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Yet he was full of doubt as to what he should do. Four days after rejoining Beaujeu, he wrote him the [Pg 377] strange request to land the troops, that he "might fulfil his commission;" that is, that he might set out against the Spaniards. More than a week passed, a gale had set in, and nothing was done. Then La Salle wrote again, intimating some doubt as to whether he was really at one of the mouths of the Mississippi, and saying that, being sure that he had passed the principal mouth, he was determined to go back to look for it. Meanwhile, Beaujeu was in a state of great irritation. The weather was stormy, and the coast was dangerous. Supplies were scanty; and La Salle's soldiers, still crowded in the "Joly," were consuming the provisions of the ship. Beaujeu gave vent to his annoyance, and La Salle retorted in the same strain.Myrmex, he whispered, hurry down to the house of Sauros, the armorer. Ask for Ninus, the priestess of Sabazius, and let her see that the young lady and her slave return home at once without being seen. Look, here is money.
The Huron chiefs were summoned to a great council, to discuss the state of the nation. The crisis demanded all their wisdom; for, while the continued ravages of disease threatened them with annihilation, the Iroquois scalping-parties infested the outskirts of their towns, and murdered them in their fields and forests. The assembly met in August, 1637; and the Jesuits, knowing their deep stake in its deliberations, failed not to be present, with a liberal gift of wampum, to show their sympathy in the public calamities. In private, they sought to gain the good-will of the deputies, one by one; but though they were successful in some cases, the result on the whole was far from hopeful.One of these veterans made a parting present to his guests of two young eagles, and Ottigny and his followers returned to report what they had seen. Laudonniere was waiting for them on the side of the hill; and now, he says, "I went right to the toppe thereof, where we found nothing else but Cedars, Palme, and Baytrees of so sovereigne odour that Baulme smelleth nothing like in comparison." From this high standpoint they surveyed their Canaan. The unruffled river lay before them, with its marshy islands overgrown with sedge and bulrushes; while on the farther side the flat, green meadows spread mile on mile, veined with countless creeks and belts of torpid water, and bounded leagues away by the verge of the dim pine forest. On the right, the sea glistened along the horizon; and on the left, the St. John's stretched westward between verdant shores, a highway to their fancied Eldorado. "Briefly," writes Laudonniere, "the place is so pleasant that those which are melancholicke would be inforced to change their humour."
The beginning was not hopeful; but the Jesuits persevered, and at length established their seminary on a firm basis. The Marquis de Gamache had given the Society six thousand crowns for founding a college at Quebec. In 1637, a year before the building of Harvard College, the Jesuits began a wooden structure in the rear of the fort; and here, within one inclosure, was the Huron seminary and the college for French boys.PERSECUTION.
This company prospered as little as the rest of Colberts"I thought you were men; I thought you would hold fast to your word: but I find you children, without truth. You call yourselves my friends, yet you break faith with me. Still I would not incommode you; and if you cannot give me four canoes, two will Serve."
A glimmer of his former mirthful spirit sparkled in Simonides small brown eyes.