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THE AMERICAN INVASION.   I27

advising the citizens to rise against the governor. The ground was frozen hard, and though Montgomery made redoubts of ice and snow, his guns were too small to damage the walls. Soon many of his troops lay dying of smallpox, others deserted, and Montgomery, fearing that his army would only become weaker every day, decided to try without delay to force a way into the town

by a night attack from several points at once.

The time fixed for the

attempt was the first hours

Of the last clay of 1775. The Americans left their camp an hour or two after midnight, and a wild, blustering night it was. But the defenders of Quebec were on the alert. A little before dawn the

cathedral bell pealed an   ' ;; -

k',• ,

 

alarm, and the drums beat   ,",

to a r m s.   Meanwhile,   OLD ST. JOHN'S GATE, QUEBEC.

Montgomery, at the head

of one party of Americans, was hurrying eagerly along a narrow path between the rocks and the river. It was almost blocked up with drifted snow, but his troops made their way without mishap to within fifty yards of a battery commanding the path. Then the leader halted his force and sent on an officer to reconnoitre. He heard no sound, and Montgomery, hoping to surprise the British, ordered his men to dash forward. Suddenly a storm of bullets burst from the battery. Montgomery himself fell dead. The two officers next in command were also shot down, and the soldiers had to retreat. Meanwhile, Arnold's men had forced their way into the lower town, but their leader was wounded, and they, too, were obliged

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