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      The river being now hard frozen, Murray sent over a detachment of light infantry under Major Dalling. A sharp fight ensued on the snow, around the church, and in the neighboring forest, where the English soldiers, taught to use snow-shoes by the rangers, routed the enemy, and killed or captured a considerable number. A third post was then established at the church and the priest's house adjacent. Some days after, the French came back in large numbers, fortified themselves with felled trees, and then attacked the English position. The firing being heard at Quebec, the light infantry went over to the scene of action, and Murray himself followed on the ice, with the Highlanders and other troops. Before he came up, the French drew off and retreated to their breastwork, where they were attacked and put to flight, the nimble Highlanders capturing a few, while the greater part made their escape.

      At the beginning of November Winslow reported that he had sent off fifteen hundred and ten persons, in nine vessels, and that more than six hundred still remained in his district. [281] The last of these were not embarked till late in December. Murray finished his part of the work at the end of October, having sent from the district of Fort Edward eleven hundred persons in four frightfully crowded transports. [282] At the close of that month sixteen hundred and sixty-four had been sent from the district of Annapolis, where many others escaped to the woods. [283] A detachment 281V2 The siege was begun in form, though the English engineers were so incompetent that the trenches, as first laid out, were scoured by the fire of the place, and had to be made anew. [741] At last the batteries opened fire. A shell from a coehorn burst prematurely, just as it left the mouth of the piece, and a fragment striking Prideaux on the head, killed him instantly. Johnson took command in his place, and made up in energy what he lacked in skill. In two or three weeks the fort was in extremity. The rampart was breached, more than a hundred of the garrison were killed or disabled, and the rest were exhausted with want of sleep. Pouchot watched anxiously for the promised succors; and on the morning of the twenty-fourth of July a distant firing told him that they were at hand.

      "Miss Penny, honey," she gasped. "Yo' Paw say, please to come downstairs."It appears by the muster-rolls of Massachusetts that what with manning the coast-guard vessels, defending the frontier against Indians, and furnishing her contingent to the Canada expedition, more than one in five of her able-bodied men were in active service in the summer of 1711. Years passed before she recovered from the effects of her financial exhaustion.

      Before the end of the seventeenth century the functions of the Canadian Jesuit had become as much political as religious; but if the fires of his apostolic zeal burned less high, his devotion to the Order in which he had merged his personality was as intense as before. While in constant friction with the civil and military powers, he tried to make himself necessary to them, and in good measure he suc[Pg 216]ceeded. Nobody was so able to manage the Indian tribes and keep them in the interest of France. "Religion," says Charlevoix, "is the chief bond by which the savages are attached to us;" and it was the Jesuit above all others who was charged to keep this bond firm.V1 who chiefly made up his Assembly. North Carolina alone answered the appeal, and gave money enough to raise three or four hundred men. Two independent companies maintained by the King in New York, and one in South Carolina, had received orders from England to march to the scene of action; and in these, with the scanty levies of his own and the adjacent province, lay Dinwiddie's only hope. With men abundant and willing, there were no means to put them into the field, and no commander whom they would all obey.

      Phips returned crestfallen to Boston late in November; and one by one the rest of the fleet came straggling after him, battered and weather-beaten. Some did not appear till February, and three or four never came at all. The autumn and early winter were unusually stormy. Captain Rainsford, with sixty men, was wrecked on the 284 Island of Anticosti, where more than half their number died of cold and misery. [24] In the other vessels, some were drowned, some frost-bitten, and above two hundred killed by small-pox and fever.

      "Oh Pen, I couldn't!"[13] N. Y. Col. Docs., IX. 435.


      V1 next day he was again silent, till at last he muttered, "We shall better know how to deal with them another time," and died a few minutes after. He had nevertheless found breath to give orders at Gist's for the succor of the men who had dropped on the road. It is said, too, that in his last hours "he could not bear the sight of a red coat," but murmured praises of "the blues," or Virginians, and said that he hoped he should live to reward them. [231] He died at about eight o'clock in the evening of Sunday, the thirteenth. Dunbar had begun his retreat that morning, and was then encamped near the Great Meadows. On Monday the dead commander was buried in the road; and men, horses, and wagons passed over his grave, effacing every sign of it, lest the Indians should find and mutilate the body.


      It was near one o'clock when Braddock crossed the Monongahela for the second time. If the French made a stand anywhere, it would be, he thought, at the fording-place; but Lieutenant-Colonel Gage, whom he sent across with a strong advance-party, found no enemy, and quietly took possession of the farther shore. Then the main body followed. To impose on the imagination of the French scouts, who were doubtless on the watch, the movement was made with studied regularity and order. The sun was cloudless, and the men were inspirited by the prospect of near triumph. Washington afterwards spoke with admiration of the spectacle. [221] The music, the banners, the mounted officers, the troop of light cavalry, the naval detachment, the red-coated regulars, the blue-coated Virginians, the wagons and tumbrils, cannon, howitzers, and coehorns, the train of packhorses, and the droves of cattle, passed in long procession through the rippling shallows, and slowly entered the bordering forest. Here, when all were over, a short halt was ordered for rest and refreshment."Can you think of anything else?" begged Pen.


      When the French looked landward from their ramparts they could see scarcely a sign of the impending storm. Behind them Wolfe's cannon were playing busily from Lighthouse Point and the heights around the harbor; but, before them, the 63