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Faithfulness to the truth of history involves far more than a research, however patient and scrupulous, into special facts. Such facts may be detailed with the most minute exactness, and yet the narrative, taken as a whole, may be unmeaning or untrue. The narrator must seek to imbue himself with the life and spirit of the time. He must study events in their bearings near and remote; in the character, habits, and manners of those who took part in them, he must himself be, as it were, a sharer or a spectator of the action he describes.

America was still a land of wonder. The ancient spell still hung unbroken over the wild, vast world of mystery beyond the sea,—a land of romance, adventure, and gold.

Vasseur was two days' sail from the fort when two Indians hailed him from the shore, inviting him to their dwellings. He accepted their guidance, and presently saw before him the cornfields and palisades of an Indian town. He and his followers were led through the wondering crowd to the lodge of Mollua, the chief, seated in the place of honor, and plentifully regaled with fish and bread. The repast over, Mollua made a speech. He told them that he was one of the forty vassal chiefs of the great Outina, lord of all the Thimagoas, whose warriors wore armor of gold and silver plate. He told them, too, of Potanou, his enemy, "a man cruell in warre;" and of the two kings of the distant Appalachian Mountains,—Onatheaqua and Houstaqua, "great lords and abounding in riches." While thus, with earnest pantomime and broken words, the chief discoursed with his guests, Vasseur, intent and eager, strove to follow his meaning; and no sooner did he hear of these Appalachian treasures than he promised to join Outina in war against the two potentates of the mountains. Mollua, well pleased, promised that each of Outina's vassal chiefs should requite their French allies with a heap of gold and silver two feet high. Thus, while Laudonniere stood pledged to Satouriona, Vasseur made alliance with his mortal enemy.

They moved on for a quarter of a mile through a country, as it seems, comparatively open, when again the war-cry pealed in front, and three hundred savages bounded to the assault. Their whoops were echoed from the rear. It was the party whom Arlac had just repulsed, and who, leaping and showering their arrows, were rushing on again with a ferocity restrained only by their lack of courage. There was no panic among the French. The men threw down their bags of corn, and took to their weapons. They blew their matches, and, under two excellent officers, stood well to their work. The Indians, on their part, showed good discipline after their fashion, and were perfectly under the control of their chiefs. With cries that imitated the yell of owls, the scream of cougars, and the howl of wolves, they ran up in successive bands, let fly their arrows, and instantly fell back, giving place to others. At the sight of the leveled arquebuse, they dropped flat on the ground. Whenever the French charged upon them, sword in hand, they fled through the woods like foxes; and whenever the march was resumed, the arrows were showering again upon the flanks and rear of the retiring band. As they fell, the soldiers picked them up and broke them. Thus, beset with swarming savages, the handful of Frenchmen pushed slowly onward, fighting as they went.

Famished and desperate, the followers of Ribaut were toiling northward to seek refuge at Fort Caroline, when they found the Spaniards in their path. Some were filled with dismay; others, in their misery, almost hailed them as deliverers. La Caille, the sergeant-major, crossed the river. Menendez met him with a face of friendship, and protested that he would spare the lives of the shipwrecked men, sealing the promise with an oath, a kiss, and many signs of the cross. He even gave it in writing, under seal. Still, there were many among the French who would not place themselves in his power. The most credulous crossed the river in a boat. As each successive party landed, their hands were bound fast at their backs; and thus, except a few who were set apart, they were all driven towards the fort, like cattle to the shambles, with curses and scurrilous abuse. Then, at sound of drums and trumpets, the Spaniards fell upon them, striking them down with swords, pikes, and halberds. Ribaut vainly called on the Adelantado to remember his oath. By his order, a soldier plunged a dagger into the French commander's heart; and Ottigny, who stood near, met a similar fate. Ribaut's beard was cut off, and portions of it sent in a letter to Philip the Second. His head was hewn into four parts, one of which was displayed on the point of a lance at each corner of Fort St. Augustine. Great fires were kindled, and the bodies of the murdered burned to ashes.

They kept their course all night, and, as day broke, anchored at the mouth of a river, the St. Mary's, or the Santilla, by their reckoning fifteen leagues north of the River of May. Here, as it grew light, Gourgues saw the borders of the sea thronged with savages, armed and plumed for war. They, too, had mistaken the strangers for Spaniards, and mustered to meet their tyrants at the landing. But in the French ships there was a trumpeter who had been long in Florida, and knew the Indians well. He went towards them in a boat, with many gestures of friendship; and no sooner was he recognized, than the naked crowd, with yelps of delight, danced for joy along the sands. Why had he ever left them? they asked; and why had he not returned before? The intercourse thus auspiciously begun was actively kept up. Gourgues told the principal chief,—who was no other than Satouriona, once the ally of the French,—that he had come to visit them, make friendship with them, and bring them presents. At this last announcement, so grateful to Indian ears the dancing was renewed with double zeal. The next morning was named for a grand council, and Satouriona sent runners to summon all Indians within call; while Gourgues, for safety, brought his vessels within the mouth of the river.

To learn the strength and position of the Spaniards, Gourgues now sent out three scouts; and with them went Olotoraca, Satourioria's nephew, a young brave of great renown.

These ceremonies consumed the day. It was evening before the allies filed off into their forests, and took the path for the Spanish forts. The French, on their part, were to repair by sea to the rendezvous. Gourgues mustered and addressed his men. It was needless: their ardor was at fever height. They broke in upon his words, and demanded to be led at once against the enemy. Francois Bourdelais, with twenty sailors, was left with the ships, and Gourgues affectionately bade him farewell.

To leave this cloudland of tradition, and approach the confines of recorded history. The Normans, offspring of an ancestry of conquerors,—the Bretons, that stubborn, hardy, unchanging race, who, among Druid monuments changeless as themselves, still cling with Celtic obstinacy to the thoughts and habits of the past,—the Basques, that primeval people, older than history,—all frequented from a very early date the cod-banks of Newfoundland. There is some reason to believe that this fishery existed before the voyage of Cabot, in 1497; there is strong evidence that it began as early as the year 1504; and it is well established that, in 1517, fifty Castilian, French, and Portuguese vessels were engaged in it at once; while in 1527, on the third of August, eleven sail of Norman, one of Breton, and two of Portuguese fishermen were to be found in the Bay of St. John.

Again they spread their sails, and on the fifth of May bade farewell to the primitive hospitalities of Newport, steered along the rugged coasts of New England, and surveyed, ill pleased, the surf-beaten rocks, the pine-tree and the fir, the shadows and the gloom of mighty forests. Here man and nature alike were savage and repellent. Perhaps some plundering straggler from the fishing-banks, some manstealer like the Portuguese Cortereal, or some kidnapper of children and ravisher of squaws like themselves, had warned the denizens of the woods to beware of the worshippers of Christ. Their only intercourse was in the way of trade. From the brink of the rocks which overhung the sea the Indians would let down a cord to the boat below, demand fish-hooks, knives, and steel, in barter for their furs, and, their bargain made, salute the voyagers with unseemly gestures of derision and scorn. The French once ventured ashore; but a war-whoop and a shower of arrows sent them back to their boats.

A troop of Indians followed, and guided them to the top of the neighboring mountain. Cartier called it Mont Royal, Montreal; and hence the name of the busy city which now holds the site of the vanished Iloclielaga. Stadacone and Hochelaga, Quebec and Montreal, in the sixteenth century as in the nineteenth, were the centres of Canadian population.

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