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boarded her, and rifled her of everything valuable, threatened Jogues with a pistol, and robbed him of his hat and coat. He obtained some assistance from the crew of a French ship in the harbor, and, on the day before Christmas, took passage in a small coal vessel for the neighboring coast of Brittany. In the following afternoon he was set on shore a little to the north of Brest, and, seeing a peasant's cottage not far off, he approached it, and asked the way to the nearest church. The peasant and his wife, as the narrative gravely tells us, mistook him, by reason of his modest deportment, for some poor but pious Irishman, and asked him to share their supper, after finishing his devotions,—an invitation which Jogues, half famished as he was, gladly accepted. He reached the church in time for the early mass, and with an unutterable joy knelt before the altar, and renewed the communion of which he had been deprived so long. When he returned to the cottage, the attention of his hosts was at once attracted to his mutilated and distorted hands. They asked with amazement how he could have received such injuries; and when they heard the story of his tortures, their surprise and veneration knew no bounds. Two young girls, their daughters, begged him to accept all they had to give, — a handful of sous; while the peasant made known the character of his new guest to his neighbors. A trader from Rennes brought a horse to the door, and offered the use of it to Jogues, to carry him to the Jesuit college in that town He
AMONG HIS BRETHREN. 333 gratefully accepted it; and, on the morning of the fifth of January, 1644, reached his destination. He dismounted, and knocked at the door of the college. The porter opened it, and saw a man wearing on his head an old woollen nightcap, and in an attire little better than that of a beggar. Jogues asked to see the Rector; but the porter answered, coldly, that the Rector was busied in the Sacristy. Jogues begged him to say that a man was at the door with news from Canada. The missions of Canada were at this time an object of primal interest to the Jesuits, and above all to the Jesuits of France. A letter from Jogues, written during his captivity, had already reached France, as had also the Jesuit Relation of 1643, which contained a long account of his capture; and he had no doubt been an engrossing theme of conversation in every house of the French Jesuits. The Father Rector was putting on his vestments to say mass; but when he heard that a poor man from Canada had asked for him at the door, he postponed the service, and went to meet him. Jogues, without discovering himself, gave him a letter from the Dutch Director-General attesting his character. The Rector, without reading it, began to question him as to the affairs of Canada, and at length asked him if he knew Father Jogues.
"I knew him very well," was the reply.
"The Iroquois have taken him," pursued the Rector. "Is he dead? Have they murdered him?""No," answered Jogues; "he is alive and at lib erty, and I am he." And he fell on his knees to ask his Superior's blessing. That night was a night of jubilation and thanksgiving in the college of Rennes.1 Jogues became a centre of curiosity and reverence. He was summoned to Paris. The Queen, Anne of Austria, wished to see him; and when the persecuted slave of the Mohawks was conducted into her presence, she kissed his mutilated hands, while the ladies of the Court thronged around to do him homage. We are told, and no doubt with truth, that these honors were unwelcome to the modest and single-hearted missionary, who thought only of returning to his work of converting the Indians. A priest with any deformity of body is debarred from saying mass. The teeth and knives of the Iroquois had inflicted an injury worse than the torturers imagined, for they had robbed Jogues of the privilege which was the chief consolation of his life; but the Pope, by a special dispensation, restored it to him, and with the opening spring he sailed again for Canada. 1 For Jogues's arrival in Brittany, see Lettre de Jw/nes A L.ale
mant, Rennes, Jan. (!, Lettre de Jogues d , Rennes,
Jnn. (j, 1644 (in Relation, 1643), and the long account in the Relation of 1047.
CHAPTER XVII. 1641-1646. THE IROQUOIS. —BRESSANI. — DE NOUE.
War. — Distress And Terror. — Richelieu. — Battle. — Ruin Of Indian TmnKS. — Mutual Destruction. — Iroquois And Algonquin. — Atrocities. — Frightful Position Of The French. — Joseph Bressani: His Capture; His Treatment; His Escape. — Anne De Noue: His Nocturnal Journey; His Death.
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. At Quebec, Three Rivers, Montreal, and the little fort of Richelieu, — that is to say, in all Canada, — no man could hunt, fish, till the fields, or cut a tree in the forest, without peril to his scalp. The Iroquois were everywhere, and nowhere. A yell, a volley of bullets, a rush of screeching savages, and all was over. The soldiers hastened to the spot to find silence, solitude, and a mangled corpse. "I had as lief," writes Father Vimont, "be beset by goblins as by the Iroquois. The one are about as invisible as the other. Our people on the Richelieu and at Montreal are kept in a closer confinement than ever were monks or nuns in our smallest convents in France."The Confederates at this time were in a flush of unparalleled audacity. They despised white men as base poltroons, and esteemed themselves warriors and heroes, destined to conquer all mankind.1 The firearms with which the Dutch had rashly supplied them, joined to their united councils, their courage, and ferocity, gave them an advantage over the surrounding tribes which they fully understood. Their passions rose with their sense of power. They boasted that they would wipe the Hurons, the Algonquins, and the French from the face of the earth, and carry the "white girls," meaning the nuns, to their villages. This last event, indeed, seemed more than probable; and the Hospital nuns left their exposed station at Sillery, and withdrew to the ramparts and palisades of Quebec. The St. Lawrence and the Ottawa were so infested that communication with 1 Bressani, when a prisoner among them, writes to this effect in a letter to his Superior. See Relation Abrigie, 131.