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PRUDHOMME.The prospects of the next campaign began to open. Captain Pouchot had written from Niagara that three thousand savages were waiting to 11
A hope had dawned on the governor. He had been more active of late in negotiating than in fighting, and his diplomacy had prospered more than his arms. It may be remembered that some of the Iroquois entrapped at Fort Frontenac had been given to their Christian relatives in the mission villages. Here they had since remained. Denonville thought that he might use them as messengers to their heathen countrymen, and he sent one or more of them to Onondaga with gifts and overtures of peace. That shrewd old politician, Big Mouth, was still strong in influence at the Iroquois capital, and his name was great to the farthest bounds of the confederacy. He knew by personal experience the advantages of a neutral 171 position between the rival European powers, from both of whom he received gifts and attentions; and he saw that what was good for him was good for the confederacy, since, if it gave itself to neither party, both would court its alliance. In his opinion, it had now leaned long enough towards the English; and a change of attitude had become expedient. Therefore, as Denonville promised the return of the prisoners, and was plainly ready to make other concessions, Big Mouth, setting at naught the prohibitions of Andros, consented to a conference with the French. He set out at his leisure for Montreal, with six Onondaga, Cayuga, and Oneida chiefs; and, as no diplomatist ever understood better the advantage of negotiating at the head of an imposing force, a body of Iroquois warriors, to the number, it is said, of twelve hundred, set out before him, and silently took path to Canada.
V1 with punishment if they disobeyed his order. He willingly complied, promised to have them killed if they did not fight, and assured them at the same time that the English could never take the fort.  Three hundred of them thereupon joined the garrison, and the rest, hiding their families in the woods, prepared to wage guerilla war against the invaders.
 On the details of the projected attack of New York, Le Roy Denonville, 191 7 Juin, 1689; Le Ministre Denonville, mme date; Le Ministre Frontenac, mme date; Ordre du Roy Vaudreuil, mme date; Le Roy au Sieur de la Caffinire, mme date; Champigny au Ministre, 16 Nov., 1689.
Henri De Tonty, on his rock of St. Louis, was visited in September by Couture and two Indians from the Arkansas. Then, for the first time, he heard with grief and indignation of the death of La Salle, and the deceit practised by Cavelier. The chief whom he had served so well was beyond his help; but might not the unhappy colonists left on the shores of Texas still be rescued from destruction? Couture had confirmed what Cavelier and his party had already told him, that the tribes south of the Arkansas were eager to join the French in an invasion of northern Mexico; and he soon after received from the governor, Denonville, a letter informing him that war had again been declared against Spain. As bold and enterprising as La Salle himself, Tonty resolved on an effort to learn the condition of the [Pg 465] few Frenchmen left on the borders of the Gulf, relieve their necessities, and, should it prove practicable, make them the nucleus of a war-party to cross the Rio Grande, and add a new province to the domain of France. It was the revival, on a small scale, of La Salle's scheme of Mexican invasion; and there is no doubt that, with a score of French musketeers, he could have gathered a formidable party of savage allies from the tribes of Red River, the Sabine, and the Trinity. This daring adventure and the rescue of his suffering countrymen divided his thoughts, and he prepared at once to execute the double purpose.
V1 the relief came and lifted them up." His own company of fifty was reduced to ten. The other regiment of the garrison, Pepperell's, or the fifty-first, was quartered at Fort Ontario, on the other side of the river; and being better sheltered, suffered less. which the curious American species, S. purpurea, the