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      "I don't know. Very strange he should slink out of the house without saying good-night to me. Perhaps he saw me reading the paper."

      "In winter it must be hard."282

      The messengers from Canada returned with this reply. Unsatisfactory as it was, such a quantity of wampum was sent with it as showed plainly the importance attached by the Iroquois to the matters in question. Encouraged by a recent success against the English, and still possessed with an overweening confidence in his own influence over the confederates, Frontenac resolved that Ourehaou should send them another message. The chief, whose devotion to the count never wavered, accordingly 201 despatched four envoys, with a load of wampum belts, expressing his astonishment that his countrymen had not seen fit to send a deputation of chiefs to receive him from the hands of Onontio, and calling upon them to do so without delay, lest he should think that they had forgotten him. Along with the messengers, Frontenac ventured to send the Chevalier d'Aux, a half-pay officer, with orders to observe the disposition of the Iroquois, and impress them in private talk with a sense of the count's power, of his good-will to them, and of the wisdom of coming to terms with him, lest, like an angry father, he should be forced at last to use the rod. The chevalier's reception was a warm one. They burned two of his attendants, forced him to run the gauntlet, and, after a vigorous thrashing, sent him prisoner to Albany. The last failure was worse than the first. The count's name was great among the Iroquois, but he had trusted its power too far. [20]

      The whole force now gathered for a final attack on the garrison house. Their appearance was so frightful, and their clamor so appalling, that one 355 of the English muttered something about surrender. Convers returned, "If you say that again, you are a dead man." Had the allies made a bold assault, he and his followers must have been overpowered; but this mode of attack was contrary to Indian maxims. They merely leaped, yelled, fired, and called on the English to yield. They were answered with derision. The women in the house took part in the defence, passed ammunition to the men, and sometimes fired themselves on the enemy. The Indians at length became discouraged, and offered Convers favorable terms. He answered, "I want nothing but men to fight with." An Abenaki who spoke English cried out: "If you are so bold, why do you stay in a garrison house like a squaw? Come out and fight like a man!" Convers retorted, "Do you think I am fool enough to come out with thirty men to fight five hundred?" Another Indian shouted, "Damn you, we'll cut you small as tobacco before morning." Convers returned a contemptuous defiance.

      [7] Bellomont to the Lords of Trade, 28 February, 1700.Wiwurna, then, with much civility, begged to be excused from receiving the Bible and the minister, and ended by wishing the governor good wind and weather for his homeward voyage.

      "I am natural. If I wanted to work you for anything, I could turn the wringer till the tub overflowed. I'm famous for it. Real tears without the aid of the glycerine bottle. But you said you wanted to be on the level."The intendant Champigny accordingly proceeded to the fort in advance of the troops, and invited the neighboring Iroquois to a feast. They 141 came to the number of thirty men and about ninety women and children, whereupon they were surrounded and captured by the intendant's escort and the two hundred men of the garrison. The inhabitants of the village of Ganneious were not present; and one Perr, with a strong party of Canadians and Christian Indians, went to secure them. He acquitted himself of his errand with great address, and returned with eighteen warriors and about sixty women and children. Champigny's exertions did not end here. Learning that a party of Iroquois were peaceably fishing on an island in the St. Lawrence, he offered them also the hospitalities of Fort Frontenac; but they were too wary to be entrapped. Four or five Iroquois were however caught by the troops on their way up the river. They were in two or more parties, and they all had with them their women and children, which was never the case with Iroquois on the war-path. Hence the assertion of Denonville, that they came with hostile designs, is very improbable. As for the last six months he had constantly urged them, by the lips of Lamberville, to visit him and smoke the pipe of peace, it is not unreasonable to suppose that these Indian families were on their way to the colony in consequence of his invitations. Among them were the son and brother of Big Mouth, who of late had been an advocate of peace; and, in order not to alienate him, these two were eventually set free. The other warriors were tied like the rest to stakes at the fort.


      Pen nodded.


      They all went. Pendleton turned to Pen aghast.


      V2 for a week to the General Hospital, a mile out of the town, where he was to command the guard stationed to protect the inmates and watch the enemy. Here were gathered the sick and wounded of both armies, nursed with equal care by the nuns, of whom Knox speaks with gratitude and respect. "When our poor fellows were ill and ordered to be removed from their odious regimental hospital to this general receptacle, they were indeed rendered inexpressibly happy. Each patient has his bed, with curtains, allotted to him, and a nurse to attend him. Every sick or wounded officer has an apartment to himself, and is attended by one of these religious sisters, who in general are young, handsome, courteous, rigidly reserved, and very respectful. Their office of nursing the sick furnishes them with opportunities of taking great latitudes if they are so disposed; but I never heard any of them charged with the least levity." The nuns, on their part, were well pleased with the conduct of their new masters, whom one of them describes as the "most moderate of all conquerors."