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      At first she made out only that most commonplace spectacle, home guards. They came marching in platoons, a mere company or two. In the red and blue of their dress was all the smartness yet of last year, but in their tread was none of it and even the bristle of their steel had vanished. Behind majestic brasses and muffled drums grieving out the funeral march, they stepped with slow precision and with arms reversed. But now in abrupt contrast there appeared, moving as slowly and precisely after them, widely apart on either side of the stony way, two single attenuated files of but four bronzed and shabby gray-jackets each, with four others in one thin, open rank from file to file in their rear, and in the midst a hearse and its palled burden. Rise, Anna, Constance, Miranda--all. Ah, Albert Sidney Johnston! Weep, daughters of a lion-hearted cause. The eyes of its sons are wet. Yet in your gentle bosoms keep great joy for whoever of your very own and nearest the awful carnage has spared; but hither comes, here passes slowly, and yonder fades at length from view, to lie a day in state and so move on to burial, a larger hope of final triumph than ever again you may fix on one mortal man.

      The principal persons of the colony sat, fifteen in number, at Poutrincourt's table, which, by an ingenious device of Champlain, was always well furnished. He formed the fifteen into a new order, christened "L'Ordre de Bon-Temps." Each was Grand Master in turn, holding office for one day. It was his function to cater for the company; and, as it became a point of honor to fill the post with credit, the prospective Grand Master was usually busy, for several days before coming to his dignity, in hunting, fishing, or bartering provisions with the Indians. Thus did Poutrincourt's table groan beneath all the luxuries of the winter forest,flesh of moose, caribou, and deer, beaver, otter, and hare, bears and wild-cats; with ducks, geese, grouse, and plover; sturgeon, too, and trout, and fish innumerable, speared through the ice of the Equille, or drawn from the depths of the neighboring bay. "And," says Lescarbot, in closing his bill of fare, "whatever our gourmands at home may think, we found as good cheer at Port Royal as they at their Rue aux Ours in Paris, and that, too, at a cheaper rate." For the preparation of this manifold provision, the Grand Master was also answerable; since, during his day of office, he was autocrat of the kitchen.

      Forth from the dark throng gathered around the fires marched a body of men who had nothing but a sheep-skin around their hips. They formed in two rows facing the cliff, a score of paces intervening between the ranks, and the same distance between man and man.

      De ladies loves de ladies' man.

      A notice of the superstitious ideas of the Indians would be imperfect without a reference to the traditionary tales through which these ideas are handed down from father to son. Some of these tales can be traced back to the period of the earliest intercourse with Europeans. One at least of those recorded by the first missionaries, on the Lower St. Lawrence, is still current among the tribes of the Upper Lakes. Many of them are curious combinations of beliefs seriously entertained with strokes intended for humor and drollery, which never fail to awaken peals of laughter in the lodge-circle. Giants, dwarfs, cannibals, spirits, beasts, birds, and anomalous monsters, transformations, tricks, and sorcery, form the staple of the story. Some of the Iroquois tales embody conceptions which, however preposterous, are of a bold and striking character; but those of the Algonquins are, to an incredible degree, flimsy, silly, and meaningless; nor are those of the Dahcotah tribes much better. In respect to this wigwam lore, there is a curious superstition of very wide prevalence. The tales must not be told in summer; since at that season, when all Nature is full of life, the spirits are awake, and, hearing what is said of them, may take offence; whereas in winter they lxxxviii are fast sealed up in snow and ice, and no longer capable of listening. [90]

      "It's horses and mules again, Nan," gravely remarked Constance, and the three, facing toward him, with Miranda foremost, held soft debate. Whether the decision they reached was to submit or resist, the wide ears of the servants could not be sure, but by the time the soldier was dismounting the ladies had summoned the nerve to jest.On the day of the funeral obsequies hundreds of persons assembled outside the house and, before the sun289 rose, the funeral procession started amid the mournful notes of Carian flutes, alternating with a chorus of mens voices. This choir was followed by the dead mans friends and acquaintances, numbering more than half the citizens of the place. Then came the bier, an ivory bed, borne by friends and freedmen, among them Lycon, to whom many hands pointed and many lips mentioned as the preserver of the city, the quick-witted Athenian. On the ivory couch lay the dead man, robed in white and covered with so many wreaths and blue and red sacrifice ribbons, that the magnificent purple carpet in which he was wrapped could scarcely be seen. By the side of the bier walked slaves bearing oil jars, boxes of ointment, and other articles belonging to the funeral rites. Then came a few elderly kinswomen, for Myrtale was too young to follow the corpse. The train was closed by a few sacrifice attendants in short parti-colored mantles and light half boots, who bore on their heads small offering-tables covered with offerings of the same kind as those the slaves carried beside the bier.




      [9] Le Mercier, Relation des Hurons, 1638, 38."Oh-h-h!" the girl softly laughed, "was that your foot?"