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Isaac Jogues was of a character not unlike Garnier. Nature had given him no especial force of intellect or constitutional energy, yet the man was indomitable and irrepressible, as his history will show. We have but few means of characterizing the remaining priests of the mission otherwise than as their traits appear on the field of their labors. Theirs was no faith of abstractions and generalities. For them, heaven was very near to earth, touching and mingling with it at many points. On high, God the Father sat enthroned; and, nearer to human sympathies, Divinity incarnate in the Son, with the benign form of his immaculate mother, and her spouse, St. Joseph, the chosen patron of New France. Interceding saints and departed friends bore to the throne of grace the petitions of those yet lingering in mortal bondage, and formed an ascending chain from earth to heaven.CHAPTER XII.
account of them, see the work just cited, Introduction. See "Pioneers of France," 318.
62 "When he strikes twelve times, he says, 'Hang on the kettle'; and when he strikes four times, he says, 'Get up, and go home.'"Most of the traditions agree, however, that the spirits, on their journey heavenward, were beset with difficulties and perils. There was a swift river which must be crossed on a log that shook beneath their feet, while a ferocious dog opposed their passage, and drove many into the abyss. This river was full of sturgeon and other fish, which the ghosts speared for their subsistence. Beyond was a narrow path between moving rocks, which each instant crashed together, grinding to atoms the less nimble of the pilgrims who essayed to pass. The Hurons believed that a personage named Oscotarach, or the Head-Piercer, dwelt in a bark house beside the path, and that it was his office to remove the brains from the heads of all who went by, as a necessary preparation for immortality. lxxxiii This singular idea is found also in some Algonquin traditions, according to which, however, the brain is afterwards restored to its owner. 
There were other strangers in the town,a band of eastern Indians, more numerous than those who had wintered at the fort. The greater number were from Rhode Island, including, probably, some of King Philip's warriors; others were from New York, and others again from Virginia. La Salle called [Pg 289] them to a council, promised them a new home in the West under the protection of the Great King, with rich lands, an abundance of game, and French traders to supply them with the goods which they had once received from the English. Let them but help him to make peace between the Miamis and the Illinois, and he would insure for them a future of prosperity and safety. They listened with open ears, and promised their aid in the work of peace.Lycon shaded his eyes with his hand and looked out towards the bay. The mass of water was moving across the cove like a rampart nine or ten ells high, the crest and bottom white with foam, and at a velocity greater than that of a man running at full speed. He saw the billow roll under the craft resting on the ground, raise them aloft, and sweep them onward in its own mad course.
The region whose boundaries we have given was an alternation of meadows and deep forests, interlaced with xxvi footpaths leading from town to town. Of these towns, some were fortified, but the greater number were open and defenceless. They were of a construction common to all tribes of Iroquois lineage, and peculiar to them. Nothing similar exists at the present day.  They covered a space of from one to ten acres, the dwellings clustering together with little or no pretension to order. In general, these singular structures were about thirty or thirty-five feet in length, breadth, and height; but many were much larger, and a few were of prodigious length. In some of the villages there were dwellings two hundred and forty feet long, though in breadth and height they did not much exceed the others.  In shape they were much like an arbor overarching a garden-walk. Their frame was of tall and strong saplings, planted in a double row to form the two sides of the house, bent till they met, and lashed together at the top. To these other poles were bound transversely, and the whole was covered with large sheets of the bark of the oak, elm, spruce, or white cedar, overlapping like the shingles of a roof, upon which, for their better security, split poles were made fast with cords of linden bark. At the crown of the arch, along the entire length of the house, an opening a foot wide was left for the admission of light and the escape of smoke. At each end was a close porch of similar xxvii construction; and here were stowed casks of bark, filled with smoked fish, Indian corn, and other stores not liable to injury from frost. Within, on both sides, were wide scaffolds, four feet from the floor, and extending the entire length of the house, like the seats of a colossal omnibus.  These were formed of thick sheets of bark, supported by posts and transverse poles, and covered with mats and skins. Here, in summer, was the sleeping-place of the inmates, and the space beneath served for storage of their firewood. The fires were on the ground, in a line down the middle of the house. Each sufficed for two families, who, in winter, slept closely packed around them. Above, just under the vaulted roof, were a great number of poles, like the perches of a hen-roost, and here were suspended weapons, clothing, skins, and ornaments. Here, too, in harvest time, the squaws hung the ears of unshelled corn, till the rude abode, through all its length, seemed decked with a golden tapestry. In general, however, its only lining was a thick coating of soot from the smoke of fires with neither draught, chimney, nor window. So pungent was the smoke, that it produced inflammation of the eyes, attended in old age with frequent blindness. Another annoyance was the fleas; and a third, the unbridled and unruly children. Privacy there was none. The house was one chamber, sometimes lodging more than twenty families. During his absence, Tonty finished the vessel, which was of about forty-five tons' burden. As [Pg 149] spring opened, she was ready for launching. The friar pronounced his blessing on her; the assembled company sang Te Deum; cannon were fired; and French and Indians, warmed alike by a generous gift of brandy, shouted and yelped in chorus as she glided into the Niagara. Her builders towed her out and anchored her in the stream, safe at last from incendiary hands; and then, swinging their hammocks under her deck, slept in peace, beyond reach of the tomahawk. The Indians gazed on her with amazement. Five small cannon looked out from her portholes; and on her prow was carved a portentous monster, the Griffin, whose name she bore, in honor of the armorial bearings of Frontenac. La Salle had often been heard to say that he would make the griffin fly above the crows, or, in other words, make Frontenac triumph over the Jesuits.