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1648.]

ALARM.

477

might have mounted the rising ground on which the town stood, and passed unchallenged through the opening in the palisade. Within, you would have seen the crowded dwellings of bark, shaped like the arched coverings of huge baggage-wagons, and decorated with the totems or armorial devices of their owners daubed on the outside with paint. Here some squalid wolfish dog lay sleeping in the sun, a group of Huron girls chatted together in the shade, old squaws pounded corn in large wooden mortars, idle youths gambled with cherry-stones on a wooden platter, and naked infants crawled in the dust. Scarcely a warrior was to be seen. Some were absent in quest of game or of Iroquois scalps, and some had gone with the trading-party to the French settlements. You followed the foul passage-ways among the houses, and at length came to the church. It was full to the door. Daniel had just finished the mass, and his flock still knelt at their devotions. It was but the day before that he had returned to them, warmed with new fervor, from his meditations in retreat at Sainte Marie. Suddenly an uproar of voices, shrill with terror, burst upon the languid silence of the town. “The Iroquois! the Iroquois !” A crowd of hostile warriors had issued from the forest, and were rushing across the clearing, towards the opening in the palisade. Daniel ran out of the church, and hurried to the point of danger. Some snatched weapons; some rushed to and fro in the madness of a blind panic. The priest rallied the defenders; promised heaven to those who died for their homes and their faith; then hastened from house to house, calling on unbelievers to repent and receive baptism, to snatch them from the hell that yawned to engulf them. They crowded around him, imploring to be saved; and, immersing his handkerchief in a bowl of water, he shook it over them, and baptized them by aspersion. They pursued him, as he ran again to the church, where he found a throng of women, children, and old men gathered as in a sanctuary. Some cried for baptism, some held out their children to receive it, some begged for absolution, and some wailed in terror and despair. “Brothers,” he exclaimed again and again, as he shook the baptismal drops from his handkerchief, “ brothers, to-day we shall be in heaven.”

The fierce yell of the war-whoop now rose close at hand. The palisade was forced, and the enemy was in the town. The air quivered with the infernal din. “Fly!” screamed the priest, driving his flock before him. “I will stay here. We shall meet again in heaven.” Many of them escaped through an opening in the palisade opposite to that by which the Iroquois had entered; but Daniel would not follow, for there still might be souls to rescue from perdition. The hour had come for which he had long prepared himself. In a moment he saw the Iroquois, and came forth from the church to meet them. When they saw him in turn, radiant in the vestments of his office, confronting them with a look kindled with the 1648.]

ST. JOSEPH DESTROYED.

479

inspiration of martyrdom, they stopped and stared in amazement; then recovering themselves, bent their bows, and showered him with a volley of arrows, that tore through his robes and his flesh. A gun-shot followed; the ball pierced his heart, and he fell dead, gasping the name of Jesus. They rushed upon him with yells of triumph, stripped him naked, gashed and hacked his lifeless body, and, scooping his blood in their hands, bathed their faces in it to make them brave. The town was in a blaze; when the flames reached the church, they flung the priest into it, and both were consumed together.1

Teanaustayé was a heap of ashes, and the victors took up their march with a train of nearly seven hundred prisoners, many of whom they killed on the way. Many more had been slain in the town and the neighboring forest, where the pursuers hunted them down, and where women, crouching for refuge among thickets, were betrayed by the cries and wailing of their infants.

The triumph of the Iroquois did not end here; for a neighboring fortified town, included within the circle of Daniel's mission, shared the fate of Teanaustayé. Never had the Huron nation received such a blow.

1 Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1649, 3–5; Bressani, Relation Abriégée, 247; Du Creux, Historia Canadensis, 524; Tanner, Societas Jesu Militans, 531; Marie de l’Incarnation, Lettre aux Ursulines de Tchers, Québec, 1649.

Daniel was born at Dieppe, and was forty-eight years old at the time of his death. He had been a Jesuit from the age of twenty.

CHAPTER XXVII.

1649.

RUIN OF THE HURONS.

St. Louis ON FIRE. — INVASION. – St. IGNACE CAPTURED. – BRÉ

BEUF AND LALEMANT. – Battle at St. Louis. — Sainte MARIE THREATENED. — RENEWED Fighting. - DESPERATE CONFLICT. -

A Night OF SUSPENSE. - PANIC AMONG THE VICTORS. — BURN· ING OF ST. IGNACE. — RETREAT OF THE IROQUOIS.

More than eight months had passed since the catastrophe of St. Joseph. The winter was over, and that dreariest of seasons had come, the churlish forerunner of spring. Around Sainte Marie the forests were gray and bare, and, in the cornfields, the oozy, half-thawed soil, studded with the sodden stalks of the last autumn's harvest, showed itself in patches through the melting snow.

At nine o'clock on the morning of the sixteenth of March, the priests saw a heavy smoke rising over the naked forest towards the southeast, about three miles distant. They looked at each other in dismay. “ The Iroquois! They are burning St. Louis!” Flames mingled with the smoke; and, as they stood gazing, two Christian Hurons came, breathless and aghast, from the burning town. Their worst fear

1649.)

THE INVADERS.

+81

was realized. The Iroquois were there; but where were the priests of the mission, Brébeuf and Lalemant?

Late in the autumn, a thousand Iroquois, chiefly Senecas ard Mohawks, had taken the war-path for the Hurong. They had been all winter in the forests, hunting for subcistence, and moving at their leisure towards their prey. The destruction of the two towns of the mission of St. Joseph had left a wide gap; and in the middle of March they entered the heart of the Huron country, undiscovered. Common vigilance and common-sense would have averted the calamities that followed; but the Hurons were like a doomed people, stupefied, sunk in dejection, fearing everything, yet taking no measures for defence. They could easily have met the invaders with double their force, but the besotted warriors lay idle in their towns, or hunted at leisure in distant forests; nor could the Jesuits, by counsel or exhortation, rouse them to face the danger.

Before daylight of the sixteenth, the invaders approached St. Ignace, which, with St. Louis and three other towns, formed the mission of the same name. They reconnoitred the place in the darkness. It was defended on three sides by a deep ravine, and further strengthened by palisades fifteen or sixteen feet high, planted under the direction of the Jesuits. On the fourth side it was protected by palisades alone; and these were left, as usual, unguarded. This was not from a sense of security: for the greater

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