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TICONDEROGA   61

fighters, to Montcalm's assistance, but for some reason this had not been done. It is inconceivable to imagine that petty spite or jealousy on de Vaudreuil's part could have been allowed to influence his mind at such a time, but the circumstance is otherwise hard to account for. He knew the serious unrest of the colonies, the extent of British preparations, and that for a month previous Abercromby's camp had lain ready at Lake George. Yet, as day after day passed and the promised assistance failed to arrive, Montcalm must have felt himself and his command like some forlorn hope, betrayed and abandoned to its fate.

Rumour had placed the opposing force at twenty-five or thirty thousand, but, like Leonidas, there was no retreat for him. Canada must not be lost by any mis-move of his; yet, even for a mind fruitful in tactics, it was difficult to decide what to do. An indecision quite foreign to his nature had seized upon him, and with the exception of sending Berry with a detachment to the fort, another under Bourlamaque to the end of the portage, and himself with the main body occupying the old sawmill at the falls, the precious days leading to the engagement saw nothing in the way of defence being ac-


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