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      Two forces were battling for the mastery of Canada: on the one side, Christ, the Virgin, and the Angels, with their agents, the priests; on the other, the Devil, and his tools, the Iroquois. Such at least was the view of the case held in full faith, not by the Jesuit Fathers alone, but by most of the colonists. Never before had the fiend put forth such rage, and in the Iroquois he found instruments of a nature not uncongenial with his own.

      "Take courage, brother," continued one of the chiefs, addressing Ragueneau. "You can save us, if you will but resolve on a bold step. Choose a place where you can gather us together, and prevent this dispersion of our people. Turn your eyes towards Quebec, and transport thither what is left of this ruined country. Do not wait till war and famine have destroyed us to the last man. We are in your hands. Death has taken from you more than ten thousand of us. If you wait longer, not one will remain alive; and then you will be sorry that you did not save those whom you might have snatched from danger, and who showed you the means of doing so. If you do as we wish, we will form a church under the protection of the fort at Quebec. Our faith will not be extinguished. The examples of the French and the Algonquins will encourage us in our duty, and their charity will relieve some of our misery. At least, we shall sometimes find a morsel of bread for our children, who so long have had 415 nothing but bitter roots and acorns to keep them alive." [4]

      It was Isaac Jogues who first heard this ominous rumor, at the town of Onnentisati, and it proceeded from the dwarfish sorcerer already mentioned, who boasted himself a devil incarnate. The slander spread fast and far. Their friends looked at them askance; their enemies clamored for their lives. Some said that they concealed in their houses a corpse, which infected the country,a perverted notion, derived from some half-instructed neophyte, concerning the body of Christ in the Eucharist. Others ascribed the evil to a serpent, others to a spotted frog, others to a demon which the priests were supposed to carry in the barrel of a gun. Others again gave out that they had pricked an infant to death with awls in the forest, in order to kill the Huron children by magic. "Perhaps," 115 observes Father Le Mercier, "the Devil was enraged because we had placed a great many of these little innocents in Heaven." [7]

      Vignan had made a map of his travels, which Champlain now produced, desiring him to explain it to his questioners; but his assurance failed him, and he could not utter a word.

      Michel raised his fist, exclaiming, "But for the respect I owe the General, I would strike you for giving me the lie."

      The persecution of the Jesuits as sorcerers continued, in an intermittent form, for years; and several of them escaped very narrowly. In a house at Ossossan, a young Indian rushed suddenly upon Fran?ois Du Peron, and lifted his tomahawk to brain him, when a squaw caught his hand. Paul Ragueneau wore a crucifix, from which hung the image of a skull. An Indian, thinking it a charm, snatched it from him. The priest tried to recover it, when the savage, his eyes glittering with murder, brandished his hatchet to strike. Ragueneau stood motionless, waiting the blow. His assailant forbore, and withdrew, muttering. Pierre Chaumonot was emerging from a house at the Huron town called by the Jesuits St. Michel, where he had just baptized a dying girl, when her brother, standing hidden in the doorway, struck him on the head with a stone. Chaumonot, severely 125 wounded, staggered without falling, when the Indian sprang upon him with his tomahawk. The bystanders arrested the blow. Fran?ois Le Mercier, in the midst of a crowd of Indians in a house at the town called St. Louis, was assailed by a noted chief, who rushed in, raving like a madman, and, in a torrent of words, charged upon him all the miseries of the nation. Then, snatching a brand from the fire, he shook it in the Jesuit's face, and told him that he should be burned alive. Le Mercier met him with looks as determined as his own, till, abashed at his undaunted front and bold denunciations, the Indian stood confounded. [14]


      The actual text of Anna's chunk was never divulged, even to Flora. We do not need it. Neither did Flora. One of its later effects was to give the slender correspondence which crawled after it much more historical value to the battery and the battery's beloved home city than otherwise it might have had. From Virginia it told spiritedly of men, policies, and movements; sketched cabinet officers, the president, and the great leaders and subleaders in the field--Stuart, Gordon, Fitzhugh Lee. It gave droll, picturesque accounts of the artillerist's daily life; of the hard, scant fare and the lucky feast now and then on a rabbit or a squirrel, turtles' eggs, or wild strawberries. It depicted moonlight rides to dance with Shenandoah girls; the playing of camp charades; and the singing of war, home, and love songs around the late camp fire, timed to the antic banjo or the sentimental guitar. Drolly, yet with tenderness for others, it portrayed mountain storm, valley freshet, and heart-breaking night marches beside tottering guns in the straining, sucking, leaden-heavy, red clay, and then, raptly, the glories of sunrise and sunset over the contours of the Blue Ridge. And it explained the countless things which happily enable a commander to keep himself as busy as a mud-dauber, however idle the camp or however torn his own heart.This was the expected succor sent by Poutrincourt. A series of ruinous voyages had exhausted his resources but he had staked all on the success of the colony, had even brought his family to Acadia, and he would not leave them and his companions to perish. His credit was gone; his hopes were dashed; yet assistance was proffered, and, in his extremity, he was forced to accept it. It came from Madame de Guercheville and her Jesuit advisers. She offered to buy the interest of a thousand crowns in the enterprise. The ill-omened succor could not be refused; but this was not all. The zealous protectress of the missions obtained from De Monts, whose fortunes, like those of Poutrincouirt, had ebbed low, a transfer of all his claims to the lands of Acadia; while the young King, Louis the Thirteenth, was persuaded to give her, in addition, a new grant of all the territory of North America, from the St. Lawrence to Florida. Thus did Madame de Guercheville, or in other words, the Jesuits who used her name as a cover, become proprietors of the greater part of the future United States and British Provinces. The English colony of Virginia and the Dutch trading-houses of New York were included within the limits of this destined Northern Paraguay; while Port Royal, the seigniory of the unfortunate Poutrincourt, was encompassed, like a petty island, by the vast domain of the Society of Jesus. They could not deprive him of it, since his title had been confirmed by the late King, but they flattered themselves, to borrow their own language, that he would be "confined as in a prison." His grant, however, had been vaguely worded, and, while they held him restricted to an insignificant patch of ground, he claimed lordship over a wide and indefinite territory. Here was argument for endless strife. Other interests, too, were adverse. Poutrincourt, in his discouragement, had abandoned his plan of liberal colonization, and now thought of nothing but beaver-skins. He wished to make a trading-post; the Jesuits wished to make a mission.


      You forget, dear one, that but for Polycles I should have had nothing.