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ST. JEAN. 507 sion of the same name, was a town of five or six hundred families. Its population was, moreover, greatly augmented by the bands of fugitive Hurons who had taken refuge there. When the warriors were warned by Ragueneau's messenger of a probable attack from the Iroquois, they were far from being daunted, but, confiding in their numbers, awaited the enemy in one of those fits of valor which characterize the unstable courage of the savage. At St. Jean all was paint, feathers, and uproar, —singing, dancing, howling, and stamping. Quivers were filled, knives whetted, and tomahawks sharpened; but when, after two days of eager expectancy, the enemy did not appear, the warriors lost patience. Thinking, and probably with reason, that the Iroquois were afraid of them, they resolved to sally forth, and take the offensive. With yelps and whoops they defiled into the forest, where the branches were gray and bare, and the ground thickly covered with snow. They pushed on rapidly till the following day, but could not discover their wary enemy, who had made a wide circuit, and was approaching the town from another quarter. By ill luck, the Iroquois captured a Tobacco Indian and his squaw, straggling in the forest not far from St. Jean; and the two prisoners, to propitiate them, told them the defenceless condition of the place, where none remained but women, children, and old men. The delighted Iroquois no longer hesitated, but silently and swiftly pushed on towards the town. It was two o'clock in the afternoon of the seventh of December.1 Chabanel had left the place a day or two before, in obedience to a message from Ragueneau, and Garnier was here alone. He was making his rounds among the houses, visiting the sick and instructing his converts, when the horrible din of the war-whoop rose from the borders of the clearing, and, on the instant, the town was mad with terror. Children and girls rushed to and fro, blind with fright; women snatched their infants, and fled they knew not whither. Garnier ran to his chapel, where a few of his converts had sought asylum. He gave them his benediction, exhorted them to hold fast to the Faith, and bade them fly while there was yet time. For himself, he hastened back to the houses, running from one to another, and giving absolution or baptism to all whom he found. An Iroquois met him, shot him with three balls through the body and thigh, tore off his cassock, and rushed on in pursuit of the fugitives. Garnier lay for a moment on the ground, as if stunned; then, recovering his senses, he was seen to rise into a kneeling posture. At a little distance from him lay a Huron, mortally wounded, but still showing signs of life. With the heaven that awaited him glowing before his fading vision, the priest dragged himself towards the dying Indian, to give him absolution; but his strength failed, and he fell again to the earth. He rose once more, and again crept forward, when a party of Iroquois rushed upon him, split his head with two 1 Bri-ssani, Relation Abrigie, 264.

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ST. JEAN ATTACKED. 509 blows of a hatchet, stripped him, and left his body on the ground.1 At this time the whole town was on fire. The invaders, fearing that the absent warriors might return and take their revenge, hastened to finish their work, scattered firebrands everywhere, and threw children alive into the burning houses. They killed many of the fugitives, captured many more, and then made a hasty retreat through the forest with their prisoners, butchering such of them as lagged on the way. St. Jean lay a waste of smoking ruins thickly strewn with blackened corpses of the slain. Towards evening, parties of fugitives reached St. Matthias, with tidings of the catastrophe. The town was wild with alarm, and all stood on the watch, in expectation of an attack; but when, in the morning, scouts came in and reported the retreat of the Iroquois, Garreau and Grelon set out with a party of converts to visit the scene of havoc. For a long time they looked in vain for the body of Garnier; but at length 1 The above particulars of Garnier's death rest on the evidence of a Christian Huron woman, named Marthe, who saw him shot down, and also saw his attempt to reach the dying Indian. She was herself struck down immediately after with a war-club, but remained alive, and escaped in the confusion. She died three months later, at Isle St. Joseph, from the effects of the injuries she had received, after reaffirming the truth of her story to Ragueneau, who was with her, and who questioned her on the subject. {Mi moires touchant la Mart et les Vertus des Peres Garnier, etc., MS.) Ragueneau also speaks of her in Relation des Hurons, 1050, 9. The priests Grelon and Garreau found the body stripped naked, with three gunshot wounds in the abdomen and thigh, and two deep hatchet wounds in the head.

they found him lying where he had fallen, — so scorched and disfigured that he was recognized with difficulty. The two priests wrapped his body in a part of their own clothing; the Indian converts dug a grave on the spot where his church had stood; and here they buried him. Thus, at the age of fortyfour, died Charles Gamier, the favorite child of wealthy and noble parents, nursed in Parisian luxury and ease, then living and dying, a more than willing exile, amid the hardships and horrors of the Huron wilderness. His life and his death are his best eulogy. Bre"beuf was the lion of the Huron mission, and Garnier was the lamb; but the lamb was as fearless as the lion.1 1 Garnier's devotion to the mission was absolute. He took little or no interest in the news from France, which, at intervals of from one to three years, found its way to the Huron towns. His companion, Bressani, says that he would walk thirty or forty miles in the hottest summer day, to baptize some dying Indian, when the country was infested by the enemy. On similar errands he would sometimes pass the night alone in the forest in the depth of winter. He was anxious to fall into the hands of the Iroquois, that he might preach the Faith to them even out of the midst of the fire. In one of his unpublished letters he writes," Praised be our Lord, who punishes me for my sins by depriving me of this crown" (the crown of martyrdom). After the death of BreT>euf and Lalemant, he writes to his brother: —

"He'las! Mon cher frere, si ma conscience ne me convainquait et ne me confondait de mon infldelitc au service de notre bon maitre, je pourrais esperer quelque faveur approchante de celles qu'il a faites aux bienheureux martyrs avec qui j'avais le bien de converser souvent, Ctant dans les mcmes occasions et dangers qu'ils 6taient, mais sa justice me fait craindre que je ne demeure toujour* indigne d'une telle couronne." He contented himself with the most wretched fare during th« 1649.] JOURNEY OF CHABANEL. 511 When, on the following morning, the warriors of St. Jean returned from their rash and bootless sally, and saw the ashes of their desolated homes and the ghastly relics of their murdered families, they seated themselves amid the ruin, silent and motionless as statues of bronze, with heads bowed down and eyes fixed on the ground. Thus they remained through half the day. Tears and wailing were for women; this was the mourning of warriors.

Garnier's colleague, Chabanel, had been recalled from St. Jean by an order from the Father Superior, who thought it needless to expose the life of more than one priest in a position of so much danger. He stopped on his way at St. Matthias, and on the morning of the seventh of December, the day of the attack, left that town with seven or eight Christian Hurons. The journey was rough and difficult. They proceeded through the forest about eighteen miles, and then encamped in the snow. The Indians fell asleep; but Chabanel, from an apprehension of danger, or some other cause, remained awake. About midnight he heard a strange sound in the distance, — a confusion of fierce voices, mingled with songs and outcries. It last years of famine, living in good measure on roots and acorns; "although," says Ragueneau, "he had been the cherished son of a rich and noble house, on whom all the affection of his father had centred, and who had been nourished on food very different from that of swine." — Relation rles Hurons, 1050, 12.

For his character, see Ragueneau, Bressani, Tanner, and Alegambe, who devotes many pages to the description of his religious traits; but the complexion of his mind is best reflected in his private letters.

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