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      208 Charicleia raised her dark eyes to his and replied by a pressure of the hand that meant: And havent I the best and handsomest of husbands?A faint smile flitted over Ninus pallid features.



      The great gathering dispersed: the traders descended to Tadoussac, and Champlain to Quebec; while the Indians went, some to their homes, some to fight the Iroquois. A few months later, Champlain was in close conference with De Monts at Pons, a place near Rochelle, of which the latter was governor. The last two years had made it apparent, that, to keep the colony alive and maintain a basis for those discoveries on which his heart was bent, was impossible without a change of system. De Monts, engrossed with the cares of his government, placed all in the hands of his associate; and Champlain, fully empowered to act as he should judge expedient, set out for Paris. On the way, Fortune, at one stroke, wellnigh crushed him and New France together; for his horse fell on him, and he narrowly escaped with life. When he was partially recovered, he resumed his journey, pondering on means of rescue for the fading colony. A powerful protector must be had,a great name to shield the enterprise from assaults and intrigues of jealous rival interests. On reaching Paris he addressed himself to a prince of the blood, Charles de Bourbon, Comte de Soissons; described New France, its resources, and its boundless extent; urged the need of unfolding a mystery pregnant perhaps with results of the deepest moment; laid before him maps and memoirs, and begged him to become the guardian of this new world. The royal consent being obtained, the Comte de Soissons became Lieutenant-General for the King in New France, with vice-regal powers. These, in turn, he conferred upon Champlain, making him his lieutenant, with full control over the trade in furs at and above Quebec, and with power to associate with himself such persons as he saw fit, to aid in the exploration and settlement of the country.

      [127] Lettre de La Salle, 22 Ao?t, 1682 (Margry, ii. 197); Relation de Tonty, 1684 (Ibid., i. 577). He called this new post Fort Conti. It was burned some months after, by the carelessness of the sergeant in command, and was the first of a succession of forts on this historic spot.


      Again Aristeides looked at Lycon, but this time not accidentally.Chevalier, captain of the ill-omened bark, was entertained with a hospitality little deserved, since, having been intrusted with sundry hams, fruits, spices, sweetmeats, jellies, and other dainties, sent by the generous De Monts to his friends of New France, he with his crew had devoured them on the voyage, alleging that, in their belief, the inmates of Port Royal would all be dead before their arrival.

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      Suddenly the street was illumined by a broad ray of light and, though Hipyllos shadow, gigantic and strangely distorted, fell on the wall and the loop-hole it was not difficult for the new-comers to see that he was in the act of pressing his lips upon a dazzlingly white arm, which vainly strove to escape the caress.

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      Hearing the wails reminded Hipyllos that the eleven were in the habit of going at sundown to the prison to loose the chains of the condemned criminal and inform him that his last hour had come. The hapless man then took a bath, and was afterwards compelled to drink a goblet of hemlock juice and pace up and down the narrow room until his limbs grew cold under him. Then he was obliged to lie down on the couch, cover his face, and await death. It was during this torturing expectation that even the strongest man uttered lamentations.[268] While the plan, as proposed in the memorial, was clearly impracticable, the subsequent experience of the French in Texas tended to prove that the tribes of that region could be used with advantage in attacking the Spaniards of Mexico, and that an inroad on a comparatively small scale might have been successfully made with their help. In 1689, Tonty actually made the attempt, as we shall see, but failed, from the desertion of his men. In 1697, the Sieur de Louvigny wrote to the Minister of the Marine, asking to complete La Salle's discoveries, and invade Mexico from Texas. (Lettre de M. de Louvigny, 14 Oct., 1697.) In an unpublished memoir of the year 1700, the seizure of the Mexican mines is given as one of the motives of the colonization of Louisiana.


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