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FRONTENAC AND LA SALLE.   55

 

him four hundred men, two gorgeously painted boats, and a great number of canoes. He called the Indians " children," threatened them with punishment if they

dared to disobey him, and de-lighted their hearts with presents. Then he set his men to build, and before he left, only a few days later, a strong wooden fort had risen in the wilderness before the wondering eyes of the savages.

The   The French were for-Coureurs de bidden to go into the

Bois. woods unless they had received from the government special leave to trade with the Indians; but many cared nothing for the law. Perrot, the governor of Montreal, was one of these. He employed a number of coureurs de bois, as the men who traded with-out leave were called, and he even sold brandy to the Indians with his own hands. There were great disorders in Montreal, and at last Frontenac threw Perrot into prison. When this came to the ears of the

king, he blamed Perrot, but also blamed the governor for being too high-handed, and sent out a new intendant, Duchesneau, to be a check on him.

This only made matters worse. Duchesneau and Frontenac each accused the other of unlawfully employing coureurs de bois, and found numberless other causes of dispute, in which Laval sometimes joined. Amongst these was the old question of the brandy trade, which the governor would not put down.

COUREUR DE BOIS. (From a drawing by Arthur Heming. )

Picture
Picture

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