The French fought bravely a campaign really hopeless. Montcalm massed his chief force at Quebec and there awaited attack. In vain had he appealed to France for further help; he was left unaided to struggle with a foe who had command of the sea, whose fleet could pass up and down before Quebec with the tide and keep the French guards for twenty miles in constant nervous tension as to where a landing might be made. Wolfe carried on his work relentlessly. He warned the Canadians that he would ravage their villages if they did not remain neutral. Neutral it was almost impossible for them to be for the French urged them in the other direction. With stern rigour, Wolfe meted out to them his punishment. He sent parties to burn houses and destroy crops and Malbaie was not spared. On August 15th, 1759, Captain Gorham reported to Wolfe that with 300 men, one half of them Rangers from the English colonies, the other half Highlanders, he had devastated the north shore of the St. Lawrence. The soldiers did their work thoroughly. From Baie St. Paul, the last considerable village east of Quebec, they went on thirty miles to Malbaie where they destroyed almost all of the houses. We do not know whether the competent Dufour was still the farmer at Malbaie. But all the fine pictures of better cattle, better pigs and sheep, better farming, better fishing, ended with the applying of the British soldiers’ torch to the wooden buildings: much of the settlement went up in smoke. Some of the cattle, pigs and sheep found their way perhaps to Wolfe’s commissariat. But a good many were left and no doubt they are the ancestors of many of the cattle, sheep and pigs we see at Malbaie still. This first visit of Americans and Highlanders to Malbaie has its special interest. A few years later Highlanders came again, not to destroy but to settle, and to become the ancestors of families that to this day show their Highland origin in their names and in their faces, but never a trace of it in their speech or in their customs. The Americans were longer in coming back. But, after more than a hundred years they, too, were to come again, not to destroy but in a very literal sense to build; their many charming cottages now stretch along the shore of the Bay that looks across to Cap a l’Aigle.
[Illustration: View across Murray bay from the Cap A L’AIGLE shore
(The farther point: Cap aux Oies, the nearer Pointe au Pic)]
[Footnote 1: Exact information in regard to the brothers Hazeur, who have a place in this story merely because they held the seigniory of Malbaie, may be found in articles by Mgr. H. Tetu, in the Bulletin des Recherches Historiques (Levis, Quebec) for August, 1907, and the following numbers. They were the Canon Joseph Thierry Hazeur, born in 1680, and Pierre Hazeur de L’Orme, born in 1682, both apparently at Quebec. The younger brother took the name de L’Orme from his mother’s family.