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      Pen looked upon the long dead youth as the brother she had never had in the flesh. Once she had looked up to him as her big brother, but lately he had become most lovably her junior, for he remained imperishably twenty-three. Not especially imaginative she nevertheless pictured him vividly in a plum-colored velvet suit with a flare to the skirt of his coat, Mechlin lace at his wrists and throat, sword at side and tricorn hat, his chestnut curls tied with a black moire ribbon. The Broomes were a bright-haired, blue-eyed race; Pen had brought black hair into the family from her mother's side. She pictured the earlier Pen mixing with the wits of his day with a bit of a swagger. According to family tradition he had died in London, and his body was shipped home to his inconsolable parents preserved in a cask of brandy. The stones of his little temple must have been brought from England too, in the tobacco ships. How dearly that Pen must have been loved, this Pen thought, and loved him the better for it.[267] Lawrence to Lords of Trade, 1 Aug. 1754.

      V2 A contagion of knavery ran through the official life of the colony; and to resist it demanded no common share of moral robustness. The officers of the troops of the line were not much within its influence; but those of the militia and colony regulars, whether of French or Canadian birth, shared the corruption of the civil service. Seventeen of them, including six chevaliers of St. Louis and eight commandants of forts, were afterwards arraigned for fraud and malversation, though some of the number were acquitted. Bougainville gives the names of four other Canadian officers as honorable exceptions to the general demoralization,Beno?t, Repentigny, Lain, and Le Borgne; "not enough," he observes, "to save Sodom."

      He was at Three Rivers at a ball when news of the disaster at La Prairie damped the spirits of the company, which, however, were soon revived by tidings of the fight under Valrenne and the retreat of the English, who were reported to have left two hundred dead on the field. Frontenac wrote an account of the affair to the minister, with high praise of Valrenne and his band, followed by an appeal for help. "What with fighting and hardship, our troops and militia are wasting away." "The enemy is upon us by sea and land." "Send us a thousand men next spring, if you want the colony to be saved." "We are perishing by inches; the people are in the depths of poverty; the war has doubled prices so that nobody can live." "Many families are without bread. The inhabitants desert the country, and crowd into the towns." [8] 295 A new enemy appeared in the following summer, almost as destructive as the Iroquois. This was an army of caterpillars, which set at naught the maledictions of the clergy, and made great havoc among the crops. It is recorded that along with the caterpillars came an unprecedented multitude of squirrels, which, being industriously trapped or shot, proved a great help to many families.[512] Copy of four Letters from Lieutenant-Colonel Monro to Major-General Webb, enclosed in the General's Letter of the fifth of August to the Earl of Loudon.

      Wild-looking women, with sunburnt faces and neglected hair, run from their work to meet the cur; a man or two follow with soberer steps and less exuberant zeal; while half-savage children, the coureurs de bois of the future, bareheaded, barefooted, and half-clad, come to wonder and stare. To set up his altar in a room of the rugged log cabin, say mass, hear confessions, impose penance, grant absolution, repeat the office of the dead over a grave made weeks before, baptize, perhaps, the last infant; marry, possibly, some pair who may or may not have waited for his coming; catechize as well as time and circumstance would allow the shy but turbulent brood of some former wedlock: such was the work of the parish priest in the remoter districts. It was seldom that his charge was quite so scattered, and so far extended as that of Father Morel; but there were fifteen or twenty others whose labors were like in kind, and in some cases no less arduous. All summer they paddled their canoes from settlement to settlement; and in winter they toiled on snow-shoes over the drifts; while the servant carried the portable chapel on his back, or dragged it on a sledge. Once, at least, in the year, the cur paid his visit to Quebec, where, under the maternal roof of the seminary he made his retreat of meditation and prayer, and then returned to his work. He rarely had a house of his own, but boarded in that of the seignior or one of the habitants. Many parishes or aggregations of parishes had no other church than a room fitted up for the purpose in the house of some pious settler. In the larger settlements, there were churches and chapels of wood, thatched with straw, often ruinous, poor to the last degree, without ornaments, and sometimes without the sacred vessels necessary for the service. * In 1683, there were but seven stone churches in all the colony. The population was so thin and scattered that many of the settlers heard mass only three or four times a year, and some of them not so often. The sick frequently died without absolution, and infants without baptism.They strolled across the neglected lawn, matted with horse-mint, too spicy a vegetable to the taste of the stock that wandered over the place. The drive once paved with shell, made a wide circular sweep in front of the house, but the shell had disappeared under the horse-mint too. Part of the old bed enclosed within the drive Pen had dug up and put in a few dahlias. These she had essayed to protect from the horses and cows and sheep by a miscellaneous barricade of boxes and boards. She blushed for it now. She couldn't explain to him that she had an instinct for flowers that had to find some outlet.

      At length, on the first of June, the southeastern horizon was white with a cloud of canvas. The long-expected crisis was come. Drucour, the governor, sent two thousand regulars, with about a thousand militia and Indians, to guard the various landing-places; and the rest, aided by the sailors, remained to hold the town. [581]"We'd have to fix on some spot beforehand so you would know where to find me."

      Johnson on his part was preparing to advance. In July about three thousand provincials were encamped near Albany, some on the "Flats" above the town, and some on the meadows below. Hither, too, came a swarm of Johnson's Mohawks,warriors, squaws, and children. They adorned the General's face with war-paint, and he danced the war-dance; then with his sword he cut the first slice from the ox that had been roasted whole for their entertainment. "I shall be glad," wrote the surgeon of a New England regiment, "if they fight as eagerly as they ate their ox and drank their wine."


      "I was delayed," she whispered faintly. "Much has happened."


      While Bouquet was with the advance at Raystown, Forbes was still in Philadelphia, trying to bring the army into shape, and collecting provisions, horses, and wagons; much vexed meantime by the Assembly, whose tedious disputes about taxing the proprietaries greatly obstructed the service. "No sergeant or quartermaster of a regiment," he says, "is obliged to look into more details than I am; and if I did not see to everything myself, we should never get out of this town." July had 136LOUISIANA.


      The French spared no pains to gain accurate information as to the strength of the English settlements. Among other reports on this subject there is a curious Mmoire sur les tablissements anglois au del de Pemaquid, jusqu'a Baston. It was made just after the capture of Pemaquid, with a view to farther operations. Saco is described as a small fort a league above the mouth of the river Saco, with four cannon, but fit only to resist Indians. At Wells, it says, all the settlers have sought refuge in four petits forts, of which the largest holds perhaps 20 men, besides women and children. At York, all the people have gathered into one fort, where there are about 40 men. At Portsmouth there is a fort, of slight account, and about a hundred houses. This neighborhood, no doubt including Kittery, can furnish at most about 300 men. At the Isles of Shoals there are some 280 fishermen, who are absent, except on Sundays. In the same manner, estimates are made for every village and district as far as Boston.