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      V1 disagreeable situation we are at present in. The fort, by the heavy firing we hear from the lake, is still in our possession; but I fear it cannot long hold out against so warm a cannonading if I am not reinforced by a sufficient number of militia to march to their relief." The militia were coming; but it was impossible that many could reach him in less than a week. Those from New York alone were within call, and two thousand of them arrived soon after he sent Loudon the above letter. Then, by stripping all the forts below, he could bring together forty-five hundred men; while several French deserters assured him that Montcalm had nearly twelve thousand. To advance to the relief of Monro with a force so inferior, through a defile of rocks, forests, and mountains, made by nature for ambuscades,and this too with troops who had neither the steadiness of regulars nor the bush-fighting skill of Indians,was an enterprise for firmer nerve than his.casually drop a few thoughts on the subject of our next president.


      [256] Some of the papers found in Rale's "strong box" are still preserved in the Archives of Massachusetts, including a letter to him from Vaudreuil, dated at Quebec, 25 September, 1721, in which the French governor expresses great satisfaction at the missionary's success in uniting the Indians against the English, and promises military aid, if necessary.PS. You should hear the frogs sing and the little pigs squeal


      En Signum! en victor! Deus h?c, Deus ipse triumphat."1st October

      V2 his head, striking it into the wood as close as possible to the mark without hitting it. A French petty officer then thrust the muzzle of his gun violently against the prisoner's body, pretended to fire it at him, and at last struck him in the face with the butt; after which dastardly proceeding he left him. The French and Indians being forced after a time to fall back, Putnam found himself between the combatants and exposed to bullets from both sides; but the enemy, partially recovering the ground they had lost, unbound him, and led him to a safe distance from the fight. When the retreat began, the Indians hurried him along with them, stripped of coat, waistcoat, shoes, and stockings, his back burdened with as many packs of the wounded as could be piled upon it, and his wrists bound so tightly together that the pain became intense. In his torment he begged them to kill him; on which a French officer who was near persuaded them to untie his hands and take off some of the packs, and the chief who had captured him gave him a pair of moccasons to protect his lacerated feet. When they encamped at night, they prepared to burn him alive, stripped him naked, tied him to a tree, and gathered dry wood to pile about him. A sudden shower of rain interrupted their pastime; but when it was over they began again, and surrounded him with a circle of brushwood which they set on fire. As they were yelling and dancing their delight at the contortions with which he tried to avoid the rising flames, Marin, 126


      V1 they tried to find cover behind them. This threw the whole into confusion. The men of the two regiments became mixed together; and in a short time the entire force, except the Virginians and the troops left with Halket, were massed in several dense bodies within a small space of ground, facing some one way and some another, and all alike exposed without shelter to the bullets that pelted them like hail. Both men and officers were new to this blind and frightful warfare of the savage in his native woods. To charge the Indians in their hiding-places would have been useless. They would have eluded pursuit with the agility of wildcats, and swarmed back, like angry hornets, the moment that it ceased. The Virginians alone were equal to the emergency. Fighting behind trees like the Indians themselves, they might have held the enemy in check till order could be restored, had not Braddock, furious at a proceeding that shocked all his ideas of courage and discipline, ordered them, with oaths, to form into line. A body of them under Captain Waggoner made a dash for a fallen tree lying in the woods, far out towards the lurking-places of the Indians, and, crouching behind the huge trunk, opened fire; but the regulars, seeing the smoke among the bushes, mistook their best friends for the enemy, shot at them from behind, killed many, and forced the rest to return. A few of the regulars also tried in their clumsy way to fight behind trees; but Braddock beat them with his sword, and compelled them to stand with the rest, an 218

      CHAPTER XXV.

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      To his extreme disgust, he learned that Denonville had sent a Canadian officer by secret paths to Fort Frontenac, with orders to Valrenne, the commandant, to blow it up, and return with his garrison to Montreal. Frontenac had built the fort, had given it his own name, and had cherished it with a paternal fondness, reinforced by strong hopes of making money out of it. For its sake he had become the butt of scandal and opprobrium; but not the less had he always stood its strenuous and passionate champion. An Iroquois envoy had lately with great insolence demanded its destruction of Denonville; and this alone, in the eyes of Frontenac, was ample reason for maintaining it at any cost. [9] He still had hope that it might be saved, and with all the energy of youth he proceeded to collect canoes, men, provisions, and arms; battled against dejection, insubordination, and fear, and in a few days despatched a convoy of three hundred men to relieve the place, and stop the execution of Denonville's orders. His orders had been but too promptly obeyed. The convoy was scarcely gone an hour, when, to Frontenac's unutterable wrath, Valrenne appeared with his garrison. He reported that he had set fire to every thing in the fort that would burn, sunk the three vessels belonging to it, thrown the cannon into the lake, mined the walls and bastions, and left matches burning 193 in the powder magazine; and, further, that when he and his men were five leagues on their way to Montreal a dull and distant explosion told them that the mines had sprung. It proved afterwards that the destruction was not complete; and the Iroquois took possession of the abandoned fort, with a large quantity of stores and munitions left by the garrison in their too hasty retreat. [10]

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      in infancy?If his achievement was not brilliant, its solid value was above price. It opened the Great West to English enterprise, took from France half her savage allies, and relieved the western borders from the scourge of Indian war. From southern New York to North Carolina, the frontier populations had cause to bless the memory of the steadfast and all-enduring soldier.

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      of the course. Julia played the part extremely well. I never


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