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revenge and deceit under the appearances of buffoonery and gayety. They had strong liquors of their own making, and were extremely addicted to drinking.
At last La Salle finished his fort which he called St. Lewis, and he gave the same name to the bay of St. Bernard, into which he still believed the Mississippi discharged itself, and therefore he resolved to make an accurate survey of it in his frig. ate. He covered the roof of his fort with green turf, to prevent its being set on fire by the arrows, which the savages used to discharge with lighted matches tied to them. It happened luckily for La Salle and his adventurers, that those barbarians were cowardly to a ridiculous degree, and two or three Frenchmen often put as many dozen of them to flight; but they never failed to destroy the French, when they could do it by stealth. La Salle, finding he could not reclaim, endeavored to subdue them, and he had many skirmishes with them, in which he was always conqueror; yet he never could bring them to give him information concerning the country or lend him their peraguas, which were so necessary for him in his intended voyage. So far, however, he prevailed, that, being intimidated, they removed to a convenient distance from the fort, and gave the new settlers time for cultivating their lands, and raising their stock. These measures they took with amazing success, and even found time to build canoes, which proved of the greatest utility in the undertaking. At last, in the month of October, La Salle, with the bulk of his people, went on board his frigate, leaving Joutel, with thirty-four persons under his command, at Fort Lewis, and strictly enjoining him, that he should admit none of those who attended him into the fort, without a particular order signed by himself. About the middle of January, 1686, Duhaut, one of the adventurers, whose younger brother, Dominique, had been left in the fort, came back to it alone in a canoe, and Joutel thought he had so little to apprehend from him, that he received him into the fort without a particular order for admission from La Salle. This man reported that La Salle's pilot had orders to sound the mouth of the river; but that, going ashore with five men, they were all murdered, while they were asleep, by the savages; and La Salle next morning found the remains of their bodies, which had been devoured by the wild beasts. Although the death of this pilot was an irreparable loss to La Salle, he ordered the frigate to advance up the bay, while he himself crossed it with two canoes, then proceeded by land, attended by twenty persons, till he reached the banks of a fine river, where Duhaut pretended he accidentally lost them, and that, in searching for them, he was insensibly carried back to Fort Lewis. About the middle of March, La Salle returned in a very miserable condition with his brother M. Cavalier, an ecclesiastic, who had attended him, and five or six persons. The rest of his attendants, among whom was his youngest nephew, a youth about fifteen years of age, whose name was likewise Cavalier, was detached in search of his frigate, on board of which were his linen, baggage and most valuable effects.
To keep up the spirts of his people, he pretended to be wonderfully pleased with the discoveries he had made, and seemed even to forgive Duhaut for returning to the fort without his leave. Next morning, young Cavalier and the rest of his companions returned, but brought no accounts of the frigate, to the great mortification of La Salle, who had proposed first to send it to the French American islands for supplies, and then to have coasted all the gulf of Mexico in prosecuting his discoveries.
About the beginning of May, a few days after La Salle himself had set out in quest of the frigate, an account arrived of its being wrecked on the opposite side of the bay. The crew, who had reached the shore, set about building a raft; but it was so badly executed, that all those who ventured on it were drowned. The survivors made another with better success, on which they put all they could save out of the wreck, and they happily passed on it into the river on the opposite side of the bay, where it was useless, because it could not carry them up to the fort; nor durst they travel by land for fear of the savages. At last, meeting with an old canoe, they refitted it as well as they could, and it brought them to Fort Lewis.
La Salle had then been two months gone, and it is not at all to be wondered at, if the settlement he left behind him was full of discontent and murmurings at what they suffered from his unaccountable conduct. Many of them, who could not remain shut up in the walls of the fort, were murdered by the savages, as they were hunting. The more sedentary, being the most valuable part of the settlement, were carried off by diseases. Many of them ventured even to throw themselves upon the barbarians, who gave them liberty to live in the Indian manner, while those who remained entered into a conspiracy, at the head of which was Duhaut, whose younger brother was with La Salle. Joutel, the commandant of the fort, gaining a knowledge of these cabals, acted with so much prudence and resolution, that he kept the conspirators in awe till the return of La Salle, which was about the month of August. During this last ramble, he had visited the country of the Cenis,
with whom he had made an alliance, and they furnished him with five horses laden with provisions; but he had learned nothing of the main object of his search, and of twenty men he carried out with him, he brought eight back. Among the missing was Duhaut's brother; but La Salle pretended that he had given him and several others, leave to return to the fort. These new losses augmented the discontent of the settlers, whom La Salle's presence, however, overawed; and as the Clamcoets had begun to renew their incursions, he communicated to Joutel a design he had formed of transferring his settlement to the country of the Illinois, with which he was well acquainted. In the mean time he declared he would undertake a third journey to visit that people.
As he was preparing to set out, he was attacked by a fever, which confined him until the end of December, when, recovering, he renewed his preparations for his journey, and, having given Joutel leave to attend him, he nominated another in his room to command the fort, the works of which had of late been much strengthened, and it was stored with a sufficiency of provisions for all who were to be left in it, who did not exceed twenty persons, seven of whom were women. About the beginning of January, 1687, he set out, attended by sixteen men, including his brother Cavalier, and his two