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The French and Indians marched that afternoon only four or five miles,to Greenfield meadows,where they stopped to encamp, dug away the snow, laid spruce-boughs on the ground for beds, and bound fast such of the prisoners as seemed able to escape. The Indians then held a carousal on some liquor they had found in the village, and in their drunken rage murdered a negro man belonging to Williams. In spite of their precautions, Joseph Alexander, one of the prisoners, escaped during the night, at which they were greatly incensed; and Rouville ordered Williams to tell his companions in misfortune that if any more of them ran off, the rest should be burned alive.V1 with punishment if they disobeyed his order. He willingly complied, promised to have them killed if they did not fight, and assured them at the same time that the English could never take the fort.  Three hundred of them thereupon joined the garrison, and the rest, hiding their families in the woods, prepared to wage guerilla war against the invaders.
"One moment, Miss!" said Delehanty. I passed this way three weeks ago. There are some points where the scene is not much changed since Dieskau saw it.
V1 Armstrong ordered nearly half of them to make their way along the ridge of a bushy hill that overlooked the town, till they came opposite to it, in order to place it between two fires. Twenty minutes were allowed them for the movement; but they lost their way in the dusk, and reached their station too late. When the time had expired, Armstrong gave the signal to those left with him, who dashed into the cornfield, shooting down the astonished savages or driving them into the village, where they turned and made desperate fight.V2 news came of the loss of Ticonderoga and Crown Point, the retreat of Bourlamaque, the fall of Niagara, and the expected advance of Amherst on Montreal. It was then that Lvis was despatched to the scene of danger; and Quebec was deplorably weakened by his absence. About this time the Lower Town was again set on fire by the English batteries, and a hundred and sixty-seven houses were burned in a night. In the front of the Upper Town nearly every building was a ruin. At the General Hospital, which was remote enough to be safe from the bombardment, every barn, shed, and garret, and even the chapel itself, were crowded with sick and wounded, with women and children from the town, and the nuns of the Ursulines and the H?tel-Dieu, driven thither for refuge. Bishop Pontbriand, though suffering from a mortal disease, came almost daily to visit and console them from his lodging in the house of the cur at Charlesbourg.
[Pg 322]In this state of things the directors of the Mississippi Company, whose affairs had gone from bad to worse, declared that they could no longer bear the burden of Louisiana, and begged the King to take it off their hands. The colony was therefore transferred from the mercantile despotism of the Company to the paternal despotism of the Crown, and it profited by the change. Commercial monopoly was abolished. Trade between France and Louisiana was not only permitted, but encouraged by bounties and exemption from duties; and instead of paying to the Company two hundred per cent of profit on indispensable supplies, the colonists now got them at a reasonable price.While the plan was debated, the opportunity for accomplishing it ebbed away. It was still early when the messenger returned from Quebec; but, before Phips was ready to act, the day was on the wane and the tide was against him. He lay quietly at his moorings when, in the evening, a great shouting, mingled with the roll of drums and the sound of fifes, was heard from the Upper Town. The 270 English officers asked their prisoner, Granville, what it meant. "Ma foi, Messieurs," he replied, "you have lost the game. It is the governor of Montreal with the people from the country above. There is nothing for you now but to pack and go home." In fact, Callires had arrived with seven or eight hundred men, many of them regulars. With these were bands of coureurs de bois and other young Canadians, all full of fight, singing and whooping with martial glee as they passed the western gate and trooped down St. Louis Street.