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DOLLARD DES ORMEAUX   7

At this crisis there appeared a hero whose name should rank with the noblest in history. Hitherto defence, and that but in a small way, had been the best that could be hoped for, but now, fully considering the means by which a few had held numbers in check, it was deter-mined to carry war into the enemies' country and see what would result from it. Adam Dollard des Ormeaux was a man of good family, commandant of the garrison at Montreal. He was accomplished and capable, but lately arrived from France, and the condition of his unhappy countrymen had not failed to influence his generous mind to such a degree that there remained nothing for him but to give his life in an endeavour to mitigate their sufferings. Inspired by the indomitable pluck and perseverance of the young enthusiast, the whole community became less hopeless, and sixteen others like-minded with himself volunteered for the desperate adventure, pledging themselves neither to give nor accept quarter. The list was small for such an undertaking, though it must have made a large proportion of the youth of the settlement ; and having asked and secured leave of de Maisonneuve, the governor, they set about their unique


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