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drowsy or negligent, — for the ten Iroquois, watching their time, approached with the stealth of lynxes, and glided like shadows into the midst of the camp, where, by the dull glow of the smouldering fires, they could distinguish the recumbent figures of their víctims. Suddenly they screeched the war-whoop, and struck like lightning with their hatchets among the sleepers. Seven were killed before the rest could spring to their weapons. Bressani leaped up, and received on the instant three arrow-wounds in the head. The Iroquois were surrounded, and a desperate fight ensued in the dark. Six of them were killed on the spot, and two made prisoners; while the remaining two, breaking through the crowd, bounded out of the camp and escaped in the forest.
The united parties soon after reached Montreal; but the Hurons refused to remain in a spot so exposed to the Iroquois. Accordingly, they all descended the St. Lawrence, and at length, on the twenty-eighth of July, reached Quebec. Here the Ursulines, the hospital nuns, and the inhabitants taxed their resources to the utmost to provide food and shelter for the exiled Hurons. Their good-will exceeded their power; for food was scarce at Quebec, and the Jesuits themselves had to bear the chief burden of keeping the sufferers alive. 1
But if famine was an evil, the Iroquois were a far greater one; for, while the western nations of their confederacy were engrossed with the destruction of
Compare Juchereau, Ilistoire de l'Hôtel-Dieu, 79, 80.
523 the Hurons, the Mohawks kept up incessant attacks on the Algonquins and the French. A party of Christian Indians, chiefly from Sillery, planned a stroke of retaliation, and set out for the Mohawk country, marching cautiously and sending forward scouts to scour the forest. One of these, a Huron, suddenly fell in with a large Iroquois war-party, and, seeing that he could not escape, formed on the instant a villanous plan to save himself. He ran towards the enemy, crying out that he had long been looking for them and was delighted to see them; that his nation, the Hurons, had come to an end; and that henceforth his country was the country of the Iroquois, where so many of his kinsmen and friends had been adopted. He had come, he declared, with no other thought than that of joining them, and turning Iroquois, as they had done. The Iroquois demanded if he had come alone. He answered, “No,” and said that in order to accomplish his purpose he had joined an Algonquin war-party, who were in the woods not far off. The Iroquois, in great delight, demanded to be shown where they were. This Judas, as the Jesuits call him, at once complied; and the Algonquins were surprised by a sudden onset, and routed with severe loss. The treacherous Huron was well treated by the Iroquois, who adopted him into their nation. Not long after, he came to Canada, and with a view, as it was thought, to some further treachery, rejoined the French. A sharp cross-questioning put him to confusion, and he presently confessed his guilt. He was sentenced to death; and the sentence was executed by one of his own countrymen, who split his head with a hatchet.
In the course of the summer, the French at Three Rivers became aware that a band of Iroquois was prowling in the neighborhood, and sixty men went out to meet them. Far from retreating, the Iroquois, who were about twenty-five in number, got out of their canoes, and took post, waist-deep in mud and water, among the tall rushes at the margin of the river. Here they fought stubbornly, and kept all the Frenchmen at bay. At length, finding themselves hard pressed, they entered their canoes again, and paddled off. The French rowed after them, and soon became separated in the chase; whereupon the Iroquois turned, and made desperate fight with the foremost, retreating again as soon as the others came up. This they repeated several times, and then made their escape, after killing a number of the best French soldiers. Their leader in this affair was a famous half-breed, known as the Flemish Bastard, who is styled by Ragueneau "an abomination of sin, and a monster produced between a heretic Dutch father and a pagan mother.”
In the forests far north of Three Rivers dwelt the tribe called the Atticamegues, or “Nation of the White Fish.” From their remote position, and the difficult nature of the intervening country, they thought themselves safe; but a band of Iroquois, 1651--52.]
1 Ragueneau, Relation, 1050, 30.
marching on snow-shoes a distance of twenty days' journey northward from the St. Lawrence, fell upon one of their camps in the winter, and made a general butchery of the inmates. The tribe, however, still held its ground for a time, and, being all good Catholics, gave their missionary, Father Buteux, an urgent invitation to visit them in their own country. Buteux, who had long been stationed at Three Rivers, was in ill health, and for years had rarely been free from some form of bodily suffering. Nevertheless, he acceded to their request, and, before the opening of spring, made a remarkable journey on znow-shoes into the depths of this frozen wilderness.? In the year following, he repeated the undertaking. With him were a large party of Atticamegues and several Frenchmen. Game was exceedingly scarce, and they were forced by hunger to separate, — a Huron convert and a Frenchman named Fonta rabie remaining with the missionary. The snows had melted, and all the streams were swollen. The three travellers, in a small birch canoe, pushed their way up a turbulent river, where falls and rapids were so numerous that many times daily they were forced to carry their bark vessel and their baggage through forests and thickets and over rocks and precipices. On the tenth of May they made two such portages, and soon after, reaching a third fall, again lifted their canoe from the water. They toiled through the naked
| lournal du Père Iacques Buteux du Voyage qu'il a fait pour la Mission des Attika me ques. See Relation, 1651, 15.
forest, among the wet, black trees, over tangled roots, green, spongy mosses, mouldering leaves, and rotten, prostrate trunks, while the cataract foamed amidst the rocks hard by. The Indian led the way with the canoe on his head, while Buteux and the other Frenchman followed with the baggage. Suddenly they were set upon by a troop of Iroquois, who had crouched behind thickets, rocks, and fallen trees, to waylay them. The Huron was captured before he had time to fly. Buteux and the Frenchman tried to escape, but were instantly shot down, the Jesuit receiving two balls in the breast. The Iroquois rushed upon them, mangled their bodies with tomahawks and swords, stripped them, and then flung them into the torrent 1
1 Ragueneau, Relation, 1652, 2, 3.