84 THE FALL OF QUEBEC
turned, and with a patriotism that does the young colony credit, every able-bodied man, from boys of fifteen to grandfathers of eighty, joined the ranks, streaming into Quebec to join the five battalions from France, the colony troops, and militia. In all about fifteen thousand men were concentrated, with a thousand Indians ready to lend fighting powers and scalping knives to the service.
Montcalm's plan of defence lay outside the Citadel. With between one and two thousand of a garrison, under de Ramezay, the half-circular rock two hundred feet in height, outlined by the St. Charles River to the north-east, was deemed impregnable. The army, round the old Beauport house occupied by the general, was placed on the north shore of the St. Lawrence, rising from the St. Charles to the picturesque gorge of the Montmorency. The stream dividing town and camp was crossed by a barricaded bridge of boats, at its mouth further defended by a boom of logs and two armed hulks.
Spring was merging into June when fishing smacks speeding from the Lower St. Lawrence began to bring news. Ships without number were following, and dramatic tales were told of pilots seized and, with noose and yardarm in