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      Ninus bent lower and kissed the stone three timesa strange, weak voice, which seemed to issue from it with difficulty, said slowly, syllable by syllable, the two words:Mention has been made of those great depositories of human bones found at the present day in the ancient country of the Hurons. [1] They have been a theme of abundant speculation; [2] yet their origin is a subject, not of conjecture, but of historic certainty. The peculiar rites to which they owe their existence were first described at length by Brbeuf, who, in the summer of the year 1636, saw them at the town of Ossossan.

      [277] The letters of Beaujeu to Seignelay and to Cabart de Villermont, with most of the other papers on which this chapter rests, will be found in Margry, ii. 354-471. This indefatigable investigator has also brought to light a number of letters from a brother officer of Beaujeu, Machaut-Rougemont, written at Rochefort, just after the departure of the expedition from Rochelle, and giving some idea of the views there entertained concerning it. He says: "L'on ne peut pas faire plus d'extravagances que le Sieur de la Salle n'en a fait sur toutes ses prtentions de commandement. Je plains beaucoup le pauvre Beaujeu d'avoir affaire une humeur si saturnienne.... Je le croy beaucoup visionnaire ... Beaujeu a une sotte commission." office, gives a rare value to his matchless portraitures.

      Simonides had offered his guest some refreshments after his journey. In the long time that elapsed before they were brought Lycon saw a confirmation of the bad condition of household affairs. He also noticed that two goblets stood on the little table; of course Simonides had had a companion at his meal, doubtless his daughter, Myrtale, who, according to the universal Hellenic custom, had left the room when the door-keeper announced a stranger. She was probably the young girl of whom he had caught a glimpse in the peristyle.

      letters, and those of his minister. The end and the rule of


      [53] The above traits of the scenery of the Wisconsin are taken from personal observation of the river during midsummer.FEARS FOR TONTY.


      Such being the case, what faith can we put in the rest of Hennepin's story? Fortunately, there are tests by which the earlier parts of his book can be [Pg 248] tried; and, on the whole, they square exceedingly well with contemporary records of undoubted authenticity. Bating his exaggerations respecting the Falls of Niagara, his local descriptions, and even his estimates of distance, are generally accurate. He constantly, it is true, magnifies his own acts, and thrusts himself forward as one of the chiefs of an enterprise to the costs of which he had contributed nothing, and to which he was merely an appendage; and yet, till he reaches the Mississippi, there can be no doubt that in the main he tells the truth. As for his ascent of that river to the country of the Sioux, the general statement is fully confirmed by La Salle, Tonty, and other contemporary writers.[206] For the details of the journey we must rest on Hennepin alone, whose account of the country and of the peculiar traits of its Indian occupants afford, as far as they go, good evidence of truth. Indeed, this part of his narrative could only have been written by one well versed in the savage life of this northwestern region.[207] Trusting, [Pg 249] then, to his own guidance in the absence of better, let us follow in the wake of his adventurous canoe. ** In 1660, an exact inventory was taken of the contents of


      numerous. The following are the most important: Mmoire sur"The rain," says La Salle, "which lasted all day, and the raft we were obliged to make to cross the river, stopped us till noon of the twenty-fifth, when we continued our march through the woods, which was so interlaced with thorns and brambles that in two days and a half our clothes were all torn, and our faces so covered with blood that we hardly knew each other. On the twenty-eighth we found the woods more open, and began to fare better, meeting a good deal of game, which after this rarely failed us; so that we no longer carried provisions with us, but made a meal of roast meat wherever we happened to kill a deer, bear, or turkey. These are the choicest feasts on a journey like this; and till now we had generally gone without them, so that we had often walked all day without breakfast.