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[373] They were joined by one hundred French Canadians and several volunteers, consisting of officers of the French army, and younger sons of the nobility, adventurous and unscrupulous. The Sieur de Chaillons, and Hertel de Rouville, distinguished as a partisan in former expeditions, cruel and unsparing as his Indian allies, commanded the French troops; the Indians, marshalled under their several chiefs, obeyed the general orders of La Perriere. A Catholic priest accompanied them. De Rouville, with the French troops and a portion of the Indians, took the route by the River St. Francois about the middle of summer. La Perriere, with the French Mohawks, crossed Lake Champlain. The place of rendezvous was Lake Nickisipigue. On the way a Huron accidentally killed one of his companions; whereupon the tribe insisted on halting and holding a council. It was gravely decided that this accident was an evil omen, and that the expedition would prove disastrous; and, in spite of the endeavors of the French officers, the whole band deserted. Next the Mohawks became dissatisfied, and refused to proceed. To the entreaties and promises of their French allies they replied that an infectious disease had broken out among them, and that, if they remained, it would spread through the whole army. The French partisans were not deceived by a falsehood so transparent; but they were in no condition to enforce obedience; and, with bitter execrations and reproaches, they saw the Mohawks turn back on their warpath. The diminished army pressed on to Nickisipigue, in the expectation of meeting, agreeably

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