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After a time he was permitted to return to Quebec, where he met an English Franciscan, who, he says, had been sent from France to aid in converting the prisoners. Lest the minister should counteract the[Pg 83] efforts of the friar, the priests had him sent back to Chateau Richer; "but," he observes, "God showed his dislike of such a persecuting spirit; for the very next day the Seminary, a very famous building, was most of it burnt down, by a joiner letting a coal of fire drop among the shavings."
The attack on Canada by way of the Hudson and Lake Champlain was to have been commanded by Lord Lovelace or some officer of his choice; but as he was dead, Ingoldsby, his successor in the government of the province, jointly with the governors of several adjacent colonies who had met at New York, appointed Colonel Nicholson in his stead. Nicholson[Pg 140] went to Albany, whence, with about fifteen hundred men, he moved up the Hudson, built a stockade fort opposite Saratoga, and another at the spot known as the Great Carrying Place. This latter he called Fort Nicholson,a name which it afterwards exchanged for that of Fort Lydius, and later still for that of Fort Edward, which the town that occupies the site owns to this day. Thence he cut a rough roadway through the woods to where Wood Creek, choked with beaver dams, writhed through flat green meadows, walled in by rock and forest. Here he built another fort, which was afterwards rebuilt and named Fort Anne. Wood Creek led to Lake Champlain, and Lake Champlain to Chambly and Montreal,the objective points of the expedition. All was astir at the camp. Flat-boats and canoes were made, and stores brought up from Albany, till everything was ready for an advance the moment word should come that the British fleet had reached Boston. Vetch, all impatience, went thither to meet it, as if his presence could hasten its arrival.176
"Open the door or I'll smash it in!"
She was not alone in this strange transformation. Eunice Williams, the namesake of her slaughtered mother, remained in the wigwams of the Caughnawagas, forgot, as we have seen, her English and her catechism, was baptized, and in due time married to an Indian of the tribe, who thenceforward called himself Williams. Thus her hybrid children bore her family name. Her father, who returned to his parish at Deerfield, and her brother Stephen, who became a minister like his parent, never ceased to pray for her return to her country and her faith.[Pg 91] Many years after, in 1740, she came with her husband to visit her relatives in Deerfield, dressed as a squaw and wrapped in an Indian blanket. Nothing would induce her to stay, though she was persuaded on one occasion to put on a civilized dress and go to church; after which she impatiently discarded her gown and resumed her blanket. As she was kindly treated by her relatives, and as no attempt was made to detain her against her will, she came again in the next year, bringing two of her half-breed children, and twice afterwards repeated the visit. She and her husband were offered a tract of land if they would settle in New England; but she positively refused, saying that it would endanger her soul. She lived to a great age, a squaw to the last."You are not listening! ... You must keep on up the stream until you come to a clearing on the right-hand side. Up at the top of the rise there used to be a negro cabin. But it burned down. Only the chimney is standing. Don't pitch your tent in the clearing. It would be too conspicuous. Conceal it in the brush across the stream. I can reach you there direct from the fields. If I can't find you I'll whistle like a whip-poor-will. And you answer."
V1 they descended the main river, and ascended such of its numerous tributaries as were navigable. They were bold and enterprising; and French writers, with alarm and indignation, declare that some of them had crossed the Mississippi and traded with the distant Osages. It is said that about three hundred of them came over the mountains every year."Will you accept it?" he murmured.
V2 some of the fleet would return to England, but they should have a dismal tale to carry with them; for Canada should be the grave of the whole army, and he expected in a short time to see the walls of Quebec ornamented with English scalps.' Had it not been in obedience to the Admiral, who gave orders that he should not be ill-used, he would certainly have been thrown overboard." The master of the transport was an old sailor named Killick, who despised the whole Gallic race, and had no mind to see his ship in charge of a Frenchman. "He would not let the pilot speak," continues Knox, "but fixed his mate at the helm, charged him not to take orders from any person but himself, and going forward with his trumpet to the forecastle, gave the necessary instructions. All that could be said by the commanding officer and the other gentlemen on board was to no purpose; the pilot declared we should be lost, for that no French ship ever presumed to pass there without a pilot. 'Ay, ay, my dear,' replied our son of Neptune, 'but, damn me, I'll convince you that an Englishman shall go where a Frenchman dare not show his nose.' The 'Richmond' frigate being close astern of us, the commanding officer called out to the captain and told him our case; he inquired who the master was, and was answered from the forecastle by the man himself, who told him 'he was old Killick, and that was enough.' I went forward with this experienced mariner, who pointed out the channel to me as we passed; showing me by the ripple and color of the water where there was any danger, and distinguishing 206