Articles

The Massacre at Lachine

THE WHITE AND THE GOLD

THOMAS B. COSTAIN October 1 1954
Articles

The Massacre at Lachine

THE WHITE AND THE GOLD

THOMAS B. COSTAIN October 1 1954

The Massacre at Lachine

THE WHITE AND THE GOLD

THOMAS B. COSTAIN

Plie Iroquois came with the summer storm and plunged the sleeping village into a bath of blood. Then a bumbling governor held his soldiers back while a hundred men, women and children were leisurely burned at the stake

THE NIGHT of Aug. 4, 1689, was hot and close. The good people of Lachine, before retiring for the night, studied the black clouds above them and averred there would he trouble before morning. Perhaps they shuddered at the same time, for in their minds there was always something analogous between storm signals and the black cloud of fear which hung over all of New France.

Lachine had changed since it had been La Salle’s seigneury, thus named by the people of Montreal, derisively, because of the young explorer’s consuming ambition to find a passage to the Orient. Settlers had moved in and houses had sprung up along the shore of Lake St. Louis. It had become, indeed, the most populous outpost of Montreal. The people were landowners and, in the main, prosperous. A surgeon had taken up his quarters in the little village; the curé paid regular visits. Montreal, which claimed a population of two thousand, talked of the day when it would envelop Lachine. In the meantime, to provide protection for the south shore of the island, there were three garrisoned stockades in close proximity, La Présentation, Rémy and Roland.

The storm broke some hours before dawn. It swept across Lake St. Louis with claps of thunder to announce its coming and almost in a moment

there was a pounding of hailst ones on the snug little houses. Householders roused themselves and stumbled about in the dark to see that everything was closed. Some of them were up and about, therefore, when there came to their ears a sound foreign to the sharp cracking of the thunder and infinitely more terrible: the high, maniacal screech of the Iroquois battle cry. The lane running crookedly between the rows of houses was filled with naked warriors armed to the teeth, their heads close shaved, their faces smeared with ceremonial paint.

Fifteen hundred warriors had taken advantage of the storm to cross Lake St. Louis and had arrived on the heels of the first downpour of hail. It was said later by some of the survivors that many of the heads of families, knowing that help could not reach them in time, turned their guns first on their wives and children to save them from a much worse fate, and that when the maddened invaders broke into the houses they found that death had been before them in the dark. Those who died in this way and even the many who were butchered in the first onslaught, were lucky. After a few minutes of indis-

criminate slaughter, during which men and women were cut down by knives and tomahawks and the brains of children were dashed out against doorframes and bedposts, the attacking braves gave thought to a still greater pleasure than this orgy of vengeful killing. In all the villages of the Finger Lakes the stakes had been raised and the fagots piled. Prisoners must be provided for the nights of torture which always followed victory. The people of Lachine, devout, kindly and industrious, must supply this need of victims.

Three miles along the crooked road, on the way to Montreal, was an encampment of two hundred regular soldiers who had been sent out from France to aid in the defense of the colony. By an unfortunate twist of fate the officer in charge had gone to Montreal the evening before to attend a reception for Governor Denonville, who had just arrived there. The officer’s name was Subercase and he was a bold and resourceful soldier, as subsequent events would show. If he had been with his men when the blow fell, he would have hurried to the assistance of the unfortunate people and there might have been a different story to tell.

The camp was aroused at four o’clock by the

ominous boom of a cannon from one of the three forts. This could mean one

Continued on page 44

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25

thing only, that Indians were on the warpath. A subordinate officer gave orders for the men to dress and arm for action. Almost immediately there was a second proof of trouble. Through the rain, which still fell with fury, came the drenched and muddy figure of a survivor, crying to them hoarsely that all t he furies of hell were loose in the woods and along the shores. The man in charge waved him on to carry the alarm to Montreal.

More fugitives arrived in a very few minutes, furiously pursued by a band j of naked warriors. When the Iroquois saw the soldiers they turned immediately and ran back in the direction of Lachine.

The first survivor reached Montreal i as fast as his stumbling legs could carry him oyer the six miles of muddy road. Wild fear swept the town at the news he brought. Subercase lost no time in getting back to his command, but several hours had passed when he reached the camp. The first fury of the storm had abated and light was beginning to show through the drizzle; although the sun, which had risen on so many scenes of horror and bloodshed and might be expected to have become indifferent, seemed reluctant to face the evidence of what this dreadful night bad brought about. Subercase was incredulous when he found that his men had waited for his return and had done nothing to aid the victims of the Iroquois attack. Men from the three forts had joined them and many settlers from other sections had armed themselves and were beginning to reach them through the woods, ready to do what they could.

Had it been cowardice which held the troops from rushing into action or a disciplinary sense pounded into them by years of service that nothing should be done without his orders? Drawing his sword, Subercase shouted an angry command to follow him to Lachine.

The most terrible of sights is a community after it has been ravaged by fire and sword. At Lachine the horror had been multiplied. Unable to wait for a first taste of torture, the Iroquois warriors had set up stakes and with unwonted haste (it was customary to prolong the victim’s end as long as possible) had done to death some of the prisoners. When the belated rescue party reached the scene, they found the stakes still standing, all of them tenanted by broken bodies which had once been men and women. None of the most revolting rites had been neglected, even to the slashing from the bodies of strips of flesh to be enjoyed later in

cannibalistic rites. An effort had been made to destroy the houses by fire, and some of them still smoldered. To enter any of those which were still standing was to suffer a shock never to be forgotten; mothers and their children had been dragged from their pitiably useless hiding places and killed near the hearths, where tidy brooms and clean copper utensils still occupied their usual places.

One of the survivors, the settlement’s surgeon, emerged from his sanctuary in the woods to meet Subercase and his men. He was soaked with water and blood and his face was white with the horrors he had witnessed and from which he had so miraculously escaped.

The war party, he told them, had left Lachine hut had gone no more than a mile and a half farther down the shore, where they had stopped in the shelter of a screen of trees. He had another piece of information to give which caused the trained officer to nod his head with new confidence and satisfaction. The Iroquois had delayed the destruction of the houses until each had been searched. A large store of brandy had been uncovered and all of it had been gulped down before the devil’s work had been resumed. The halt behind the cover of trees had been caused by the torpor which had overtaken the Iroquois braves.

They Waited for Death

Subercase realized that this opening, in which no doubt he saw the hand of providence, must be seized at once. Such a chance would never come again, certainly. But he had no illusions as to the odds he would face. From all reports he had received, he knew that the enemy were out in larger numbers than ever before and that, when roused, they would fight with sullen fury. He did not hesitate. He decided to take the risk, and to his satisfaction he found that his men were willing to gamble their lives in an effort to rescue the unfortunate prisoners.

At this moment, however, the Chevalier de Vaudreuil arrived from Montreal with orders from the governor. No unnecessary risks were to be taken. The forces still intact must remain on the defensive and retain the power to protect the sections which had not yet suffered from attack.

Unnecessary risks? Subercase and his men had never known of a risk which seemed more necessary than to attack the marauding braves while they lolled in drunken stupor. He stormed at Denonville’s envoy and demanded to be allowed to proceed with his plan. Did Demon ville know, he asked, that over one hundred white men and women were in Iroquois hands and would be herded hack to the villages of the tribes for death at the stake? The governor could not have known, he

ontended, of the fortunate cireumtances which made this moment the •est for a counterattack. Vaudreuil tood firmly on the ground that the •rders he bore were from the highest luthority in the colony and must be •beyed.

After a stormy altercation Subercase jave in. With despairing unwillingness íe ordered his men to return to the ¡heiter of the forts. The opportunity ïad been lost.

For two days, while the troops under Subercase fretted in the inactivity imposed upon them and Denonville kept

his considerable forces behind the new palisades which had been built around Montreal, the revengeful Iroquois roamed the countryside, capturing new victims and burning all the houses and barns. Depredations were carried out as far distant as twenty miles, an indication of the bravado now animating the invaders.

Finally the terror was lifted from the island. The Iroquois took to their

canoes, their terrified captives with them, and paraded contemptuously up and down the river within sight of the three forts. They raised their paddles

in the air and shouted in derision, “Onontio! Onontio!” and then screeched loudly that they had paid back the governor for the deception he had practiced on them.

Before turning for the other shore of the St. Lawrence, they paused to give vent to ninety loud shouts, one for each prisoner in their hands. This was the usual practice of returning war parties. The grim watchers behind the stockade walls counted the exultant shouts and were convinced that the men of the Five Nations had been careless in their estimate. It was believed that no fewer

than one hundred and twenty victims were still in enemy hands.

The scene now shifts across the St. Lawrence. For many years the Christianized members of the Iroquois tribes, a loyal and peaceable group, had lived in mission settlements across the river from Montreal. Now they were settled finally in a section which had been given the name of Caughnawaga.

Caughnawaga lies almost directly across Lake St. Louis from Lachine. Just below is Châteauguay. It was to Châteauguay that the Iroquois went, and so it was close to the home of their Christianized kin that they paused for a further demonstration of their triumph and contempt. They had decided not to wait any longer for another taste of the fruits of victory. Pitching their camp so close to the shore that the watchers on Montreal Island could see the blaze of their fires through the trees of the island, they spent a wild night around the torture stakes, killing women and children as well as men, with furious abandon. The watchers knew the meaning of the flickering lights; they were a ware, that the gentle and blameless people of Lachine were dying in slow torment. It lasted all through the night and then the fires died down and the watchers knew that the orgies were ending in heavy, brutal sleep.

Whether a rescue could have been carried out at this stage is very doubtful. To attempt a crossing of the river would have been a great hazard in itself and might have resulted in such heavy losses that the Iroquois, whose casualties had been slight, might have come back in triumph to attack Montreal. The one good chance to rescue the prisoners had been lost when Subercase was forced to give up.

Nothing but a miracle would have brought success at this late stage. Close to the shore where the torture fires burned lay the bones of an Indian girl called the Genevieve of New France, and many stories had been told of miracles which had come to pass at her grave. People watching from the safety of the other shore prayed that a miracle might happen now to save the cringing victims from further torment. But a far different kind of miracle was needed, a miracle of brave and audacious leadership; and this the French commander of the moment could not supply.

Denonville’s decision had been reached with great reluctance. A man of personal bravery, he was slow in making up his mind and far from inspired in his judgment. It might be said that he had lived his life for this one moment when a splendid and audacious move on his part would have enriched the history of the land with another stirring tale. But there was neither splendor nor audacity in the spiritual and mental equipment of the slow Denonville. He decided against any action which might be counted of ill-considered boldness, and so the men of New France were condemned to watch the torture fires of the Iroquois from the safety of the north shore. It is said that the events of these few terrible days preyed on his mind and saddened the last years of his life.

Denonville’s order had turned a swift, bloody Iroquois raid which might have been as swiftly halted and avenged, into a long-drawn-out, ghastly nightmare of torture. But the causes behind the massacre had been long brewing. And the men principally responsible included not only Denonville but his predecessor as governor, Sieur de la Febvre de la Barre, and even the King himself. It was Louis, in fact, who had personally suggested a deed against the Indians that was as senseless as it was cruel. In addition, during the period before the massacre, the leaders of New

France had made the fatal mistake of j demonstrating to the Iroquois that ! Frenchmen could be irresolute and even timid. The final factor was a stratagem, as clever as it was diabolical, carried out by a chief of the defeated Hurons, a tribe whose alliance with Champlain had first called down on the French the bitter enmity of the j Iroquois.

La Barre, a boastful and greedy fraud, had been a lawyer most of his life. Transferred to the French West ! Indies in charge of the military and naval forces, he had won quite a repuj tat.ion for himself in some trouble with I the English (who must have been most incompetently led indeed) and had bej gun to swagger and demand the title of Monsieur le Général. He seems to have accepted the post with the intention of making a rich man of himself.

La Barre set himself up in business ¡ wit h a coterie of Canadian merchants. The syndicate thus formed operated fleets of canoes and ships on t he Great I Lakes and it was a matter of necessity for them to have peace. La Barre accordingly invited the Iroquois leaders I o a conference at Montreal, and a delegation of more than forty chiefs came (o a council held in the Church of Bonsecours.

La Barre cut a poor figure in the negotiations that followed. He lacked the easy dignity of Frontenac and seemed to be very ill at ease under the unflinching scrutiny of forty pairs of intent black eyes. He showered the chiefs with presents to the value of two thousand crowns and urged them in return to respect the peace with France. The chiefs agreed, but in view of what happened later, it is clear they had no intention of keeping their promise.

No Stomach for Fighting

One of the first proofs of amity they supplied was to attack and capture a convoy of French boats on their way to the upper lakes. It so happened that the boats belonged to La Barre and his associates and that they were filled with trade goods valued at fifteen thousand livres. The governor was furious at this costly breach of the j peace. La Barre seems to have been j convinced by this episode that war with these belligerent and insolent people was inevitable.

On first arriving in Canada, La Barre had written to the King: “The Iro-

quois have twenty-six hundred warriors but I will attack them with twelve hundred men. They know how roughly I handled the English in the West Indies.” Now the strain of bombast ! disappeared from his official communications. He did not like the situation at all and he wrote repeatedly to the J King urging that trained soldiers he | sent out to strengthen his hand.

Finally, the piteous appeals of La Barre resulted in the dispatching of j t hree companies of regular soldiers to I Canada, each being made up of fiftyj two men. They were veterans of the ' Dutch wars, tired and disillusioned fellows who had no stomach left for further fighting. Nevertheless, they were welcomed at Quebec with the I utmost acclaim, the shouts of the rej lieved populace merging with the not too brisk rat-tat of the army drums.

La Barre had no excuse now for postponing the punishment he had promj ised to mete out to the insolent Iroquois. He began to organize his forces for a drive against the Senecas, the most numerous and powerful of the Five Nations. As a first step he wrote to the English governor at New York revealing his intention of attacking the Iroquois and warning that no guns were to be supplied them in the mean-

time. This bit of absurdity was tantamount to making the enemy a present of the French strategy. The English governor answered that the Iroquois were subjects of King Charles and that La Barre must not set foot on English territory. The threat had the result also of inciting the Iroquois to furious preparations. They were delighted, being sure they could cope with this new French leader who had failed so lamentably to impress them. From a missionary in the Iroquois country La Barre received EL letter warning that the Senecas expected to strip, roast and eat every Frenchman in the country.

The Iroquois front was better organized at this stage than it had ever been. Costly wars with other tribes had ended and so the heavy drain on their manpower had ceased. For years they had been enrolling the youngest and strongest men of the tribes they had attacked and beaten, training them in Iroquois philosophy and drilling them in new ways of fighting. The Eilliance with the English luid been cemented, and the latter had a shrewd Eind aggressive Irishman in Colonel Thomas Dongan as governor at New York.

Big Mouth the Orator

La Barre, having deprived himself of all the advantages of a surprise move, set out for Fort Frontenac with the army he had gEithered about him. In addition to the hundred-odd soldiers from France, he had seven hundred Canadian volunteers and a few hundred mission Indians. The regulars had not fully recovered from the rigors of the voyage across the Atlantic and were as soft as putty. The mission Indians had about EIS much martial ardor as could be brewed at an afternoon tea pEirty. “My purpose,” wrote Monsieur le Général to the King, “is to exterminate the Senecas.”

The governor proceeded to handle the affair with all the military skill that might liEive been expected from a leader who had spent most of his life in a law office. After encountering great difficulties on the way, the troops readied Fort Frontenac, and La Barre selected a damp stretch of ground for pitching his camp. Noxious mists rose from the dank soil and stagnant water; mosquitoes made the nights miserable for the unhappy French soldiers and spread malarial fevers. Many of the men died, and the governor himself was reduced to a sickly condition. The supplies of food proved inadequate, and in a very short time the force was reduced to a condition of martial impotence. La Barre saw no way out of it but to invite the Onondagas to a peace conference, hoping that they would induce the Senecas to join the proceedings. To

await their coming, the governor selected the most healthy appearing of his men and moved them to the other side of the water, stopping at a spot most appropriately called La Famine.

The Onondagas responded to the invitation by sending a delegation headed hy an orator whose fame had almost obscured the memory of the fluent Flemish Bastard. He was called Big Mouth and he had such a flow of words that white men fell under his spell as readily as his own people.

Squatting in a dignified semicircle with his fellow chiefs, Big Mouth listened to the speech with which La Barre opened the discussions. Then the spellbinder rose to his feet. For a few moments he paced up and down in silence, then he stopped, struck an attitude, and began to speak. His manner exuded confidence: and well it might, because it had not needed much craft on the p;irt of the red men to discover the weakness of the French force.

“I see a great captain at the head of a band of soldiers who talks like a man in EI dream. He says he has come to smoke the pipe of peace with the Onondagas; but I see that he came to knock them on the head—if so many of his Frenchmen were not too weak to fight . . .” On and on he went. Every sentence, punctuated with sweeping gestures, was an attack on the pride of the French.

La Barre retired to his tent in a rag . There was no answer he could give. He was too weak to fight. The next day there was a shorter session and a peace of sorts was patched up.

As EI final gesture of defiance the Five Nations demanded that any future talks he held at La Famine, on Iroquois soil. La Barre weakly Eigreed.

La Barre returned to Quebec. His great gesture had done no more than avert an open breach for a short spell. The peEice had been purchased at too high a price, as subsequent events would show. Big Mouth had flaunted the power of the Iroquois Eind no thunderbolts had come from the skies to punish him for his audacity. For many moons thereafter laughter would be heard about campfires where the orotund passages of the daring orator were repeated.

La Barre might declare that he had scored a victory. Everyone else knew that the peace WEIS a sliEim to be broken at the will of the Five Nations.

The King was not deceived by the protestations of the governor. He wrote an immediate letter of recall and appointed the Marquis de Denonville to succeed him.

Denonville was a good soldier with thirty years of honorable service to his credit. He was a devout Eind conscientious, EL believer in blind obedience to the King. It WEIS this blind obedience that led him into a grievous error as a

preliminary to the chief enterprise in Kis assignment—the final defeat of the Iroquois.

The French King had intimated during the La Barre incumbency that one way to tame the Iroquois was to capture as many of them as possible and send them to France to work as galley slaves. Louis XIV has left sayings on the pages of history which do not lend lustre to his name but nothing he ever said or did compares for cruelty and stupidity of conception with this particular idea.

The galley propelled by great banks of oars or “sweeps,” had ceased by this time to be a ship-of-war, but France still kept a few of them in the Mediterranean as a means of punishment for criminals. The slaves were the most unfortunate and the most pitied of men. The galleys would go out on cruises and the slaves would pull on the oars, three or more to each, under the lash of supervisors. Between cruises the slaves would be kept in prisons, so closely packed into dark cells that they would have to sit knee to knee on damp masonry. They had the word “gal” branded on their backs, but it was generally hard to distinguish the letters because of the scars left by the whips of the galley masters.

To condemn Indians to such a fate was particularly cruel. They were accustomed to a life in the open air, and their lungs soon collapsed in the fetid atmosphere of the galleys. Having as well a racial tendency to melancholia, the most powerful of them would pine away and die in such surroundings.

The Warning Backfired

Denonville’s choice of victims was as faulty as his judgment in Liking action at all. If the unfortunate braves he sent to the galleys had been prisoners of war there might have been a bare excuse, for there were only differences of degree in the barbarity with which such prisoners were treated. Instead he sent the new intendant Champigny (Meules, the playing-card moneyman, had been recalled by this time) to the north shore of Lake Ontario, where there were two villages of expatriate Iroquois engaged in hunting and fishing. By various wiles these harmless people were coaxed into the waiting maw and, when the catch had been sifted out, fifty-one able-bodied men were left in the net. Until such time as they could be placed on ships and sent off to the galiotes of Marseilles, the puzzled and frightened natives were tied to stakes and kept in this trussedup position for many days. Some of them died of exposure.

Some of the prisoners were freed later, but a large number were sent to France. It had been in Denonville’s highly unimaginative mind that what he was doing would serve as a lesson and a warning to the Five Nations. When he discovered that his action had created an entirely different reaction, stirring the Iroquois tribes to a furious desire for revenge, he wrote to the French colonial minister begging that the prisoners be sent back. It was not, however, until Frontenac was being sent out to serve his second term as governor, and to replace Denonville, that the remnants of the Iroquois galley slaves were freed and entrusted to the old governor for repatriation. By then most of them had died in their cruel captivity, and only thirteen poor broken wrecks, now dressed in absurd French finery in an effort to make amends, were put aboard Frontenac’s ship. Even if it had been possible to send them all back, sound and well, the damage could not have been undone. The Iroquois never forgave this exhibition of treachery; for each one of

t he harmless fishermen thus sent to a lingering death, many Canadian men find women were to die in torment at the stake.

Meanwhile, for his planned attack I on the Iroquois, Denonville had made I rondequoit Bay on the south shore of Lake Ontario the rendezvous for his forces. He arrived there himself with four hundred canoes and two thousand men. By the greatest of good luck he reached the bay on the same day as his Indian allies from the north and west. They came four hundred strong, accompanied by a band of coureurs de bois led by three of the bravest Frenchmen in the west, Du Lhut, La Durantaye and Henri Tonty, he of the iron hand.

The Senecas had been marked down as the victims of this great drive because they were now the most numerous and powerful of the Five Nations of the Iroquois and, at the moment, the most belligerent; more obdurate even than (.he Mohawks, who had once opnosed the French with the greatest cfe termination.

The strength of the invaders was so great that the Senecas, after one unsuccessful attempt to ambush the advancing Frenchmen, retreated in panic toward the east, taking their families with them and such food supplies as they could hastily gather. Before running away, however, they burned their main village.

One thing was certain; the valleys and hills of the Seneca country were bright with warm sunshine and covered ! with great fields of maize and the thick vines of the yellow pumpkin. There would have been a bountiful harvest if the green fields had been left to the i ripening sun, but the French spent ten days of back-breaking labor in cutting down the corn and burning the fields. Three other villages were located and burned. Convinced then that the Senecas had been taught a lesson they would never forget, the invaders turned and marched to Niagara, where a fort of considerable size and strength was built.

The Senecas did not forget. The j other four nations shared in the hatred inspired by the French attack. Nor had the Iroquois forgotten the seizure ! of the harmless fishermen on the Bay j of Quinte, some of whom were still tugging at their oars under the lash of slave masters. They had never forgotten, it might be added, the first sight of a white man vouchsafed their fathers: Champlain stepping out from the ranks of the Hurons in his glistening breastplate and bobbing plumes with his strange new weapon, the terrible musket. While Denonville set his men to work at Niagara, the gloomy interior of the council house at Onon| daga echoed with the talk of the chiefs j assembled there to decide upon meas! ures of reprisal.

The Iroquois, deep in their plans for i retaliation, played a waiting game and j even dispatched some envoys to Fort j Frontenac to discuss the patching up J j of still another broken peace. Even if I they had been sincere in these advances (and it soon became clear that they were not), there was no possibility of a satisfactory outcome. A remarkable Indian chief makes his appearance on the scene at this juncture for the pur-

pose of defeating any peace moves.

He was a Huron from Michilimackinac and his name was Kondiaronk, which meant the Rat. There was nothing of the rodent in his nature, however. He was a good leader in war or peace, as wise as any white statesman and as crafty as the most Machiavellian diplomat trained in the wiles and guiles of European chancellories. Kondiaronk had one fixed purpose, to preserve the lives of the scattered remnants of the Huron people who existed, humbly and miserably, about the trading posts and missions at the junction of the Great Lakes. He knew, this wily old chief, that peace between the French and the Iroquois might mean his people would then be exposed to the full fury of Iroquois designs.

The Rat was determined to prevent a truce. He went promptly into action when the news reached him that the envoys from the Five Nations were on their way to Fort Frontenac. Waylaying them near La Famine, he killed one of the chiefs with the first volley and took the rest prisoners. The Iroquois, stunned by the unexpectedness of the attack, protested that they were on their way to propose terms of peace.

The Rat then staged a scene in which he professed chagrin and anger at the French for deceiving him. Denonville, he declared, had informed him, Kondiaronk, that a war party was approaching and had sent him out to attack them.

Kondiaronk released all of the party but one, who was to be held as a hostage. “Go back!” he said to the rest in effect. “Go back to your people and tell them of the treachery of Onontio.”

The Iroquois, nearly all of whom had suffered wounds from the fire which the Rat’s men had poured into them, turned their canoes about and set off for home. It was clear they believed what the wily chief had told them.

The Rat watched them go with an expression of triumph on his bronzed and wrinkled face. “I have killed the peace!” he declared.

The remaining prisoner was taken back to Michilimackinac and handed over to the French commandant there. The latter, acting on the advice of Kondiaronk, who believed in being thorough, had the captive executed publicly by a firing squad. To make sure that j the Five Nations learned of this further I example of French perfidy, the Rat secretly released an Iroquois prisoner in the camp and turned him loose with enough food and a supply of powder and shot to take him back to his own land.

Kondiaronk sat himself down in the shade of his wigwam, from which he could look out across the waters of Lake Huron toward that fair country where once his people had lived in ease and happiness. He was well content with what he had done. The war would j go on and the brunt of it would be borne by the French. For the time being the few remaining Hurons could exist in peace.

The King by now had lost faith in Denonville. On May 31 of the followi ing year, 1689, his recall was decided upon and a letter was dispatched to Canada, summoning him home. It did not arrive soon enough to spare Denonville from sharing in the great catastrophe which descended upon the colony as a result, partially, of the mistakes he had made. ★

NEXT ISSUE • PART FIFTEEN

Thç Fabulous Le Moynes