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      [174] "Il ne restoit que quelques bouts de perches brules qui montroient quelle avoit t l'tendue du village, et sur la plupart desquelles il y avoit des ttes de morts plantes et manges des corbeaux."Relation des Dcouvertes du Sr. de la Salle.The chief condescended to visit La Salle at his camp,a favor which he would by no means have granted, had the visitors been Indians. A master of ceremonies and six attendants preceded him, to clear [Pg 303] the path and prepare the place of meeting. When all was ready, he was seen advancing, clothed in a white robe and preceded by two men bearing white fans, while a third displayed a disk of burnished copper,doubtless to represent the Sun, his ancestor, or, as others will have it, his elder brother. His aspect was marvellously grave, and he and La Salle met with gestures of ceremonious courtesy. The interview was very friendly; and the chief returned well pleased with the gifts which his entertainer bestowed on him, and which, indeed, had been the principal motive of his visit.



      Lord Wellington came up with him on the 9th of April, in the meantime having had to get across the rapid Garonne, with all his artillery and stores, in the face of the French batteries. The next morning, the 10th, being Easter Sunday,[76] Wellington attacked Soult in all his positions. These were remarkably strong, most of his troops being posted on well-fortified heights, bristling with cannon, various strongly-built houses being crammed with riflemen; while a network of vineyards and orchards, surrounded by stone walls, and intersected by streams, protected his men, and rendered the coming at them most difficult. The forces on both sides were nearly equal. Soult had about forty-two thousand men, and Wellington, besides his army composed of British, Germans, and Portuguese, had a division of fifteen thousand Spaniards. The difficulties of the situation far out-balanced the excess of about three thousand men on the British side; but every quarter was gallantly attacked and, after a severe conflict, carried. Soult retired into Toulouse, and during the ensuing night he evacuated it, and retreated to Carcassonne. The loss of the Allies in killed was six hundred, and about four thousand wounded. Soult confessed to three thousand two hundred killed and wounded, but we may calculate his total loss at little less than that of the Allies, although his troops had been protected by their stone walls and houses. * Denonville au Ministre, 13 Nov. 1685.

      RETURN TO CANADA.


      Arnold had meanwhile arranged everything with Washington, at Cambridge, for his expedition. He marched away from Cambridge with twelve hundred men, and on reaching the Kennebec River, one hundred and thirty miles north of Boston, embarked upon it, carrying with him one thousand pounds in money, and a whole cargo of manifestoes for distribution among the Canadians. Thence he had to traverse a terrible wilderness of woods, swamps, streams, and rugged heights, where the men had to carry their boats and provisions on their shoulders, and where, for two-and-thirty days, they saw no house, wigwam, or sign[221] of human life. So extreme were their distresses, that for the last several days they had to live on their own dogs. It was the 3rd of November before they reached the first Canadian settlement on the river Chaudire, which flows into the St. Lawrence opposite to Quebec. They emerged on the river St. Lawrence, at Point Levi, immediately over against Quebec. Could Arnold have crossed immediately, such was the suddenness of the surprise, he probably would have taken the city. But a rough gale was blowing at the time, and for five days he was detained on the right bank of the river by that circumstance and the want of boats. Arnold, nevertheless, managed to cross the river in the night, about a mile and a half above the place where Wolfe had crossed. Finding the cliffs there too high to scale, he followed the shore down to Wolfe's Cove, and ascended the heights just where Wolfe had done so. Like Wolfe, Arnold formed his band on the Heights of Abraham, and, trusting to the belief that the Canadians were in favour of the Americans, proposed to make a dash up to the gates of the city before day broke; but his followers protested against this design. When day dawned, Arnold saw so many men on the walls and batteries that he knew the assault was hopeless, and retired to Point aux Trembles, where he was joined by Montgomery, who took the chief command.

      Bourdon, though of humble origin, was, perhaps, the most intelligent man in the council. He was chiefly known as an engineer, but he had also been a baker, a painter, a syndic of the inhabitants, chief gunner at the fort, and collector of customs for the company. Whether guilty of embezzlement or not, he was a zealous devotee, and would probably have died for his creed. Like Villeray, he was one of Lavals stanchest supporters, while the rest of the council were also sound in doctrine and sure in allegiance.

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      At length they reached their goal, and found shelter and safety within the walls of Fort Miami. Here was the party left in charge of La Forest; but, to his surprise and grief, La Salle heard no tidings of Tonty. He found some amends for the disappointment in the fidelity and zeal of La Forest's men, who had restored the fort, cleared ground for planting, and even sawed the planks and timber for a new vessel on the lake.

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