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      Trees were felled, the place cleared, and the master-carpenter set his ship-builders at work. Meanwhile, two Mohegan hunters, attached to the party, made bark wigwams to lodge the men. Hennepin had his chapel, apparently of the same material, where he placed his altar, and on Sundays and saints' days said mass, preached, and exhorted; while some of the men, who knew the Gregorian chant, lent their aid at the service. When the carpenters were ready to lay the keel of the vessel, La Salle asked the friar to drive the first bolt; "but the modesty of my religious profession," he says, "compelled me to decline this honor."


      l'H?tel-Dieu de Qubec, 126 and Journal des Jsuites 282.

      [15] Vimont, Relation, 1645, 28.

      On the way down from the hill I met Mr. James Clark, the principal inhabitant of Utica, and one of the earliest settlers of this region. I accosted him, told him my objects, and requested [Pg 240] a half hour's conversation with him, at his leisure. He seemed interested in the inquiry, and said he would visit me early in the evening at the inn, where, accordingly, he soon appeared. The conversation took place in the porch, where a number of farmers and others were gathered. I asked Mr. Clark if any Indian remains were found in the neighborhood. "Yes," he replied, "plenty of them." I then inquired if there was any one spot where they were more numerous than elsewhere. "Yes," he answered again, pointing towards the farmhouse on the meadow; "on my farm down yonder by the river, my tenant ploughs up teeth and bones by the peck every spring, besides arrow-heads, beads, stone hatchets, and other things of that sort." I replied that this was precisely what I had expected, as I had been led to believe that the principal town of the Illinois Indians once covered that very spot. "If," I added, "I am right in this belief, the great rock beyond the river is the one which the first explorers occupied as a fort; and I can describe it to you from their accounts of it, though I have never seen it, except from the top of the hill where the trees on and around it prevented me from seeing any part but the front." The men present now gathered around to listen. "The rock," I continued, "is nearly a hundred and fifty feet high, and rises directly from the water. The front and two sides are perpendicular and inaccessible; but there is one place where it is possible for a man to climb up, though with difficulty. The top is large enough and level enough for houses and fortifications." Here several of the men exclaimed: "That's just it." "You've hit it exactly." I then asked if there was any other rock on that side of the river which could answer to the description. They all agreed that there was no such rock on either side, along the whole length of the river. I then said: "If the Indian town was in the place where I suppose it to have been, I can tell you the nature of the country which lies behind the hills on the farther side of the river, though I know nothing about it except what I have learned from writings nearly two centuries old. From the top of the hills, you look out upon a great prairie reaching as far as you can see, except that it is crossed by a belt of woods, following the course of a stream [Pg 241] which enters the main river a few miles below." (See ante, p. 221, note.) "You are exactly right again," replied Mr. Clark; "we call that belt of timber the 'Vermilion Woods,' and the stream is the Big Vermilion." "Then," I said, "the Big Vermilion is the river which the French called the Aramoni; 'Starved Rock' is the same on which they built a fort called St. Louis, in the year 1682; and your farm is on the site of the great town of the Illinois."That is the orator, Philopator, replied the person addressed, with a scornful emphasis on the word orator.


      general to satisfy either party.

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      Jean Guion before Monsieur de Beauport

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      Do you think so? said Lycon, smiling. I will gladly stay, if you believe that I can serve you.died; and others languished for want of help, for their comrades shrank from entering the infected dens where they lay. In their extremity some of them devised an ingenious expedient. Though they had nothing to bequeath, they made wills in which they left imaginary sums of money to those who had befriended them, and thenceforth they found no lack of nursing.

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      slides have taken place on a great scale is very distinct atLa Salle had asked for sole command of the expedition, with a subaltern officer, and one or two pilots to sail the vessels as he should direct. Instead of complying, Seignelay gave the command of the vessels to Beaujeu, a captain of the royal navy,whose authority was restricted to their management at sea, while La Salle was to prescribe the route they were to take, and have entire control of the troops and colonists on land.[275] This arrangement displeased both parties. Beaujeu, an old and experienced officer, was galled that a civilian should be set over him,and he, too, a burgher lately ennobled; nor was La Salle the man to soothe his ruffled spirit. Detesting a divided command, cold, reserved, and [Pg 354] impenetrable, he would have tried the patience of a less excitable colleague. Beaujeu, on his part, though set to a task which he disliked, seems to have meant to do his duty, and to have been willing at the outset to make the relations between himself and his unwelcome associate as agreeable as possible. Unluckily, La Salle discovered that the wife of Beaujeu was devoted to the Jesuits. We have seen the extreme distrust with which he regarded these guides of his youth, and he seems now to have fancied that Beaujeu was their secret ally. Possibly, he suspected that information of his movements would be given to the Spaniards; more probably, he had undefined fears of adverse machinations. Granting that such existed, it was not his interest to stimulate them by needlessly exasperating the naval commander. His deportment, however, was not conciliating; and Beaujeu, prepared to dislike him, presently lost temper. While the vessels still lay at Rochelle; while all was bustle and preparation; while stores, arms, and munitions were embarking; while boys and vagabonds were enlisting as soldiers for the expedition,Beaujeu was venting his disgust in long letters to the minister.


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