Sidor som bilder

Indian robbed him of a part of his baggage, threw a part into the river, including most of the books and writing-materials of the three priests, and then left him behind, among the Algonquins of Allumette Island. He found means to continue the journey, and at length reached the Huron towns in a lamentable state of bodily prostration. Daniel, too, was deserted, but fortunately found another party who received him into their canoe. A young Frenchman, named Martin, was abandoned among the Nipissings;

perimente. Tous n'en ont pas este" quittes a si bon marcheV'—Brebeuf, Relation des IIurons, 1635, 26. Three years afterwards, a paper was printed by the Jesuits of Paris, called Instruction pour les Peres de Nostre Compagnie qui seront enuoiez aux Hurons, and containing directions for their conduct on this route by the Ottawa. It is highly characteristic, both of the missionaries and of the Indians. Some of the points are, in substance, as follows: You should love the Indians like brothers, with whom you are to spend the rest of your life. — Never make them wait for you in embarking. — Take a flint and steel to light their pipes and kindle their fire at night, for these little services win their hearts. — Try to eat their sagamite as they cook it, bad and dirty as it is. Fasten up the skirts of your cassock, that you may not carry water or sand into the canoe. — Wear no shoes or stockings in the canoe; but you may put them on in crossing the portages. —Do not make yourself troublesome, even to a single Indian. — Do not ask them too many questions. — Bear their faults in silence, and appear always cheerful. — Buy fish for them from the tribes you will pass; and for this purpose take with you some awls, beads, knives, and fish-hooks. — Be not ceremonious with the Indians; take at once what they offer you; ceremony offends them. —Be very careful, when in the canoe, that the brim of vour hat does not annoy them. Perhaps it would be better to wear your night-cap. There is no such thing as impropriety among Indians. — Remember that it is Christ and his cross that you are seeking; and if you aim at anything else, you will get nothing but affliction for body and mind.

i«34.] BRfiBEUF'S ARRIVAL. 143 another, named Baron, on reaching the Huron country, was robbed by his conductors of all he had, except the weapons in his hands. Of these he made good use, compelling the robbers to restore a part of their plunder. Descending French River, and following the lonely shores of the great Georgian Bay, the canoe which carried Brdbeuf at length neared its destination, thirty days after leaving Three Rivers. Before him, stretched in savage slumber, lay the forest shore of the Hurons. Did his spirit sink as he approached his dreary home, oppressed with a dark foreboding of what the future should bring forth? There is some reason to think so. Yet it was but the shadow of a moment; for his masculine heart had lost the sense of fear, and his intrepid nature was fired with a zeal before which doubts and uncertainties fled like the mists of the morning. Not the grim enthusiasm of negation tearing up the weeds of rooted falsehood, or with bold hand felling to the earth the baneful growth of overshadowing abuses: his was the ancient faith uncurtailed, redeemed from the decay of centuries, kindled with a new life, and stimulated to a preternatural growth and fruitfulness. Bre"beuf and his Huron companions having landed, the Indians, throwing the missionary's baggage on the ground, left him to his own resources; and, without heeding his remonstrances, set forth for their respective villages some twenty miles distant. Thus abandoned, the priest kneeled, not to implore succor in his perplexity, but to offer thanks to the Providence which had shielded him thus far. Then, rising, he pondered as to what course he should take. He knew the spot well. It was on the borders of the small inlet called Thunder Bay. In the neighboring Huron town of Toanche" he had lived three years, preaching and baptizing;1 but Toanche" had now ceased to exist. Here, fitienne Brule", Champlain's adventurous interpreter, had recently been murdered by the inhabitants, who, in excitement and alarm, dreading the consequences of their deed, had deserted the spot, and built, at the distance of a few miles, a new town, called Ihonatiria.2 Bre"beuf hid his baggage in the woods, including the vessels for the mass, more precious than all the rest, and began his search for this new abode. He passed the burnt remains of Toanche", saw the charred poles that had formed the frame of his little chapel of bark, and found, as he thought, the spot where Brule" had fallen.3 Evening was near, when, after following, bewildered and anxious, a gloomy forest path, he issued

1 From 1626 to 1629. There is no record of the events of this first mission, which was ended with the English occupation of Quebec. Bre'beuf had previously spent the winter of 1625-26 among the Algonquins, like Le Jeune in 1633-34. — Lettre du P. Charles Lulci.uint au T. R. P. Mutio Vitelieschi, 1 Aug., 1626, in Carayon.

2 Concerning Brule, see "Pioneers of France," 403420.

* "Ie vis pareillement l'endroit où le pauure Estienne Brule auoit este barbarement et traitreusement assomme; ce qui me fit penser que quelque iour on nous pourroit bien traitter de la sorte, et desirer au moins que ce fust en pourchassant la gloire de N. Seigneur." — Bre'beuf, Relation ties IIurons, 1635,28,29 The missionary's prognostics were but too well founded.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

upon a wild clearing, and saw before him the bark roofs of Ihonatiria. A crowd ran out to meet him. "Echom has come again! Echom has come again!" they cried, recognizing in the distance the stately figure, robed in black, that advanced from the border of the forest. They led him to the town, and the whole population swarmed about him. After a short rest, he set out with a number of young Indians in quest of his baggage, returning with it at one o'clock in the morning. There was a certain Awandoay in the village, noted as one of the richest and most hospitable of the Hurons, — a distinction not easily won where hospitality was universal. His house was large, and amply stored with beans and corn; and though his prosperity had excited the jealousy of the villagers, he had recovered their good-will by his generosity. With him Brdbeuf made his abode, anxiously waiting, week after week, the arrival of his companions. One by one, they appeared, — Daniel, weary and worn; Davost, half dead with famine and fatigue; and their French attendants, each with his tale of hardship and indignity. At length, all were assembled under the roof of the hospitable Indian, and once more the Huron mission was begun.

CHAPTER VI. 1634, 1635.


The Huron Mission-house: Its Inmates; Its Furniture; Its Guests. The Jesuit As A Teacher, — As An Engineer.Baptisms. Huron Village Life. Festivities And SorCeries.The Dream Feast. The Priests Accused Of Magic.The Drought And The Red Cross.

Where should the Fathers make their abode? Their first thought had been to establish themselves at a place called by the French Rochelle, the largest and most important town of the Huron confederacy; but Brébeuf now resolved to remain at Ihonatiria. Here he was well known; and here, too, he flattered himself, seeds of the Faith had been planted, which, with good nurture, would in time yield fruit. By the ancient Huron custom, when a man or a family wanted a house, the whole village joined in building one. In the present case, not Ihonatiria only, but the neighboring town of Wenrio also, took part in the work, — though not without the expectation of such gifts as the priests had to bestow. Before October, the task was finished. The house was constructed after the Huron model.1 It was thirty1 See Introduction, 11-13.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »