Montlivet

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E-text prepared by Al Haines MONTLIVET by ALICE PRESCOTT SMITH New York Grosset & Dunlap Publishers Houghton, Mifflin and Co. 1907 TO M. C. H. AND A. E. H. CONTENTS I. THE KEY II. THE CAPTIVE III. BEHIND THE COMMANDANT'S DOOR IV. IN THE OTTAWA CAMP V. A DECISION VI. DAME OPPORTUNITY VII. THE BEGINNING VIII. PARTNERS IX. WESTWARD X. I WAKE A SLEEPER XI. MARY STARLING XII. A COMPACT XIII. WE REACH THE ISLANDS XIV. A PROVISIONAL BARGAIN XV. I TAKE A NEW PASSENGER XVI. THE STORM XVII. AFTER THE STORM XVIII. IN WHICH I USE OPPORTUNITY XIX. IN THE MIST XX. WHAT I FOUND XXI. THE PIVOT XXII. THE PRICE OF SLEEP XXIII. I ENCOUNTER MIXED MOTIVES XXIV. I MEET VARIOUS WELCOMES XXV. OVER CADILLAC'S TABLE XXVI. FROM HOUR TO HOUR XXVII. IN COUNCIL XXVIII. CHILDREN OF OPPORTUNITY XXIX. I FOLLOW MY PATH XXX. THE MEANING OF CONQUEST XXXI. THE UNDESERVED XXXII. I TELL THE WOMAN XXXIII. TO US AND TO OUR CHILDREN MONTLIVET CHAPTER I THE KEY The May sun was shining on Michillimackinac, and I, Armand de Montlivet, was walking the strip of beach in front of the French garrison. I did not belong to Michillimackinac. I had come in only the day before with two canoes and four men, and I was bound for the beaver lands further west. A halt was necessary, for the trip had been severe, and remembering that it was necessity, and not idleness, that held me, I was enjoying the respite. My heart was light, and since the heart is mistress of the heels, I walked somewhat trippingly. I was on good terms with myself at the moment. My venture was going well, and I was glad to be alone, and breathe deep of the sweet spring air, and let my soul grow big with the consciousness of what it would like to do. So content was I, that I was annoyed to see La Mothe-Cadillac approach. Yet Cadillac was important to me then. He was commandant at Michillimackinac,--the year was 1695,--and so was in control of the strategic point of western New France. The significance of all that he stood for, and all that he might accomplish, filled my thought as he swaggered toward me now, and I said to myself, somewhat complacently, that, with all his air of importance, I had a fuller conception than he of what lay in his palm. He hailed me without preface. "Where do you find food for your laughter in this forsaken country, Montlivet? I have watched you swagger up and down with a smile on your face for the last hour. What is the jest?" In truth, there was no jest in me by the time he finished. My own thought had just called him a swaggerer, and now he clapped the same phrase back at me. "There are more swaggerers upon this beach than I," I cried hotly, and I felt my blood rise. My tone was more insulting than my words, and Cadillac, too, grew red.

Alice Prescott Smith

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