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The stories which Colombire proceeds to tell of Lavals asceticism are confirmed by other evidence, and are, no doubt, true. Nor is there any reasonable doubt that, had the bishop stood in the place of Brebeuf or Charles Lalemant, he would have suffered torture and death like them. But it was his lot to strive, not against infidel savages, but against countrymen and Catholics, who had no disposition to burn him, and would rather have done him reverence than wrong.Wild-looking women, with sunburnt faces and neglected hair, run from their work to meet the cur; a man or two follow with soberer steps and less exuberant zeal; while half-savage children, the coureurs de bois of the future, bareheaded, barefooted, and half-clad, come to wonder and stare. To set up his altar in a room of the rugged log cabin, say mass, hear confessions, impose penance, grant absolution, repeat the office of the dead over a grave made weeks before, baptize, perhaps, the last infant; marry, possibly, some pair who may or may not have waited for his coming; catechize as well as time and circumstance would allow the shy but turbulent brood of some former wedlock: such was the work of the parish priest in the remoter districts. It was seldom that his charge was quite so scattered, and so far extended as that of Father Morel; but there were fifteen or twenty others whose labors were like in kind, and in some cases no less arduous. All summer they paddled their canoes from settlement to settlement; and in winter they toiled on snow-shoes over the drifts; while the servant carried the portable chapel on his back, or dragged it on a sledge. Once, at least, in the year, the cur paid his visit to Quebec, where, under the maternal roof of the seminary he made his retreat of meditation and prayer, and then returned to his work. He rarely had a house of his own, but boarded in that of the seignior or one of the habitants. Many parishes or aggregations of parishes had no other church than a room fitted up for the purpose in the house of some pious settler. In the larger settlements, there were churches and chapels of wood, thatched with straw, often ruinous, poor to the last degree, without ornaments, and sometimes without the sacred vessels necessary for the service. * In 1683, there were but seven stone churches in all the colony. The population was so thin and scattered that many of the settlers heard mass only three or four times a year, and some of them not so often. The sick frequently died without absolution, and infants without baptism.
In the morning, La Salle set out with his Indian guide. He had changed his mind with regard to Joutel, whom he now directed to remain in charge of the camp and to keep a careful watch. He told the friar Anastase Douay to come with him instead of Joutel, whose gun, which was the best in the party, he borrowed for the occasion, as well as his pistol. The three proceeded on their way,La Salle, the friar, and the Indian. "All the way," writes the friar, "he spoke to me of nothing but matters of piety, grace, and predestination; enlarging on the debt he owed to God, who had saved him from so many perils during more than twenty years of travel in America. Suddenly, I saw him overwhelmed with a profound sadness, for which he himself could not account. He was so much moved [Pg 429] that I scarcely knew him." He soon recovered his usual calmness; and they walked on till they approached the camp of Duhaut, which was on the farther side of a small river. Looking about him with the eye of a woodsman, La Salle saw two eagles circling in the air nearly over him, as if attracted by carcasses of beasts or men. He fired his gun and his pistol, as a summons to any of his followers who might be within hearing. The shots reached the ears of the conspirators. Rightly conjecturing by whom they were fired, several of them, led by Duhaut, crossed the river at a little distance above, where trees or other intervening objects hid them from sight. Duhaut and the surgeon crouched like Indians in the long, dry, reed-like grass of the last summer's growth, while L'Archevque stood in sight near the bank. La Salle, continuing to advance, soon saw him, and, calling to him, demanded where was Moranget. The man, without lifting his hat, or any show of respect, replied in an agitated and broken voice, but with a tone of studied insolence, that Moranget was strolling about somewhere. La Salle rebuked and menaced him. He rejoined with increased insolence, drawing back, as he spoke, towards the ambuscade, while the incensed commander advanced to chastise him. At that moment a shot was fired from the grass, instantly followed by another; and, pierced through the brain, La Salle dropped dead. Ordonnance du 12 Avril, 1751.
V2 them to take hold also of the chain of friendship. Accordingly all present agreed on a joint message of peace to the tribes of the Ohio. 
** Edits et Ordonnances, II. 119.
LA SALLE PAINTED BY HIMSELF.
When Dudley reached Boston, he saw Nantasket Roads crowded with transports and ships of war, and the pastures of Noddle's Island studded with tents. The fleet had come on the twenty-fourth, having had what the Admiral calls "by the blessing of God a favorable and extraordinary passage, being but seven weeks and two days between Plymouth and Nantasket."