Narrative of Le Moyne

of them threw themselves into a small fast-sailing vessel that was in the place, as she was less likely to be hit by the balls ; and, cutting her cable, fought their way out through the enemy. All the rest, however, who remained on board the ship with the governor, were taken; and, except five or six who were killed in the affair, were carried off to the mainland, and thrown into prison. Part of them were afterwards sold as slaves, and taken to other places, even as far as to Spain and Portugal.

Among those who escaped, were the three chiefs of the conspiracy, Fourneaux, Stephen the Genoese, and La Croix. Trenchant the pilot, who had been forced to accompany them, was also in this party, with five or six sailors. These finding their craft without provisions, and that there was no way of getting any, agreed with each other to take the vessel back to Florida while the rest were asleep, which they did. The military men, when they awoke, were very indignant, for they were afraid of M. de Laudonniere : however, they concluded that it was best to put in at the mouth of the River of May for provisions, as they knew many Indians from whom they could get supplies; after which they could put to sea again, and try their fortune, unknown to the garrison at the fort. Having accordingly reached the mouth of the river, they cast anchor, and began to search for provisions, when one of the Indians brought the news to M. de Laudonnifere. On this, he was about to send them orders to bring the ship up opposite the fort, and appear before him ; but Capt. La Caille begged him to proceed cautiously, as they might probably take to flight, instead of obeying, in which case the opportunity of making an example of them would be lost. ” Well,” said M. de Laudonnifere. ” what do you advise, then ” — “I beg you,” answered La Caille, ” to give me twenty-five arquebusiers, whom I will stow in one of the shallops, and cover with her sail, and get up to their vessel at daybreak. If they see only two or three of us, and a couple of hands managing the shallop, they will not object to our coming alongside ; and, when we are close to them, my men shall spring up, and board them.”

This plan was agreed to : the soldiers went on board ; and when, next morning before daylight, the watch on board the other ship got sight of the boat, they called all hands. When, however, they recognized at some distance, on board the boat, only La Caille and a couple of men, they allowed them to come alongside without preparing to defend themselves. As soon as the boat was made fast to the vessel, however, our men sprang suddenly up, and boarded her. Surprised, they called out to fire on them, and ran to arms. But it was too late : they were quickly deprived of their weapons, and told that they were to be brought before the king’s lieutenant; which put them into consternation enough, as they felt that their lives were in the greatest danger. They were taken to the fort, and the three principal conspirators were regularly tried, condemned, and punished, while the rest being, however, discharged from the service, were pardoned ; and there were no further seditions.

After this affair was settled, there was a great scarcity with us, because for various reasons the Indians, both those near by and those farther off, all broke off their intercourse with us. One of these reasons was, that they obtained nothing from us in exchange for their provisions ; another, that they suffered much violence from our men in their expeditions after supplies. Some were even senseless, not to say malignant, enough to burn their houses, with the notion that by so doing we should be more promptly supplied. But the difficulty daily increased, until we had to go three or four miles before we could meet a single Indian. Then there took place, moreover, a campaign against the powerful chief Outina, which I need not narrate, as an account of it is given in M. de Laudonnifere’s work. In short, a detailed description of the condition of want to which we were reduced would be pitiful; but the plan of my work requires me to be very summary in my accounts.

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2 thoughts on “Narrative of Le Moyne

  1. […] likelihood that Fontaneda actually visited Fort Caroline. Le Moyne includes in his accounts an episode where he has two Spanish castaways living among the Indians brought to the fort. They stated they […]

  2. […] “All the troops being now on board, a fair wind for an hour or two was all that was needed to bring us up with the enemy ; but just as the anchors were about to be weighed the wind changed, and blew directly against us, exactly from the point where the enemy were, for two whole days and nights, while we waited for it to become fair.” Narrative of Le Moyne […]