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      No one remembered having heard anything like it; no one knew what it was. But, from the people who came thronging up, it was soon learned that the noise had been just as loud inside the most closely shut rooms in the houses as in the open market-place and just as near and distinct in each remote part of the city, nay even on the ships in the port. The crews of the vessels declared that the sound came from the water.

      So the talk went on and the most contradictory opinions were expressed. The dispute was not yet over at the approach of sunset.

      At Ossossan, the house of the Jesuits no longer served the double purpose of dwelling and chapel. In 1638, they had in their pay twelve artisans and laborers, sent up from Quebec, [4] who had built, before the close of the year, a chapel of wood. [5] Hither they removed their pictures and ornaments; and here, in winter, several fires were kept burning, for the comfort of the half-naked converts. [6] Of these they now had at Ossossan about sixty,a large, though evidently not a very solid nucleus for the Huron church,and they labored hard and anxiously to confirm and multiply them. Of a Sunday morning in winter, one could have seen them coming to mass, often from a considerable distance, "as naked," says Lalemant, "as your hand, except a skin over their backs like a mantle, and, in the coldest weather, a few skins around 133 their feet and legs." They knelt, mingled with the French mechanics, before the altar,very awkwardly at first, for the posture was new to them,and all received the sacrament together: a spectacle which, as the missionary chronicler declares, repaid a hundred times all the labor of their conversion. [7][1] The following is the acte de naissance, discovered by Margry in the registres de l'tat civil, Paroisse St. Herbland, Rouen: "Le vingt-deuxime jour de novembre, 1643, a t baptis Robert Cavelier, fils de honorable homme Jean Cavelier et de Catherine Geest; ses parrain et marraine honorables personnes Nicolas Geest et Marguerite Morice."

      "My husband, yes," said Anna, so quietly that the sister and stepmother exulted in her. As quietly her eyes held the doctor's, and his hers, while the colour mounted to her brow. He spoke:For ladies' funerals, we say, mortars and siege-guns, as a rule, do not pause. But here at Vicksburg there was an hour near the end of each day when the foe, for some mercy to themselves, ceased to bombard, and in one of these respites that procession ventured forth in which rode the fevered Anna: a farm wagon, a battered family coach, a carryall or two.

      [7] Compare Juchereau, Histoire de l'H?tel-Dieu, 79, 80.

      Ninus was silent for a time, then going close to the muffled form she asked in a whisper:


      Both reason and tradition point to the conclusion, that the Iroquois formed originally one undivided people. Sundered, like countless other tribes, by dissension, caprice, or the necessities of the hunter life, they separated into five distinct nations, cantoned from east to west along the centre of New York, in the following order: Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas. There was discord among them; wars followed, and they lived in mutual fear, each ensconced in its palisaded villages. At length, says tradition, a celestial being, incarnate on earth, counselled them to compose their strife and unite in a league of defence and aggression. Another personage, wholly mortal, yet wonderfully endowed, a renowned warrior and a mighty magician, stands, with his hair of writhing snakes, grotesquely conspicuous through the dim light of tradition at this birth of Iroquois nationality. This was Atotarho, a chief of the Onondagas; and from this honored source has sprung a lv long line of chieftains, heirs not to the blood alone, but to the name of their great predecessor. A few years since, there lived in Onondaga Hollow a handsome Indian boy on whom the dwindled remnant of the nation looked with pride as their destined Atotarho. With earthly and celestial aid the league was consummated, and through all the land the forests trembled at the name of the Iroquois.



      CHAPTER XXII.At length they descried at a distance, on the stormy shore, two or three eagles among a busy [Pg 160] congregation of crows or turkey buzzards. They paddled in all haste to the spot. The feasters took flight; and the starved travellers found the mangled body of a deer, lately killed by the wolves. This good luck proved the inauguration of plenty. As they approached the head of the lake, game grew abundant; and, with the aid of the Mohegan, there was no lack of bear's meat and venison. They found wild grapes, too, in the woods, and gathered them by cutting down the trees to which the vines clung.