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** Journal des Jsuites, 300.
Yet the Colonial Minister regarded the plan with distrust. "Be on your guard," he wrote to Duquesne, "against new undertakings; private 87
On the twenty-second of July, two voyageurs, Messier and Laurent, came to him with a letter from Tonty, who wrote that soon after La Salle's departure nearly all the men had deserted, after destroying Fort Crvec?ur, plundering the magazine, and throwing into the river all the arms, goods, and stores which they could not carry off. The messengers who brought this letter were speedily followed by two of the habitants of Fort Frontenac, who had been trading on the lakes, and who, with a fidelity which the unhappy La Salle rarely knew how to inspire, had travelled day and night to bring him their tidings. They reported that they had met the deserters, and that, having been reinforced by recruits gained at Michilimackinac and Niagara, they now numbered twenty men. They had destroyed the fort on the [Pg 200] St. Joseph, seized a quantity of furs belonging to La Salle at Michilimackinac, and plundered the magazine at Niagara. Here they had separated, eight of them coasting the south side of Lake Ontario to find harborage at Albany, a common refuge at that time of this class of scoundrels; while the remaining twelve, in three canoes, made for Fort Frontenac along the north shore, intending to kill La Salle as the surest means of escaping punishment. able to detect in his long memorials. He says that the name
 Note by Abb Verreau, in Journal de l'Instruction Publique (Canada), VIII. 127. governor of Three Rivers 1,200. It is clear, however, that
"Your Honor," he wrote in April, "may see to what unhappy straits the distressed inhabitants and myself are reduced. I see inevitable destruction in so clear a light, that unless vigorous measures are taken by the Assembly, and speedy assistance sent from below, the poor inhabitants 333V1 choked with bushes and the carcases of fallen trees. Braddock has been charged with marching blindly into an ambuscade; but it was not so. There was no ambuscade; and had there been one, he would have found it. It is true that he did not reconnoitre the woods very far in advance of the head of the column; yet, with this exception, he made elaborate dispositions to prevent surprise. Several guides, with six Virginian light horsemen, led the way. Then, a musket-shot behind, came the vanguard; then three hundred soldiers under Gage; then a large body of axemen, under Sir John Sinclair, to open the road; then two cannon with tumbrils and tool-wagons; and lastly the rear-guard, closing the line, while flanking-parties ranged the woods on both sides. This was the advance-column. The main body followed with little or no interval. The artillery and wagons moved along the road, and the troops filed through the woods close on either hand. Numerous flanking-parties were thrown out a hundred yards and more to right and left; while, in the space between them and the marching column, the pack horses and cattle, with their drivers, made their way painfully among the trees and thickets; since, had they been allowed to follow the road, the line of march would have been too long for mutual support. A body of regulars and provincials brought up the rear.
* Compare Relation, 1654, 33, and Lettre de Marie de Pichon, Mmoires du Cap-Breton, 284.