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10   MILITARY HISTORY OF CANADA

a favourite resort of the Iroquois, and the establishment of the new colony was consequently fraught with great danger. The society was empowered to appoint a governor, but was forbidden to build castles or forts other than those actually necessary for - defence against the Indians. Forty men were to be sent to take possession of the site of the new settlement, intrench themselves, and raise crops. Paul de Chomedy, Sieur de Maisonneuve, a valiant soldier, was chosen to take charge of this little force and to act as Governor. The men comprising Maisonneuve's party were described as soldiers, sailors, artisans, and labourers, but all alike were required to act as soldiers in time of emergency.

An outstanding figure among Maisonneuve's followers was Louis d'Ailleboust de Coulonge, a soldier of wide experience, and during the summer and winter of 1642-1643 a palisaded fort, which gave the colonists comparative safety, was erected under his direction. The Iroquois apparently did not learn that the French were on the island of Montreal until these defences had been completed; but they soon began to harass the settlers, lying in wait for individuals as they emerged from the fort, and killing or making captives of quite a number.

Owing to the smallness of the force at his command, Maisonneuve persisted for a long time in remaining on the defensive, but eventually it came to his ears that by a portion of his force he was suspected of cowardice. He thereupon abandoned what he was convinced was the course of wisdom and led thirty of his men against a band of Iroquois who had been located in the thick wood between the fort and the mountain in the centre of the island. They had not proceeded far before they were at-tacked by 200 Indians. In the dense bush it was impossible to make headway against the hidden foe, and as the Indians had almost succeeded in surrounding them Maisonneuve gave the order to retire upon the fort. Under the pressure of numbers, the retirement might easily have become a rout, but the cool courage of


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