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Meanwhile an influence, of sinister omen as he thought, had begun to act upon his schemes. The Jesuits were strong at court. One of their number, the famous Father Coton, was confessor to Henry the Fourth, and, on matters of this world as of the next, was ever whispering at the facile ear of the renegade King. New France offered a fresh field of action to the indefatigable Society of Jesus, and Coton urged upon the royal convert, that, for the saving of souls, some of its members should be attached to the proposed enterprise. The King, profoundly indifferent in matters of religion, saw no evil in a proposal which at least promised to place the Atlantic betwixt him and some of those busy friends whom at heart he deeply mistrusted. Other influences, too, seconded the confessor. Devout ladies of the court, and the Queen herself, supplying the lack of virtue with an overflowing piety, burned, we are assured, with a holy zeal for snatching the tribes of the West from the bondage of Satan. Therefore it was insisted that the projected colony should combine the spiritual with the temporal character,or, in other words, that Poutrincourt should take Jesuits with him. Pierre Biard, Professor of Theology at Lyons, was named for the mission, and repaired in haste to Bordeaux, the port of embarkation, where he found no vessel, and no sign of preparation; and here, in wrath and discomfiture, he remained for a whole year.
 Brbeuf, Relation des Hurons, 1636, 89. Another woman was delivered on touching a relic of St. Ignatius. Ibid., 90. It is necessary, doubly necessary, for me to write, first for the sake of the matter itself and secondly because a higher power has counselled me to do so. But I shall make the message shortfor it concerns a misfortune. Know that my father, urged by that man, has hastened my marriage, and the wedding will take place in five days. Woe is me, funeral flambeaux would be more welcome than those bridal torches. Yet how is escape possible? Can a daughter contend against her father? Can a wife oppose her husband? My mother kisses me and weeps with me, but says she dares not do that. You, oh Hipyllos, are the only person with whom I can seek refuge. What you will do, I know not. But I turn to you as an ill-treated slave flies to the altar. Your vow that day, in my mothers hearing, was no promise written in water. I read sincerity and truth in your face, and since that hour I have considered you the master of my life. You will not yield. In the midst of my grief I have but one joythat you cannot see me. My cheeks are crimson with shame, and my eyes are full of tears. This letter, the first and last, I still write as a maiden.
The girl blandly laughed: "You venerable ingrate!"The lazy waters of the St. John's, tinged to coffee color by the exudations of the swamps, curled before the prow of Ottigny's sail-boat as he advanced into the prolific wilderness which no European eye had ever yet beheld. By his own reckoning, he sailed thirty leagues up the river, which would have brought him to a point not far below Palatka. Here, more than two centuries later, the Bartrams, father and son, guided their skiff and kindled their nightly bivouac-fire; and here, too, roamed Audubon, with his sketch-book and his gun. It was a paradise for the hunter and the naturalist. Earth, air, and water teemed with life, in endless varieties of beauty and ugliness. A half-tropical forest shadowed the low shores, where the palmetto and the cabbage palm mingled with the oak, the maple, the cypress, the liquid-ambar, the laurel, the myrtle, and the broad glistening leaves of the evergreen magnolia. Here was the haunt of bears, wild-cats, lynxes, cougars, and the numberless deer of which they made their prey. In the sedges and the mud the alligator stretched his brutish length; turtles with outstretched necks basked on half-sunken logs; the rattlesnake sunned himself on the sandy bank, and the yet more dangerous moccason lurked under the water-lilies in inlets and sheltered coves. The air and the water were populous as the earth. The river swarmed with fish, from the fierce and restless gar, cased in his horny armor, to the lazy cat-fish in the muddy depths. There were the golden eagle and the white-headed eagle, the gray pelican and the white pelican, the blue heron and the white heron, the egret, the ibis, ducks of various sorts, the whooping crane, the black vulture, and the cormorant; and when at sunset the voyagers drew their boat upon the strand and built their camp-fire under the arches of the woods, the owls whooped around them all night long, and when morning came the sultry mists that wrapped the river were vocal with the clamor of wild turkeys.
An Indian hunter was always anxious to propitiate the animals he sought to kill. He has often been known to address a wounded bear in a long harangue of apology.  The bones of the beaver were treated with especial tenderness, and carefully kept from the dogs, lest the spirit of the dead beaver, or his surviving brethren, should take offence.  This solicitude was not confined to animals, lxix but extended to inanimate things. A remarkable example occurred among the Hurons, a people comparatively advanced, who, to propitiate their fishing-nets, and persuade them to do their office with effect, married them every year to two young girls of the tribe, with a ceremony more formal than that observed in the case of mere human wedlock.  The fish, too, no less than the nets, must be propitiated; and to this end they were addressed every evening from the fishing-camp by one of the party chosen for that function, who exhorted them to take courage and be caught, assuring them that the utmost respect should be shown to their bones. The harangue, which took place after the evening meal, was made in solemn form; and while it lasted, the whole party, except the speaker, were required to lie on their backs, silent and motionless, around the fire. 
"We don't know," drolly replied Anna.
While he mused, Flora, enraged both for him and against him, and with the rage burning in her eye and on her brow, stood before her seated grandmother, mutely giving gaze for gaze until the elder knew.