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[193] and Dead River. Their road now lay through
Chap. LIII.} 1775 Oct.
forests of pines, balsam fir, cedar, cypress, hemlock, and yellow birch, and over three ponds, that lay hid among the trees and were full of trout. After passing them, they had no choice but to bear their boats, baggage, stores, and ammunition across a swamp, which was overgrown with bushes and white moss, often sinking knee deep in the wet turf and bogs. From Dead River, Arnold on the thirteenth wrote to the commander of the northern army, announcing his plan of co-operation. Of his friends in Quebec he inquired as to the number of troops at Quebec, what ships were there, and what was the disposition of the Canadians and merchants; and he forwarded his letter by an Indian.

On the fifteenth the main body were on the banks of the Dead River; following its direction a distance of eighty three miles, encountering upon it seventeen falls, large enough to make portages necessary, and near its source a series of small ponds choked with fallen trees, in ten or twelve days more they arrived at the great carrying place to the Chaudiere.

On the way they heard the disheartening news, that Enos, the second in command, had deserted the enterprise, leading back three companies to Cambridge. Yet the diminished party, enfeebled by sickness and desertion, with scanty food, and little ammunition, still persevered in their purpose to appear before a citadel, which was held to be the strongest in North America, and which the English officers in Canada would surely defend to the last.

The mountains had been clad in snow since September;

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