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      THE SIGNAL OF BATTLE.Aunt Maria's broad face softened and her eyes rolled zestfully.

      Pendleton was already at the door of the room. "Are you going to take him single-handed?" queried Pen.[128] Mareuil in N. Y. Col. Docs., ix. 836, text and note. Vaudreuil au Ministre, 14 Novembre, 1709.

      On the eighteenth the English accomplished a feat which promised important results. The 224

      [140] Commission of Colonel Francis Nicholson, 18 May, 1710. Instructions to Colonel Nicholson, same date.It was the nineteenth of May, when Serigny appeared with five ships of war, the "Pelican," the "Palmier," the "Wesp," the "Profond," and the "Violent." The important trading-post of Fort Nelson, called Fort Bourbon by the French, was the destined object of attack. Iberville and Serigny had captured it three years before, but the English had retaken it during the past summer, and, as it commanded the fur-trade of a vast interior 392 region, a strong effort was now to be made for its recovery. Iberville took command of the "Pelican," and his brother of the "Palmier." They sailed from Placentia early in July, followed by two other ships of the squadron, and a vessel carrying stores. Before the end of the month they entered the bay, where they were soon caught among masses of floating ice. The store-ship was crushed and lost, and the rest were in extreme danger. The "Pelican" at last extricated herself, and sailed into the open sea; but her three consorts were nowhere to be seen. Iberville steered for Fort Nelson, which was several hundred miles distant, on the western shore of this dismal inland sea. He had nearly reached it, when three sail hove in sight; and he did not doubt that they were his missing ships. They proved, however, to be English armed merchantmen: the "Hampshire" of fifty-two guns, and the "Daring" and the "Hudson's Bay" of thirty-six and thirty-two. The "Pelican" carried but forty-four, and she was alone. A desperate battle followed, and from half past nine to one o'clock the cannonade was incessant. Iberville kept the advantage of the wind, and, coming at length to close quarters with the "Hampshire," gave her repeated broadsides between wind and water, with such effect that she sank with all on board. He next closed with the "Hudson's Bay," which soon struck her flag; while the "Daring" made sail, and escaped. The "Pelican" was badly damaged in hull, masts, and rigging; and the increasing fury of a gale from 393 the east made her position more critical every hour. She anchored, to escape being driven ashore; but the cables parted, and she was stranded about two leagues from the fort. Here, racked by the waves and the tide, she split amidships; but most of the crew reached land with their weapons and ammunition. The northern winter had already begun, and the snow lay a foot deep in the forest. Some of them died from cold and exhaustion, and the rest built huts and kindled fires to warm and dry themselves. Food was so scarce that their only hope of escape from famishing seemed to lie in a desperate effort to carry the fort by storm, but now fortune interposed. The three ships they had left behind in the ice arrived with all the needed succors. Men, cannon, and mortars were sent ashore, and the attack began.

      V1 yet the English authorities did not at first suspect that they were hounded on by their priests, under the direction of the Governor of Canada, and with the privity of the Minister at Versailles. More than this; for, looking across the sea, we find royalty itself lending its august countenance to the machination. Among the letters read before the King in his cabinet in May, 1750, was one from Desherbiers, then commanding at Louisbourg, saying that he was advising the Acadians not to take the oath of allegiance to the King of England; another from Le Loutre, declaring that he and Father Germain were consulting together how to disgust the English with their enterprise of Halifax; and a third from the Intendant, Bigot, announcing that Le Loutre was using the Indians to harass the new settlement, and that he himself was sending them powder, lead, and merchandise, "to confirm them in their good designs." [81]Never was dispute more untimely than that between these ill-matched colleagues. The position of the colony was desperate. Thus far the Canadians had never lost heart, but had obeyed with admirable alacrity the Governor's call to arms, borne with patience the burdens and privations of the war, and submitted without revolt to the exactions and oppressions of Cadet and his crew; loyal to their native soil, loyal to their Church, loyal to the wretched government that crushed and belittled them. When the able-bodied were ordered to the war, where 170

      On the thirtieth they reached the Great Miami, called by the French, Rivire la Roche; and here Cloron buried the last of his leaden plates. They now bade farewell to the Ohio, or, in the words of the chaplain, to "La Belle Rivire,that river so little known to the French, and unfortunately too well known to the English." He speaks of the multitude of Indian villages on its shores, and still more on its northern branches. "Each, great or small, has one or more English traders, and each of these has hired men to carry his furs. Behold, then, the English well advanced upon our lands, and, what is worse, under the 51

      From this part of the shore [618] a plain covered with forest stretched northwestward half a mile or more to the mountains behind which lay the valley of Trout Brook. On this plain the army began its march in four columns, with the intention of passing round the western bank of the river of the outlet, since the bridge over it had been destroyed. Rogers, with the provincial regiments of Fitch 95


      For she knew her respite was only momentary. She longed for and dreaded what awaited her at the end of her walk. She couldn't give herself up to Don as she could to the moon. She had to put on another mask for him. A mask of cheer. He was her charge that she had to watch over and care for and beguile into contentment. The fact that he hotly resented being a charge on her did not make her task any easier. They had been getting on each other's nerves a good deal.The Sir John mentioned by Forbes was the quartermaster-general, Sir John Sinclair, who had gone forward with Virginians and other troops from the camp of Bouquet to make the road over the main range of the Alleghanies, whence he sent back the following memorandum of his requirements: "Pickaxes, crows, and shovels; likewise more whiskey. Send me the newspapers, and tell my black to send me a candlestick and half a loaf of sugar." He was extremely inefficient; and Forbes, out of all patience with him, wrote confidentially to Bouquet that his only talent was for throwing everything into confusion. Yet he found fault with everybody else, and would discharge volleys of oaths at all who met his disapproval. From this cause or some other, Lieutenant-Colonel Stephen, of the Virginians, told him that he would break his sword rather than be longer under his 139


      Her opportunity came when one of Riever's men came to ask if he had any orders for the boat. It was returning to the Island to get the regular mail which arrived about noon.


      He had already warned Monro to expect no help from him. At midnight of the fourth, Captain Bartman, his aide-de-camp, wrote: "The General has ordered me to acquaint you he does not think it prudent to attempt a junction or to assist you till reinforced by the militia of the colonies, for the immediate march of which repeated expresses have been sent." The letter then declared that the French were in complete possession of the road between the two forts, that a prisoner just brought in reported their force in men and cannon to be very great, and that, unless the militia came soon, 503