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      Before he had left the guest-room he remembered that during his restless sleep he had had a dream. In his childhood he had often seen a little boy, the son of poor parents, known by the name of unlucky Knemon, because he looked so doleful that everybody slapped and pushed him because he really seemed to invite269 cuffs. This boy had appeared to him in the dream. Lycon tried to push him asidebut at the same moment the lad was transformed and Eros himself stood smiling before him, a garland of roses on his hair. Gazing intently at Lycon he shook his finger at him. Lycon thought of Myrtale and murmured: I accept the omen.

      292 In the evening, Vimont invited the ambassadors to the mission-house, and gave each of them a sack of tobacco and a pipe. In return, Kiotsaton made him a speech: "When I left my country, I gave up my life; I went to meet death, and I owe it to you that I am yet alive. I thank you that I still see the sun; I thank you for all your words and acts of kindness; I thank you for your gifts. You have covered me with them from head to foot. You left nothing free but my mouth; and now you have stopped that with a handsome pipe, and regaled it with the taste of the herb we love. I bid you farewell,not for a long time, for you will hear from us soon. Even if we should be drowned on our way home, the winds and the waves will bear witness to our countrymen of your favors; and I am sure that some good spirit has gone before us to tell them of the good news that we are about to bring." [15]

      Dubois d'AvaugourLycon had stopped a moment to look at the busy puppets and the laughing children, when a strange, deafening noise was suddenly heard.

      [14] The number was unusually large,partly because the affair was thought very important, and partly because the murdered man belonged to another nation. See Introduction.

      Even if the man did once take what belonged to others, observed a friendly philosopher, there may be some good in him.

      The island, thanks to the vigilance of the French, escaped attack throughout the summer; but Iroquois scalping-parties ranged the neighboring shores, killing stragglers and keeping the Hurons in perpetual alarm. As winter drew near, great numbers, who, trembling and by stealth, had gathered a miserable subsistence among the northern forests and islands, rejoined their countrymen at St. Joseph, until six or eight thousand expatriated wretches were gathered here under the protection of the French fort. They were housed in a hundred or more bark dwellings, each containing eight or ten families. [7] Here were widows without children, and children without parents; for famine and the Iroquois had proved more deadly enemies than the pestilence which a few years before had wasted their towns. [8] Of this 400 multitude but few had strength enough to labor, scarcely any had made provision for the winter, and numbers were already perishing from want, dragging themselves from house to house, like living skeletons. The priests had spared no effort to meet the demands upon their charity. They sent men during the autumn to buy smoked fish from the Northern Algonquins, and employed Indians to gather acorns in the woods. Of this miserable food they succeeded in collecting five or six hundred bushels. To diminish its bitterness, the Indians boiled it with ashes, or the priests served it out to them pounded, and mixed with corn. [9]


      What a cuff! he muttered, wiping away the blood which streamed from his ear upon his brown shoulder then, glancing at the others again, he added with evident admiration of the blow: I never had such a knock before. ecclesiastics had this trade to themselves, their severities


      [8] Garnier, Lettre 17me, MS. These directions show an excellent knowledge of Indian peculiarities. The Indian dislike of a beard is well known. Catlin, the painter, once caused a fatal quarrel among a party of Sioux, by representing one of them in profile, whereupon he was jibed by a rival as being but half a man.There was a moments silence, in which the dog was heard rattling his chain outside.


      Lycon walked carelessly on to the so-called banqueting hall found in every large house, but which usually offered only a very limited space. He cast a hurried glance around the room but saw no strange faces. Seven or eight young men whom he met every day were just breakfasting, reclining singly or in pairs upon leather-covered couches, before which stood small tables bearing numerous spots of grease and the marks of wet goblets.