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      Meanwhile the fugitives of St. Louis, joined by other bands as terrified and as helpless as they, were struggling through the soft snow which clogged the forests towards Lake Huron, where the treacherous ice of spring was still unmelted. One fear expelled another. They ventured upon it, and pushed forward all that day and all the following night, shivering and famished, to find refuge in the towns of the Tobacco Nation. Here, when they arrived, they spread a universal panic.

      Yesterday, writes Father Le Mercier, all was dejection and gloom; to-day, all is smiles and gayety. On Wednesday, massacre, burning, and pillage; on Thursday, gifts and visits, as among friends. If the Iroquois have their hidden designs, so, too, has God.

      The story of New France opens with a tragedy. The political and religious enmities which were soon to bathe Europe in blood broke out with an intense and concentrated fury in the distant wilds of Florida. It was under equivocal auspices that Coligny and his partisans essayed to build up a Calvinist France in America, and the attempt was met by all the forces of national rivalry, personal interest, and religious hate.

      Mendoza went to meet him.

      In the intense darkness which had surrounded them, he drew Myrtale to his breast. His heart throbbed as it never had before, and the gloom seemed filled with little dancing flames like those of the broken lamp. With the perfume from Myrtales hair, he felt as if he were breathing an atmosphere of warm, ardent youth, and in the silence which Eros commands his mouth again sought the small, fresh lips.

      "If," he continues, "you permit me to speak my mind, M. de la Salle ought to have been satisfied with discovering his river, without undertaking to conduct three vessels with troops two thousand leagues through so many different climates, and across seas entirely unknown to him. I grant that he is a man of knowledge, that he has reading, and even some tincture of navigation; but there is so much difference between theory and practice, that a man who has only the former will always be at fault. There is also a great difference between conducting canoes on lakes and along a river, and navigating ships with troops on distant oceans."[283]Dont look at me so, my bee,M said Glaucus smiling. My whole soul yearns to you. But you know what the sailors say: Ships must be kept free from Aphrodites lures, first because they are sacred, and secondly because it isnt right to trifle, when there is only a plank between us and death.


      I will do it, replied the muffled figure sighing. Butthe other thing of which Doris told you?


      [1] "Ils y trouuerent vn spectacle d'horreur, les restes de la cruaut mesme, ou plus tost les restes de l'amour de Dieu, qui seul triomphe dans la mort des Martyrs."Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1649, 13.At Dieppe there is a curious old manuscript, in clear, decisive, and somewhat formal handwriting of the sixteenth century, garnished with sixty-one colored pictures, in a style of art which a child of ten might emulate. Here one may see ports, harbors, islands, and rivers, adorned with portraitures of birds, beasts, and fishes thereto pertaining. Here are Indian feasts and dances; Indians flogged by priests for not going to mass; Indians burned alive for heresy, six in one fire; Indians working the silver mines. Here, too, are descriptions of natural objects, each with its illustrative sketch, some drawn from life and some from memory,as, for example, a chameleon with two legs; others from hearsay, among which is the portrait of the griffin said to haunt certain districts of Mexico,a monster with the wings of a bat, the head of an eagle, and the tail of an alligator.


      It was October before he reached Lake Huron. Day after day and week after week the heavy-laden canoes crept on along the lonely wilderness shores, by the monotonous ranks of bristling moss-bearded firs; lake and forest, forest and lake; a dreary scene haunted with yet more dreary memories,disasters, sorrows, and deferred hopes; time, strength, and wealth spent in vain; a ruinous past and a doubtful future; slander, obloquy, and hate. With unmoved heart, the patient voyager held his course, and drew up his canoes at last on the beach at Fort Miami.