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i6   THE RENUNCIATION OF

Frenchmen recovered themselves, it was to find every one of their loopholes seized, and the muzzles of their enemies' weapons thrust through from the outside.

With vociferous howls of delight the savage assailants in numbers were soon climbing the palisades in all directions, and descending hatchet in hand, attacked all, whether able or not to withstand their frenzy. Dollard, begrimed, bloody, fainting, was the last man upon his feet, and with the horrible vision of torture awaiting the wounded, signalised the sacrifice of his life by yet one more act of mercy. One or two of his countrymen, wounded to death, lay at his feet, and these, with one swift thrust of his sword, he bereft of life, fearlessly turning to meet his own end a few minutes later.

Overpowered and sent to death as they were, this act of renunciation has sometimes been deemed a useless sacrifice, and an attempt has even been made to rob it of well-won renown; but whether the savage tribe engaged had nobility enough to honour the splendid courage and fortitude of the dead, or for what reason remained unknown, certain it is that their determination to overwhelm and massacre the settlements was abandoned, and never again were the colonists


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