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Hail to Byssa! cried another.
On the twenty-eighth, when the weary Adelantado was taking his siesta under the sylvan roof of Seloy, a troop of Indians came in with news that quickly roused him from his slumbers. They had seen a French vessel wrecked on the coast towards the south. Those who escaped from her were four or six leagues off, on the banks of a river or arm of the sea, which they could not cross. The following is the conclusion of the letter (Le Mercier, Relation des Hurons, 1638, 43.)
Couture, though he had incensed the Indians by killing one of their warriors, had gained their admiration by his bravery; and, after torturing him most savagely, they adopted him into one of their families, in place of a dead relative. Thenceforth he was comparatively safe. Jogues and Goupil were less fortunate. Three of the Hurons had been burned to death, and they expected to share their fate. A council was held to pronounce their doom; but dissensions arose, and no result was reached. They were led back to the first village, where they remained, racked with suspense and half dead with exhaustion. Jogues, however, lost no opportunity to baptize dying infants, while Goupil taught children to make the sign of the cross. On one occasion, he made the sign on the forehead of a child, grandson of an Indian in whose lodge they lived. The superstition of the old savage was aroused. Some Dutchmen had told him that the sign of the cross came from the Devil, and would cause mischief. He thought that Goupil was bewitching the child; and, resolving to rid himself of so dangerous a guest, applied for aid to two young braves. Jogues and Goupil, clad in their squalid garb of tattered skins, were soon after walking together in the forest that adjoined the 224 town, consoling themselves with prayer, and mutually exhorting each other to suffer patiently for the sake of Christ and the Virgin, when, as they were returning, reciting their rosaries, they met the two young Indians, and read in their sullen visages an augury of ill. The Indians joined them, and accompanied them to the entrance of the town, where one of the two, suddenly drawing a hatchet from beneath his blanket, struck it into the head of Goupil, who fell, murmuring the name of Christ. Jogues dropped on his knees, and, bowing his head in prayer, awaited the blow, when the murderer ordered him to get up and go home. He obeyed but not until he had given absolution to his still breathing friend, and presently saw the lifeless body dragged through the town amid hootings and rejoicings.
HIS STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS.No. Go to your father. It was a righteous murder.
In the midst of more urgent cares, he addressed himself to fostering the commercial and naval power. Montmorency then held the ancient charge of Admiral of France. Richelieu bought it, suppressed it, and, in its stead, constituted himself Grand Master and Superintendent of Navigation and Commerce. In this new capacity, the mismanaged affairs of New France were not long concealed from him; and he applied a prompt and powerful remedy. The privileges of the Caens were annulled. A company was formed, to consist of a hundred associates, and to be called the Company of New France. Richelieu himself was the head, and the Marechal Deffiat and other men of rank, besides many merchants and burghers of condition, were members. The whole of New France, from Florida to the Arctic Circle, and from Newfoundland to the sources of theSt. Lawrence and its tributary waters, was conferred on them forever, with the attributes of sovereign power. A perpetual monopoly of the fur-trade was granted them, with a monopoly of all other commerce within the limits of their government for fifteen years. The trade of the colony was declared free, for the same period, from all duties and imposts. Nobles, officers, and ecclesiastics, members of the Company, might engage in commercial pursuits without derogating from the privileges of their order; and, in evidence of his good-will, the King gave them two ships of war, armed and equipped.But Lycon was by no means cheerful. On the contrary he was very anxious at knowing his secret was in a womans keeping. The sooner I speak to Simonides the better, he thought.