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CHAPTER III.

OF WHAT OCCURRED AT THREE RIVERS.

ISHALL follow, almost word for word, the contents of some letters that have come from this Village. "Captain Aontarisati," says one of these letters, " whom our Savages captured last year, was so deeply lamented by all the cantons of the lower Iroquois, his fellow-countrymen, that, as soon as the [23] news of his death reached them, a general league was formed, and a resolution taken to exact a bloody and cruel vengeance for his loss. The murder of Monsieur du Plessis, our Governor, and of many of the chief men of our Village, did not glut their rage; the horrible torments that they made all their prisoners undergo, French as well as Savage, failed to extinguish the fire of their wrath. They issued an edict throughout their whole country that no one should thenceforth spare the life of any Huron taken in war; and this order they afterward executed upon some wretched victims who fell into their hands. But all this seemed a small matter to them; in their opinion, it was necessary, in order to console them for the loss of so great a man, to take the Village of [24] three Rivers and put to fire and sword all the French and all the Savages that they might find there.

"To carry out this purpose, a little army of Anniehronnons came and took up its Winter quarters at the distance of three leagues or thereabout from our

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Village, in the depths of the woods,— thinking to surprise us when the heavy snows and intense cold should make us think of rest rather than of war. But God, who did not choose to make us a prey to those ravenous wolves, caused us to discover the traces of their spies, who had advanced to within a league from our Village. That put us on the defensive: we fortified our Bastions and Curtains, doubled our guards and sentinels, and, in short, [25] kept ourselves so carefully protected that the Enemy, whose numbers we did not know, finding no more game in the vicinity of the fort which they had constructed, were forced to disperse and go in search of provisions to their own country; but they did not remain there very long.

As soon as the river was free, we saw on all sides nothing but little bands of skirmishers trying to sur. prise some hunter or some Husbandman, and to draw into their ambuscades those who should wish to save these. Our Savages, seeing themselves so hemmed in and so often harassed, took courage, choosing rather to die fighting than to be surprised, as occasionally happened to some Frenchman or to some of their own fellow-countrymen. They resolved to put a stop to the insolence [26] of these Trasos [boasters], who came to defy us almost at our very doors. God gave them his blessing; for, although they were few in number, they often gave chase to some rather large bands, and compelled them to abandon their arms, their boats, and their baggage, in order to seek safety in the woods.

“On the ninth of May, a little Algonquin canoe, catching sight of an ambuscade concealed under shelter of the Islands of the three Rivers, took flight armes, & tous prests de combattre, quoy que ces bonnes gens fussent parmy eux, sans verge ny baston, se contentans de la seule parole qu'on leur auoit donnée, pour toute leur deffence.

On les traita auec amour, on receu leurs presens, & on leur en fit de reciproques, & apres vne reiouïssance publique, de part & dautre: ils s'en retournerent en leur pays, rauis de ioye, d'auoir trouué des esprits, & des cours amateurs de la paix. Ie trouue dans quelques memoires, qu'ils donnerent parole, qu'on auroit bien-tost de leurs nouuelles, & on nous a mandé, que quelques [18] vns de cette Nation, sont defcendus à Quebec auec des presens, comme il se verra au Chapitre cinquiesme, où il est parlé de la paix. Pour ceux dont nous parlons presentement, on nous dit, qu'en passant, à leur retour, par le Bourg d'Onneiout, ils deplierent deuant les Habitans de cette Bourgade, les presens qu'on leur auoit fait a Montreal, racomptans mille biens des François: ce sont, disoyent-ils, des Demons quand on les attaque: mais les plus doux, les plus courtois, & les plus affables, qui soyent au monde, quand on les traite d'amis: ils protesterent, qu'ils alloient tout de bon, contracter vne etroitte alliance auec eux.

Les Onneichronnons voulurent estre de la partie. Ils deleguerent quelque temps apres yne [19] Ambaf. fade à Montreal, auec vn grand colier de porcelaine; qui témoignoit, que toute leur Nation vouloit entrer dans le traité de paix, que les Onnontaeronnons auoient commancé auec les François. Et pour donner quelque marque, de la fidelité de leur parole, ils nous donnerent auis, que fix cent Iroquois Anniehronnons, estoient partis de leur païs, à dessein d'enleuer le those simple people were in our midst without rod or staff, satisfied with the mere word that had been given them for their sole defense.

They were treated with kindness; their presents were received, and others given them in return; and, after a public rejoicing on both sides, they returned to their own country, overcome with joy at having found minds and hearts desirous of peace. I find in some memoirs that they gave their promise that news should soon be heard from them; and we have received word that some [18] from that Nation came down to Quebec with presents, as will be seen in the fifth Chapter, where the peace is described. As for those of whom we are speaking at present, we are told that, on their way back, they called at the Village of Onneiout and displayed, before the Inhabitants of that Village, the presents that had been given them at Montreal. They said a thousand things in favor of the French: “ They are," said they, “Demons when they are attacked, but the gentlest, most courteous, and most affable people in the world, when they are treated as friends." They declared they were really going to contract a close alliance with them.

The Onneichronnons, wishing to be parties to it, some time afterward sent an [19] Embassy to Montreal, with a large porcelain collar, declaring that all their Nation wished to enter into the treaty of peace that the Onnontaeronnons had begun with the French. And, in order to give some proof of their sincerity, they informed us that six hundred Anniehronnon Iroquois had set out from their country with the purpose of capturing the Village built by the French at three rivers. This was found to be true.

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