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      Thus the frontier was left unguarded; and soon, as Dinwiddie had foreseen, there burst upon it a storm of blood and fire.


      V1 another storehouse. Dinwiddie ordered all the forces to cross the mountains and assemble at this point, until they should be strong enough to advance against the French. The movement was critical in presence of an enemy as superior in discipline as he was in numbers, while the natural obstacles were great. A road for cannon and wagons must be cut through a dense forest and over two ranges of high mountains, besides countless hills and streams. Washington set all his force to the work, and they spent a fortnight in making twenty miles. Towards the end of May, however, Dinwiddie learned that he had crossed the main ridge of the Alleghanies, and was encamped with a hundred and fifty men near the parallel ridge of Laurel Hill, at a place called the Great Meadows. Trent's backwoodsmen had gone off in disgust; Fry, with the rest of the regiment, was still far behind; and Washington was daily expecting an attack. Close upon this, a piece of good news, or what seemed such, came over the mountains and gladdened the heart of the Governor. He heard that a French detachment had tried to surprise Washington, and that he had killed or captured the whole. The facts were as follows.


      He was not at all abashed. "My paper was the only one got the tip last night, and I've got to get my story over the phone in time for the evening edition. You have a phone here I see. The wires were the first things I looked for. It'll be a rare scoop. There'll be a mob down later."

      The attack on Wells, Casco, and the intervening settlements was followed by murders and depredations that lasted through the autumn and extended along two hundred miles of frontier. Thirty Indians attacked the village of Hampton, killed the Widow Mussey, a famous Quakeress, and then fled to escape pursuit. At Black Point nineteen men going to their work in the meadows were ambushed by two hundred Indians, and all but one were shot or captured. The fort was next attacked. It was garrisoned by eight men under Lieutenant Wyatt, who stood their ground for some time, and then escaped by means of a sloop in the harbor. At York the wife and children of Arthur Brandon were killed, and the Widow Parsons and her daughter carried off. At Berwick the Indians attacked the fortified house of Andrew Neal, but were repulsed with the loss of nine killed and many wounded, for which they revenged themselves by burning alive Joseph Ring, a prisoner whom they had taken. Early in February a small party of them hovered about the fortified house of[Pg 49] Joseph Bradley at Haverhill, till, seeing the gate open and nobody on the watch, they rushed in. The woman of the house was boiling soap, and in her desperation she snatched up the kettle and threw the contents over them with such effect that one of them, it is said, was scalded to death. The man who should have been on the watch was killed, and several persons were captured, including the woman. It was the second time that she had been a prisoner in Indian hands. Half starved and bearing a heavy load, she followed her captors in their hasty retreat towards Canada. After a time she was safely delivered of an infant in the midst of the winter forest; but the child pined for want of sustenance, and the Indians hastened its death by throwing hot coals into its mouth when it cried. The astonishing vitality of the woman carried her to the end of the frightful journey. A Frenchman bought her from the Indians, and she was finally ransomed by her husband.

      Madame de Ponchartrain, wife of the minister, procured a pension for life to Madeleine de Verchres. Two versions of her narrative are before me. There are slight variations between them, but in all essential points they are the same. The following note is appended to one of them: "Ce rcit fut fait par ordre de Mr. de Beauharnois, gouverneur du Canada."


      "Oh God, if I could believe you!" groaned Riever.The Fishery Question.Privateers and Pirates.Port Royal.Official Gossip.Abuse of Brouillan.Complaints of De Goutin.Subercase and his Officers.Church and State.Paternal Government.

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      [622] Abercromby to Barrington, 12 July, 1758. "At least eight feet high." Rogers, Journals, 116.

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      V1 took eighteen English scalps, and Monsieur Le Loutre was obliged to pay them eighteen hundred livres, Acadian money, which I have reimbursed him." [90]The Critic. "The eulogist did not know the old fox."

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      Her manifold ills were summed up in the King. Since the Valois, she had had no monarch so worthless. He did not want understanding, still less the graces of person. In his youth the people called him the "Well-beloved;" but by the middle of the century they so detested him that he dared not pass through Paris, lest the mob should execrate him. He had not the vigor of the true tyrant; but his langour, his hatred of all effort, his profound selfishness, his listless disregard of public duty, and his effeminate libertinism, mixed with superstitious devotion, made him no less a national curse. Louis XIII. was equally unfit 15


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