14 THE RENUNCIATION OF
or wounded, and owing to the deserters their pitiable condition was only too well known. Still, the newcomers advanced with caution, approaching according to custom when their blood was not thoroughly up, screeching and leaping from side to side, perhaps expecting to gain possession by fair words or threats without striking a blow. But the loopholes were still manned, and from every French musket leaped its tongue of flame, stretching some of them dead on the ground, while the rest as usual took safety in flight. Again and again for the next three days came the futile attacks, delivered with malicious intent, but little real vigour — no wonder the unhappy settlers termed them incarnate demons ; and throughout the never-ending hours, Dollard and his men, half-crazed for want of sleep, reeling with weakness and pain, fought and prayed as before, now, alas, only praying for death.
Weary of the too-long lasting humiliation, and anxious to turn their attention elsewhere, the braves in council at length determined to end the siege; and never willing to expose their persons to danger, ingeniously made themselves vnantelets of pieces of wood lashed together,