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      The day was far advanced when Lyrcus and his wife reached Kranaai. Weighed down by the sin of murder, Byssa could not enter the places of general assembly and it was only with difficulty and by circuitous paths that she approached the house of her father, the priest Ariston.

      Yes, she said, I know whom you mean.[Pg 183]

      On the next morning, the Miamis were called to a grand council. It was held in the lodge of their chief, from which the mats were removed, that the crowd without might hear what was said. La Salle rose and harangued the concourse. Few men were so skilled in the arts of forest rhetoric and diplomacy. After the Indian mode, he was, to follow his chroniclers, "the greatest orator in North America."[226] He began with a gift of tobacco, to clear the brains of his auditory; next, for he had brought a canoe-load of presents to support his eloquence, he gave them cloth to cover their dead, coats to dress them, hatchets to build a grand scaffold in their honor, and beads, bells, and trinkets of all sorts, to decorate their relatives at a grand funeral feast. All this was mere metaphor. The living, while appropriating the gifts to their own use, were pleased at the compliment offered to their dead; and their delight redoubled as the orator proceeded. One of their [Pg 290] great chiefs had lately been killed; and La Salle, after a eulogy of the departed, declared that he would now raise him to life again; that is, that he would assume his name and give support to his squaws and children. This flattering announcement drew forth an outburst of applause; and when, to confirm his words, his attendants placed before them a huge pile of coats, shirts, and hunting-knives, the whole assembly exploded in yelps of admiration.IX.

      To resume the memoir. It declares that the Jesuits procured an ordinance from the Supreme Council prohibiting traders from going into the Indian country, in order that they, the Jesuits, being already established there in their missions, might carry on trade without competition. But La Salle induced a good number of the Iroquois to settle around his fort; thus bringing the trade to his own door, without breaking the ordinance. These Iroquois, he is further reported to have said, were very fond of him, and aided him in rebuilding the fort with cut stone. The Jesuits told the Iroquois on the south side of the lake, where they were established [Pg 115] as missionaries, that La Salle was strengthening his defences with the view of making war on them. They and the intendant, who was their creature, endeavored to embroil the Iroquois with the French in order to ruin La Salle; writing to him at the same time that he was the bulwark of the country, and that he ought to be always on his guard. They also tried to persuade Frontenac that it was necessary to raise men and prepare for war. La Salle suspected them; and seeing that the Iroquois, in consequence of their intrigues, were in an excited state, he induced the governor to come to Fort Frontenac to pacify them. He accordingly did so; and a council was held, which ended in a complete restoration of confidence on the part of the Iroquois.[91] At this council they accused the two Jesuits, Bruyas and Pierron,[92] of spreading reports that the French were preparing to attack them. La Salle thought that the [Pg 116] object of the intrigue was to make the Iroquois jealous of him, and engage Frontenac in expenses which would offend the King. After La Salle and the governor had lost credit by the rupture, the Jesuits would come forward as pacificators, in the full assurance that they could restore quiet, and appear in the attitude of saviors of the colony.

      Here Acestor suddenly stopped and stared with dilated eyes at the curtain between the pillars, as though he had beheld through an opening all the horrors of Hades. Without adding another word, he jumped down from the counter and pointed with trembling hand to the threshold between the columns.

      In Champlain the Hurons saw the champion who was to lead them to victory. There was bountiful feasting in his honor in the great lodge at Otonacha; and other welcome, too, was tendered, of which the Hurons were ever liberal, but which, with all courtesy, was declined by the virtuous Champlain. Next, he went to Carmaron, a league distant, and then to Tonagnainchain and Tequenonquihayc; till at length he reached Carhagouha, with its triple palisade thirty-five feet high. Here he found Le Caron. The Indians, eager to do him honor, were building for him a bark lodge in the neighboring forest, fashioned like their own, but much smaller. In it the friar made an altar, garnished with those indispensable decorations which he had brought with him through all the vicissitudes of his painful journeying; and hither, night and day, came a curious multitude to listen to his annunciation of the new doctrine. It was a joyful hour when he saw Champlain approach his hermitage; and the two men embraced like brothers long sundered.[3] There is a portrait of her, taken at a later period, of which a photograph is before me. She has a semi-religious dress, hands clasped in prayer, large dark eyes, a smiling and mischievous mouth, and a face somewhat pretty and very coquettish. An engraving from the portrait is prefixed to the "Notice Biographique de Madame de la Peltrie" in Les Ursulines de Qubec, I. 348.


      LA SALLE'S INDISCRETION.A chief then! said Lyrcus, and without another word he returned by the same way he had come.


      Villeneuve gallantly amended that somebody else owned an undivided half in the glory of that salvation and would own more as soon as the union fleet (daily growing in numbers) should try to enter the bay: a hint at Anna, of course, and at the great ram Tennessee, which the Confederate admiral, Buchanan, had made his flag-ship, and whose completion, while nothing else was ready but three small wooden gunboats, was due--they had made even Anna believe--to the safe delivery of the Bazaar fund.He now put the same question to a very young girl, who chanced to be the same one who had rushed from the fountain to meet the men and brought the ill-omened message.


      The news of his discovery and the rumor of his schemes were the talk of a moment among the courtiers, and then were forgotten. It was not so with their master. La Salle's friends and patrons did not fail him. A student and a recluse in his youth, and a backwoodsman in his manhood, he had what was to him the formidable honor of an interview with royalty itself, and stood with such philosophy [Pg 344] as he could command before the gilded arm-chair, where, majestic and awful, the power of France sat embodied. The King listened to all he said; but the results of the interview were kept so secret that it was rumored in the ante-chambers that his proposals had been rejected.[262]