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      [31] Nicolas Perrot, 143.

      "This is man's work," he said, swelling up. "You must leave it to me."138 In spite of all his pains, it was whispered abroad that there was to be war; and the rumor was brought to the ears of Dongan by some of the Canadian deserters. He lost no time in warning the Iroquois, and their deputies came to beg his help. Danger humbled them for the moment; and they not only recognized King James as their sovereign, but consented at last to call his representative Father Corlaer instead of Brother. Their father, however, dared not promise them soldiers; though, in spite of the recent treaty, he caused gunpowder and lead to be given them, and urged them to recall the powerful war-parties which they had lately sent against the Illinois. [32]

      There they sat side by side on the big sofa in the seductive half light of the great roombut something was the matter. They made no progress. Perhaps having desired this moment so much, the realization of it frightened them. With too much feeling they were dumb; and they did not know each other well enough to be comfortably silent together. So each made various attempts to start something which only resulted in utter banality. They found themselves talking as primly as a couple in an old-fashioned romance. The sources of laughter were frozen up. And the more self-conscious they became, the stiffer grew their tongues.

      V2 The string was scornfully rejected. "They kicked it from one to another as if it were a snake. Captain Peter took a stick, and with it flung the string from one end of the room to the other, and said: 'Give it to the French captain; he boasted of his fighting, now let us see him fight. We have often ventured our lives for him, and got hardly a loaf of bread in return; and now he thinks we shall jump to serve him.' Then we saw the French captain mortified to the uttermost. He looked as pale as death. The Indians discoursed and joked till midnight, and the French captain sent messengers at midnight to Fort Duquesne."By this time the sappers had worked their way to the angle of the lake, where they were stopped by a marshy hollow, beyond which was a tract of high ground, reaching to the fort and serving as 504

      The human denizens of this wilderness were no less fierce, and far more dangerous. These were the various tribes and sub-tribes of the Abenakis, whose villages were on the Saco, the Kennebec, the Penobscot, and the other great watercourses. Most of them had been converted by the Jesuits, and, as we have seen already, some had been persuaded to remove to Canada, like the converted Iroquois of Caughnawaga.[40] The rest remained in their native haunts, where, under the direction of their missionaries, they could be used to keep the English settlements in check.


      V2 numbers rolled together down the slope. At that instant the clouds burst, and the rain fell in torrents. "We could not see half way down the hill," says the Chevalier Johnstone, who was at this part of the line. Ammunition was wet on both sides, and the grassy steeps became so slippery that it was impossible to climb them. The English say that the storm saved the French; the French, with as much reason, that it saved the English. of Canada. Sarrazin, a naturalist as well as a physician,


      Bye and bye there was a rat-tat-tat on the seldom-used knocker on the front door. Opening it, Pen beheld a ship's officer in natty blue uniform and gold braid. He took off his cap and offered her a note.


      [103] De Goutin au Ministre, 29 Dcembre, 1708.