make favor with 302 their Iroquois enemies by abusing their French friends,declaring them to be sorcerers, who had bewitched, by their charms and mummeries, the whole Huron nation, and caused drought, famine, pestilence, and a host of insupportable miseries. Thereupon, the suspicions of the Mohawks against the box revived with double force, and they were convinced that famine, the pest, or some malignant spirit was shut up in it, waiting the moment to issue forth and destroy them. There was sickness in the town, and caterpillars were eating their corn: this was ascribed to the sorceries of the Jesuit. [9] Still they were divided in opinion. Some stood firm for the French; others were furious against them. Among the Mohawks, three clans or families were predominant, if indeed they did not compose the entire nation,the clans of the Bear, the Tortoise, and the Wolf. [10] Though, by the nature of their constitution, it was scarcely possible that these clans should come to blows, so intimately were they bound together by ties of blood, yet they were often divided on points of interest or policy; and on this occasion the Bear raged against the French, and howled for war, while the Tortoise and the Wolf still clung to the treaty. Among savages, with no government except the intermittent one of councils, the party of action and violence must always prevail. The Bear chiefs sang their war-songs, and, followed by the young men of their own clan, and by such 303 others as they had infected with their frenzy, set forth, in two bands, on the war-path.


      There is an ancient street in Paris, where a great thoroughfare contracts to a narrow pass, the Rue de la Ferronnerie. Tall buildings overshadow it, packed from pavement to tiles with human life, and from the dingy front of one of them the sculptured head of a man looks down on the throng that ceaselessly defiles beneath. On the fourteenth of May, 1610, a ponderous coach, studded with fleurs-de-lis and rich with gilding, rolled along this street. In it was a small man, well advanced in life, whose profile once seen could not be forgotten,a hooked nose, a protruding chin, a brow full of wrinkles, grizzled hair, a short, grizzled beard, and stiff, gray moustaches, bristling like a cat's. One would have thought him some whiskered satyr, grim from the rack of tumultuous years; but his alert, upright port bespoke unshaken vigor, and his clear eye was full of buoyant life. Following on the footway strode a tall, strong, and somewhat corpulent man, with sinister, deep-set eyes and a red beard, his arm and shoulder covered with his cloak. In the throat of the thoroughfare, where the sculptured image of Henry the Fourth still guards the spot, a collision of two carts stopped the coach. Ravaillac quickened his pace. In an instant he was at the door. With his cloak dropped from his shoulders, and a long knife in his hand, he set his foot upon a guardstone, thrust his head and shoulders into the coach, and with frantic force stabbed thrice at the King's heart. A broken exclamation, a gasping convulsion,and then the grim visage drooped on the bleeding breast. Henry breathed his last, and the hope of Europe died with him. * Faillon, Vie de Mademoiselle Le Ber, 325.