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      So too Brbeuf, in a letter to Vitelleschi, General of the Jesuits (see Carayon, 163): "Ce qu'il faut demander, avant tout, des ouvriers destins cette mission, c'est une douceur inaltrable et une patience toute preuve."Here, one would think, is sufficient reason for rejecting his story; and yet the general truth of the descriptions, and a certain verisimilitude which marks it, might easily deceive a careless reader and perplex a critical one. These, however, are easily explained. Six years before Hennepin published his pretended discovery, his brother friar, Father Chrtien Le Clerc, published an account of the Rcollet missions among the Indians, under the title of "tablissement de la Foi." This book, offensive to the Jesuits, is said to have been suppressed by order of government; but a few copies fortunately survive.[204] One of these is now before me. It contains the journal of Father Zenobe Membr, on his descent of the Mississippi in [Pg 247] 1681, in company with La Salle. The slightest comparison of his narrative with that of Hennepin is sufficient to show that the latter framed his own story out of incidents and descriptions furnished by his brother missionary, often using his very words, and sometimes copying entire pages, with no other alterations than such as were necessary to make himself, instead of La Salle and his companions, the hero of the exploit. The records of literary piracy may be searched in vain for an act of depredation more recklessly impudent.[205]

      La Salle's illness increased. "I was walking with him one day," writes Joutel, "when he was seized of a sudden with such a weakness that he could not stand, and was obliged to lie down on the ground. When he was a little better, I led him to a chamber of a house that the brothers Duhaut had hired. Here we put him to bed, and in the morning he was attacked by a violent fever."[280] "It was so violent that," says another of his shipmates, "his imagination pictured to him things equally terrible and amazing."[281] He lay delirious in the wretched garret, [Pg 369] attended by his brother, and one or two others who stood faithful to him. A goldsmith of the neighborhood, moved at his deplorable condition, offered the use of his house; and Abb Cavelier had him removed thither. But there was a tavern hard by, and the patient was tormented with daily and nightly riot. At the height of the fever, a party of Beaujeu's sailors spent a night in singing and dancing before the house; and, says Cavelier, "The more we begged them to be quiet, the more noise they made." La Salle lost reason and well-nigh life; but at length his mind resumed its balance, and the violence of the disease abated. A friendly Capucin friar offered him the shelter of his roof; and two of his men supported him thither on foot, giddy with exhaustion and hot with fever. Here he found repose, and was slowly recovering, when some of his attendants rashly told him the loss of the ketch "St. Fran?ois;" and the consequence was a critical return of the disease.[282]

      lH?pital. They resisted at first, and serious riots

      He then declares that the ships freighted by La Salle were so slow that the "Joly" had continually been forced to wait for them, thus doubling the length of the voyage; that he had not had water enough for the passengers, as La Salle had not told him that there were to be any such till the day they came on board; that great numbers were sick, and that he had told La Salle there would be trouble if he filled all the space between decks with his goods, and forced the soldiers and sailors to sleep on deck; that he had told him he would get no provisions at St. Domingo, but that he insisted on stopping; that it had always been so,that whatever he proposed La Salle would refuse, alleging orders from the King; "and now," pursues the ruffled commander, "everybody is ill; and he himself has a violent fever, as dangerous, the surgeon tells me, to the mind as to the body."Myrtale felt a new emotion. Her heart swelled with affection, and throwing herself into her husbands arms, she covered his face with tears and kisses.


      [142] The change is very recent. Within the memory of men not yet old, wolves and deer, besides wild swans, wild turkeys, cranes, and pelicans, abounded in this region. In 1840, a friend of mine shot a deer from the window of a farmhouse, near the present town of La Salle. Running wolves on horseback was his favorite amusement in this part of the country. The buffalo long ago disappeared; but the early settlers found frequent remains of them. Mr. James Clark, of Utica, Ill., told me that he once found a large quantity of their bones and skulls in one place, as if a herd had perished in the snowdrifts.Not far distant, the conquerors had made a rude fort of trunks, boughs, and roots of trees laid together to form a circular enclosure; and this, too, was garnished with skulls, stuck on the broken branches and protruding sticks. The caches, or subterranean store-houses of the villagers, had been broken open and the contents scattered. The cornfields were laid waste, and much of the corn thrown into heaps and half burned. As La Salle surveyed this scene of havoc, one thought engrossed him: where were Tonty and his men? He searched the Iroquois fort: there were abundant traces of its savage occupants, and, among them, a few fragments of French clothing. [Pg 208] He examined the skulls; but the hair, portions of which clung to nearly all of them, was in every case that of an Indian. Evening came on before he had finished the search. The sun set, and the wilderness sank to its savage rest. Night and silence brooded over the waste, where, far as the raven could wing his flight, stretched the dark domain of solitude and horror.


      Of the arts of ornament not much could have[13] Casgrain, 195-197.


      [11] The Indians, it is well known, ascribe mysterious and supernatural powers to the insane, and respect them accordingly. The Neutral Nation (see Introduction, (p. xliv)) was full of pretended madmen, who raved about the villages, throwing firebrands, and making other displays of frenzy. adds: Lon dit, et il est vrai, que dans ces temps si