The Makers of Canada: Champlain eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 242 pages of information about The Makers of Canada.
his ship, de Caen went to Chafaud aux Basques, two leagues above Tadousac.  Here he was informed that the Kirke brothers were at Tadousac, and he at once made for Mal Bay, where he was informed that Champlain had capitulated.  This news lacked confirmation, and so he sent two emissaries to Quebec, who instead of proceeding directly there, amused themselves on the shore of the river at Cape Tourmente.  They finally arrived at their destination, and were badly received by Guillaume Couillard.

In the meantime Thomas Kirke was sailing down from Quebec to Tadousac, after the capitulation of the stronghold, and meeting de Caen’s vessel approached within cannon shot.  A fight began, and soon both vessels were stopped by Kirke’s order.  Previous to this, Champlain and all the French who were on board had been sent below deck, the covers of which had been fastened with large nails, so that they were unable to render any assistance to Emery de Caen, even if they had desired to.  The battle continued under some difficulties, and the vessels were grappled only by their foremasts.  Kirke’s position was becoming untenable, but by a singular blunder instead of being defeated he was allowed to become the master.  One of Emery de Caen’s sailors having cried “Quartier!  Quartier!” or Surrender!  Kirke hurriedly answered, “Bon quartier, and I promise your life safe, and I shall treat you as I did Champlain, whom I bring with me.”  Hearing these words the French hesitated, laid down their arms, and soon perceived Champlain on the deck.  Kirke had released him from his temporary jail, threatening him with death if he did not order Emery de Caen to cease his fire.  Then Champlain said:  “It would be easy to kill me, being in your power.  But you do not deserve honour for having broken your word.  You have promised to treat me with consideration.  I cannot command these people, neither prevent them from doing their duty, in defending themselves.  You must praise them instead of blaming them.”  Champlain asked them to surrender willingly.  They were wise in doing so, as two English pataches soon arrived which would have settled the fight.

Emery de Caen, and Jacques Couillard de l’Espinay, his lieutenant, took passage on Kirke’s vessel, and submitted themselves to the enemy’s conditions.  De Caen was compelled to abandon his ship, which was full of provisions intended for Quebec.  In less than two hours every hope of fur trading had disappeared.  De Caen had lost not only his vessel, but also five hundred beaver skins and some merchandise for traffic.  This loss was valued at fifty-one thousand francs.  Emery de Caen returned to France.  He came back to Quebec in the year 1631, with permission from Richelieu to treat with the Indians.  But the English commander expressly forbade the trade, and placed guardians on his vessel during the period of trading.


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The Makers of Canada: Champlain from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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