Imágenes de páginas

Let us hear him speak; I have taken what follows from the copy of one of his letters.4 Scarcely had our people [36] proceeded a quarter of a league from the fort, when they perceived a large number of canoes that had stranded in a cove; they discharged their firearms at these, and immediately resumed their course toward the fort. The Drummer, whom I had ordered to give some drum-beats in case the shallop should discover the enemy, called me back into the fort; as I approached it, I saw a great number of Iroquois running with loose rein, as the saying is, across the fields, and acting as if they were coming to attack the Village. I called to arms, had the gates closed and two pieces of ordnance discharged, which I had arranged for this purpose. Those Barbarians, at the noise of this thunder, rushed upon the cattle that were passing near the Village, [37] drove them into the woods, and, after butchering them, ran to the banks of the great river, discharging their muskets at our shallop. The latter found itself assailed on all sides; for the eleven or twelve canoes that we have mentioned, came and pounced upon it, trying to force it to approach the shore, that it might be beaten both by land and by water.

Fire was opened on all sides, and soon the air was full of flames and smoke. In a quarter of an hour, I had more than twenty cannon shots fired,- which, because our balls were not of the right caliber, produced no farther effect than to make the enemy retire and give passage to our shallop. This defended itself valiantly and with success; for our people used their firearms and wounded a number of Iroquois, while not one of them received any injury.

[38] “ These half-Demons, seeing that they had maltraités, allerent décharger leur colere sur nos bleds d'Indes, & fur nos bleds François. Ils couppoient tout ce qu'ils pouuoient rencontrer, bruslans les charruës, & les charettes laiffées en la campagne, pour mettre le feu dans les tas de pois, & de bled qu'ils ramassoient: ils mirent le feu en quelques maisons écartées, tuerent les bestiaux des Peres, qu'on n'auoit peu retirer affés tost: en vn mot, on eut dit qu'ils estoient enragez, tant ils faisoient paroistre de fureur.

Ie fi rouler vn canon, sur vn platon, & ie le fi tirer dessus eux; les Sauuages s'auancerent, faisant quelques escarmouches, & dans ces petits combats yn de nos Algonquins receut vn coup de fusil [39] au genoüil, & nous bleffasmes, & tuasmes quelques Iroquois.

Enfin ces Barbares se retirerent faisant mine d'auoir assoupy leur rage, & leur vengeance: mais à dessein de s'approcher la nuit de la Bourgade pour y mettre le feu, n'estant enuironnée en plusieurs endroits que de gros arbres. Nous fufmes sous les armes tant que la nuit dura, ie redoublay les sentinelles: le Trompette, & le Tambour ioüerent quasi toûjours au fort. On n'entendoit par tout que ces paroles, qui va là: la Redoute tira plusieurs coups d'arquebuse, si bien que l'ennemy qui faisoit ses approches, épouuanté par ces bruits, desespera de nous pouuoir ny prendre, ny surprendre.

Pendant cette nuit, arriua vn canot Algonquin qui venoit de la chasse, & qui fut bien estonné de [40] se voir fain & sauue au milieu de tant de dangers. Il arriua auffi vn canot François, qui nous dit que le Pere Poncet auoit esté pris au Cap rouge, és enuirons


been hardly used, proceeded to vent their wrath on our Indian corn and French wheat. They cut down all that they could find, burning the plows and carts left in the field, in order to set fire to the heaps of peas and grain that they gathered together. They set fire to some scattered houses and killed the Fathers' cattle, which we had been unable to place in safety soon enough. In a word, one would have said they were madmen, so great fury did they manifest.

“I had a cannon rolled out upon a level place, and fired at them. The Savages advanced, engaging in several skirmishes; and in these little actions one of our Algonquins received a musket-ball [39] in the knee, and we wounded and killed several Iroquois.

At length, these Barbarians retired, feigning to have glutted their rage and vengeance, but planning to approach the Village at night and set fire to it, as it is surrounded in several places only by large trees. We were under arms all night long; I doubled the sentinels, and the Trumpeter and Drummer played almost constantly at the fort. Everywhere was to be heard only the cry, 'Who goes there?' The Redout fired several arquebus volleys; and, as a result of all this, the enemy, after making their approach, were frightened by these noises, and despaired of being able either to capture or to surprise us.

During that night there arrived a canoe of Algonquins, who were returning from the chase; they were much astonished to [40] find themselves safe and sound in the midst of so many dangers. There also arrived a canoe of Frenchmen, who told us that Father Poncet had been made prisoner at Cap rouge, in the neighborhood of Quebec; and that a squad of Frenchmen and Christian Savages, full of determinade Quebec; & qu'vne escoüade de quelques François & quelques Sauuages Chrestiens bien resolus, poursuiuoient ceux qui l'auoient enleué: mais le rencontre des Iroquois, qui nous tenoient comme affiegés, leur fit changer de deffein. Dieu nous enuoioit ce renfort, qui releuant nostre courage, affoiblit autant le cour de nos Ennemis.

Le lendemain vingt-quatriéme d'Aoust, ils se répandirent yne autre fois dans nos petites campagnes, recommançans leurs degats, nostre canon les empescha bien de s'approcher de trop prés, mais il n'arresta point nos Hurons, [41] qui ayans vne paffion de sçauoir des nouuelles de leurs parens, & de leurs amis, pris autrefois en guerre, & deuenus Iroquois, s'approcherent doucement des Ennemis pour leur parler. S'estans reconnus les vns les autres, la confiance se glifsa petit à petit de part & d'autre, si bien qu'en peu de temps, ce ne furent plus que conferences, & qu'entretiens d'Iroquois auec les Hurons: cela continua quelques iours en sorte qu'on eut dit, que iamais on ne s'estoit battu.

Nous faifions bonne garde de nostre costé, chacun demeurant en son poste, & sous les armes. Quelques Hurons du party Ennemy, se vinrent rendre à nous. Comme on vid ces grands pourparlers, & qu'on ne doutoit point que les Ennemis ne cherchassent l'occasion [42] de nous surprendre, il fut proposé en la maison de Ville, fi on les tromperoit eux mesmes: mais il ne fut pas iugé à propos, pour plusieurs raisons.

Enfin on en vint iusques là, que les Ennemis s'approchoient de nous fans armes, ils nous firent mesme des presens à diuerses fois, protestans qu'ils n'auoient plus d'amertume, ny de venin dedans le coeur. Vn

tion, were in pursuit of his captors, but, meeting with the Iroquois,— who were holding us, as it were, besieged,- they were led to change their plan. God sent us this reinforcement, which raised our courage and depressed proportionately the spirits of our Enemies.

On the next day, the twenty-fourth of August, they once more dispersed throughout our little fields and renewed their ravages. Our cannon prevented them from coming too near, but did not deter our Hurons, [41] who,- being eager to learn news of their relatives and friends who had formerly been taken in war, and had become Iroquois,- quietly approached the Enemy, in order to speak to them. When they had recognized one another, confidence spread little by little, on one side and the other, to such an extent that in a short time there was nothing to be seen but conferences and interviews between Iroquois and Hurons; and this continued for several days, so that one would have said there had never been any war between them. We kept careful guard on our side, each man remaining at his post, and under arms. Some Hurons of the Enemy's side came and gave themselves up to us. When these earnest parleys were noticed, and it was not doubted that the Enemy were seeking an opportunity [42] to surprise us, the question whether we should not practice deception upon them themselves was proposed in the Town house; but, for several reasons, this was deemed inadvisable.

At last, matters reached the point that the Enemy approached us without arms, and even made us presents on several occasions,-protesting that they had no more bitterness or venom in their hearts. A

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »