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      In the spring of 1636, the chiefs and elders of the Nation of the Bearthe principal nation of the Confederacy, and that to which Ihonatiria belongedassembled in a general council, to prepare for the great solemnity. There was an unwonted spirit of dissension. Some causes of jealousy had arisen, and three or four of the Bear villages announced their intention of holding their Feast of the Dead apart from the rest. As such a procedure was thought abhorrent to every sense of propriety and duty, the announcement excited an intense feeling; yet Brbeuf, who was present, describes the debate which ensued as perfectly calm, and wholly free from personal abuse or recrimination. The secession, however, took place, and each party withdrew to its villages to gather and prepare its dead.[7] Lettre du P. Hierosme Lalemant, appended to the Relation of 1645.


      Though the proposals of Avaugours memorial were not adopted, it seems to have produced a strong impression at court. For this impression the minds of the king and his minister had already been prepared. Two years before, the inhabitants of Canada had sent one of their number, Pierre Boucher, to represent their many grievances and ask for aid. * Boucher had had an audience of the young king, who listened with interest to his statements; and when in the following year he returned to Quebec, he was accompanied by an officer named Dumont, who had under his command a hundred soldiers for the colony, and was commissioned to report its condition and resources. The movementBut how entirely transformed was the stately Acestor! A couple of small metal jars filled with powdered sulphur had been placed under the basket, ready for the next days bleaching. In his confusion and terror Acestor had overturned them and, as he had afterwards pressed his hands on his head, he had filled his hair, eye-brows, and beard with sulphur, besides yellow spots on his nose, forehead, and cheeks. He had no sooner taken a few long breaths when he began to sneeze as though his head would burst. He seemed to be completely stupefied; his limbs tottered under him and he allowed himself to be led like a child.


      The Huron who embraced the Faith renounced thenceforth, as we have seen, the feasts, dances, and games in which was his delight, since all these savored of diabolism. And if, being in health, he could not enjoy himself, so also, being sick, he could not be cured; for his physician was a sorcerer, whose medicines were charms and incantations. If the convert was a chief, his case was far worse; since, writes Father Lalemant, "to be a chief and a Christian is to combine water and fire; for the business of the chiefs is mainly to do the Devil's bidding, preside over ceremonies of hell, and excite the young Indians to dances, feasts, and shameless indecencies." [6]

      Their voyage up the St. Lawrence was enlivened by an extraordinary bear-hunt, and by the antics of one of their Indian attendants, who, having dreamed that he had swallowed a frog, roused the whole camp by the gymnastics with which he tried to rid himself of the intruder. On approaching Onondaga, they were met by a chief who sang a song of welcome, a part of which he seasoned with touches of humor, apostrophizing the fish in the river Onondaga, naming each sort, great or small, and calling on them in turn to come into the nets of the Frenchmen and sacrifice life cheerfully for their behoof. Hereupon there was much laughter among the Indian auditors. An unwonted cleanliness reigned in the town; the streets had been cleared of refuse, and the arched roofs of the long houses of bark were covered with red-skinned children staring at the entry of the black robes. Crowds followed behind, and all was jubilation. The dignitaries of the tribe met them on the way, and greeted them with a speech of welcome. A feast of bears meat awaited them; but, unhappily, it was Friday, and the fathers were forced to abstain.A PARTING LETTER

      424 It is a matter of some interest to trace the fortunes of the shattered fragments of a nation once prosperous, and, in its own eyes and those of its neighbors, powerful and great. None were left alive within their ancient domain. Some had sought refuge among the Neutrals and the Eries, and shared the disasters which soon overwhelmed those tribes; others succeeded in reaching the Andastes; while the inhabitants of two towns, St. Michel and St. Jean Baptiste, had recourse to an expedient which seems equally strange and desperate, but which was in accordance with Indian practices. They contrived to open a communication with the Seneca Nation of the Iroquois, and promised to change their nationality and turn Senecas as the price of their lives. The victors accepted the proposal; and the inhabitants of these two towns, joined by a few other Hurons, migrated in a body to the Seneca country. They were not distributed among different villages, but were allowed to form a town by themselves, where they were afterwards joined by some prisoners of the Neutral Nation. They identified themselves with the Iroquois in all but religion,holding so fast to their faith, that, eighteen years after, a Jesuit missionary found that many of them were still good Catholics. [1]


      [80] "Ces rligieux [les Rcollets] sont fort protgs partout par le comte de Frontenac, gouverneur du pays, et cause de cela assez maltraits par l'vesque, parceque la doctrine de l'vesque et des Jsuites est que les affaires de la Rligion chrestienne n'iront point bien dans ce pays-l que quand le gouverneur sera crature des Jsuites, ou que l'vesque sera gouverneur."Mmoire sur Mr. de la Salle.

      [8] Vimont, Relation, 1645, 21, 22.II.

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      On the next day, Gibbons took his guest to Roxbury,called Rogsbray by Druilletes,to see the Governor, the harsh and narrow Dudley, grown gray in repellent virtue and grim honesty. Some half a century before, he had served in France, under Henry the Fourth; but he had forgotten his French, and called for an interpreter to explain the visitor's credentials. He received Druilletes with courtesy, and promised to call the magistrates together on the following Tuesday to hear his proposals. They met accordingly, and Druilletes was asked to dine with them. The old Governor sat at the head of the table, and after dinner invited the guest to open the business of his embassy. They listened to him, desired him to withdraw, and, after consulting among themselves, sent for him to join them again at supper, when they made him an answer, of which the record is lost, but which evidently was not definitive.

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      What are you going to do? asked Myrmex rather anxiously.Their first care was to choose a site for their convent, near the fortified dwellings and storehouses built by Champlain. This done, they made an altar, and celebrated the first mass ever said in Canada. Dolbean was the officiating priest; all New France kneeled on the bare earth around him, and cannon from the ship and the ramparts hailed the mystic rite. Then, in imitation of the Apostles, they took counsel together, and assigned to each his province in the vast field of their mission,to Le Caron the Hurons, and to Dolbean the Montagnais; while Jamay and Du Plessis were to remain for the present near Quebec.

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      Paris. Ao?t, 1659, MS


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