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      1755.Pen made her face an indifferent blank.

      V1 gave them a decent pretext for retreat. The Governor informed them that he had just received a letter from the proprietaries, giving to the province five thousand pounds sterling to aid in its defence, on condition that the money should be accepted as a free gift, and not as their proportion of any tax that was or might be laid by the Assembly. They had not learned the deplorable state of the country, and had sent the money in view of the defeat of Braddock and its probable consequences. The Assembly hereupon yielded, struck out from the bill before them the clause taxing the proprietary estates, and, thus amended, presented it to the Governor, who by his signature made it a law. [359]

      Two companies of armed men in the pay of Massachusetts were then in Wells, and some of them had come to the wedding. Seventy marksmen went to meet the Indians, who ensconced themselves in the edge of the forest, whence they could not be dislodged. There was some desultory firing, and one of the combatants was killed on each side, after which the whites gave up the attack, and Lieutenant Banks went forward with a flag of truce, in the hope[Pg 53] of ransoming the prisoners. He was met by six chiefs, among whom were two noted Indians of his acquaintance, Bomazeen and Captain Nathaniel. They well knew that the living Plaisted was worth more than his scalp; and though they would not come to terms at once, they promised to meet the English at Richmond's Island in a few days and give up both him and Tucker on payment of a sufficient ransom. The flag of truce was respected, and Banks came back safe, bringing a hasty note to the elder Plaisted from his captive son. This note now lies before me, and it runs thus, in the dutiful formality of the olden time:V1 escape of all means of shelter or support, by burning their houses and by destroying everything that may afford them the means of subsistence in the country." Similar orders were given to Major Handfield, the regular officer in command at Annapolis.

      Canada was the prey of official jackals,true lion's providers, since they helped to prepare a way for the imperial beast, who, roused at last from his lethargy, was gathering his strength to seize her for his own. Honesty could not be expected from a body of men clothed with arbitrary and ill-defined powers, ruling with absolute sway an unfortunate people who had no voice in their own destinies, and answerable only to an apathetic master three thousand miles away. Nor did the Canadian Church, though supreme, check the corruptions that sprang up and flourished under its eye. The Governor himself was charged with sharing the plunder; and though he was acquitted on his trial, it is certain that Bigot had him well in hand, that he was intimate with the chief robbers, and that they found help in his weak compliances and wilful blindness. He put his stepson, Le Verrier, in command at 31

      [216] Ibid., 26 May, 1720.

      "When it is safe ... To-morrow night I think."

      [308] Prominent officials of the colony are said to have got wives from these sources. Nicolas de la Salle is reported to have had two in succession, both from the hospitals. Bnard de la Harpe, 107 (ed. 1831).Pendleton took advantage of the pause to secure the floor again, and held it for some time. But he had to eat too, and as soon as he stopped talking to chew, Counsell turned to Pen.


      [789] Bigot, as well as Vaudreuil, sets Bougainville's force at three thousand. "En runissant le corps M. de Bougainville, les bataillons de Montral [laisss au camp de Beauport] et la garnison de la ville, il nous restoit encore prs de 5,000 hommes de troupes fra?ches." Journal tenu l'Arme. Vaudreuil says that there were fifteen hundred men in garrison at Quebec who did not take part in the battle. If this is correct, the number of fresh troops after it was not five thousand, but more than six thousand; to whom the defeated force is to be added, making, after deducting killed and wounded, some ten thousand in all.


      The complaint was just, and the situation became critical. The Iroquois deputies were invited to explain themselves. They stalked into the council-room with their usual haughty composure, and readily promised to surrender the prisoners in future, but offered no hostages for their good faith. The Rat, who had counselled his own and other tribes to bring their Iroquois captives to Montreal, was excessively mortified at finding himself duped. He came to a later meeting, when this and other matters were to be discussed; but he was so weakened by fever that he could not stand. An armchair was brought him; and, seated in it, he harangued the assembly for two hours, amid a deep silence, broken only by ejaculations of approval from his Indian hearers. When the meeting ended, he was completely exhausted; and, being carried in his chair to the hospital, he died about midnight. He was a great loss to the French; for, though he had caused the massacre of La Chine, his services of late years had been invaluable. In spite of his unlucky name, he was one of the ablest North American Indians on record, as appears by his remarkable influence over many tribes, and by 446 the respect, not to say admiration, of his French contemporaries. *** Reprsentation faite au conseil au sujet de certaines


      141The English had built two small forts to guard the Great Carrying Place on the route to Oswego. One of these, Fort Williams, was on the Mohawk; the other, Fort Bull, a mere collection of storehouses surrounded by a palisade, was four miles distant, on the bank of Wood Creek. Here a great quantity of stores and ammunition had imprudently been collected against the opening campaign. In February Vaudreuil sent Lry, a 375