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      The fort of Pemaquid stood at the west side of the promontory of the same name, on a rocky point at the mouth of Pemaquid River. It was a quadrangle, with ramparts of rough stone, built at great pains and cost, but exposed to artillery, and incapable of resisting heavy shot. The government of Massachusetts, with its usual military fatuity, had placed it in the keeping of an unfit commander, and permitted some of the yeoman garrison to bring their wives and children to this dangerous and important post.


      [309] Lettres patentes en forme d'dit portant tablissement de la Compagnie d'Occident, in Le Page du Pratz, Histoire de la Louisiane, i. 47.His Arrival at Quebec ? The Great Fire ? A Coming Storm ? Iroquois Policy ? The Danger imminent ? Indian Allies of France ? Frontenac and the Iroquois ? Boasts of La Barre ? His Past Life ? His Speculations ? He takes Alarm ? His Dealings with the Iroquois ? His Illegal Trade ? His Colleague denounces him ? Fruits of his Schemes ? His Anger and his Fears.


      Meanwhile Stephen Harding, having sent his wife and child to a safe distance, returned to his blacksmith's shop, and, seeing nobody, gave a defiant whoop; on which four Indians sprang at him from the bushes. He escaped through a back-door of the shop, eluded his pursuers, and found his wife and child in a cornfield, where the woman had fainted with fright. They spent the night in the woods, and on the next day, after a circuit of nine miles, reached the palisaded house of Joseph Storer.V1 receive them. Nothing came of it but a fusillade, to which the British made no reply. At night the French were heard advancing again, and each man nerved himself for the crisis. The real attack, however, was not against the fort, but against the buildings outside, which consisted of several storehouses, a hospital, a saw-mill, and the huts of the rangers, besides a sloop on the stocks and piles of planks and cord-wood. Covered by the night, the assailants crept up with fagots of resinous sticks, placed them against the farther side of the buildings, kindled them, and escaped before the flame rose; while the garrison, straining their ears in the thick darkness, fired wherever they heard a sound. Before morning all around them was in a blaze, and they had much ado to save the fort barracks from the shower of burning cinders. At ten o'clock the fires had subsided, and a thick fall of snow began, filling the air with a restless chaos of large moist flakes. This lasted all day and all the next night, till the ground and the ice were covered to a depth of three feet and more. The French lay close in their camps till a little before dawn on Tuesday morning, when twenty volunteers from the regulars made a bold attempt to burn the sloop on the stocks, with several storehouses and other structures, and several hundred scows and whaleboats which had thus far escaped. They were only in part successful; but they fired the sloop and some buildings near it, and stood far out on the ice watching the flaming vessel, a superb bonfire amid the wilderness of snow. The 451

      "What's wrong here?" demanded Riever.On the next day, they all came down the rapids, and landed near the town. There were fully five hundred of them, Hurons, Ottawas, Ojibwas, Pottawatamies, Crees, and Nipissings, with a hundred and ten canoes laden with beaver skins to the value of nearly a hundred thousand crowns. Nor was 253 this all; for, a few days after, La Durantaye, late commander at Michillimackinac, arrived with fifty-five more canoes, manned by French traders, and filled with valuable furs. The stream of wealth dammed back so long was flowing upon the colony at the moment when it was most needed. Never had Canada known a more prosperous trade than now in the midst of her danger and tribulation. It was a triumph for Frontenac. If his policy had failed with the Iroquois, it had found a crowning success among the tribes of the lakes.

      "So I understand," said Danner, glancing sidelong at Pen.


      On the second of September a vessel was sent to England with his last despatch to Pitt. It begins thus: "The obstacles we have met with in the operations of the campaign are much greater than we had reason to expect or could foresee; not so much from the number of the enemy (though superior to us) as from the natural strength of the country, which the Marquis of Montcalm seems wisely to depend upon. When I learned that succors of all kinds had been thrown into Quebec; that five battalions of regular troops, completed from the best inhabitants of the country, some of the troops of the colony, and every Canadian that was able to bear arms, besides several nations of savages, had taken the field in a very advantageous situation,I could not flatter myself that I should be able to reduce the place. I sought, however, an occasion to attack their army, knowing well that with these troops I was able to fight, and hoping that a victory might disperse them." Then, after recounting the events of the campaign with admirable clearness, he continues: "I found myself so ill, and am still so weak, that I begged the general officers to consult together for the general utility. They are all of opinion that, as more ships and provisions are now got above the town, they should try, by conveying up a corps of four or five thousand men (which is nearly the whole strength of the army after the Points of Levi and Orleans are left in a proper state of defence), to draw the enemy 271

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      [361] This passage is given by Somervogel from the original letter.

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      "Let's walk," she said hurriedly. "We're safe enough in this out-of-the-way corner. You must need exercise. We'll circle round the field. Over in the corner there's a path leading down to an arm of Back creek where Dad keeps his boat in the winter."In the pain and languor of a mortal wound, Braddock showed unflinching resolution. His bearers 224

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      He clung to her hand. "Well ... I'm not going to complain," he muttered.


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