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      Pen was sharply recalled to the necessity for action. "Well, what are you going to do?" she asked quietly.

      Monckton sent accordingly to all the neighboring settlements, commanding the male inhabitants to meet him at Beausjour. Scarcely a third part of their number obeyed. These arrived on the tenth, and were told to stay all night under the guns of the fort. What then befell them will appear from an entry in the diary of Winslow under date of August eleventh: "This day was one extraordinary to the inhabitants of Tantemar, 255[511] Frye, Journal of the Attack of Fort William Henry. Webb to Loudon, 1 Aug. 1757. Ibid., 5 Aug. 1757.

      "That's something," said Pen."I suppose so," he said sullenly.

      "Oh Pen, I hate skulking!"The regulars on the other side of the fort, roused by the noise, sprang to arms and hastened to the spot. They were met by a volley, which laid some fifty of them on the ground, and drove back the rest in disorder. They rallied and attacked again; on which, Schuyler, greatly outnumbered, withdrew his men to a neighboring ravine, where he once 291 more repulsed his assailants, and, as he declares, drove them into the fort with great loss. By this time it was daylight. The English, having struck their blow, slowly fell back, hacking down the corn in the fields, as it was still too green for burning, and pausing at the edge of the woods, where their Indians were heard for some time uttering frightful howls, and shouting to the French that they were not men, but dogs. Why the invaders were left to retreat unmolested, before a force more than double their own, does not appear. The helpless condition of Callires and the death of Saint-Cirque, his second in command, scarcely suffice to explain it. Schuyler retreated towards his canoes, moving, at his leisure, along the forest path that led to Chambly. Tried by the standard of partisan war, his raid had been a success. He had inflicted great harm and suffered little; but the affair was not yet ended.

      All afternoon she was filled with an excitement that was neither wholly pleasurable nor painful. Her heart would keep rising in her throat, and stern discipline was required to put it down. Finally she red up the house. She lingered in the guest-room her hand caressing the white spread, while she debated whether she might ask him to spend the night. She foresaw her father's look of disapproval but that did not influence her much. But she decided against it with a firm shake of the head. "Only prolong the agony," she said to herself, with her little smile of self-mockery.

      [616] See Appendix G.[Pg 42]At Wells and other outlying and endangered hamlets life was still exceedingly rude. The log-cabins of the least thrifty were no better furnished than Indian wigwams. The house of Edmond Littlefield, reputed the richest man in Wells, consisted of two bedrooms and a kitchen, which last served a great variety of uses, and was supplied with a table, a pewter pot, a frying-pan, and a skillet; but no chairs, cups, saucers, knives, forks, or spoons. In each of the two bedrooms there was a bed, a blanket, and a chest. Another village notableEnsign John Barrettwas better provided, being the possessor of two beds, two chests and a box, four pewter dishes, four earthen pots, two iron pots, seven trays, two buckets, some pieces of wooden-ware, a skillet, and a frying-pan. In the inventory of the patriarchal Francis Littlefield, who died in 1712, we find the exceptional items of one looking-glass, two old chairs, and two old books. Such of the family as had no bed slept on hay or straw, and no provision for the toilet is recorded.[46]


      [47] On these attacks on the frontier of Maine, Penhallow, who well knew the country and the people, is the best authority. Niles, in his Indian and French Wars, copies him without acknowledgment, but not without blunders. As regards the attack on Wells, what particulars we have are mainly due to the research of the indefatigable Bourne. Compare Belknap, i. 330; Folsom, History of Saco and Biddeford, 198; Coll. Maine Hist. Soc., iii. 140, 348; Williamson, History of Maine, ii. 42. Beaubassin is called "Bobasser" in most of the English accounts.


      "Anyhow, it doesn't alter things," he said. "I've got to go back. They couldn't send an innocent man to the chair."