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      Early in 1721 two hundred mounted Spaniards, followed by a large body of Comanche warriors, came from New Mexico to attack the French at the Illinois, but were met and routed on the Missouri by tribes of that region.[376] In the next year, Bienville was told that they meant to return, punish those who had defeated them, and establish a post on the river Kansas; whereupon he ordered Boisbriant, commandant at the Illinois, to anticipate them by sending troops to build a French fort at or near the same place. But the West India Company had already sent one Bourgmont on a similar errand, the object being to trade with the Spaniards in time of peace, and stop their incursions in time of war.[377] It was hoped also that, in the interest of trade, peace might be made between the Comanches and the tribes of the Missouri.[378]

      "I, too. It's unnatural. I mean to have four."

      [778] See Note, end of chapter.

      V1 The English fortified themselves on a low hill by the edge of the marsh, planted palisades, built barracks, and named the new work Fort Lawrence. Slight skirmishes between them and the French were frequent. Neither party respected the dividing line of the Missaguash, and a petty warfare of aggression and reprisal began, and became chronic. Before the end of the autumn there was an atrocious act of treachery. Among the English officers was Captain Edward Howe, an intelligent and agreeable person, who spoke French fluently, and had been long stationed in the province. Le Loutre detested him; dreading his influence over the Acadians, by many of whom he was known and liked. One morning, at about eight o'clock, the inmates of Fort Lawrence saw what seemed an officer from Beausjour, carrying a flag, and followed by several men in uniform, wading through the sea of grass that stretched beyond the Missaguash. When the tide was out, this river was but an ugly trench of reddish mud gashed across the face of the marsh, with a thread of half-fluid slime lazily crawling along the bottom; but at high tide it was filled to the brim with an opaque torrent that would have overflowed, but for the dikes thrown up to confine it. Behind the dike on the farther bank stood the seeming officer, waving his flag in sign that he desired a parley. He was in reality no officer, but one of Le Loutre's Indians in disguise, tienne Le Batard, or, as others say, the great chief, Jean-Baptiste Cope. Howe, carrying a white flag, and accompanied by 119

      [97] Pioneers of France in the New World, 253.Fifty-eighth 335

      Among the unprotected houses, the carnage was 367 horrible. A hundred and four persons, chiefly women and children half naked from their beds, were tomahawked, shot, or killed by slower and more painful methods. Some escaped to the fortified houses, and others hid in the woods. Twenty-seven were kept alive as prisoners. Twenty or more houses were burned; but, what is remarkable, the church was spared. Father Thury entered it during the massacre, and wrote with chalk on the pulpit some sentences, of which the purport is not preserved, as they were no doubt in French or Latin.

      A considerable number of letters relating to the expedition are preserved in the Massachusetts Archives, from Benjamin Hassell, Colonel Tyng, Governor Dummer of Massachusetts, and Governor Wentworth of New Hampshire. They give the various reports received from those in the fight, and show the action taken in consequence. The Archives also contain petitions from the survivors and the families of the slain; and the legislative Journals show that the petitioners received large grants of land. Lovewell's debts contracted in raising men for his expeditions were also paid.


      V1 They moved rapidly on through the waste of pines, and soon entered the rugged valley that led to Johnson's camp. On their right was a gorge where, shadowed in bushes, gurgled a gloomy brook; and beyond rose the cliffs that buttressed the rocky heights of French Mountain, seen by glimpses between the boughs. On their left rose gradually the lower slopes of West Mountain. All was rock, thicket, and forest; there was no open space but the road along which the regulars marched, while the Canadians and Indians pushed their way through the woods in such order as the broken ground would permit.


      Pen's spirits rose fast. It was dangerous, and it was fun. A genuine smile replaced the mechanical one. She rattled off some kind of answers, surprised at her own talkativeness.


      They went accordingly,Abenakis from Becancour[Pg 234] and St. Francis, Hurons from Lorette, and Iroquois from Caughnawaga, besides others, all stanch foes of heresy and England. Rale and La Chasse directed their movements and led them first to Norridgewock, where their arrival made a revolution. The peace party changed color like a chameleon, and was all for war. The united bands, two hundred and fifty warriors in all, paddled down the Kennebec along with the two Jesuits and two French officers, Saint-Castin and Croisil. In a few days the English at Georgetown saw them parading before the fort, well armed, displaying French flags,feathers dangling from their scalp-locks, and faces fantastically patterned in vermilion, ochre, white clay, soot, and such other pigments as they could find or buy.The day broke in clouds and threatening rain. Wolfe's battalions were drawn up along the crest of the heights. No enemy was in sight, though a body of Canadians had sallied from the town and moved along the strand towards the landing-place, whence they were quickly driven back. He had achieved the most critical part of his enterprise; yet the success that he coveted placed him in imminent danger. On one side was the garrison of Quebec and the army of Beauport, and Bougainville was on the other. Wolfe's alternative was 289