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One of the Frenchmen recrossed to consult with his companions. In two hours he returned, and offered fifty thousand ducats to secure their lives; but Menendez, says his brother-in-law, would give no pledges. On the other hand, expressions in his own despatches point to the inference that a virtual pledge was given, at least to certain individuals.
 This weeping and wailing over Hennepin once seemed to me an anomaly in his account of Sioux manners, as I am not aware that such practices are to be found among them at present. They are mentioned, however, by other early writers. Le Sueur, who was among them in 1699-1700, was wept over no less than Hennepin. See the abstract of his journal in La Harpe.L Orators stage.
This resolution was due to a discovery he had made the evening before, which offered, as he thought, a possible clew to the fate of Tonty and the men with him. He thus describes it: "Near the garden of the Indians, which was on the meadows, a league from the village and not far from the river, I found six pointed stakes set in the ground and painted red. On each of them was the figure of a man with bandaged eyes, drawn in black. As the savages often set stakes of this sort where they have killed people, I thought, by their number and position, that when the Iroquois came, the Illinois, finding our men alone in the hut near their garden, had either killed them or made them prisoners. And I was confirmed in this, because, seeing no signs of a battle, I supposed that on hearing of the approach of the Iroquois, the old men and other non-combatants had fled, and that the young warriors had remained behind to cover their flight, and afterwards followed, taking the French with them; while the Iroquois, finding nobody to kill, had vented their fury on the corpses in the graveyard."
As she sat there quietly she heard the business of the household pursuing its usual course. Her father was whetting his sacrificial knife, her mother was busying herself with the hand-mill, and the female slave was chopping wood outside. Then her mother began to hum a hymn:Fell,
"They had cooked some meat, and when it was supper-time they distributed it as they saw fit, saying that formerly their share had been served out to them, but that it was they who would serve it out in future. They, no doubt, wanted me to say something that would give them a chance to make a noise; but I managed always to keep my mouth closed. When night came and it was time to stand guard, they were in perplexity, as they could not do it alone; therefore they said to M. Cavelier, Father Anastase, me, and the others who were not in the plot with them, that all we had to do was to stand [Pg 438] guard as usual; that there was no use in thinking about what had happened,that what was done was done; that they had been driven to it by despair, and that they were sorry for it, and meant no more harm to anybody. M. Cavelier took up the word, and told them that when they killed M. de la Salle they killed themselves, for there was nobody but him who could get us out of this country. At last, after a good deal of talk on both sides, they gave us our arms. So we stood guard; during which, M. Cavelier told me how they had come to the camp, entered his hut like so many madmen, and seized everything in it."Such stories might be multiplied; but these will suffice. Nor is it necessary to dwell further on the bloody record of inroads, butcheries, and tortures. We have seen enough to show the nature of the scourge that now fell without mercy on the Indians and the French of Canada. There was no safety but in the imprisonment of palisades and ramparts. A deep dejection sank on the white and red men alike; but the Jesuits would not despair.
During the summer before, the priests had made a survey of their field of action, visited all the Huron towns, and christened each of them with the name of a saint. This heavy draft on the calendar was followed by another, for the designation of the nine towns of the neighboring and kindred people of the Tobacco Nation.  The Huron towns were portioned into four districts, while those of the Tobacco Nation formed a fifth, and each district was assigned to the charge of two or more 140 priests. In November and December, they began their missionary excursions,for the Indians were now gathered in their settlements,and journeyed on foot through the denuded forests, in mud and snow, bearing on their backs the vessels and utensils necessary for the service of the altar.The two prisoners were allowed to roam at will about the settlement, withheld from escaping by an Indian point of honor. Montmagny soon after sent them to Three Rivers, where the Iroquois taken during the last summer had remained all winter. Champfleur, the commandant, now received orders to clothe, equip, and send him home, with a message to his nation that Onontio made them a present of his life, and that he had still two prisoners in his hands, whom he would also give them, if they saw fit to embrace this opportunity of making peace with the French and their Indian allies.