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DOLLARD DES ORMEAUX   3

Here everything had pointed to the success of the colonists, their speedy increase in riches and love for their new country; but there was a drawback. For some years the cloud on the horizon had been assuming a dangerous aspect, enlarging with a swiftness and gloom that seemed to predict nothing less than absolute ruin. The trouble was the increasing animosity towards the newcomers on the part of the cruel and treacherous Iroquois, "whose thousand promises of peace, with oaths as solemn as can be expected from a barbarous nation," were broken whenever it suited them to do so, to the pitiable misery of their helpless victims. The celebrated Iroquois nation was composed of five tribes—Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas—and though at one time they had been numerically strong, a generation or two of incessant fighting with all their neighbours had reduced them to a mere handful. Their misfortunes, however, had not made them any the less haughty or overbearing, though they could be gracious on occasion, and now their intelligent use of firearms, procured in trading with the Dutch of the Hudson, had given a turn to the wheel of fortune that bid fair to bestow upon them a sovereign power that they had


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