We weare 4 moneths in our voyage without doeing any thing but goe from river to river. We mett severall sorts of people. We conversed with them, being long time in alliance with them. By the persuasion of som of them we went into the great river that divides itselfe in 2, where the hurrons with some Ottanake & the wild men that had warrs with them had retired. There is not great difference in their language, as we weare told. This nation have warrs against those of [the] forked river. It is so called because it has 2 branches, the one towards the west, the other towards the South, which we believe runns towards Mexico, by the tokens they gave us. Being among these people, they told us the prisoners they take tells them that they have warrs against a nation, against men that build great cabbans & have great beards & had such knives as we have had. Moreover they shewed a Decad of beads & guilded pearls that they have had from that people, which made us believe they weare Europeans. They shewed one of that nation that was taken the yeare before. We understood him not; he was much more tawny then they with whome we weare. His armes & leggs weare turned outside; that was the punishment inflicted uppon him. So they doe with them that they take, & kill them with clubbs & doe often eat them. They doe not burne their prisoners as those of the northern parts.
We weare informed of that nation that live in the other river. These weare men of extraordinary height & biggnesse, that made us believe they had no communication with them. They live onely uppon Corne & Citrulles, [Footnote: Citrulles, pumpkins.] which are mighty bigg. They have fish in plenty throughout the yeare. They have fruit as big as the heart of an Oriniak, which grows on vast trees which in compasse are three armefull in compasse. When they see litle men they are affraid & cry out, which makes many come help them. Their arrows are not of stones as ours are, but of fish boans & other boans that they worke greatly, as all other things. Their dishes are made of wood. I having seene them, could not but admire the curiosity of their worke. They have great calumetts of great stones, red & greene. They make a store of tobacco. They have a kind of drink that makes them mad for a whole day. This I have not seene, therefore you may believe as you please.
When I came backe I found my brother sick, as I said before. God gave him his health, more by his courage then by any good medicine, ffor our bodyes are not like those of the wildmen. To our purpose; we came backe to our carriage, whilst wee endeavoured to ayde our compagnions in their extremity. The Iroquoits gott a great way before, not well satisfied to have stayed for us, having lost 7 of their men; 2 of them weare not nimble enough, ffor our bulletts & arrows made them stay for good & all. Seaven of our men weare sick, they have ben like to be drowned, & the other two weare wounded by the Iroquoits.
The next day we went on without any delay or encounter. I give you leave if those of mont Royall weare not overjoyed to see us arrived where they affirme us the pitifull conditions that the country was by the cruelty of these cruell barbars, that perpetually killed & slaughtered to the very gate of the ffrench fort. All this hindered not our goeing to the ffrench att the 3 rivers after we refreshed ourselves 3 dayes, but like to pay dearly for our bold attempt. 20 inhabitants came downe with us in a shawlopp. As we doubled the point of the river of the meddows we weare sett uppon by severall of the Iroquoits, but durst not come neare us, because of two small brasse pieces that the shalop carryed. We tyed our boats together & made a fort about us of castors' skins, which kept us from all danger. We went downe the streame in that posture. The ennemy left us, & did well; for our wildmen weare disposed to fight, & our shaloupp could not come neare them because for want of watter. We came to Quebecq, where we are saluted with the thundring of the guns & batteryes of the fort, and of the 3 shipps that weare then att anchor, which had gon back to france without castors if we had not come. We weare well traited for 5 dayes. The Governor made guifts & sent 2 Brigantins to bring us to the 3 rivers, where we arrived the 2nd day of, & the 4th day they went away.
That is the end of our 3 years' voyage & few months. After so much paine & danger God was so mercifull [as] to bring us back saf to our dwelling, where the one was made much off by his wife, the other by his friends & kindred. The ennemy that had discovered us in our goeing downe gott more company, with as many as they could to come to the passages, & there to waite for the retourne of those people, knowinge well that they could not stay there long because the season of the yeare was almost spent; but we made them by our persuasions goe downe to Quebecq, which proved well, ffor the Iroquoits thought they weare gone another way. So came the next day after our arrivall to make a discovery to the 3 rivers, where being perceived, there is care taken to receive them.
The ffrench cannot goe as the wildmen through the woods, but imbarks themselves in small boats & went along the river side, knowing that if the ennemy was repulsed, he would make his retreat to the river side. Some Algonquins weare then att the habitation, who for to shew their vallour disposed themselves to be the first in the poursuit of the enemy. Some of the strongest and nimblest ffrench kept them company, with an other great number of men called Ottanacks, so that we weare soone together by the ears. There weare some 300 men of the enemy that came in the space of a fourteen night together; but when they saw us they made use of their heels. We weare about 500; but the better to play their game, after they runned half a mile in the wood they turned againe, where then the batail began most furiously by shooting att one another.
That uppermost nation, being not used to shooting nor heare such noise, began to shake off their armours, and tooke their bows and arrows, which indeed made [more] execution then all the guns that they had brought. So seeing 50 Algonquins & 15 ffrench keep to it, they resolved to stick to it also, which had not long lasted; ffor seeing that their arrows weare almost spent & they must close together, and that the enemy had an advantage by keeping themselves behind the trees, and we to fall uppon we must be without bucklers, which diminished much our company that was foremost, we gave them in spight us place to retire themselves, which they did with all speed. Having come to the watter side, where their boats weare, saw the ffrench all in a row, who layd in an ambush to receive them, which they had done if God had not ben for us; ffor they, thinking that the enemy was att hand, mistrusted nothing to the contrary. The ffrench that weare in the wood, seeing the evident danger where their countrymen layd, encouraged the Ottanaks, who tooke their armes againe and followed the enemy, who not feared that way arrived before the ffrench weare apprehended, by good looke.
One of the Iroquoits, thinking his boat would be seene, goes quickly and putts it out of sight, & discovers himselfe, which warned the ffrench to hinder them to goe further uppon that score. Our wildmen made a stand and fell uppon them stoutly. The combat begins a new; they see the ffrench that weare uppon the watter come neere, which renforced them to take their boats with all hast, and leave their booty behind. The few boats that the french had brought made that could enter but the 60 ffrench, who weare enough. The wildmen neverthelesse did not goe without their prey, which was of three men's heads that they killed att the first fight; but they left Eleven of theirs in the place, besides many more that weare wounded. They went straight to their countrey, which did a great service to the retourne of our wildmen, and mett with non all their journey, as we heard afterwards.
They went away the next day, and we stayed att home att rest that yeare. My brother and I considered whether we should discover what we have seene or no; and because we had not a full and whole discovery, which was that we have not ben in the bay of the north, not knowing anything but by report of the wild Christinos, we would make no mention of it for feare that those wild men should tell us a fibbe. We would have made a discovery of it ourselves and have an assurance, before we should discover anything of it.
The ende of the Auxotacicac voyage, which is the third voyage.
[Fourth Voyage of Peter Esprit Radisson]
The spring following we weare in hopes to meet with some company, having ben so fortunat the yeare before. Now during the winter, whether it was that my brother revealed to his wife what we had seene in our voyage and what we further intended, or how it came to passe, it was knowne; so much that the ffather Jesuits weare desirous to find out a way how they might gett downe the castors from the bay of the north by the Sacgnes, and so make themselves masters of that trade. They resolved to make a tryall as soone as the ice would permitt them. So to discover our intentions they weare very earnest with me to ingage myselfe in that voyage, to the end that my brother would give over his, which I uterly denied them, knowing that they could never bring it about, because I heard the wild men say that although the way be easy, the wildmen that are feed att their doors would have hindred them, because they make a livelyhood of that trade.
In my last voyage I tooke notice of that that goes to three lands, which is first from the people of the north to another nation, that the ffrench call Squerells, and another nation that they call porquepicque, and from them to the Montignes & Algonquins that live in or about Quebucque; but the greatest hinderance is the scant of watter and the horrid torrents and want of victuals, being no way to carry more then can serve 14 dayes' or 3 weeks' navigation on that river. Neverthelesse the ffathers are gone with the Governor's son of the three rivers and 6 other ffrench and 12 wildmen.
During that time we made our proposition to the governor of Quebuc that we weare willing to venture our lives for the good of the countrey, and goe to travell to the remotest countreys with 2 hurrons that made their escape from the Iroquoits. They wished nothing more then to bee in those parts where their wives and families weare, about the Lake of the stairing haire; to that intent would stay untill august to see if any body would come from thence. My brother and I weare of one minde; and for more assurance my brother went to Mont royall to bring those two men along. He came backe, being in danger. The Governor gives him leave, conditionaly that he must carry two of his servants along with him and give them the moitie of the profit. My brother was vexed att such an unreasonable a demand, to take inexperted men to their ruine. All our knowledge and desir depended onely of this last voyage, besides that the governor should compare 2 of his servants to us, that have ventured our lives so many years and maintained the countrey with our generosity in the presence of all; neither was there one that had the courage to undertake what wee have done. We made the governor a slight answer, and tould him for our part we knewed what we weare, Discoverers before governors. If the wild men came downe, the way for them as for us, and that we should be glad to have the honnour of his company, but not of that of his servants, and that we weare both masters and servants. The Governor was much displeased att this, & commanded us not to go without his leave. We desired the ffathers to Speake to him about it. Our addresses were slight because of the shame was putt uppon them the yeare before of their retourne, besids, they stayed for an opportunity to goe there themselves; ffor their designe is to further the Christian faith to the greatest glory of God, and indeed are charitable to all those that are in distresse and needy, especially to those that are worthy or industrious in their way of honesty. This is the truth, lett who he will speak otherwise, ffor this realy I know meselfe by experience. I hope I offend non to tell the truth. We are forced to goe back without doeing any thing.
The month of August that brings a company of the Sault, who weare come by the river of the three rivers with incredible paines, as they said. It was a company of seaven boats. We wrote the news of their arrivement to Quebuc. They send us word that they will stay untill the 2 fathers be turned from Sacquenes, that we should goe with them. An answer without reason. Necessity obliged us to goe. Those people are not to be inticed, ffor as soone as they have done their affaire they goe. The governor of that place defends us to goe. We tould him that the offense was pardonable because it was every one's interest; neverthelesse we knewed what we weare to doe, and that he should not be blamed for us. We made guifts to the wildmen, that wished with all their hearts that we might goe along with them. We told them that the governor minded to send servants with them, and forbids us to goe along with them. The wild men would not accept of their company, but tould us that they would stay for us two dayes in the Lake of St Peter in the grasse some 6 leagues from the 3 rivers; but we did not lett them stay so long, for that very night, my brother having the keys of the Brough as being Captayne of the place, we embarqued ourselves.
We made ready in the morning, so that we went, 3 of us, about midnight. Being come opposit to the fort, they aske who is there. My brother tells his name. Every one knows what good services we had done to the countrey, and loved us, the inhabitants as well as the souldiers. The sentrey answers him, "God give you a good voyage." We went on the rest of that night. Att 6 in the morning we are arrived to the appointed place, but found no body. We weare well armed, & had a good boat. We resolved to goe day and night to the river of the meddows to overtake them. The wildmen did feare that it was somewhat else, but 3 leagues beyond that of the fort of Richlieu we saw them coming to us. We putt ourselves uppon our guards, thinking they weare ennemy; but weare friends, and received us with joy, and said that if we had not come in 3 dayes' time, they would have sent their boats to know the reason of our delay. There we are in that river waiting for the night. Being come to the river of the medows, we did separat ourselves, 3 into 3 boats. The man that we have taken with us was putt into a boat of 3 men and a woman, but not of the same nation as the rest, but of one that we call sorcerors. They weare going downe to see some friends that lived with the nation of the fire, that now liveth with the Ponoestigonce or the Sault. It is to be understood that this river is divided much into streams very swift & small before you goe to the river of Canada; [on account] of the great game that there is in it, the ennemy is to be feared, which made us go through these torrents. This could make any one afraid who is inexperted in such voyages.
We suffered much for 3 dayes and 3 nights without rest. As we went we heard the noise of guns, which made us believe firmly they weare ennemyes. We saw 5 boats goe by, and heard others, which daunted our hearts for feare, although wee had 8 boats in number; but weare a great distance one from another, as is said in my former voyage, before we could gaine the height of the river. The boat of the sorcerors where was one of us, albeit made a voyage into the hurrons' country before with the ffathers, it was not usefull, soe we made him embark another, but stayed not there long. The night following, he that was in the boat dreamed that the Iroquoits had taken him with the rest. In his dreame he cryes out aloud; those that weare att rest awakes of the noise. We are in alarum, and ready to be gone. Those that weare with the man resolved to goe back againe, explicating that an evill presage. The wildmen councelled to send back the ffrenchman, saying he should die before he could come to their countrey. It's usually spoken among the wildmen when a man is sick or not able to doe anything to discourage him in such sayings.
Here I will give a relation of that ffrenchman before I goe farther, and what a thing it is to have an intrigue. The next day they see a boat of their ennemys, as we heard since. They presently landed. The wild men runned away; the ffrenchman alsoe, as he went along the watter side for fear of loosing himselfe. He finds there an harbour very thick, layes himselfe downe and falls asleepe. The night being come, the wildmen being come to know whether the ennemy had perceived them, but non pursued them, and found their boat in the same place, and imbarques themselves and comes in good time to mount royall. They left the poore ffrenchman there, thinking he had wit enough to come along the watter side, being not above tenne leagues from thence. Those wild men, after their arrivement, for feare spoak not one word of him, but went downe to the 3 rivers, where their habitation was. Fourteen days after some boats ventured to goe looke for some Oriniaks, came to the same place, where they made cottages, and that within a quarter of mille where this wrech was. One of the ffrench finds him on his back and almost quite spent; had his gunne by him. He was very weake, and desirous that he should be discovered by some or other. He fed as long as he could on grappes, and at last became so weake that he was not able any further, untill those ffrench found him. After awhile, being come to himselfe, he tends downe the three rivers, where being arrived the governor emprisons him. He stayed not there long. The inhabitants seeing that the ennemy, the hunger, and all other miseries tormented this poore man, and that it was by a divine providence he was alive, they would not have souffred such inhumanity, but gott him out.
Three dayes after wee found the tracks of seaven boats, and fire yett burning. We found out by their characters they weare no ennemys, but imagined that they weare Octanaks that went up into their countrey, which made us make hast to overtake them. We tooke no rest till we overtooke them. They came from Mount royall and weare gone to the great river and gone by the great river. So that we weare now 14 boats together, which weare to goe the same way to the height of the upper lake.
The day following wee weare sett uppon by a Company of Iroquoits that fortified themselves in the passage, where they waited of Octanack, for they knewed of their going downe. Our wildmen, seeing that there was no way to avoid them, resolved to be together, being the best way for them to make a quick Expedition, ffor the season of the yeare pressed us to make expedition. We resolved to give a combat. We prepared ourselves with targetts. Now the businesse was to make a discovery. I doubt not but the ennemy was much surprised to see us so in number. The councell was held and resolution taken. I and a wildman weare appointed to goe and see their fort. I offered myselfe with a free will, to lett them see how willing I was to defend them; that is the onely way to gaine the hearts of those wildmen. We saw that their fort was environed with great rocks that there was no way to mine it, because there weare no trees neere it. The mine was nothing else but to cutt the nearest tree, and so by his fall make a bracke, and so goe and give an assault. Their fort was nothing but trees one against another in a round or square without sides.
The ennemy seeing us come neere, shott att us, but in vaine, ffor we have fforewarned ourselves before we came there. It was a pleasur to see our wildmen with their guns and arrows, which agreed not together. Neverthelesse we told them when they received a breake their guns would be to no purpose; therefore to putt them by and make use of their bows and arrows. The Iroquoits saw themselves putt to it, and the evident danger that they weare in, but to late except they would runne away. Yett our wildmen weare better wild footemen then they. These weare ffrenchmen that should give them good directions to overthrow them, resolved to speake for peace, and throw necklaces of porcelaine over the stakes of their fort. Our wildmen weare dazelled att such guifts, because that the porcelaine is very rare and costly in their countrey, and then seeing themselves flattered with faire words, to which they gave eare. We trust them by force to putt their first designe in Execution, but feared their lives and loved the porcelaine, seeing they had it without danger of any life. They weare persuaded to stay till the next day, because now it was almost night. The Iroquoits make their escape. This occasion lost, our consolation was that we had that passage free, but vexed for having lost that opportunity, & contrarywise weare contented of our side, for doubtlesse some of us had ben killed in the bataill.
The day following we embarqued ourselves quietly, being uppon our guard for feare of any surprize, ffor that ennemy's danger scarcely begane, who with his furour made himselfe so redoubted, having ben there up and downe to make a new slaughter. This morning, in assurance enough; in the afternoone the two boats that had orders to land some 200 paces from the landing place, one tooke onely a small bundle very light, tends to the other side of the carriage, imagining there to make the kettle boyle, having killed 2 staggs two houres agoe, and was scarce halfe way when he meets the Iroquoits, without doubt for that same businesse. I think both weare much surprized. The Iroquoits had a bundle of Castor that he left behind without much adoe. Our wild men did the same; they both runne away to their partners to give them notice. By chance my brother meets them in the way. The wild men seeing that they all weare frightned and out of breath, they asked the matter, and was told, nadonnee, and so soone said, he letts fall his bundle that he had uppon his back into a bush, and comes backe where he finds all the wildmen dispaired. He desired me to encourage them, which I performed with all earnestnesse. We runned to the height of the carriage. As we weare agoing they tooke their armes with all speed. In the way we found the bundle of castors that the ennemy had left. By this means we found out that they weare in a fright as wee, and that they came from the warrs of the upper country, which we told the wildmen, so encouraged them to gaine the watter side to discover their forces, where wee no sooner came but 2 boats weare landed & charged their guns, either to defend themselves or to sett uppon us. We prevented this affair by our diligence, and shott att them with our bows & arrows, as with our gunns.
They finding such an assault immediately forsooke the place. They would have gone into their boats, but we gave them not so much time. They threwed themselves into the river to gaine the other side. This river was very narrow, so that it was very violent. We had killed and taken them all, if 2 boats of theirs had not come to their succour, which made us gave over to follow them, & looke to ourselves, ffor we knewed not the number of their men. Three of their men neverthelesse weare killed; the rest is on the other side of the river, where there was a fort which was made long before. There they retired themselves with all speed. We passe our boats to augment our victory, seeing that they weare many in number. They did what they could to hinder our passage, butt all in vaine, ffor we made use of the bundle of Castors that they left, which weare to us instead of Gabbions, for we putt them att the heads of our boats, and by that means gott ground in spight of their noses. They killed one of our men as we landed. Their number was not to resist ours. They retired themselves into the fort and brought the rest of their [men] in hopes to save it. In this they were far mistaken, for we furiously gave an assault, not sparing time to make us bucklers, and made use of nothing else but of castors tyed together. So without any more adoe we gathered together. The Iroquoits spared not their powder, but made more noise then hurt. The darknesse covered the earth, which was somewhat favorable for us; but to overcome them the sooner, we filled a barill full of gun powder, and having stoped the whole of it well and tyed it to the end of a long pole, being att the foote of the fort. Heere we lost 3 of our men; our machine did play with an execution. I may well say that the ennemy never had seen the like. Moreover I tooke 3 or 4 pounds of powder; this I put into a rind of a tree, then a fusy to have the time to throw the rind, warning the wildmen as soone as the rind made his execution that they should enter in and breake the fort upside down, with the hattchett and the sword in their hands.
In the meane time the Iroquoits did sing, expecting death, or to their heels, att the noise of such a smoake & noise that our machines made, with the slaughter of many of them. Seeing themselves soe betrayed, they lett us goe free into their fort, that thereby they might save themselves; but having environed the fort, we are mingled pell mell, so that we could not know one another in that skirmish of blowes. There was such an noise that should terrifie the stoutest men. Now there falls a showre of raine and a terrible storme, that to my thinking there was somthing extraordinary, that the devill himselfe made that storme to give those men leave to escape from our hands, to destroy another time more of these innocents. In that darknesse every one looked about for shelter, not thinking of those braves, that layd downe halfe dead, to pursue them. It was a thing impossible, yett doe believe that the ennemy was not far. As the storme was over, we came together, making a noise, and I am persuaded that many thought themselves prisoners that weare att Liberty. Some sang their fatall song, albeit without any wounds. So that those that had the confidence to come neare the others weare comforted by assuring them the victory, and that the ennemy was routed. We presently make a great fire, and with all hast make upp the fort againe for feare of any surprize. We searched for those that weare missing. Those that weare dead and wounded weare visited. We found 11 of our ennemy slain'd and 2 onely of ours, besides seaven weare wounded, who in a short time passed all danger of life. While some weare busie in tying 5 of the ennemy that could not escape, the others visited the wounds of their compagnions, who for to shew their courage sung'd lowder then those that weare well. The sleepe that we tooke that night did not make our heads guidy, although we had need of reposeing. Many liked the occupation, for they filled their bellyes with the flesh of their ennemyes. We broiled some of it and kettles full of the rest. We bourned our comrades, being their custome to reduce such into ashes being stained in bataill. It is an honnour to give them such a buriall.
Att the brake of day we cooked what could accommodate us, and flung the rest away. The greatest marke of our victory was that we had 10 heads & foure prisoners, whom we embarqued in hopes to bring them into our countrey, and there to burne them att our owne leasures for the more satisfaction of our wives. We left that place of masacre with horrid cryes. Forgetting the death of our parents, we plagued those infortunate. We plucked out their nailes one after another. The next morning, after we slept a litle in our boats, we made a signe to begone. They prayed to lett off my peece, which made greate noise. To fullfill their desire, I lett it of. I noe sooner shott, butt perceived seaven boats of the Iroquoits going from a point towards the land. We were surprised of such an incounter, seeing death before us, being not strong enough to resist such a company, ffor there weare 10 or 12 in every boat. They perceiving us thought that we weare more in number, began in all hast to make a fort, as we received from two discoverers that wee sent to know their postures. It was with much adoe that those two went. Dureing we perswaded our wildmen to send seaven of our boats to an isle neare hand, and turne often againe to frighten our adversaryes by our shew of our forces. They had a minde to fortifie themselves in that island, but we would not suffer it, because there was time enough in case of necessity, which we represent unto them, making them to gather together all the broaken trees to make them a kind of barricado, prohibiting them to cutt trees, that thereby the ennemy might not suspect our feare & our small number, which they had knowne by the stroaks of their hattchetts. Those wildmen, thinking to be lost, obeyed us in every thing, telling us every foot, "Be chearfull, and dispose of us as you will, for we are men lost." We killed our foure prisoners because they embarassed us. They sent, as soone as we weare together, some fourty, that perpetually went to and againe to find out our pollicy and weaknesse.
In the meane time we told the people that they weare men, & if they must, die altogether, and for us to make a fort in the lande was to destroy ourselves, because we should put ourselves in prison; to take courage, if in case we should be forced to take a retreat the Isle was a fort for us, from whence we might well escape in the night. That we weare strangers and they, if I must say so, in their countrey, & shooting ourselves in a fort all passages would be open uppon us for to save ourselves through the woods, was a miserable comfort. In the mean time the Iroquoits worked lustily, think att every step we weare to give them an assault, but farr deceived, ffor if ever blind wished the Light, we wished them the obscurity of the night, which no sooner approached but we embarqued ourselves without any noise, and went along. It's strang to me that the ennemy did not encounter us. Without question he had store of prisoners and booty. We left the Iroquoits in his fort and the feare in our breeches, for without apprehension we rowed from friday to tuesday without intermission. We had scarce to eat a bitt of sault meat. It was pitty to see our feete & leggs in blood by drawing our boats through the swift streames, where the rocks have such sharp points that there is nothing but death could make men doe what we did. On the third day the paines & labour we tooke forced us to an intermission, ffor we weare quite spent. After this we went on without any encounter whatsoever, having escaped very narrowly. We passed a sault that falls from a vast height. Some of our wildmen went underneath it, which I have seene, & I myselfe had the curiosity, but that quiver makes a man the surer. The watter runs over the heads with such impetuosity & violence that it's incredible. Wee went under this torrent a quarter of a mille, that falls from the toppe above fourty foot downwards.
Having come to the lake of the Castors, we went about the lake of the castors for some victuals, being in great want, and suffered much hunger. So every one constituts himselfe; some went a hunting, some a fishing. This done, we went downe the river of the sorcerers, which brought us to the first great lake. What joy had we to see ourselves out of that river so dangerous, after we wrought two and twenty dayes and as many nights, having not slept one houre on land all that while. Now being out of danger, as safe from our enemy, perhaps we must enter into another, which perhaps may give practice & trouble consequently. Our equipage and we weare ready to wander uppon that sweet sea; but most of that coast is void of wild beasts, so there was great famine amongst us for want. Yett the coast afforded us some small fruits. There I found the kindnesse & charity of the wildmen, ffor when they found any place of any quantity of it they called me and my brother to eat & replenish our bellys, shewing themselves far gratfuller then many Christians even to their owne relations.
I cannot forgett here the subtilty of one of these wildmen that was in the same boat with me. We see a castor along the watter side, that puts his head out of the watter. That wildman no sooner saw him but throwes himself out into the watter and downe to the bottom, without so much time as to give notice to any, and before many knewed of anything, he brings up the castor in his armes as a child, without fearing to be bitten. By this we see that hunger can doe much.
Afterwardes we entered into a straight which had 10 leagues in length, full of islands, where we wanted not fish. We came after to a rapid that makes the separation of the lake of the hurrons, that we calle Superior, or upper, for that the wildmen hold it to be longer & broader, besids a great many islands, which maks appeare in a bigger extent. This rapid was formerly the dwelling of those with whome wee weare, and consequently we must not aske them if they knew where they have layed. Wee made cottages att our advantages, and found the truth of what those men had often [said], that if once we could come to that place we should make good cheare of a fish that they call Assickmack, which signifieth a white fish. The beare, the castors, and the Oriniack shewed themselves often, but to their cost; indeed it was to us like a terrestriall paradise. After so long fastning, after so great paines that we had taken, finde ourselves so well by chossing our dyet, and resting when we had a minde to it, 'tis here that we must tast with pleasur a sweet bitt. We doe not aske for a good sauce; it's better to have it naturally; it is the way to distinguish the sweet from the bitter.
But the season was far spent, and use diligence and leave that place so wished, which wee shall bewaile, to the coursed Iroquoits. What hath that poore nation done to thee, and being so far from thy country? Yett if they had the same liberty that in former dayes they have had, we poore ffrench should not goe further with our heads except we had a strong army. Those great lakes had not so soone comed to our knowledge if it had not ben for those brutish people; two men had not found out the truth of these seas so cheape; the interest and the glorie could not doe what terror doth att the end. We are a litle better come to ourselves and furnished. We left that inn without reckoning with our host. It is cheape when wee are not to put the hand to the purse; neverthelesse we must pay out of civility: the one gives thanks to the woods, the other to the river, the third to the earth, the other to the rocks that stayes the ffish; in a word, there is nothing but kinekoiur of all sorts; the encens of our Encens (?) is not spared. The weather was agreable when we began to navigat upon that great extent of watter, finding it so calme and the aire so cleare. We thwarted in a pretty broad place, came to an isle most delightfull for the diversity of its fruits. We called it the isle of the foure beggars. We arrived about 5 of the clocke in the afternone that we came there. We sudainly put the kettle to the fire. We reside there a while, and seeing all this while the faire weather and calme. We went from thence att tenne of the clocke the same night to gaine the firme lande, which was 6 leagues from us, where we arrived before day. Here we found a small river. I was so curious that I inquired my dearest friends the name of this streame. They named me it pauabickkomesibs, which signifieth a small river of copper. I asked him the reason. He told me, "Come, and I shall shew thee the reason why." I was in a place which was not 200 paces in the wood, where many peeces of copper weare uncovered. Further he told me that the mountaine I saw was of nothing else. Seeing it so faire & pure, I had a minde to take a peece of it, but they hindred me, telling my brother there was more where we weare to goe. In this great Lake of myne owne eyes have seene which are admirable, and cane maintaine of a hundred pounds teem will not be decayed. [Footnote: "Of a hundred pounds teem." This sentence seems somewhat obscure. The writer perhaps meant to say that he had seen masses of copper not less than a hundred pounds weight.]
From this place we went along the coasts, which are most delightfull and wounderous, for it's nature that made it so pleasant to the eye, the sperit, and the belly. As we went along we saw banckes of sand so high that one of our wildmen went upp for curiositie; being there, did shew no more then a crow. That place is most dangerous when that there is any storme, being no landing place so long as the sandy bancks are under watter; and when the wind blowes, that sand doth rise by a strang kind of whirling that are able to choake the passengers. One day you will see 50 small mountaines att one side, and the next day, if the wind changes, on the other side. This putts me in mind of the great and vast wildernesses of Turkey land, as the Turques makes their pylgrimages.
Some dayes after we observed that there weare some boats before us, but knewed not certainely what they weare. We made all the hast to overtake them, fearing the ennemy no more. Indeed the faster we could goe the better for us, because of the season of the yeare, that began to be cold & freeze. They weare a nation that lived in a land towards the South. This nation is very small, being not 100 in all, men & women together. As we came neerer them they weare surprized of our safe retourne, and astonied to see us, admiring the rich marchandises that their confederates brought from the ffrench, that weare hattchetts and knives and other utensils very commodious, rare, precious, and necessary in those countreys. They told the news one to another whilst we made good cheere and great fires. They mourned for the death of [one] of their comrades; the heads of their ennemy weare danced. Some dayes [after] we separated ourselves, and presented guiftes to those that weare going an other way, for which we received great store of meate, which was putt up in barrills, and grease of bears & Oriniacke.
After this we came to a remarquable place. It's a banke of Rocks that the wild men made a sacrifice to; they calls it Nanitoucksinagoit, which signifies the likenesse of the devill. They fling much tobacco and other things in its veneration. It is a thing most incredible that that lake should be so boisterous, that the waves of it should have the strength to doe what I have to say by this my discours: first, that it's so high and soe deepe that it's impossible to claime up to the point. There comes many sorte of birds that makes there nest here, the goilants, which is a white sea-bird of the bignesse of pigeon, which makes me believe what the wildmen told me concerning the sea to be neare directly to the point. It's like a great Portail, by reason of the beating of the waves. The lower part of that oppening is as bigg as a tower, and grows bigger in the going up. There is, I believe, 6 acres of land. Above it a shipp of 500 tuns could passe by, soe bigg is the arch. I gave it the name of the portail of St Peter, because my name is so called, and that I was the first Christian [Footnote: "The first Christian that ever saw it." French Jesuits and fur-traders pushed deeper and deeper into the wilderness of the northern lakes. In 1641 Jacques and Raynbault preached the Faith to a concourse of Indians at the outlet of Lake Superior. Then came the havoc and desolation of the Iroquois war, and for years further exploration was arrested. At length, in 1658, two daring traders penetrated to Lake Superior, wintered there, and brought back the tales they had heard of the ferocious Sioux, and of a great western river on which they dwelt. Two years later the aged Jesuit Mesnard attempted to plant a mission on the southern shore of the lake, but perished in the forest by famine or the tomahawk. Allouez succeeded him, explored a part of Lake Superior, and heard in his turn of the Sioux and their great river, the "Messipi."—Introduction to Parkman's Discovery of the Great West. There can be no doubt but that the "two daring traders who in 1658 penetrated to Lake Superior," and dwelt on the great river, were Radisson and Des Groseilliers, who repeated their journey a few years after, described in this narrative. The "Pictured Rocks" and the "Doric Rock" were so named in Governor Cass's and Schoolcraft's Travels in 1820.] that ever saw it. There is in that place caves very deepe, caused by the same violence. We must looke to ourselves, and take time with our small boats. The coast of rocks is 5 or 6 leagues, and there scarce a place to putt a boat in assurance from the waves. When the lake is agitated the waves goeth in these concavities with force and make a most horrible noise, most like the shooting of great guns.
Some dayes afterwards we arrived to a very beautifull point of sand where there are 3 beautifull islands, [Footnote: "Three beautiful islands." In Cass's and Schoolcraft's Travels (1820) through the chain of American lakes these islands are called Huron Islands, and the bay beyond is marked on their map "Keweena Bay."] that we called of the Trinity; there be 3 in triangle. From this place we discovered a bay very deepe, where a river empties its selfe with a noise for the quantitie & dept of the water. We must stay there 3 dayes to wait for faire weather to make the Trainage, which was about 6 leagues wide. Soe done, we came to the mouth of a small river, where we killed some Oriniacks. We found meddows that weare squared, and 10 leagues as smooth as a boord. We went up some 5 leagues further, where we found some pools made by the castors. We must breake them that we might passe. The sluce being broaken, what a wounderfull thing to see the industrie of that animal, which had drowned more then 20 leagues in the grounds, and cutt all the trees, having left non to make a fire if the countrey should be dried up. Being come to the height, we must drague our boats over a trembling ground for the space of an houre. The ground became trembling by this means: the castor drowning great soyles with dead water, herein growes mosse which is 2 foot thick or there abouts, and when you think to goe safe and dry, if you take not great care you sink downe to your head or to the midle of your body. When you are out of one hole you find yourselfe in another. This I speake by experience, for I meselfe have bin catched often. But the wildmen warned me, which saved me; that is, that when the mosse should breake under I should cast my whole body into the watter on sudaine. I must with my hands hold the mosse, and goe soe like a frogg, then to draw my boat after me. There was no danger.
Having passed that place, we made a carriage through the land for 2 leagues. The way was well beaten because of the commers and goers, who by making that passage shortens their passage by 8 dayes by tourning about the point that goes very farr in that great lake; that is to say, 5 to come to the point, and 3 for to come to the landing of that place of cariage. In the end of that point, that goeth very farre, there is an isle, as I was told, all of copper. This I have not seene. They say that from the isle of copper, which is a league in the lake when they are minded to thwart it in a faire and calme wether, beginning from sun rising to sun sett, they come to a great island, from whence they come the next morning to firme lande att the other side; so by reason of 20 leagues a day that lake should be broad of 6 score and 10 leagues. The wildmen doe not much lesse when the weather is faire.
Five dayes after we came to a place where there was a company of Christinos that weare in their Cottages. They weare transported for joy to see us come backe. They made much of us, and called us men indeed, to performe our promisse to come and see them againe. We gave them great guifts, which caused some suspicion, for it is a very jealous nation. But the short stay that we made tooke away that jealousy. We went on and came to a hollow river which was a quarter of a mile in bredth. Many of our wildmen went to win the shortest way to their nation, and weare then 3 and 20 boats, for we mett with some in that lake that joyned with us, and came to keepe us company, in hopes to gett knives from us, which they love better then we serve God, which should make us blush for shame. Seaven boats stayed of the nation of the Sault. We went on half a day before we could come to the landing place, and wear forced to make another carriage a point of 2 leagues long and some 60 paces broad. As we came to the other sid we weare in a bay of 10 leagues about, if we had gone in. By goeing about that same point we passed a straight, for that point was very nigh the other side, which is a cape very much elevated like piramides. That point should be very fitt to build & advantgeous for the building of a fort, as we did the spring following. In that bay there is a chanell where we take great store of fishes, sturgeons of a vast biggnesse, and Pycks of seaven foot long. Att the end of this bay we landed. The wildmen gave thanks to that which they worship, we to God of Gods, to see ourselves in a place where we must leave our navigation and forsake our boats to undertake a harder peece of worke in hand, to which we are forced. The men told us that wee had 5 great dayes' journeys before we should arrive where their wives weare. We foresee the hard task that we weare to undergoe by carrying our bundles uppon our backs. They weare used to it. Here every one for himselfe & God for all.
We finding ourselves not able to performe such a taske, & they could not well tell where to finde their wives, fearing least the Nadoneceronons had warrs against their nation and forced them from their appointed place, my brother and I we consulted what was best to doe, and declared our will to them, which was thus: "Brethren, we resolve to stay here, being not accustomed to make any cariage on our backs as yee are wont. Goe yee and looke for your wives. We will build us a fort here. And seeing that you are not able to carry all your marchandizes att once, we will keepe them for you, and will stay for you 14 dayes. Before the time expired you will send to us if your wives be alive, and if you find them they will fetch what you leave here & what we have; ffor their paines they shall receive guifts of us. Soe you will see us in your countrey. If they be dead, we will spend all to be revenged, and will gather up the whole countrey for the next spring, for that purpose to destroy those that weare the causers of their death, and you shall see our strenght and vallour. Although there are seaven thousand fighting men in one village, you'll see we will make them runne away, & you shall kill them to your best liking by the very noise of our armes and our presence, who are the Gods of the earth among those people."
They woundered very much att our resolution. The next day they went their way and we stay for our assurance in the midst of many nations, being but two almost starved for want of food. We went about to make a fort of stakes, which was in this manner. Suppose that the watter side had ben in one end; att the same end there should be murtherers, and att need we made a bastion in a triangle to defend us from an assault. The doore was neare the watter side, our fire was in the midle, and our bed on the right hand, covered. There weare boughs of trees all about our fort layed a crosse, one uppon an other. Besides these boughs we had a long cord tyed with some small bells, which weare senteryes. Finally, we made an ende of that fort in 2 dayes' time. We made an end of some fish that we putt by for neede. But as soone as we are lodged we went to fish for more whilst the other kept the house. I was the fittest to goe out, being yongest. I tooke my gunne and goes where I never was before, so I choosed not one way before another. I went to the wood some 3 or 4 miles. I find a small brooke, where I walked by the sid awhile, which brought me into meddowes. There was a poole where weare a good store of bustards. I began to creepe though I might come neare. Thought to be in Canada, where the fowle is scared away; but the poore creatures, seeing me flatt uppon the ground, thought I was a beast as well as they, so they come neare me, whisling like gosslings, thinking to frighten me. The whistling that I made them heare was another musick then theirs. There I killed 3 and the rest scared, which neverthelesse came to that place againe to see what sudaine sicknesse befeled their comrads. I shott againe; two payed for their curiosity. I think the Spaniards had no more to fullfill then as kill those birds, that thought not of such a thunder bolt. There are yett more countreys as fruitfull and as beautifull as the Spaniards to conquer, which may be done with as much ease & facility, and prove as rich, if not richer, for bread & wine; and all other things are as plentifull as in any part of Europ. This I have seene, which am sure the Spaniards have not in such plenty. Now I come backe with my victory, which was to us more then tenne thousand pistoles. We lived by it 5 dayes. I tooke good notice of the place, in hopes to come there more frequent, but this place is not onely so.
There we stayed still full 12 dayes without any news, but we had the company of other wild men of other countreys that came to us admiring our fort and the workmanshipp. We suffered non to goe in but one person, and liked it so much the better, & often durst not goe in, so much they stood in feare of our armes, that weare in good order, which weare 5 guns, two musquetons, 3 fowling-peeces, 3 paire of great pistoletts, and 2 paire of pockett ons, and every one his sword and daggar. So that we might say that a Coward was not well enough armed. Mistrust neverthelesse is the mother of safety, and the occasion makes the thief. During that time we had severall alarums in the night. The squerels and other small beasts, as well as foxes, came in and assaulted us. One night I forgott my bracer, which was wett; being up and downe in those pooles to fetch my fowles, one of these beasts carried it away, which did us a great deal of wrong, and caused the life to great many of those against whom I declared myselfe an ennemy. We imagined that some wildmen might have surprized us; but I may say they weare far more afrayd then we. Some dayes after we found it one half a mile from the fort in a hole of a tree, the most part torne. Then I killed an Oriniack. I could have killed more, but we liked the fowles better. If we had both libertie to goe from our fort, we should have procured in a month that should serve us a whole winter. The wildmen brought us more meate then we would, and as much fish as we might eate.
The 12th day we perceived afarr off some 50 yong men coming towards us, with some of our formest compagnions. We gave them leave to come into our fort, but they are astonied, calling us every foot devills to have made such a machine. They brought us victualls, thinking we weare halfe starved, but weare mightily mistaken, for we had more for them then they weare able to eate, having 3 score bussards and many sticks where was meate hanged plentifully. They offred to carry our baggage, being come a purpose; but we had not so much marchandize as when they went from us, because we hid some of them, that they might not have suspicion of us. We told them that for feare of the dayly multitud of people that came to see us, for to have our goods would kill us. We therefore tooke a boat and putt into it our marchandises; this we brought farre into the bay, where we sunke them, biding our devill not to lett them to be wett nor rusted, nor suffer them to be taken away, which he promised faithlesse that we should retourne and take them out of his hands; att which they weare astonished, believing it to be true as the Christians the Gospell. We hid them in the ground on the other sid of the river in a peece of ground. We told them that lye that they should not have suspicion of us. We made good cheere. They stayed there three dayes, during which time many of their wives came thither, and we traited them well, for they eat not fowle att all, scarce, because they know not how to catch them except with their arrowes. We putt a great many rind about our fort, and broake all the boats that we could have, for the frost would have broaken them or wild men had stolen them away. That rind was tyed all in length to putt the fire in it, to frighten the more these people, for they could not approach it without being discovered. If they ventured att the going out we putt the fire to all the torches, shewing them how we would have defended ourselves. We weare Cesars, being nobody to contradict us. We went away free from any burden, whilst those poore miserable thought themselves happy to carry our Equipage, for the hope that they had that we should give them a brasse ring, or an awle, or an needle.
There came above foure hundred persons to see us goe away from that place, which admired more our actions [than] the fools of Paris to see enter their King and the Infanta of Spaine, his spouse; for they cry out, "God save the King and Queene!" Those made horrid noise, and called Gods and Devills of the Earth and heavens. We marched foure dayes through the woods. The countrey is beautifull, with very few mountaines, the woods cleare. Att last we came within a league of the Cabbans, where we layed that the next day might be for our entrey. We 2 poore adventurers for the honneur of our countrey, or of those that shall deserve it from that day; the nimblest and stoutest went before to warne before the people that we should make our entry to-morow. Every one prepares to see what they never before have seene. We weare in cottages which weare neare a litle lake some 8 leagues in circuit. Att the watterside there weare abundance of litle boats made of trees that they have hollowed, and of rind.
The next day we weare to embarque in them, and arrived att the village by watter, which was composed of a hundred cabans without pallasados. There is nothing but cryes. The women throw themselves backwards uppon the ground, thinking to give us tokens of friendship and of wellcome. We destinated 3 presents, one for the men, one for the women, and the other for the children, to the end that they should remember that journey; that we should be spoaken of a hundred years after, if other Europeans should not come in those quarters and be liberal to them, which will hardly come to passe. The first was a kettle, two hattchetts, and 6 knives, and a blade for a sword. The kettle was to call all nations that weare their friends to the feast which is made for the remembrance of the death; that is, they make it once in seaven years; it's a renewing of ffriendshippe. I will talke further of it in the following discours. The hattchetts weare to encourage the yong people to strengthen themselves in all places, to preserve their wives, and shew themselves men by knocking the heads of their ennemyes with the said hattchetts. The knives weare to shew that the ffrench weare great and mighty, and their confederats and ffriends. The sword was to signifie that we would be masters both of peace and warrs, being willing to healpe and relieve them, & to destroy our Ennemyes with our armes. The second guift was of 2 and 20 awles, 50 needles, 2 gratters of castors, 2 ivory combs and 2 wooden ones, with red painte, 6 looking-glasses of tin. The awles signifieth to take good courage, that we should keepe their lives, and that they with their hushands should come downe to the ffrench when time and season should permitt. The needles for to make them robes of castor, because the ffrench loved them. The 2 gratters weare to dresse the skins; the combes, the paint, to make themselves beautifull; the looking-glasses to admire themselves. The 3rd guift was of brasse rings, of small bells, and rasades of divers couleurs, and given in this maner. We sent a man to make all the children come together. When they weare there we throw these things over their heads. You would admire what a beat was among them, every one striving to have the best. This was done uppon this consideration, that they should be allwayes under our protection, giving them wherewithall to make them merry & remember us when they should be men.
This done, we are called to the Councell of welcome and to the feast of ffriendshipp, afterwards to the dancing of the heads; but before the dancing we must mourne for the deceased, and then, for to forgett all sorrow, to the dance. We gave them foure small guifts that they should continue such ceremonyes, which they tooke willingly and did us good, that gave us authority among the whole nation. We knewed their councels, and made them doe whatsoever we thought best. This was a great advantage for us, you must think. Amongst such a rowish kind of people a guift is much, and well bestowed, and liberality much esteemed; but not prodigalitie is not in esteeme, for they abuse it, being brutish. Wee have ben useing such ceremonyes 3 whole dayes, & weare lodged in the cabban of the chiefest captayne, who came with us from the ffrench. We liked not the company of that blind, therefore left him. He wondred at this, but durst not speake, because we weare demi-gods. We came to a cottage of an ancient witty man, that had had a great familie and many children, his wife old, neverthelesse handsome. They weare of a nation called Malhonmines; that is, the nation of Oats, graine that is much in that countrey. Of this afterwards more att large. I tooke this man for my ffather and the woman for my mother, soe the children consequently brothers and sisters. They adopted me. I gave every one a guift, and they to mee.
Having so disposed of our buissinesse, the winter comes on, that warns us; the snow begins to fall, soe we must retire from the place to seeke our living in the woods. Every one getts his equipage ready. So away we goe, but not all to the same place; two, three att the most, went one way, and so of an other. They have so done because victuals weare scant for all in a place. But lett us where we will, we cannot escape the myghty hand of God, that disposes as he pleases, and who chastes us as a good & a common loving ffather, and not as our sins doe deserve. Finaly wee depart one from an other. As many as we weare in number, we are reduced to a small company. We appointed a rendezvous after two months and a half, to take a new road & an advice what we should doe. During the said terme we sent messengers everywhere, to give speciall notice to all manner of persons and nation that within 5 moons the feast of death was to be celebrated, and that we should apeare together and explaine what the devill should command us to say, and then present them presents of peace and union. Now we must live on what God sends, and warre against the bears in the meane time, for we could aime att nothing else, which was the cause that we had no great cheare. I can say that we with our comrades, who weare about 60, killed in the space of 2 moons and a halfe, a thousand moons [Footnote: The writer no doubt meant that they killed so many that they had bear's grease enough to last for a thousand moons.] we wanted not bear's grease to annoint ourselves, to runne the better. We beated downe the woods dayly for to discover novellties. We killed severall other beasts, as Oriniacks, staggs, wild cows, Carriboucks, fallow does and bucks, Catts of mountains, child of the Devill; in a word, we lead a good life. The snow increases dayly. There we make raketts, not to play att ball, but to exercise ourselves in a game harder and more necessary. They are broad, made like racketts, that they may goe in the snow and not sinke when they runne after the eland or other beast.
We are come to the small lake, the place of rendezvous, where we found some company that weare there before us. We cottage ourselves, staying for the rest, that came every day. We stayed 14 dayes in this place most miserable, like to a churchyard; ffor there did fall such a quantity of snow and frost, and with such a thick mist, that all the snow stoocke to those trees that are there so ruffe, being deal trees, prusse cedars, and thorns, that caused the darknesse uppon the earth that it is to be believed that the sun was eclipsed them 2 months; ffor after the trees weare so laden with snow that fel'd afterwards, was as if it had been sifted, so by that means very light and not able to beare us, albeit we made racketts of 6 foot long and a foot and a halfe broad; so often thinking to tourne ourselves we felld over and over againe in the snow, and if we weare alone we should have difficultie enough to rise againe. By the noyse we made, the Beasts heard us a great way off; so the famine was among great many that had not provided before hand, and live upon what they gett that day, never thinking for the next. It grows wors and wors dayly.
To augment our misery we receive news of the Octanaks, who weare about a hundred and fifty, with their families. They had a quarell with the hurrons in the Isle where we had come from some years before in the lake of the stairing hairs, and came purposely to make warres against them the next summer. But lett us see if they brought us anything to subsist withall. But are worst provided then we; having no huntsmen, they are reduced to famine. But, O cursed covetousnesse, what art thou going to doe? It should be farr better to see a company of Rogues perish, then see ourselves in danger to perish by that scourg so cruell. Hearing that they have had knives and hattchetts, the victualls of their poore children is taken away from them; yea, what ever they have, those doggs must have their share. They are the coursedest, unablest, the unfamous & cowarliest people that I have seene amongst fower score nations that I have frequented. O yee poore people, you shall have their booty, but you shall pay dearly for it! Every one cryes out for hungar; the women become baren, and drie like wood. You men must eate the cord, being you have no more strength to make use of the bow. Children, you must die. ffrench, you called yourselves Gods of the earth, that you should be feared, for your interest; notwithstanding you shall tast of the bitternesse, and too happy if you escape. Where is the time past? Where is the plentynesse that yee had in all places and countreys? Here comes a new family of these poore people dayly to us, halfe dead, for they have but the skin & boans. How shall we have strength to make a hole in the snow to lay us downe, seeing we have it not to hale our racketts after us, nor to cutt a litle woad to make a fire to keepe us from the rigour of the cold, which is extreame in those Countreyes in its season. Oh! if the musick that we heare could give us recreation, we wanted not any lamentable musick nor sad spectacle. In the morning the husband looks uppon his wife, the Brother his sister, the cozen the cozen, the Oncle the nevew, that weare for the most part found deade. They languish with cryes & hideous noise that it was able to make the haire starre on the heads that have any apprehension. Good God, have mercy on so many poore innocent people, and of us that acknowledge thee, that having offended thee punishes us. But wee are not free of that cruell Executioner. Those that have any life seeketh out for roots, which could not be done without great difficultie, the earth being frozen 2 or 3 foote deepe, and the snow 5 or 6 above it. The greatest susibstance that we can have is of rind tree which growes like ivie about the trees; but to swallow it, we cutt the stick some 2 foot long, tying it in faggott, and boyle it, and when it boyles one houre or two the rind or skinne comes off with ease, which we take and drie it in the smoake and then reduce it into powder betwixt two graine-stoans, and putting the kettle with the same watter uppon the fire, we make it a kind of broath, which nourished us, but becam thirstier and drier then the woode we eate.
The 2 first weeke we did eate our doggs. As we went backe uppon our stepps for to gett any thing to fill our bellyes, we weare glad to gett the boans and carcasses of the beasts that we killed. And happy was he that could gett what the other did throw away after it had ben boyled 3 or foure times to gett the substance out of it. We contrived an other plott, to reduce to powder those boanes, the rest of crows and doggs. So putt all that together halfe foot within grounde, and so makes a fire uppon it, We covered all that very well with earth, soe seeling the heat, and boyled them againe and gave more froth then before; in the next place, the skins that weare reserved to make us shoose, cloath, and stokins, yea, most of the skins of our cottages, the castors' skins, where the children beshit them above a hundred times. We burned the haire on the coals; the rest goes downe throats, eating heartily these things most abhorred. We went so eagerly to it that our gumms did bleede like one newly wounded. The wood was our food the rest of sorrowfull time. Finaly we became the very Image of death. We mistook ourselves very often, taking the living for the dead and the dead for the living. We wanted strength to draw the living out of the cabans, or if we did when we could, it was to putt them four paces in the snow. Att the end the wrath of God begins to appease itselfe, and pityes his poore creatures. If I should expresse all that befell us in that strange accidents, a great volume would not centaine it. Here are above 500 dead, men, women, and children. It's time to come out of such miseryes. Our bodyes are not able to hold out any further.
After the storme, calme comes. But stormes favoured us, being that calme kills us. Here comes a wind and raine that putts a new life in us. The snow sails, the forest cleers itselfe, att which sight those that had strings left in their bowes takes courage to use it. The weather continued so 3 dayes that we needed no racketts more, for the snow hardned much. The small staggs are [as] if they weare stakes in it after they made 7 or 8 capers. It's an easy matter for us to take them and cutt their throats with our knives. Now we see ourselves a litle fournished, but yett have not payed, ffor it cost many their lives. Our gutts became very straight by our long fasting, that they could not centaine the quantity that some putt in them. I cannot omitt the pleasant thoughts of some of them wildmen. Seeing my brother allwayes in the same condition, they said that some Devill brought him wherewithall to eate; but if they had seene his body they should be of another oppinion. The beard that covered his face made as if he had not altered his face. For me that had no beard, they said I loved them, because I lived as well as they. From the second day we began to walke.
There came 2 men from a strange countrey who had a dogg; the buissinesse was how to catch him cunningly, knowing well those people love their beasts. Neverthelesse wee offred guifts, but they would not, which made me stubborne. That dogge was very leane, and as hungry as we weare, but the masters have not suffered so much. I went one night neere that same cottage to doe what discretion permitts me not to speake. Those men weare Nadoneseronons. They weare much respected that no body durst not offend them, being that we weare uppon their land with their leave. The dogg comes out, not by any smell, but by good like. I take him and bring him a litle way. I stabbed him with my dagger. I brought him to the cottage, where [he] was broyled like a pigge and cutt in peeces, gutts and all, soe every one of the family had his share. The snow where he was killed was not lost, ffor one of our company went and gott it to season the kettles. We began to looke better dayly. We gave the rendezvous to the convenientest place to celebrat that great feast.
Some 2 moons after there came 8 ambassadors from the nation of Nadoneseronons, that we will call now the Nation of the beefe. Those men each had 2 wives, loadened of Oats, corne that growes in that countrey, of a small quantity of Indian Corne, with other grains, & it was to present to us, which we received as a great favour & token of friendshippe; but it had been welcome if they had brought it a month or two before. They made great ceremonys in greasing our feete and leggs, and we painted them with red. They stript us naked and putt uppon us cloath of buffe and of white castors. After this they weeped uppon our heads untill we weare wetted by their tears, and made us smoake in their pipes after they kindled them. It was not in common pipes, but in pipes of peace and of the warrs, that they pull out but very seldom, when there is occasion for heaven and earth. This done, they perfumed our cloaths and armour one after an other, and to conclude did throw a great quantity of tobbacco into the fire. We told them that they prevented us, for letting us know that all persons of their nation came to visite us, that we might dispose of them.
The next morning they weare called by our Interpretor. We understood not a word of their language, being quit contrary to those that we weare with. They are arrived, they satt downe. We made a place for us more elevated, to be more att our ease & to appeare in more state. We borrowed their Calumet, saying that we are in their countrey, and that it was not lawfull for us to carry anything out of our countrey. That pipe is of a red stone, as bigge as a fist and as long as a hand. The small reede as long as five foot, in breadth, and of the thicknesse of a thumb. There is tyed to it the tayle of an eagle all painted over with severall couleurs and open like a fan, or like that makes a kind of a wheele when he shuts; below the toppe of the steeke is covered with feathers of ducks and other birds that are of a fine collour. We tooke the tayle of the eagle, and instead of it we hung 12 Iron bows in the same manner as the feathers weare, and a blade about it along the staffe, a hattchett planted in the ground, and that calumet over it, and all our armours about it uppon forks. Every one smoaked his pipe of tobacco, nor they never goe without it. During that while there was a great silence. We prepared some powder that was litle wetted, and the good powder was precious to us. Our Interpreter told them in our name, "Brethren, we have accepted of your guifts. Yee are called here to know our will and pleasur that is such: first, we take you for our brethren by taking you into our protection, and for to shew you, we, instead of the eagles' tayle, have putt some of our armours, to the end that no ennemy shall approach it to breake the affinitie that we make now with you." Then we tooke the 12 Iron off the bowes and lift them up, telling them those points shall passe over the whole world to defend and destroy your ennemyes, that are ours. Then we putt the Irons in the same place againe. Then we tooke the sword and bad them have good courage, that by our means they should vanquish their Ennemy. After we tooke the hattchett that was planted in the ground, we tourned round about, telling them that we should kill those that would warre against them, and that we would make forts that they should come with more assurance to the feast of the dead. That done, we throw powder in the fire, that had more strenght then we thought; it made the brands fly from one side to the other. We intended to make them believe that it was some of our Tobacco, and make them smoake as they made us smoake. But hearing such a noise, and they seeing that fire fled of every side, without any further delay or looke for so much time as looke for the dore of the cottage, one runne one way, another an other way, ffor they never saw a sacrifice of tobacco so violent. They went all away, and we onely stayed in the place. We followed them to reassure them of their faintings. We visited them in their appartments, where they received [us] all trembling for feare, believing realy by that same meanes that we weare the Devils of the earth. There was nothing but feasting for 8 dayes.
The time now was nigh that we must goe to the rendezvous; this was betwixt a small lake and a medow. Being arrived, most of ours weare allready in their cottages. In 3 dayes' time there arrived eighten severall nations, and came privatly, to have done the sooner. As we became to the number of 500, we held a councell. Then the shouts and cryes and the encouragments weare proclaimed, that a fort should be builded. They went about the worke and made a large fort. It was about 603 score paces in lenght and 600 in breadth, so that it was a square. There we had a brooke that came from the lake and emptied itselfe in those medows, which had more then foure leagues in lenght. Our fort might be seene afar off, and on that side most delightfull, for the great many stagges that took the boldnesse to be carried by quarters where att other times they made good cheare.
In two dayes this was finished. Soone 30 yong men of the nation of the beefe arrived there, having nothing but bows and arrows, with very short garments, to be the nimbler in chasing the stagges. The Iron of their arrows weare made of staggs' pointed horens very neatly. They weare all proper men, and dressed with paint. They weare the discoverers and the foreguard. We kept a round place in the midle of our Cabban and covered it with long poles with skins over them, that we might have a shelter to keepe us from the snow. The cottages weare all in good order; in each 10, twelve companies or families. That company was brought to that place where there was wood layd for the fires. The snow was taken away, and the earth covered with deale tree bows. Severall kettles weare brought there full of meate. They rested and eat above 5 houres without speaking one to another. The considerablest of our companyes went and made speeches to them. After one takes his bow and shoots an arrow, and then cryes aloud, there speaks some few words, saying that they weare to lett them know the Elders of their village weare to come the morrow to renew the friendship and to make it with the ffrench, and that a great many of their yong people came and brought them some part of their wayes to take their advice, ffor they had a minde to goe against the Christinos, who weare ready for them, and they in like manner to save their wives & children. They weare scattered in many Cabbans that night, expecting those that weare to come. To that purpose there was a vast large place prepared some hundred paces from the fort, where everything was ready for the receiving of those persons. They weare to sett their tents, that they bring uppon their backs. The pearches weare putt out and planted as we received the news; the snow putt aside, and the boughs of trees covered the ground.
The day following they arrived with an incredible pomp. This made me thinke of the Intrance that the Polanders did in Paris, saving that they had not so many Jewells, but instead of them they had so many feathers. The ffirst weare yong people with their bows and arrows and Buckler on their shoulders, uppon which weare represented all manner of figures, according to their knowledge, as of the sun and moone, of terrestriall beasts, about its feathers very artificialy painted. Most of the men their faces weare all over dabbed with severall collours. Their hair turned up like a Crowne, and weare cutt very even, but rather so burned, for the fire is their cicers. They leave a tuff of haire upon their Crowne of their heads, tye it, and putt att the end of it some small pearles or some Turkey stones, to bind their heads. They have a role commonly made of a snake's skin, where they tye severall bears' paws, or give a forme to some bitts of buff's horns, and put it about the said role. They grease themselves with very thick grease, & mingle it in reddish earth, which they bourne, as we our breeks. With this stuffe they gett their haire to stand up. They cutt some downe of Swan or other fowle that hath a white feather, and cover with it the crowne of their heads. Their ears are pierced in 5 places; the holes are so bigg that your little finger might passe through. They have yallow waire that they make with copper, made like a starr or a half moone, & there hang it. Many have Turkeys. They are cloathed with Oriniack & staggs' skins, but very light. Every one had the skin of a crow hanging att their guirdles. Their stokens all inbrodered with pearles and with their own porke-pick worke. They have very handsome shoose laced very thick all over with a peece sowen att the side of the heele, which was of a haire of Buff, which trailed above halfe a foot upon the earth, or rather on the snow. They had swords and knives of a foot and a halfe long, and hattchetts very ingeniously done, and clubbs of wood made like backswords; some made of a round head that I admired it. When they kille their ennemy they cutt off the tuffe of haire and tye it about their armes. After all, they have a white robe made of Castors' skins painted. Those having passed through the midle of ours, that weare ranged att every side of the way. The Elders came with great gravitie and modestie, covered with buff coats which hung downe to the grounde. Every one had in his hand a pipe of Councell sett with precious jewells. They had a sack on their shoulders, and that that holds it grows in the midle of their stomacks and on their shoulders. In this sacke all the world is inclosed. Their face is not painted, but their heads dressed as the foremost. Then the women laden like unto so many mules, their burdens made a greater sheu then they themselves; but I supose the weight was not equivolent to its bignesse. They weare conducted to the appointed place, where the women unfolded their bundles, and slang their skins whereof their tents are made, so that they had houses [in] less then half an hour.
After they rested they came to the biggest cabbane constituted for that purpose. There were fires kindled. Our Captayne made a speech of thanksgiving, which should be long to writ it. We are called to the councell of new come chiefe, where we came in great pompe, as you shall heare. First they come to make a sacrifice to the french, being Gods and masters of all things, as of peace, as warrs; making the knives, the hattchetts, and the kettles rattle, etc. That they came purposely to putt themselves under their protection. Moreover, that they came to bring them back againe to their countrey, having by their means destroyed their Ennemyes abroad & neere. So Said, they present us with guifts of Castors' Skins, assuring us that the mountains weare elevated, the valleys risen, the ways very smooth, the bows of trees cutt downe to goe with more ease, and bridges erected over rivers, for not to wett our feete; that the dores of their villages, cottages of their wives and daughters, weare open at any time to receive us, being wee kept them alive by our marchandises. The Second guift was, yet they would die in their alliance, and that to certifie to all nations by continuing the peace, & weare willing to receive and assist them in their countrey, being well satisfied they weare come to celebrat the feast of the dead. The 3rd guift was for to have one of the doors of the fort opened, if neede required, to receive and keepe them from the Christinos that come to destroy them; being allwayes men, and the heavens made them so, that they weare obliged to goe before to defend their country and their wives, which is the dearest thing they had in the world, & in all times they weare esteemed stout & true soldiers, & that yett they would make it appeare by going to meet them; and that they would not degenerat, but shew by their actions that they weare as valiant as their fore ffathers. The 4th guift was presented to us, which [was] of Buff Skins, to desire our assistance ffor being the masters of their lives, and could dispose of them as we would, as well of the peace as of the warrs, and that we might very well see that they did well to goe defend their owne countrey; that the true means to gett the victory was to have a thunder. They meant a gune, calling it miniskoick.
The speech being finished, they intreated us to be att the feast. We goe presently back againe to fournish us with woaden bowls. We made foure men to carry our guns afore us, that we charged of powder alone, because of their unskillfullnesse that they might have killed their ffathers. We each of us had a paire of pistoletts and Sword, a dagger. We had a role of porkepick about our heads, which was as a crowne, and two litle boyes that carryed the vessells that we had most need of; this was our dishes and our spoons. They made a place higher & most elevate, knowing our customs, in the midle for us to sitt, where we had the men lay our armes. Presently comes foure elders, with the calumet kindled in their hands. They present the candles to us to smoake, and foure beautifull maids that went before us carrying bears' skins to putt under us. When we weare together, an old man rifes & throws our calumet att our feet, and bids them take the kettles from of the sire, and spoake that he thanked the sun that never was a day to him so happy as when he saw those terrible men whose words makes the earth quacke, and sang a while. Having ended, came and covers us with his vestment, and all naked except his feet and leggs, he saith, "Yee are masters over us; dead or alive you have the power over us, and may dispose of us as your pleasur." So done, takes the callumet of the feast, and brings it, So a maiden brings us a coale of fire to kindle it. So done, we rose, and one of us begins to sing. We bad the interpreter to tell them we should save & keepe their lives, taking them for our brethren, and to testify that we short of all our artillery, which was of twelve gunns. We draw our Swords and long knives to our defence, if need should require, which putt the men in Such a terror that they knewed not what was best to run or stay. We throw a handfull of powder in the fire to make a greater noise and smoake.
Our songs being finished, we began our teeth to worke. We had there a kinde of rice, much like oats. It growes in the watter in 3 or 4 foote deepe. There is a God that shews himselfe in every countrey, almighty, full of goodnesse, and the preservation of those poore people who knoweth him not They have a particular way to gather up that graine. Two takes a boat and two sticks, by which they gett the eare downe and gett the corne out of it. Their boat being full, they bring it to a fitt place to dry it, and that is their food for the most part of the winter, and doe dresse it thus: ffor each man a handfull of that they putt in the pott, that swells so much that it can suffice a man. After the feast was over there comes two maidens bringing wherewithall to smoake, the one the pipes, the other the fire. They offered ffirst to one of the elders, that satt downe by us. When he had smoaked, he bids them give it us. This being done, we went backe to our fort as we came.
The day following we made the principall Persons come together to answer to their guifts. Being come with great solemnity, there we made our Interpreter tell them that we weare come from the other side of the great salted lake, not to kill them but to make them live; acknowledging you for our brethren and children, whom we will love henceforth as our owne; then we gave them a kettle. The second guift was to encourage them in all their undertakings, telling them that we liked men that generously defended themselves against all their ennemyes; and as we weare masters of peace and warrs, we are to dispose the affairs that we would see an universall peace all over the earth; and that this time we could not goe and force the nations that weare yett further to condescend & submitt to our will, but that we would see the neighbouring countreys in peace and union; that the Christinos weare our brethren, and have frequented them many winters; that we adopted them for our children, and tooke them under our protection; that we should send them ambassadors; that I myself should make them come, and conclude a generall peace; that we weare sure of their obedience to us; that the ffirst that should breake the peace we would be their ennemy, and would reduce them to powder with our heavenly fire; that we had the word of the Christinos as well as theirs, and our thunders should serve us to make warrs against those that would not submitt to our will and desire, which was to see them good ffriends, to goe and make warrs against the upper nations, that doth not know us as yett. The guift was of 6 hattchetts. The 3rd was to oblige them to receive our propositions, likewise the Christinos, to lead them to the dance of Union, which was to be celebrated at the death's feast and banquett of kindred. If they would continue the warrs, that was not the meanes to see us againe in their Countrey. The 4th was that we thanked them ffor making us a free passage through their countreys. The guift was of 2 dozen of knives. The last was of smaller trifles,—6 gratters, 2 dozen of awles, 2 dozen of needles, 6 dozens of looking-glasses made of tine, a dozen of litle bells, 6 Ivory combs, with a litle vermillion. Butt ffor to make a recompence to the good old man that spake so favorably, we gave him a hattchett, and to the Elders each a blade for a Sword, and to the 2 maidens that served us 2 necklaces, which putt about their necks, and 2 braceletts for their armes. The last guift was in generall for all the women to love us and give us to eat when we should come to their cottages. The company gave us great Ho! ho! ho! that is, thanks. Our wildmen made others for their interest.
A company of about 50 weare dispatched to warne the Christinos of what we had done. I went myself, where we arrived the 3rd day, early in the morning. I was received with great demonstration of ffriendshippe. All that day we feasted, danced, and sing. I compared that place before to the Buttery of Paris, ffor the great quantity of meat that they use to have there; but now will compare it to that of London. There I received guifts of all sorts of meate, of grease more then 20 men could carry. The custome is not to deface anything that they present. There weare above 600 men in a fort, with a great deale of baggage on their shoulders, and did draw it upon light slids made very neatly. I have not seen them att their entrance, ffor the snow blinded mee. Coming back, we passed a lake hardly frozen, and the sun [shone upon it] for the most part, ffor I looked a while steadfastly on it, so I was troubled with this seaven or eight dayes.
The meane while that we are there, arrived above a thousand that had not ben there but for those two redoubted nations that weare to see them doe what they never before had, a difference which was executed with a great deale of mirth. I ffor feare of being inuied I will obmitt onely that there weare playes, mirths, and bataills for sport, goeing and coming with cryes; each plaid his part. In the publick place the women danced with melody. The yong men that indeavoured to gett a pryse, indeavoured to clime up a great post, very smooth, and greased with oyle of beare & oriniack grease. The stake was att least of 15 foot high. The price was a knife or other thing. We layd the stake there, but whoso could catch it should have it. The feast was made to eate all up. To honnour the feast many men and women did burst. Those of that place coming backe, came in sight of those of the village or fort, made postures in similitud of warrs. This was to discover the ennemy by signs; any that should doe soe we gave orders to take him, or kill him and take his head off. The prisoner to be tyed [and] to fight in retreating. To pull an arrow out of the body; to exercise and strike with a clubbe, a buckler to theire feete, and take it if neede requireth, and defende himselfe, if neede requirs, from the ennemy; being in sentery to heark the ennemy that comes neere, and to heare the better lay him downe on the side. These postures are playd while the drums beate. This was a serious thing, without speaking except by nodding or gesture. Their drums weare earthen potts full of watter, covered with staggs-skin. The sticks like hammers for the purpose. The elders have bomkins to the end of their staves full of small stones, which makes a ratle, to which yong men and women goe in a cadance. The elders are about these potts, beating them and singing. The women also by, having a nosegay in their hands, and dance very modestly, not lifting much their feete from the ground, keeping their heads downewards, makeing a sweet harmony. We made guifts for that while 14 days' time. Every one brings the most exquisite things, to shew what his country affoards. The renewing of their alliances, the mariages according to their countrey coustoms, are made; also the visit of the boans of their deceased ffriends, ffor they keepe them and bestow them uppon one another. We sang in our language as they in theirs, to which they gave greate attention. We gave them severall guifts, and received many. They bestowed upon us above 300 robs of castors, out of which we brought not five to the ffrench, being far in the countrey.
This feast ended, every one retourns to his countrey well satisfied. To be as good as our words, we came to the nation of the beefe, which was seaven small Journeys from that place. We promised in like maner to the Christinos the next spring we should come to their side of the upper lake, and there they should meete us, to come into their countrey. We being arrived among the nation of the beefe, we wondred to finde ourselves in a towne where weare great cabbans most covered with skins and other close matts. They tould us that there weare 7,000 men. This we believed. Those have as many wives as they can keepe. If any one did trespasse upon the other, his nose was cutt off, and often the crowne of his head. The maidens have all maner of freedome, but are forced to mary when they come to the age. The more they beare children the more they are respected. I have seene a man having 14 wives. There they have no wood, and make provision of mosse for their firing. This their place is environed with pearches which are a good distance one from an other, that they gett in the valleys where the Buffe use to repaire, uppon which they do live. They sow corne, but their harvest is small. The soyle is good, but the cold hinders it, and the graine very small. In their countrey are mines of copper, of pewter, and of ledd. There are mountains covered with a kind of Stone that is transparent and tender, and like to that of Venice. The people stay not there all the yeare; they retire in winter towards the woods of the North, where they kill a quantity of Castors, and I say that there are not so good in the whole world, but not in such a store as the Christinos, but far better.