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men then in the country must be held; and that they must not proceed lightly in affairs of such importance, wherein human life, and perhaps a new war, were concerned. This advice was followed, a meeting was held, and the Captains made speeches, each in his turn. The common and most general opinion was that the prisoners were all guilty or all innocent; and that, consequently, they ought all to die, or all be given their lives. Thereupon, as peace had not then been made with the Iroquois, Noel Tekouerimat spoke in emphatic terms, saying [ 134] that we had enough enemies on our hands, and their number must not be multiplied; that these poor men did not come to make war on us, but were Hunters; and that they must be sent back to their own country.
The chief men of the Council, in accordance with this sentiment, decided that not one of them should die; and that the fitting course was to send back two of the number to their own country for the purpose of informing their Nation of what had occurred. Forthwith they were made to enter the assembly, where they appeared bound and wearing nothing except around their loins. They squatted on the ground to hear their sentence, which rejoiced them greatly. A Captain took the word, and made them a short harangue,— telling them that they were all given their lives, that not one of them should die,  and that they were free. At the same time their bonds were cut, and thrown into the fire; they were raised from the ground, and each was given some clothing; and they were exhorted to sing and dance and rejoice, since they were among their friends. This order was executed on the instant,— l'heure, promptement, ioyeufement, & magnifiquement, difent les memoires, qui font venus iufques à nous.
Apres quelque temps de réjouyffance: on en renuoya deux en leur pays, & on retint les trois autres en oftages. Leur commiffion contenoit trois articles, diftinguez par trois petits baftons, qu'on leur mit en main. Le premier port, qu'on les renuoyoit pour expofer aux principaux de leur Nation, comme ils auoient efté pris, & deliurez. Le fecond,  qu'ils retournaffent, au commencement de l'Efté fuiuant. Le troifiéme, qu'ils retiraffent des mains d'vne Nation, qui leur eft amie, & voifine, nommée Sokoueki; quelques-vns de leurs parens captifs depuis deux ans: & qu'il les amenaffent à Sillery, s'ils auoient defir de contracter alliance, auec les peuples qui s'y retirent ordinairement: & que la veuë de ces captifs, adouciroit les yeux de ceux qui ne les auoient pas regardez de bonne grace, & qu'ils feroient le nœud de l'ancienne amitié, qu'ils auoient eue autrefois par enfemble. Ces bonnes gens fe voyans declarez innocens ne demanderent point reparation des torts, qu'on leur au oit faits. Ils ne fe plaignirent point, des coups de baftons, qu'on leur auoit donnez, ny des feux, qu'on auoit appliqués  fur leurs corps. Ils ne prefferent point la reftitution des ongles, qu'on leur auoit arrachez, ny des doigts, qu'on leur auoit coupez. Tous ces preludes font comptez pour neant: pourueu qu'on n'ofte point la vie; le refte paffe comme vn petit ieu. Les femmes, difent-ils, en fouffriroient bien autant fans mot dire.
Ils partirent au commencement de Decembre, de l'an 1652. & ils parurent fur le grand fleuue, à la fin "promptly, joyfully, and in fine style," as the account says which has reached us.
After some time of rejoicing, two of them were sent back to their own country, and the three others were retained as hostages. Their commission embraced three articles, distinguished by three little sticks that were put into their hands. The purport of the first was, that they were sent home to describe to the chief men of their Nation how they had been captured and delivered. The second said  that they must come back again, at the beginning of the following Summer. The third was a petition that they should rescue from the hands of a Nation called Sokoueki, friends and neighbors of theirs, some of the petitioners' kinsfolk, who had been two years in captivity; and that they should bring them to Sillery, if they desired to form an alliance with the peoples who commonly resort thither. The sight of these captives would, it was urged, soften the looks of those who had not regarded them favorably; and they would serve to tie the knot of the old-time friendship that had once been maintained between them. These simple souls, finding themselves declared innocent, demanded no reparation for the injuries done them. They did not complain of the blows inflicted, or of the fire that had been applied  to their bodies. They did not urge the restitution of nails torn out, or of fingers cut off. All these preliminaries are accounted as nothing; provided life is not taken, the rest passes for a little sport. Even women, they say, would endure as much without a murmur.
They departed in the beginning of December of the year 1652, and made their appearance on the du mois de May, de l'an paffé 1653. Si toft qu'ils apperceurent la demeure des François, & des Sauuages de Sillery, ils rirent refonner leurs tambours, en ûgne de paix, & de réjouyffance. Ils amenoient deux vieillards, des plus confiderables de leur pays, chargez de prefens, qui eftoient comme les ordres, & les commiffions,  qui leur auoient efté données. Les Algonquins accourans fur les riues du grâd fleuue, & ne voyans point les captifs, qu'ils auoient demandez, furent d'abord mécontens: mais ces Ambaffadeurs fçachans bien, qu'ils manquoient au point le plus important, rendirent de fi fortes raifons de leur procedé: qu'ils calmerent les efpris des mécontens. Peut-eftre que ces captifs eftoient morts. Les memoires, & les lettres que i'ay receuës, n'en difent rien.
Les efprits eftans appaifez. Ces nouueaux hoftes furent appeliez au confeil, le lendemain de leur arriuée. L'affemblée fe tint en vne fale de noftre petite maifon, où nous receuons, & oïl nous inftruifons les fauuages. On commença par l'exhibition des prefens, qu'on eftendit fur vne corde, qui trauerfoit  toute la fale. Ce n'eftoient que des coliers de porcelaine fort larges, des bracelets, des pendans d'oreilles: & des calumets, ou petunoirs. Chacun ayant pris fa place: le plus ancien de ces Ambaffadeurs, prit la parole, difant à toute l'affiftance, qu'il venoit de déplier l'affection, & l'amitié de ceux de fa nation, figurée fur ces coliers; que leur cœur eftoit tout ouuert, qu'il n'y auoit aucun ply, qu'on voyoit dans fes paroles, le fond de leurs ames. Et là-deffus, tirant vn autre grand collier, il l'eftendit au milieu de la place, difant. Voila le chemin, qu'il faut great river at the close of the month of May of last year, 1653. As soon as they caught sight of the settlements of the French and the Savages of Sillery, they had their drums beaten, in sign of peace and rejoicing. They escorted two of the most influential elders of their country, laden with presents representing the orders and commissions  that had been given them. The Algonquins, hastening to the banks of the great river, and not seeing the captives whom they had asked for, were displeased at first; but the Ambassadors, well aware of their negligence in the most important point, gave such forcible reasons for their conduct as to appease all dissatisfaction. Perhaps those captives were dead; the memoirs and letters which I have received say nothing about it.
Displeasure being allayed, these new guests were summoned to the council on the day after their arrival. The assembly was held in a hall of our little house, where we receive and instruct the savages. It was opened by the exhibition of the presents, which were stretched upon a cord extending  quite across the hall. They consisted merely of porcelain collars of great size, of bracelets, and ear-rings; and of calumets, or tobacco-pipes. When each one had taken his place, the oldest of these Ambassadors began to speak, and said to all present that he came to manifest the affection and friendship of the people of his nation, as symbolized by these collars; that their hearts were entirely open, and there was not a single fold in them; and that in his words were seen their inmost thoughts. Thereupon, taking another large collar, he stretched it out in the . middle of the room, and said: "Behold the route that you must take to come and visit your friends."