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Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete

Page: 183

loup garou, that he might the easier bear away his victim. Incautiously, he followed her to Grosse Pointe, where an image of the Virgin had been set up, and as Genevieve dropped at the feet of the statue to implore aid, the wolf, as he leaped to her side, was suddenly turned to stone.

Harder was the fate of another maiden, Archange Simonet, for she was seized by a were-wolf at this place and hurried away while dancing at her own wedding. The bridegroom devoted his life to the search for her, and finally lost his reason, but he prosecuted the hunt so vengefully and shrewdly that he always found assistance. One of the neighbors cut off the wolf's tail with a silver bullet, the appendage being for many years preserved by the Indians. The lover finally came upon the creature and chased it to the shore, where its footprint is still seen in one of the bowlders, but it leaped into the water and disappeared. In his crazy fancy the lover declared that it had jumped down the throat of a catfish, and that is why the French Canadians have a prejudice against catfish as an article of diet.

The man-wolf dared as much for gain as for love. On the night that Jean Chiquot got the Indians drunk and bore off their beaver-skins, the wood witches, known as "the white women," fell upon him and tore a part of his treasure from him, while a were-wolf pounced so hard on his back that he lost more. He drove the creatures to a little distance, but was glad to be safe inside of the fort again, though the officers laughed at him and called him a coward. When they went back over the route with him they were astonished to find the grass scorched where the women had fled before him, and little springs in the turf showed where they had been swallowed up. Sulphur-water was bubbling from the spot where the wolf dived into the earth when the trader's rosary fell out of his jacket. Belle Fontaine, the spot was called, long afterward.





THE ESCAPE OF FRANCOIS NAVARRE

When the Hurons came to Sandwich, opposite the Michigan shore, in 1806, and camped near the church for the annual "festival of savages," which was religious primarily, but incidentally gastronomic, athletic, and alcoholic, an old woman of the tribe foretold to Angelique Couture that, ere long, blood would be shed freely and white men and Indians would take each other's lives. That was a reasonably safe prophecy in those days, and, though Angelique repeated it to her friends, she did not worry over it. But when the comet of 1812 appeared the people grew afraid—and with cause, for the war soon began with England. The girl's brothers fought under the red flag; her lover, Francois Navarre, under the stars and stripes.

The cruel General Proctor one day passed through Sandwich with prisoners on his way to the Hurons, who were to put them to death in the usual manner. As they passed by, groaning in anticipation of their fate, foot-sore and covered with dust, Angelique nearly swooned, for among them she recognized her lover. He, too, had seen her, and the recognition had been noticed by Proctor. Whether his savage heart was for the moment softened by their anguish, or whether he wished to heighten their pain by a momentary taste of joy, it is certain that on reaching camp he paroled Francrois until sunset. The young man hastened to the girl's house, and for one hour they were sadly happy. She tried to make him break his parole and escape, but he refused, and as the sun sank he tore himself from her arms and hastened to rejoin his companions in misery.


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