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      Before embarking, he set out with the Jesuit Poncet, who was also destined for Canada, on a pilgrimage from Rome to the shrine of Our Lady of Loretto. They journeyed on foot, begging alms 105 by the way. Chaumonot was soon seized with a pain in the knee, so violent that it seemed impossible to proceed. At San Severino, where they lodged with the Barnabites, he bethought him of asking the intercession of a certain poor woman of that place, who had died some time before with the reputation of sanctity. Accordingly he addressed to her his prayer, promising to publish her fame on every possible occasion, if she would obtain his cure from God. [5] The intercession was accepted; the offending limb became sound again, and the two pilgrims pursued their journey. They reached Loretto, and, kneeling before the Queen of Heaven, implored her favor and aid; while Chaumonot, overflowing with devotion to this celestial mistress of his heart, conceived the purpose of building in Canada a chapel to her honor, after the exact model of the Holy House of Loretto. They soon afterwards embarked together, and arrived among the Hurons early in the autumn of 1639.The chief of the Iroquois, Kiotsaton, a tall savage, 285 covered from head to foot with belts of wampum, stood erect in the prow of the sail-boat which had brought him and his companions from Richelieu, and in a loud voice announced himself as the accredited envoy of his nation. The boat fired a swivel, the fort replied with a cannon-shot, and the envoys landed in state. Kiotsaton and his colleague were conducted to the room of the commandant, where, seated on the floor, they were regaled sumptuously, and presented in due course with pipes of tobacco. They had never before seen anything so civilized, and were delighted with their entertainment. "We are glad to see you," said Champfleur to Kiotsaton; "you may be sure that you are safe here. It is as if you were among your own people, and in your own house."

      [Pg 90]CHAPTER XIII.

      They soon reached the Assonis, a tribe near the Sabine, who received them well, and gave them guides to the nations dwelling towards Red River. [Pg 452] On the twenty-third, they approached a village, the inhabitants of which, regarding them as curiosities of the first order, came out in a body to see them; and, eager to do them honor, they required them to mount on their backs, and thus make their entrance in procession. Joutel, being large and heavy, weighed down his bearer, insomuch that two of his countrymen were forced to sustain him, one on each side. On arriving, an old chief washed their faces with warm water from an earthen pan, and then invited them to mount on a scaffold of canes, where they sat in the hot sun listening to four successive speeches of welcome, of which they understood not a word.[337]

      he adds, this obstacle to the speedy building up of the

      Thus it appeared that the fortune of war did not always smile even on the Iroquois. Indeed, if there is faith in Indian tradition, there had been a time, scarcely half a century past, when the Mohawks, perhaps the fiercest and haughtiest of the confederate nations, had been nearly destroyed by the Algonquins, whom they now held in contempt. [2] This people, whose inferiority arose chiefly from the want of that compact organization in which lay the strength of the Iroquois, had not lost their ancient warlike spirit; and they had one champion of whom even the audacious confederates stood in awe. His name was Piskaret; and he dwelt on that great island in the Ottawa of 279 which Le Borgne was chief. He had lately turned Christian, in the hope of French favor and countenance,always useful to an ambitious Indian,and perhaps, too, with an eye to the gun and powder-horn which formed the earthly reward of the convert. [3] Tradition tells marvellous stories of his exploits. Once, it is said, he entered an Iroquois town on a dark night. His first care was to seek out a hiding-place, and he soon found one in the midst of a large wood-pile. [4] Next he crept into a lodge, and, finding the inmates asleep, killed them with his war-club, took their scalps, and quietly withdrew to the retreat he had prepared. In the morning a howl of lamentation and fury rose from the astonished villagers. They ranged the fields and forests in vain pursuit of the mysterious enemy, who remained all day in the wood-pile, whence, at midnight, he came forth and repeated his former exploit. On the third night, every family placed its sentinels; and Piskaret, stealthily creeping from lodge to lodge, and reconnoitring each through crevices in the bark, saw watchers everywhere. At length he descried a sentinel who had fallen asleep near the entrance of a lodge, though his companion at the other end was still awake and vigilant. He pushed aside the sheet of bark that served as a door, struck the sleeper a deadly blow, yelled his war-cry, and fled 280 like the wind. All the village swarmed out in furious chase; but Piskaret was the swiftest runner of his time, and easily kept in advance of his pursuers. When daylight came, he showed himself from time to time to lure them on, then yelled defiance, and distanced them again. At night, all but six had given over the chase; and even these, exhausted as they were, had begun to despair. Piskaret, seeing a hollow tree, crept into it like a bear, and hid himself; while the Iroquois, losing his traces in the dark, lay down to sleep near by. At midnight he emerged from his retreat, stealthily approached his slumbering enemies, nimbly brained them all with his war-club, and then, burdened with a goodly bundle of scalps, journeyed homeward in triumph. [5]


      [93] This puts the character of Perrot in a new light; for it is not likely that any other can be meant than the famous voyageur. I have found no mention elsewhere of the synonyme of Jolyc?ur. Poisoning was the current crime of the day, and persons of the highest rank had repeatedly been charged with it. The following is the passage:THE ILLINOIS TOWN.


      [21] Histoire de la Colonie Fran?aise, I. 291, 292. mode of encamping. See Mass. Hist. Coll., first series, I.


      "Father," he said, "I know my duty, and I beg you will leave me to do it. I, with my sword, have hopes of paradise, as well as you with your breviary. Show me my path to heaven. I will show you yours on earth."