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 The elder Dudley speaks with great warmth of Courtemanche, who, on his part, seems equally pleased with his entertainers. Young Dudley was a boy of eighteen. "Il a du mrite," says Vaudreuil. Dudley to Vaudreuil, 4 July, 1705; Vaudreuil au Ministre, 19 Octobre, 1705."Pen!"
[Pg 94]I have told the fate of Deerfield in full, as an example of the desolating raids which for years swept the borders of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The rest of the miserable story may be passed more briefly. It is in the main a weary detail of the murder of one, two, three, or more men, women, or children waylaid in fields, woods, and lonely roads, or surprised in solitary cabins. Sometimes the attacks were on a larger scale. Thus, not long after the capture of Deerfield, a band of fifty or more Indians fell at dawn of day on a hamlet of five houses near Northampton. The alarm was sounded, and they were pursued. Eight of the prisoners were rescued, and three escaped; most of the others being knocked in the head by their captors. At Oyster River the Indians attacked a loopholed house, in which the women of the neighboring farms had taken refuge[Pg 95] while the men were at work in the fields. The women disguised themselves in hats and jackets, fired from the loopholes, and drove off the assailants. In 1709 a hundred and eighty French and Indians again attacked Deerfield, but failed to surprise it, and were put to flight. At Dover, on a Sunday, while the people were at church, a scalping-party approached a fortified house, the garrison of which consisted of one woman,Esther Jones, who, on seeing them, called out to an imaginary force within, "Here they are! come on! come on!" on which the Indians disappeared.
V2 His enemy was in a plight hardly better than his own. Autumnal rains, uncommonly heavy and persistent, had ruined the newly-cut road. On the mountains the torrents tore it up, and in the valleys the wheels of the wagons and cannon churned it into soft mud. The horses, overworked and underfed, were fast breaking down. The forest had little food for them, and they were forced to drag their own oats and corn, as well as supplies for the army, through two hundred miles of wilderness. In the wretched condition of the road this was no longer possible. The magazines of provisions formed at Raystown and Loyalhannon to support the army on its forward march were emptied faster than they could be filled. Early in October the elements relented; the clouds broke, the sky was bright again, and the sun shone out in splendor on mountains radiant in the livery of autumn. A gleam of hope revisited the heart of Forbes. It was but a flattering illusion. The sullen clouds returned, and a chill, impenetrable veil of mist and rain hid the mountains and the trees. Dejected Nature wept and would not be comforted. Above, below, around, all was trickling, oozing, pattering, gushing. In the miserable encampments the starved horses stood steaming in the rain, and the men crouched, disgusted, under their dripping tents, while the drenched picket-guard in the neighboring forest paced dolefully through black mire and spongy mosses. The rain turned to snow; the descending flakes clung to the many-colored foliage, or melted from sight in the trench of half-liquid clay that 157
"Permit me, good sir, to offer you my hearty condolence upon the death of my friend Jack, whose worth I admired, and feel for him more than I can express. Few men of his age had so many friends." Governor Morris to Shirley, 27 Nov. 1755. Montcalm au Ministre de la Guerre, 24 Avril, 1757; Relation de l'Ambassade des Cinq Nations Montreal, jointe la lettre prcdente. Procs-verbal de diffrentes Entrevues entre M. de Vaudreuil et les Dputs des Nations sauvages du 13 au 30 Dc. 1756. Malartic, Journal. Montcalm Madame de Saint-Vran, 1 Avril, 1757.
The three commissioners came at last, with a reinforcement of another frigate and a hundred recruits, which did not supply losses, as the soldiers had deserted by scores. In great ill-humor, the expedition sailed back to Port Royal, where it was found that reinforcements had also reached the French, including a strongly manned privateer from Martinique. The New England men landed, and there was some sharp skirmishing in an orchard. Chaplain Barnard took part in the fray. "A shot brushed my wig," he says, "but I was mercifully preserved.[Pg 131] We soon drove them out of the orchard, killed a few of them, desperately wounded the privateer captain, and after that we all embarked and returned to Boston as fast as we could." This summary statement is imperfect, for there was a good deal of skirmishing from the thirteenth August to the twentieth, when the invaders sailed for home. March was hooted as he walked Boston streets, and children ran after him crying, "Wooden sword!" There was an attempt at a court-martial; but so many officers were accused, on one ground or another, that hardly enough were left to try them, and the matter was dropped. With one remarkable exception, the New England militia reaped scant laurels on their various expeditions eastward; but of all their shortcomings, this was the most discreditable.
"Nous avons six missionnaires dont l'occupation perpetuelle est de porter les esprits au fanatisme et la vengeance. Je ne puis supporter dans nos prtres ces odieuses dclamations qu'ils font tous les jours aux sauvages: 'Les Anglois sont les ennemis de Dieu, les compagnons du Diable.'" Pichon, Lettres et Mmoires pour servir l'Histoire du Cap-Breton, 160, 161. (La Haye, 1760.)"Now I suppose I've offended you," he said presently.