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      Joliet sent to find the Mississippi. Marquette.Departure.Green Bay.The Wisconsin.The Mississippi.Indians.Manitous.The Arkansas.The Illinois.Joliet's Misfortune.Marquette at Chicago: his Illness; his Death.


      Beauharnois, governor, to the minister, 1734.Midsummer was near, and there was no time to lose. Yet the moment was most unpropitious, for a Seneca chief had lately been murdered by three scoundrel soldiers of the fort of Montreal; and, while they were undergoing their trial, it became known [Pg 18] that three other Frenchmen had treacherously put to death several Iroquois of the Oneida tribe, in order to get possession of their furs. The whole colony trembled in expectation of a new outbreak of the war. Happily, the event proved otherwise. The authors of the last murder escaped; but the three soldiers were shot at Montreal, in presence of a considerable number of the Iroquois, who declared themselves satisfied with the atonement; and on this same day, the sixth of July, the adventurers began their voyage.


      At this time there lived in Athens a woman of foreign birth named Ninus, who called herself a priestess of the Phrygian god Sabazius. She foretold future events and brewed love-potions, while invoking gods and demons. Rumor said that she had a large number of customers, especially women.[Pg 443]

      These converts rarely took part in the burning of prisoners. On the contrary, they sometimes set their faces against the practice; and on one occasion, a certain tienne Totiri, while his heathen countrymen were tormenting a captive Iroquois at St. Ignace, boldly denounced them, and promised them an eternity of flames and demons, unless they desisted. Not content with this, he addressed an exhortation to the sufferer in one of the intervals of his torture. The dying wretch demanded baptism, which tienne took it upon himself to administer, amid the hootings of the crowd, who, as he ran with a cup of water from a neighboring house, pushed him to and fro to make him spill it, crying out, "Let him alone! Let the devils burn him after we have done!" [4]

      Throwing himself at Xenocles feet, he clasped his knees and with tears in his eyes exclaimed in the most imploring accents: My father, punish me, let me be scourged by your slavesI will offer my back to them myself, but forgive me! Your daughter is dearer to me than the light of my eyes.The colonial finances were not prosperous. In the absence of coin, beaver-skins long served as currency. In 1669, the council declared wheat a legal tender, at four francs the minot or three French bushels; **** and, five years later, all creditors were ordered to receive moose-skins in payment at the market rate. (v) Coin would not remain in the colony. If the company or the king sent any thither, it went back in the returning ships. The government devised a remedy. A coinage was ordered for Canada one-fourth less in value than that of France. Thus the Canadian livre or franc was worth, in reality, fifteen sous instead of twenty. (v*) This shallow expedient produced only a nominal rise of prices, and coin fled the colony as before.


      Myrtale, he said, believe me, a good emotion induced me to return. Consider how free from care my life was in Athens, and what I have risked. Do not make me miserabledo not prematurely reveal263 my secret, so that your father will refuse me his forgiveness! He who has once been free is of no value as a slave.

      The annual volumes of the Jesuit Relations, issuing from the renowned press of Cramoisy, were 191 at this time spread broadcast throughout France; and, in the circles of haute devotion, Canada and its missions were everywhere the themes of enthusiastic discussion; while Champlain, in his published works, had long before pointed out Montreal as the proper site for a settlement. But we are entering a region of miracle, and it is superfluous to look far for explanations. The illusion, in these cases, is a part of the history."Are you Catholics or Lutherans? and is there any one among you who will go to confession?"

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      How can you ask? In Athens I was gay; here I am happy.CHAPTER XIII

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      X.Under the green curtain was seen on each side a184 pair of feet. The sight of these motionless feet aroused an indescribable excitement among the men. At first no one believed his eyes; then all rose from their couches. It was so still that, for the first time in the course of the evening, the water was heard trickling in the fulling-room adjoining.

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