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      Marquette remained to recruit his exhausted strength; but Joliet descended to Quebec, to bear the report of his discovery to Count Frontenac. Fortune had wonderfully favored him on his long and perilous journey; but now she abandoned him on the very threshold of home. At the foot of the rapids of La Chine, and immediately above Montreal, [Pg 76] his canoe was overset, two of his men and an Indian boy were drowned, all his papers were lost, and he himself narrowly escaped.[62] In a letter to Frontenac, he speaks of the accident as follows: "I had escaped every peril from the Indians; I had passed forty-two rapids; and was on the point of disembarking, full of joy at the success of so long and difficult an enterprise, when my canoe capsized, after all the danger seemed over. I lost two men and my box of papers, within sight of the first French settlements, which I had left almost two years before. Nothing remains to me but my life, and the ardent desire to employ it on any service which you may please to direct."[63]



      The priests on their part gave presents, as tokens of good-will; and with that the assembly dispersed. The mission had gained a triumph, and its influence was greatly strengthened. The future would have been full of hope, but for the portentous cloud of war that rose, black and wrathful, from where lay the dens of the Iroquois.Hennepin laments the failure of wine, which prevented him from saying mass; but every morning and evening he summoned the men to his cabin to listen to prayers and preaching, and on Sundays and fte-days they chanted vespers. Father Zenobe usually spent the day in the Indian camp, striving, with very indifferent success, to win them to the Faith, and to overcome the disgust with which their manners and habits inspired him.

      In another case, an Indian girl was carrying on her back a sick child, two months old. Two Jesuits approached, and while one of them amused the girl with his rosary, "l'autre le baptise lestement; le pauure petit n'attendoit que ceste faueur du Ciel pour s'y enuoler."The interior of the vast country then comprehended under the name of Florida still remained unexplored. The Spanish voyager, as his caravel ploughed the adjacent seas, might give full scope to his imagination, and dream that beyond the long, low margin of forest which bounded his horizon lay hid a rich harvest for some future conqueror; perhaps a second Mexico with its royal palace and sacred pyramids, or another Cuzco with its temple of the Sun, encircled with a frieze of gold. Haunted by such visions, the ocean chivalry of Spain could not long stand idle.


      Gourgues gave the word. Cazenove, his lientenant, with thirty men, pushed for the fort gate; he himself, with the main body, for the glacis. It was near noon; the Spaniards had just finished their meal, and, says the narrative, "were still picking their teeth," when a startled cry rang in their ears:"To arms! to arms! The French are coming! The French are coming!"

      The words darted into Byssas brain like a flash of lightning.Quietly as ever, though somewhat paler than usual, he went back to the house. Sometimes he fancied he again heard the door banged, and each time he felt as though his heart would break.

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      At the sight of Lycon, who, with the closely-veiled Myrtale, was supporting Simonides, an eager murmur arose; some rose to get a better view; others pointed to him as though saying: Thats he! and from one table to another the question ran in low tones:But how was the colony to subsist? Their island was too small for culture, while the mainland was infested with hostile tribes, and threatened by the Portuguese, who regarded the French occupancy as a violation of their domain.

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      Ribaut answered, "I and all here are of the Reformed Faith."Look, he said, pointing to a bear-skin couch, you can rest here in safety; you must be weary. May the gods grant you pleasant dreamsin the morning everything will seem brighter.

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      During the winter, Indians from the neighborhood of Cape Canaveral brought to the fort two Spaniards, wrecked fifteen years before on the southwestern extremity of the peninsula. They were clothed like the Indians,in other words, were not clothed at all,and their uncut hair streamed loose down their backs. They brought strange tales of those among whom they had dwelt. They told of the King of Cabs, on whose domains they had been wrecked, a chief mighty in stature and in power. In one of his villages was a pit, six feet deep and as wide as a hogshead, filled with treasure gathered from Spanish wrecks on adjacent reefs and keys. The monarch was a priest too, and a magician, with power over the elements. Each year he withdrew from the public gaze to hold converse in secret with supernal or infernal powers; and each year he sacrificed to his gods one of the Spaniards whom the fortune of the sea had cast upon his shores. The name of the tribe is preserved in that of the river Caboosa. In close league with him was the mighty Oathcaqua, dwelling near Cape Canaveral, who gave his daughter, a maiden of wondrous beauty, in marriage to his great ally. But as the bride with her bridesmaids was journeying towards Calos, escorted by a chosen band, they were assailed by a wild and warlike race, inhabitants of an island called Sarrope, in the midst of a lake, who put the warriors to flight, bore the maidens captive to their watery fastness, espoused them all, and, we are assured, "loved them above all measure." 15And Lyrcus! Will he have no suspicion? Will he think I have been under a fathers roof?


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