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The Work of Francis Parkman

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Pages: 152

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Francis Parkman

Excerpt from book: CHAPTER H. 1669-1671. LA SALLE AND THE SULPITIANS. The French In Western New York. — Louis Joliet. — The Sul- Pitians On Lake Erie: At Detroit: At Saut Ste. Marie.— The Mystery Of La Salle: He Discovers The Ohio: He Descends The Illinois: Did He Reach The Mississippi? La Chine was the starting-point: and the combined parties, in all twenty-four men with seven canoes, embarked on the Lake of St. Louis. With them were two other canoes, bearing the party of Senecas who had wintered at La Salle's settlement, and who were now to act as guides. Father Galine"e recounts the journey. He was no woodsman: the river, the forests, the rapids, were all new to him, and he dilates on them with the minuteness of a novice. Above all, he admired the Indian birch canoes. "If God," he says, "grants me the grace of returning to France, I shall try to carry one with me." Then he describes the bivouac: "Your lodging is as extraordinary as your vessels: for, after paddling or carrying the canoes all day, you find mother earth ready to receive your wearied body. If the weather is fair, you make a fire and lie downto sleep without further trouble: but if it rains, you must peel bark from the trees, and make a shed by laying it on a frame of sticks. As for your food, it is enough to make you burn all the cookery books that ever were written: for in the woods of Canada one finds means to live well without bread, wine, salt, pepper, or spice. The ordinary food is Indian corn, or Turkey wheat as they call it in France, which is crushed between two stones and boiled, seasoning it with meat or fish, when you can get them. This sort of life seemed so strange to us that we all felt the effects of it: and before we were a hundred leagues from Montreal, not one of us was free from some malady or other. At...  

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