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      [22] La Potherie, II. 159 (ed. 1722). Perrot himself, in his M?urs des Sauvages, briefly mentions the incident.Early in the morning, they embarked again, and proceeded to a village of the Arkansas tribe, about eight leagues below. Notice of their coming was sent before them by their late hosts; and as they drew near they were met by a canoe, in the prow of which stood a naked personage, holding a calumet, singing, and making gestures of friendship. On reaching the village, which was on the east side,[59] opposite the mouth of the river Arkansas, they were conducted to a sort of scaffold, before the lodge of the war-chief. The space beneath had been prepared for their reception, the ground being neatly covered with rush mats. On these they were seated; the warriors sat around them in a semi-circle; then the elders of the tribe; and then the promiscuous crowd of villagers, standing, and staring over the heads of the more dignified members of the assembly. All the men were naked; but, to compensate for the lack of clothing, they wore strings of beads in their noses and ears. The women were clothed in shabby skins, and wore their hair clumped in a mass behind each [Pg 73] ear. By good luck, there was a young Indian in the village, who had an excellent knowledge of Illinois; and through him Marquette endeavored to explain the mysteries of Christianity, and to gain information concerning the river below. To this end he gave his auditors the presents indispensable on such occasions, but received very little in return. They told him that the Mississippi was infested by hostile Indians, armed with guns procured from white men; and that they, the Arkansas, stood in such fear of them that they dared not hunt the buffalo, but were forced to live on Indian corn, of which they raised three crops a year.


      Seven ounces of pounded pease were now the daily food of each; and, at the end of May, even this failed. Men, women, and children betook themselves to the woods, gathering acorns and grubbing up roots. Those of the plant called Solomon's seal were most in request. Some joined the Hurons or the Algonquins; some wandered towards the Abenakis of Maine; some descended in a boat to Gaspe, trusting to meet a French fishing-vessel. There was scarcely one who would not have hailed the English as deliverers. But the English had sailed home with their booty, and the season was so late that there was little prospect of their return. Forgotten alike by friends and foes, Quebec was on the verge of extinction.

      The new and perilous mission of the Tobacco Nation fell to Garnier and Jogues. They were well chosen; and yet neither of them was robust by nature, in body or mind, though Jogues was noted for personal activity. The Tobacco Nation lay at the distance of a two days' journey from the Huron towns, among the mountains at the head of Nottawassaga Bay. The two missionaries tried to find a guide at Ossossan; but none would go with them, and they set forth on their wild and unknown pilgrimage alone.The company turned a deal ear to his appeals. They had lost money in Canada, and were grievously out of humor with it. In their view, the first duty of a governor was to collect their debts, which, for more reasons than one, was no easy task. While they did nothing to aid the colony in its distress, they beset Argenson with demands for the thousand pounds of beaver-skins, which the inhabitants had agreed to send them every year, in return for the privilege of the fur trade, a privilege which the Iroquois war made for the present worthless. The perplexed governor vents his feelings in sarcasm. They (the company) take no pains to learn the truth; and, when they hear of settlers carried off and burned by the Iroquois, they will think it a punishment for not settling old debts, and paying over the beaver-skins. * I wish, he adds, they would send somebody to look after their affairs here. I would gladly give him the same lodging and entertainment as my own.

      Abb Faillon, the learned author of "La Colonie Fran?aise en Canada," has sent me copies of various documents found by him, including family papers of La Salle. Among others who in various ways have aided my inquiries are Dr. John Paul, of Ottawa, Ill.; Count Adolphe de Circourt, and M. Jules Marcou, of Paris; M. A. Grin Lajoie, Assistant Librarian of the Canadian Parliament; M. J. M. Le Moine, of Quebec; General Dix, Minister of the United States at the Court of France; O. H. Marshall, of Buffalo; J. G. Shea, of New York; Buckingham Smith, of St. Augustine; and Colonel Thomas Aspinwall, of Boston.

      [38] See La Potherie, ii. 125. Perrot himself does not mention it. Charlevoix erroneously places this interview at Chicago. Perrot's narrative shows that he did not go farther than the tribes of Green Bay; and the Miamis were then, as we have seen, on the upper part of Fox River.

      one for Montreal. * It may well be believed that there was in Canada little capital and little enterprise. Industrially and commercially, the colony was almost dead. Talon set himself to galvanize it; and, if one man could have supplied the intelligence and energy of a whole community, the results would have been triumphant.


      Opinion was divided as to the nature of the pest; but the greater number were agreed that it was a malignant oki, who came from Lake Huron. [15] As it was of the last moment to conciliate or frighten him, no means to these ends were neglected. Feasts were held for him, at which, to do him honor, each guest gorged himself like a vulture. A mystic fraternity danced with firebrands in their mouths; while other dancers wore masks, and pretended to be hump-backed. Tobacco was burned to the Demon of the Pest, no less than to the scarecrows which were to frighten him. A chief climbed to the roof of a house, and shouted to the invisible monster, "If you want flesh, go to our enemies, go to the Iroquois!"while, to add terror to persuasion, the crowd in the dwelling below yelled with all the force of their lungs, and beat furiously with sticks on the walls of bark.


      the St. Lawrence are to a great extent formed of beds of