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      The Mohawks also suffered great reverses about this time at the hands of their Algonquin neighbors, the Mohicans.

      Everything has happened as you wish. Doris told me that her young mistress has seemed wholly unlike herself ever since she saw you. She weeps, dreams, and murmurs your name. But the man to whom her father has promised herhe is a great orator and writer of tragediesshe hates worse than death. Doris declares you have used some spell, and that the girl is bewitched.

      Thus they sought to secure peace.

      La Salle and his companions began to fear for their own safety. Some of their hosts wished to kill them in revenge for the chief murdered near Montreal; and as these and others were at times in a frenzy of drunkenness, the position of the French became critical. They suspected that means had been used to prejudice the Senecas against them. Not only could they get no guides, but they were told that if they went to the Ohio the tribes of those parts would infallibly kill them. Their Dutch interpreter became disheartened and unmanageable, and, after staying a month at the village, the hope of getting farther on their way seemed less than ever. Their plan, it was clear, must be changed; and an Indian from Otinawatawa, a kind of Iroquois colony at the head [Pg 23] of Lake Ontario, offered to guide them to his village and show them a better way to the Ohio. They left the Senecas, coasted the south shore of the lake, passed the mouth of the Niagara, where they heard the distant roar of the cataract, and on the twenty-fourth of September reached Otinawatawa, which was a few miles north of the present town of Hamilton. The inhabitants proved friendly, and La Salle received the welcome present of a Shawanoe prisoner, who told them that the Ohio could be reached in six weeks, and that he would guide them to it. Delighted at this good fortune, they were about to set out; when they heard, to their astonishment, of the arrival of two other Frenchmen at a neighboring village.

      It would have been better, Maira continued, if you had not always had your head filled with your plans and measurements for buildings. Whole days passed without your saying a word to Clytie or me, and if I spoke to you about anything that disturbed you, I was so harshly rebuffed that I often dared not address you. Doris the slave-girl knew ten times as much about Clyties affairs. By Adrasteia, its an easy matter to be a father, if a man considers it enough to give his daughter home and clothes and food. But, if172 you had had any love for your child, had you suspected what she hoped and longed for, had you known what she feared more than deaththis misfortune would not have befallen us.Again the canoes were launched, and the wild flotilla glided on its way,now in the shadow of the heights, now on the broad expanse, now among the devious channels of the narrows, beset with woody islets, where the hot air was redolent of the pine, the spruce, and the cedar,till they neared that tragic shore, where, in the following century, New-England rustics baffled the soldiers of Dieskau, where Montcalm planted his batteries, where the red cross waved so long amid the smoke, and 220 where at length the summer night was hideous with carnage, and an honored name was stained with a memory of blood. [11]


      The Iroquois, on their part, swarmed up to the palisade, thrust their guns through the loop-holes, and fired on those within; nor was it till several of them had been killed and others wounded that they learned to keep a more prudent distance. A tall savage, wearing a crest of the hair of some animal, dyed scarlet and bound with a fillet of wampum, leaped forward to the attack, and was shot dead. Another shared his fate, with seven buck-shot in his shield, and as many in his body. The French, with shouts, redoubled their fire, and the Indians at length lost heart and fell back. The wounded dropped guns, shields, and war-clubs, and the whole band withdrew to the shelter of a fort which they had built in the forest, three miles above. On the 245 part of the French, one man was killed and four wounded. They had narrowly escaped a disaster which might have proved the ruin of the colony; and they now gained time so far to strengthen their defences as to make them reasonably secure against any attack of savages. [7] The new fort, however, did not effectually answer its purpose of stopping the inroads of the Iroquois. They would land a mile or more above it, carry their canoes through the forest across an intervening tongue of land, and then launch them in the St. Lawrence, while the garrison remained in total ignorance of their movements.


      The lonely and desolate condition, the seclusion from intercourse with others in which he had spent his later years had often weighed heavily, nay almost unendurably upon him, yet never had his heart been so empty, so dead to all hope, as now. Alas! he murmured, everything might have been different, entirely87 differentbut it is too late. He gazed steadily into vacancy, and his eyes expressed a sombre resolve."The prayer-book!" put in Mandeville, pushing it at him. The boys harkened again.


      [25] Jogues, Novum Belgium.


      I can tell you that! he replied, not without a touch of pride; hes my masters guest, and Ive been with him all day, first at market and then in the boathe and no other is Lycon the Athenian.