Imágenes de páginas

overjoy'd to see 'em than the French were, enter tain'd 'em very honourably; and at the first salute invited 'em to be their companions in their expedition against the Quoanantino's. It being requisite to suit themselves to the time; and to comply with the present exigency of affairs, they all enter'd into that association, except the two Caveliers, and the Father Recolet.

In the mean while Lancelot and Dan, who had set up for commanders in chief of the company, took up their lodging apart; absolutely dispos'd of all the effects of M. de la Salle, at their pleasure; diverted themselves at his cost, and made good cheer. But the departure of the savages was daily expected. The English man and the Geriñan, that had no share in the spoils of the deceased, and who nevertheless stood in great need of necessary accoutrements, went well arm'd to meet their pretended commanders in their tent, and

entreated 'em to take care that they might be supply'd with some linnen for their new expedition. Lancelot treated 'em rudely; the English man reiterated his demands; and the former made him a second denial, with inuch more refractorines than before. Whereupon the English man upbraiding hiin, said, thou art a vile traytor ; thou hast killd thy master and mine;' and at that very instant drawing a pistol from bis girdle, he shot three balls into his reins, and laid hiin sprawling on the ground. Dan immediately ran to his fusee, but the German soon stopt his career, broke his head, and kill'd him outright. Some of the company hearing the noise, ran towards 'em forth with, and Father Anastasius found one stone-dead, and the other dying: He confess'd Lancelot, who was M. de la Salle's murderer, and had scarce given him. absolution, when a certain French man burnt his hair with a pistol-shot, without ball; insomuch, that the fire instantly taking hold of his shirt, which

was very greasie, the miserable wretch expir'd amidst the flames." Thus those wicked murderers perish'd according to their deserts, whose crime was of too deep a dye to remain long unpunish’d, and 'tis not to be doubted that those who shall read this narrative, will conceive a just indignation against the like bloody assassins.

“ Afterwards the English man and the German made themselves masters of their spoils, and offer'd'em all to the discretion of the two M. Caveliers, who only took as much as was necessary for their journey; and having left 'em the rest, came to me in the country of the Akancéas. They were the uncle and the nephew, accompany'd with M. de la Marne, and M. Joustel, and a Chaouanou savage, and I had all that I have related from their own mouth: I was also an eye-witness of their lamentations and tears; they rested two days in your house, and on the third following they set out for the Illinois. Thus, sir, I have given you a particular account of what you desir'd, according to the best of my knowledge.”

“ I only convers'd (said I then) with the uncle and the Father Recolet, but as for the nephew, M. Joustel and the Chaouanou, I had no sight of 'em. As for M. de la Marne, I remember that M. Cavelier told me that he was drown'd; nevertheless, I cannot recover my self from my surprize, when I reflect on the constancy and tranquillity of mind, with which he related to me the particular circumstances of his whole voyage, and all his adventures. 'Tis a common saying, that deep sorrow is dumb, and I dare not call in question the sincerity of his; but I am certain, that he has made no scruple to cross the proverb.” “He had some occasion to use dissimulation, (reply'd Cousture,) he was willing somewhat to allay his grief, by the telling of long stories; and besides, he had some by-ends, and

some particular reasons for such a deportment at that time.

“ I very well comprehend your meaning, (said I) he was desirous to borrow money of me, and he was afraid, lest I should refuse to lend himn any, if he inform'd me of his brother's death. But alass! I was too much indebted to his name and family to deny him any thing. Would to God I had nothing left in the world, and had not lost my honoured protector, my dear patron, and my most faithful friend! But alass! all our lamentations are to no purpose; and since we cannot repair so great a loss, let us at least arm ourselves with patience; let us also endeavour to bring to perfection what he has so happily begun.”

At that very instant I encourag'd my self in my resolution to make another voyage, with a design not only to carry relief to those peor French men, who were abandon’d on the sea-shoar, but also to undertake some new enterprize, that might afford me some consolation for the loss I had sustain'd. To that purpose I made preparations for a new descent to the seas, and to visit all those nations that were lately discover'd by M. de la Salle, and mention'd to me by his brother.

In the mean while I receiv'd a letter from the Marquis D'Enonville, our governour; the purport of which was to inform me, that we were engag'd in a war against the Spaniards, and by which he gave me free liberty to make what attempts I could upon 'em. This letter, in conjunction with what M. Cavelier had told me concerning those nations, who were ready to make war with 'ein, animated me so much the more to hasten my journey. There fore I set out Decemb. 3, A, D. 1687, accompany'd with five French men, four Chaouarous, and some other savages, and left my cousin De Lietle, com

mander of fort St. Lenis. My first journey ended in the village of the Illinois, and I found 'em lately come back from an expedition against divers neighbouring people, from whom they carry'd away 130 prisoners.

From thence I pass’d to the Cappa's, who gave me very good entertainment, and some time after the Toginga's and Torimans receiv'd me with the like demonstration of friendship and respect. Then the course of my journey brought me to the Ossotoues, where I built an house for the convenience of traffick. There I spent five or six days, during which, I made new purchaces, and encreas'd my store of provisions. I departed from my house in the month of February, 1688, and after some days. travelling I got up again to the great village of Taensas. As we were pursuing that journey, one of my Chaouanous being attack'd by three Chachou-. ma's, kill'd one of them, and bimself receiv'd a slight wound on the pap, with the glancing of an arrow. But a far greater disaster befel us during that journey. For two French men of my company stragling in the woods to hunt, were assaulted by a party of Naches, and unfortunately kill'd. We were so much the more sensible of this indignity, in regard that 'twas impossible for us to revenge it, not being able to come up with those savages.

pon our arrival among the Taensas, the principal elders of that nation inform’d me of the contest they had with the Nachitoches, about salt, of which the latter would not suffer 'em to have any share, and entreated me to be mediatour for the making up of their differences. I readily accepted of the office; so that thirty Taensas having joyn'd our company, we arriv'd, after eight days march, at the village of the Nachitoches. This nation con- , stitutes only one state with two others, viz. the


[ocr errors]

Quasita's and the Capichis. The chief commanders of these three sorts of people being met together, they caused me to sit down in the middle of 'em; but the thirty Taensa's before they took their place, desir'd leave to go to the temple, to implore the assistance of their God, for the obtaining a firm peace. (Here 'tis observable by the way, that the sun is the Deity which is most commonly ador'd among all those people. Therefore these Taensa's were actually conducted to the temple; and after having said their prayers, were brought back to the assembly, where they call’d their God to witness the sincerity of their intentions, as to the matter of peace; made their presents to the three several nations; and nominated me for guarantee of their treaty. Whereupon I promoted their interest as far as it lay in my power, making the best of their claim, and at last brought matters to a good accommodation; insomuch that the Nachitoches promis’d to supply 'em with salt, in exchange for their skins and grains. Upon the breaking up of the convention they took a reciprocal oath to maintain peace and an amicable correspondence one with another, and danc'd the calumet, according to the usual custom of the Americans. Afterwards I took my leave of both those nations.

The Nachitoches provided five guides to conduct me to the village of the Yataches, and to go thither, I was oblig'd

to pass on the river Onoroyste, about 30 leagues. During our course we found fifteen cottages of the Naches, and took up our lodging amongst 'em that night, continually standing upon our guard. The next day, having met with twelve of 'em apart, we did not spare 'em, but reveng'd the death of our French men, whom they had barbarously assassinated. After having travell’d for some days, we arriv'd in the territories of the Yataches, who are united to two other

« AnteriorContinuar »