; but so b●risk and steady a fire met the■m that they recoiled and at ●last gave way. They
came on again, and● again were driven back, leaving many o●f their number on the ground, among them the pri●ncipal chief of the Senecas. Some of the French■ dashed out, and, covered by the fire of their c■omrades, hacked off his head, and stuck ■it on the palisade, while the Iroquois how■led in a frenzy of helpless ra■ge. They tried another attack, and were■ beaten off
a third time.
This dashed ●their spirits, and they sent a canoe● to call to their aid five hundred of● their warriors who were muste●red near the mouth of the Richelieu. Thes■e were the allies wh
om, but for this untowar●d check, they were on their way to j
ned attack on Quebec, Three Rive●rs, and Montreal. It was madden●ing to see their grand proj
ect thwarte●d by a few French and Indians enscon■ced in a paltry redoubt, scarcely● better than a cattle-pen; b■ut they were forced to digest the af●front as best they might.
Meanwhil●e, crouched behind trees and logs, ■they beset the fort, haras
sing its defenders■ day and night with a spattering fire and a con■stant menace of attack. Thus fiv●e days passed. Hunger, thirst, and want■ of sleep wrought fatally on the strength o■f the French and their allies, who, pent up ■together in their narrow prison, fought and p■rayed by turns. Deprived as they were of ■water, they could not swallow the■ crushed Indian corn, or “hominy,” whi■ch was their only food. Some of them, under co●ver of a brisk fire, ran down to the river and● filled such small vessels as they had; but this■ pittance only tantalized their ■thirst. They dug a hole in th?/p>
鰁 fort, and were rewarded at ●last by a little muddy water o
Among the assailants were a numbe●r of Hurons, adopted by the Iroquois and fight■in
g on their side. These renegades now shou■ted to their countrymen in the ●fort, telling them that a fresh army wa■s close at hand; that they would ■soon be attacked by seven or eight hundred w●arriors; and that their only hope was in join●ing the I
roquois, who would receive ●them as friends. Annahotaha’s followers, half d■ead with thirst and famine, listened to their ■seducers, took the bait, and, one, two, or ●three at a time, climbed the palisade and ran o●ver to the enemy, amid the hootings and execra■tions of those whom they deserted. The●ir chief stood firm; and when he saw hi●s nephew, La Mouche, join th●e other fugitives, he fired his pistol at him in● a rage. The four Algonquins, ●who had no mercy to hope for,■ stood fast, with the courage of d●espair.
On the fifth day an uproar of une●arthly yells from seven hundred sa●vag
e throats, mingled with a clattering salute ●of musketry, tol