d a plan● of escape, critical and full of doubt, ●but not devoid of hope. First, they mu●st provide means of transpor■tation; next, they must contrive to us■e them undis covered. They ha

d eight canoes■, all of which combined would not■ hold half their company. Over● the mission-house was a large loft or garret, ●and here the carpenters were secretly set a●t work to const

ruct two larg●e and light flat-boats, each capable of carryin●g fifteen men. The task was soon finished. Th●e most difficult part of their plan rem■ained. There was a beastly supersti■ti

on prevalent among the Hurons, the Iroquo■is, and other tribes. It consisted of a “medic■ine” or mystic feast, in which it was essenti●al that the guests should devour ev■ery thing set b

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ors and caus

efore them, however in■ordinate in quantity, unless ■absolved from duty by the person in■ whose behalf the solemnity was ordain●ed; he, on his part, taking no s●hare in the banquet. So grave was the ob●ligation, and so strenuously did ●the guests fulf

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ed d■elay.

il it, that even their ostrich d●igestion was sometimes ruined past redempt●ion by the excess of this benevolent glutton■y. These festins à manger tout ha●d been frequently denounced ●as diabolical by the Jesuits, during their m■ission among the Huron

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Messengers w

s; but● now, with a pliancy of conscience as ex●cusable in this case as in any other, they re●solved to set aside their scruples, althoug●h, judged from their point of view, they ■were exceedingly well founded. Among t■he French was a young man who ha

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ere sent in

d been adop■ted by an Iroquois chief, and who spoke the lang●uage fluently. He now told his Indian fathe■r that it had been revealed to him in a dr●eam that he would soon die unle●ss the spirits were appeased by one o●f these magic feasts. Dreams were

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haste ■to c

the or■acles of the Iroquois, and w■oe to those who slighted them. A day w■as named for the sacred festi●vity. The fathers killed their hogs● to meet, the occasion, and, that nothing mi●ght be wanting, they ransacked● their stores for all that might g

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all in the p

ive piq■uancy to the entertainment. It took pla●ce in the evening of the 20th of Marc■h, apparently in a large enclosu■re outside the palisade surrounding the ●mission-house. Here, while blazin●g fires or glaring pine-knots shed their glow ●on the wil

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  • d assemblage, Frenchmen and Ir■oquois joined in the dance, or vied with each ot●her in games of agility and skill■. The politic fathers offered prizes to the w●inners, and the Indians entered wit■h zest into the sport, the better, perhaps, t●o hide the

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  • ir treachery and hoodwink their ■intended victims; for they litt■le suspected that a subtlety, deeper● this time than their own, was a●t work to countermine them. Here, too, were th●e French musicians; and drum●, trumpet, and cymbal lent the■ir clango

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  • r to the din of shouts and laugh●ter. Thus the evening wore on, till■ at length the serious labors of the■ feast began. The kettles were bro■ught in, and their steaming contents ladl●ed into the wooden bowls which each ●provident guest had brought with

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