The Signal of Butchery. Montcalm, Bougainville, and several others say that the massacre was begun by the Abenakis of Panaouski. Father Martin, in quoting the letter in which Montcalm makes this statement, inserts the word idolatres, which is not in the original. Dussieux and O’Callaghan give the passage correctly. This Abenaki band, ancestors of the present Penobscots, were no idolaters, but had been converted more than half a century. In the official list of the Indian allies they are set down among the Christians. Roubaud, who had charge of them during the expedition, speaks of these and other converts with singular candor: “Vous avez du vous apercevoir ... que nos sauvages, pour etre Chretiens, n’en sont pas plus irreprehensibles dans leur conduite.”]
A Winter of Discontent
Loudon, on his way back from Halifax, was at sea off the coast of Nova Scotia when a despatch-boat from Governor Pownall of Massachusetts startled him with news that Fort William Henry was attacked; and a few days after he learned by another boat that the fort was taken and the capitulation “inhumanly and villanously broken.” On this he sent Webb orders to hold the enemy in check without risking a battle till he should himself arrive. “I am on the way,” these were his words, “with a force sufficient to turn the scale, with God’s assistance; and then I hope we shall teach the French to comply with the laws of nature and humanity. For although I abhor barbarity, the knowledge I have of Mr. Vaudreuil’s behavior when in Louisiana, from his own letters in my possession, and the murders committed at Oswego and now at Fort William Henry, will oblige me to make those gentlemen sick of such inhuman villany whenever it is in my power.” He reached New York on the last day of August, and heard that the French had withdrawn. He nevertheless sent his troops up the Hudson, thinking, he says, that he might still attack Ticonderoga; a wild scheme, which he soon abandoned, if he ever seriously entertained it.
[Footnote 527: Loudon to Webb, 20 Aug. 1757. London to Holdernesse, Oct. 1757. Loudon to Pownall, 16 [18?] Aug. 1757. A passage in this last letter, in which Loudon says that he shall, if prevented by head-winds from getting into New York, disembark the troops on Long Island, is perverted by that ardent partisan, William Smith, the historian of New York, into the absurd declaration “that he should encamp on Long Island for the defence of the continent.”]