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 Lalemant, Relation des Hurons, 1641, 71.The Niagara was then called the River of the Neutrals, or the Onguiaahra. Lalemant estimates the Neutral population, in 1640, at twelve thousand, in forty villages.After the meal Simonides offered to let a slave called Conops show Lycon around the city. He called, but no one came. He rapped repeatedly on the floor with his cane: but no one seemed to hearthe247 veins on Lycons forehead swelled and his heavy eyebrows met in a frown.
Roaming by river, swamp, and forest, they visited in turn the villages of five petty chiefs, whom they called kings, feasting everywhere on hominy, beans, and game, and loaded with gifts. One of these chiefs, named Audusta, invited them to the grand religious festival of his tribe. When they arrived, they found the village alive with preparation, and troops of women busied in sweeping the great circular area where the ceremonies were to take place. But as the noisy and impertinent guests showed a disposition to undue merriment, the chief shut them all in his wigwam, lest their Gentile eyes should profane the mysteries. Here, immured in darkness, they listened to the howls, yelpings, and lugubrious songs that resounded from without. One of them, however, by some artifice, contrived to escape, hid behind a bush, and saw the whole solemnity,the procession of the medicinemen and the bedaubed and befeathered warriors; the drumming, dancing, and stamping; the wild lamentation of the women as they gashed the arms of the young girls with sharp mussel-shells, and flung the blood into the air with dismal outcries. A scene of ravenous feasting followed, in which the French, released from durance, were summoned to share.A council was held in the fort at Three Rivers. Montmagny made valuable presents to the Algonquins and the Hurons, to induce them to place the prisoners in his hands. The Algonquins complied; and the unfortunate Iroquois, gashed, maimed, and 278 scorched, was given up to the French, who treated him with the greatest kindness. But neither the Governor's gifts nor his eloquence could persuade the Hurons to follow the example of their allies; and they departed for their own country with their two captives,promising, however, not to burn them, but to use them for negotiations of peace. With this pledge, scarcely worth the breath that uttered it, Montmagny was forced to content himself. 
La Salle's favorite Shawanoe hunter, Nika, who had followed him from Canada to France, and from France to Texas, was bitten by a rattlesnake; and, though he recovered, the accident detained the party for several days. At length they resumed their journey, but were stopped by a river, called by Douay, "La Rivire des Malheurs." La Salle and Cavelier, with a few others, tried to cross on a raft, which, as it reached the channel, was caught by a current of marvellous swiftness. Douay and Moranget, watching the transit from the edge of the cane-brake, beheld their commander swept down the stream, and vanishing, as it were, in an instant. All that day they remained with their companions on the bank, lamenting in despair for the loss of their guardian [Pg 413] angel, for so Douay calls La Salle. It was fast growing dark, when, to their unspeakable relief, they saw him advancing with his party along the opposite bank, having succeeded, after great exertion, in guiding the raft to land. How to rejoin him was now the question. Douay and his companions, who had tasted no food that day, broke their fast on two young eagles which they knocked out of their nest, and then spent the night in rueful consultation as to the means of crossing the river. In the morning they waded into the marsh, the friar with his breviary in his hood to keep it dry, and hacked among the canes till they had gathered enough to make another raft; on which, profiting by La Salle's experience, they safely crossed, and rejoined him.Seeing their new relative so enfeebled that he could scarcely stand, the Indians made for him one of their sweating baths, where they immersed him [Pg 263] in steam three times a week,a process from which he thinks he derived great benefit. His strength gradually returned, in spite of his meagre fare; for there was a dearth of food, and the squaws were less attentive to his wants than to those of their children. They respected him, however, as a person endowed with occult powers, and stood in no little awe of a pocket compass which he had with him, as well as of a small metal pot with feet moulded after the face of a lion. This last seemed in their eyes a "medicine" of the most formidable nature, and they would not touch it without first wrapping it in a beaver-skin. For the rest, Hennepin made himself useful in various ways. He shaved the heads of the children, as was the custom of the tribe; bled certain asthmatic persons, and dosed others with orvietan, the famous panacea of his time, of which he had brought with him a good supply. With respect to his missionary functions, he seems to have given himself little trouble, unless his attempt to make a Sioux vocabulary is to be regarded as preparatory to a future apostleship. "I could gain nothing over them," he says, "in the way of their salvation, by reason of their natural stupidity." Nevertheless, on one occasion, he baptized a sick child, naming it Antoinette in honor of Saint Anthony of Padua. It seemed to revive after the rite, but soon relapsed and presently [Pg 264] died, "which," he writes, "gave me great joy and satisfaction." In this he was like the Jesuits, who could find nothing but consolation in the death of a newly baptized infant, since it was thus assured of a paradise which, had it lived, it would probably have forfeited by sharing in the superstitions of its parents.
 Brbeuf, Relation des Hurons, 1636, 76.So that she can always stay with you?
 An Indian speech, it will be remembered, is without validity if not confirmed by presents, each of which has its special interpretation. The meaning of the fifth pack of beaver, informing Tonty that the sun was bright,"que le soleil toit beau," that is, that the weather was favorable for travelling,is curiously misconceived by the editor of the Dernires Dcouvertes, who improves upon his original by substituting the words "par le cinquime paquet ils nous exhortoient adorer le Soleil."A PARTING LETTER