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to the country of the Islinois, in the end of the month of March, A. D. 1686.
“ Altho’ this road was the most troublesome, yet it serv'd not only to discover the course of the rivers, of which we only saw the mouths, in passing down the Mississipi; but also to give us a nearer view of all the people who inhabit along the banks; ' so that we might take frequent opportunities to contract new alliances with 'em. At first we cross'd the river of ducks, so call'd by reason of the numerous flocks of wild ducks with which it is cover'd. Afterwards we pass'd La Sablonniere, or the river of sand, which only has for its bed a vast sandy country; then the Robec, the banks of which are inhabited by certain people who all speak in the throat, and at last the malignant river, in the territories lying about which are the Quanoatinos, a people as forinidable to the Iroquois, upon account of their valour, as for their cruelty. For besides that they fight furiously, without giving quarter, they made a law among therselves to cause as many to be burnt as they can take prisoners. As we continually went forward, we met with the Tarahas, the Cappas, and the Palaquessons, all declar'd enemies of the Spaniards:
“I shall not here give a large description of the particular rarities of all those countries and nations; but I shall content my self only to declare, that altho’ the said countries are very fine, generally speaking, yet in every one of 'em its peculiar nature and beauty may be more especially observ’d. For some abound in Indian corn, of which frumenty is made; others in tonquo; and others in cassave, of which the natives make a kind of bread.
“An innumerable multitude of Cibola's is to be seen amongst those people who live nearest to the sea-coast. There are also vast numbers of beavers amongst the Ouadiches, the Akancéas, the Iro
quois, and in many other quarters of America: and bears are very frequent in the northern parts. As for horses, they are only found among the nations who are neighbours to the Spaniards, but one may almost every where see orignas, staggs, elks, wolves, ouncés, large rams, weathers, and sheep, that have a much finer wool than ours.
"In traversing all these plains, we discover'd a prodigious number of savages, who all entertain'd us with a great deal of courtesie, and with an entire submission to the laws of our monarch. Whilst we were travelling between the Palaquessons and the Nouadiches, our provisions fail'd, and we were oblig'd to have recourse to hunting ; so that three or four of our men, most expert in that exercise, usually left their companions to repair to the woods, where they did not continue long, without bringing us good store of venison. The advantageous and most delightful situation of the territories that lie between two nations, who are well affected to ours, is much to be admir'd, the whole country being extremely fertile in Indian corn, and all kinds of fruits, affording also great variety of game, and the pastures abounding in cattel of all sorts, but more especially in horses. All these great advantages induc'd my brother to endeavour to plant a colony in those parts. In order to carry on this design, he judg’d it expedient that I should be sent before to the Illinois, as well to inform you of his arrival, as for some other reasons, of which I shall hereafter give you an account. He gave me for my retimue Father Anastasius, Cavelier, my nephew, M. de la Marne, four other French men, and two slaves to serve me as interpreters, with two canoos, two pack-horses, and necessary provisions. We parted May 15, A. D. 1686, and travell’d by land, as well for the conveniency of our horses, as for the frequent supplies we might get
from the savages, who shew' as much zeal for the promoting of our interest, as they are the professed enemies of the Iroquois and Spaniards.
“ On the first day we took up our quarters among the Nouadiches, who receiv'd us with extended arms, and invited us to joyn with 'em in maintaining a war against the Spaniards: they assur'd us, that there was a great deal of gold and silver amongst 'em; that they would willingly leave us all their wealth, and that they would only reserve to themselves the women and children, to make slaves of ’em: however, notwithstanding the little respect we had for the Spaniards, we must needs have an aversion to that proposal; for we could not give our consent that the christians should become slaves to the savages. Therefore to colour our denial, we reply'd, that our number was not sufficient to be capable of assisting 'em in that war, but that we would go in quest of Captain Tonti, to whom we would not fail to represent the same conditions they offer'd us, and that without doubt he would accept of 'em. This answer gave satisfaction to the savages, who supply'd us with abundance of provisions, and caus'd us to lodge in their best cottages.
“ The next day we pursu'd our journey to the Cenis and Nassonis. The latter gave us guides to conduct us to the country of Nabari, and these last in like manner took care to provide other guides to convey us to the Naausi. We were equally well receiy'd by all those people, and we every where found the same dispositions to make an alliance with us, and to live under the protection of our prince. The lands thereabouts are fruitful, and the climate very proper for the planting of vineyards; for vines often spring up there spontaneously; so that one may see clusters of grapes growing amongst the elms, and flourishing under
the shadow of their leaves. One cannot travel three leagues without meeting with some river or brook. There are also herds of beavers: all the people are generally addicted to the adoration of the sun, and have no other cloaths than a certain contexture of rushes, or of very fine mats, which are set out with paintings of several colours, representing the sun, birds, flowers, &c. For matter of arms, they are altogether unknown to 'em, except the bow and arrow; insomuch that the discharge of a fusee or pistol would appear to them, as it were a clap of thunder, preceded by its lightning:
'“ Afterwards we pass’d' from the territories of the Naausi to those of the Cadodaches, where we were entertain'd after a very generous manner, so that our reception might well be styld a splendid triumph. For the principal elders of the nation came forth to meet us, and conducted us thro' two ranks of their armed youth into very neat cottages. The rest of our entertainment was as pleasant and diverting, as the manner of managing it was savage and fantastical; at first, certain tawny women, but well shap'd, and half naked, were very officious in washing our feet in wooden troughs, and then we were serv'd with different messes, very well dress'd: for besides boil'd meat, broth, and venison, the ordinary mess among those people; they presented us with a large dish of roasted turkeys, geese, ducks, and ring-doves, not to forget another dish of broil'd pigeons. But we were disturb'd in the midst of our jollity by a very sad accident which happen'd to M. de la Marne, one of our company; forasmuch as the heat of the weather was excessive, occasion'd as well by the climate, as the season of the year; that unfortunate gentleman had a mind to wash himself in a river that runs thro' the village. To which purpese, having chosen a shady place for greater con
venience, he threw himself into the water, and unhappily fell into an abyss, where he was swallow'd up in a trice; some time after, perceiving that he did not return, we were desirous to go to the place, where he retir’d; but he was not to be found, and we began to suspect that perhaps he might be devour'd by some crocodile: However, the inbabitants having seen the place where he threw himself in, no longer doubted that he was lost in that gulph. And indeed, after having made a search at the very instant, he was taken up dead, and quite disfigur'd.
“ I cannot sufficiently express how much we were transported with grief at the sight of so sad a spectacle. The wife of the chief governour came her self to bury him; and after having perform'd the funeral obsequies, decently interring his body, we set up a cross over his tomb: In the mean while, the savages, who were witnesses of our ceremonies, joyn'd their tears with ours, and endeavour'd to comfort us, by doing us all the good offices that lay in their power.
“ The next day we met with the Narchoas and the Ouadiches on the banks of the same river, and about five leagues lower we had a sight of the Cabinvio's and Mentons. These people not knowing what our arms were, took us for the masters of thunder, and were much afraid of us at the same time. The beavers are very numerous in their country, and more especially in the territory of the Ozotheoa's, where they are so common that the inliabitants are oblig’d to burn their skins. These people provided guides to conduct us to the Akancéas, on whose jurisdiction they depend. There we began to know our selves; for we saw a cross, erected, on the middle of which the king's arms were fixt, and some few paces farther we met with a fine house, built after the French fashion, and in