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DOLLARD DES ORMEAUX   i5

long enough to cover head and body entire. Arrayed in these, they rushed headlong at the palisade, and, crouching close to the ground, began furiously to hew down the logs with their hatchets. Out of range of the loopholes, this move was one of extremity for the defenders, who, however, had still courage and ingenuity to face it. Having no grenades, they loaded some musket barrels to bursting, and threw them down among the enemy, where they exploded, scattering death broadcast. For a time the ruse succeeded in holding them off, but the muskets not in use were soon at an end and the hewing recommenced. A keg of gunpowder was suggested as an alternative. With reviving spirit the suggestion was received and acted upon, but for the heroic garrison it proved the beginning of the end. Lighting the inserted fuse, it needed the combined strength of several men to hurl the keg over the palisade, when, with hands still uplifted in the act, their horrified eyes saw it strike the overhanging bough of a tree. For an instant it seemed to poise in the air, then rebounded and fell backwards into the fort. They threw themselves upon their faces. There was a terrific explosion, cries, commotion, and a blinding smoke. When the


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