THE SIEGE OF LOUISBOURG 45
rest, and the long and weary labour of moving the guns, ammunition, and stores of all sorts. In many cases the flat boats brought from Boston for the purpose were not found up to the weight of the cannon, which were barely saved from sinking to the bottom of the sea ; and Green Cove not proving as good a harbour as had been hoped, the men were obliged to carry everything possible on their heads through the waist-deep icy surf, a terrible experience at that season of the year. Not the least of the difficulty lay in the large amount of seemingly useless forty-two-pound cannon balls to be unloaded. The heaviest of their own pieces were only twenty-two-pounders, and this fact almost amusingly explains the faith and determination held by the promoters of the expedition. The guns of the fort were known to be of the larger calibre, and a supply for their service after capture had been thoughtfully laid in in advance.
Though now the beginning of May, not a vestige of spring was yet visible. The brown branches of the trees presented almost the aspect of mid-winter, while in sheltered parts of the woods, and the clefts of the rocky shore, patches of snow and ice could still be dis-