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The seneschal of New France, son of the governor Lauson, was surprised and killed on the island of Orleans, along with seven companions. About the same time, the same fate befell the son of Godefroy, one of the chief inhabitants of Quebec. Outside the fortifications there was no safety for a moment. A universal terror seized the people. A comet appeared above Quebec, and they saw in it a herald of destruction. Their excited imaginations turned natural phenomena into portents and prodigies. A blazing canoe sailed across the sky; confused cries and lamentations were heard in the air; and a voice of thunder sounded from mid-heaven. * The Jesuits despaired for their scattered and persecuted flocks. Everywhere, writes their superior, we see infants to be saved for heaven, sick and dying to be baptized, adults to be instructed, but everywhere we see the Iroquois. They haunt us like persecuting goblins. They kill our new-made Christians in our arms. If they meet us on the river, they kill us. If they find us in the huts of our Indians, they burn us and them together. ** And he appeals urgently for troops to destroy them, as a holy work inspired by God, and needful for his service."It is a man in the form of a turkey-cock. The sky is his palace, and he remains in it when the air is clear. When the clouds begin to grumble, he descends to the earth to gather up snakes, and other objects which the Indians call okies. The lightning flashes whenever he opens or closes his wings. If the storm is more violent than usual, it is because his young are with him, and aiding in the noise as well as they can."Relation des Hurons, 1636, 114.
In the year in which the colony at Onondaga was begun, the Mohawks murdered the Jesuit Garreau, on his way up the Ottawa. In the following spring, a hundred Mohawk warriors came to Quebec, to carry more of the Hurons into slavery, though the remnant of that unhappy people, since the catastrophe of the last year, had sought safety in a palisaded camp within the limits of the French town, and immediately under the ramparts of Fort St. Louis. Here, one might think, they would have been safe; but Charny, son and successor of Lauson, seems to have been even more imbecile than his father, and listened meekly to the threats of the insolent strangers who told him that unless he abandoned the Hurons to their mercy, both they and the French should feel the weight of Mohawk tomahawks. They demanded further, that the French should give them boats to carry their prisoners; but, as there were none at hand, this last humiliation was spared. The Mohawks were forced to make canoes, in which they carried off as many as possible of their victims.
As regards the character of the girls, there can be no doubt that this amusing sketch is, in the main, maliciously untrue. Since the colony began, it had been the practice to send back to France women of the class alluded to by La Hontan, as soon as they became notorious. ** Those who were
Some twenty years had passed since the adventure of La Roche-Guyon. Madame de Guercheville had outlived the charms which had attracted her royal suitor, but the virtue which repelled him was reinforced by a devotion no less uncompromising. A rosary in her hand and a Jesuit at her side, she realized the utmost wishes of the subtle fathers who had moulded and who guided her. She readily took fire when they told her of the benighted souls of New France, and the wrongs of Father Biard kindled her utmost indignation. She declared herself the protectress of the American missions; and the only difficulty, as a Jesuit writer tells us, was to restrain her zeal within reasonable bounds.
Laudonniere divided his force, such as it was, into two watches, over which he placed two officers, Saint Cler and La Vigne, gave them lanterns for going the rounds, and an hour-glass for setting the time; while he himself, giddy with weakness and fever, was every night at the guard-room. dHistoire du Canada, I. 865.