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Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic

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Author Topic: Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic  (Read 3242 times)
Lisa Wolfe
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« Reply #105 on: January 27, 2009, 11:44:15 pm »

pocket was large enough to hold a whole ship. This creature habitually made dreadful noises, and several savages who came on board claimed to have heard them. A man from St. Malo in France, the Sieur de Prevert, confirmed this story, and said that he had passed so near the den of this frightful being, that all on board could hear its hissing, and all hid themselves below, lest it should carry them off. This naturally made much impression upon the young Sieur de Brissac, and he doubtless wished many times that he had stayed at home. On the other hand, he observed that both M. de Vignan and M. de Prevert took the tale very coolly and that there seemed no reason why he should distrust himself if they did not. Yet he was very glad when, after passing many islands and narrow straits, the river broadened and they found themselves fairly in the St. Lawrence and past the haunted Bay of Chaleurs. They certainly heard a roaring and a hissing in the distance, but it may have been the waves on the beach.

But this was not their last glimpse of the supposed guardians of the St. Lawrence. As the

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ship proceeded farther up the beautiful river, they saw one morning a boat come forth from the woods, bearing three men dressed to look like devils, wrapped in dogs' skins, white and black, their faces besmeared as black as any coals, with horns on their heads more than a yard long, and as this boat passed the ship, one of the men made a long address, not looking towards them. Then they all three fell flat in the boat, when Indians rowed out to meet them and guided them to a landing.

Then many Indians collected in the woods and began a loud talk which they could hear on board the ships and which lasted half an hour. Then two of their leaders came towards the shore, holding their hands upward joined together, and meanwhile carrying their hats under their upper garments and showing great reverence. Looking upward they sometimes cried, "Jesus, Jesus," or "Jesus Maria." Then the captain asked them whether anything ill had happened, and they said in French, "Nenni est il bon," meaning that it was not good. Then they said that their god Cudraigny had spoken in

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[paragraph continues] Hochelaga (Montreal) and had sent these three men to show to them that there was so much snow and ice in the country that he who went there would die. This made the Frenchmen laugh, saying in reply that their god Cudraigny was but a fool and a noddy and knew not what he said. "Tell him," said a Frenchman, "that Christ will defend them from all cold, if they will believe in him." The Indians then asked the captain if he had spoken with Jesus. He answered No; but that his priests had, and they had promised fair weather. Hearing this, they thanked the captain and told the other Indians in the woods, who all came rushing out, seeming to be very glad. Giving great shouts, they began to sing and dance as they had done before. They also began to bring to the ships great stores of fish and of bread made of millet, casting it into the French boats so thickly that it seemed to fall from heaven. Then the Frenchmen went on shore, and the people came clustering about them, bringing children in their arms to be touched, as if to hallow them. Then the captain in return arranged the women in order

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