Joseph A. Altsheler.

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_All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, must not
be reproduced in any form without permission of the

Copyright, 1947, by Sallie B. Altsheler

Printed in the United States of America


"The Sun of Quebec" is the sixth and closing volume of the French and
Indian War Series of which the predecessors have been "The Hunters of
the Hills," "The Shadow of the North," "The Rulers of the Lakes," "The
Masters of the Peaks," and "The Lords of the Wild." The important
characters in the earlier books reappear, and the mystery in the life of
Robert Lennox, the central figure in all the romances, is solved.


ROBERT LENNOX A lad of unknown origin

TAYOGA A young Onondaga warrior


RAYMOND LOUIS DE ST. LUC A brilliant French officer



LOUIS DE GALISONNIÈRE A young French officer

JEAN DE MÉZY A corrupt Frenchman

ARMAND GLANDELET A young Frenchman

PIERRE BOUCHER A bully and bravo


THE MARQUIS DUQUESNE Governor-General of Canada

MARQUIS DE VAUDREUIL Governor-General of Canada

FRANÇOIS BIGOT Intendant of Canada

MARQUIS DE MONTCALM French commander-in-chief

DE LEVIS A French general

BOURLAMAQUE A French general

BOUGAINVILLE A French general

ARMAND DUBOIS A follower of St. Luc

M. DE CHATILLARD An old French Seigneur

CHARLES LANGLADE A French partisan

THE DOVE The Indian wife of Langlade

TANDAKORA An Ojibway chief

DAGANOWEDA A young Mohawk chief

HENDRICK An old Mohawk chief

BRADDOCK A British general

ABERCROMBIE A British general

WOLFE A British general

COL. WILLIAM JOHNSON Anglo-American leader

MOLLY BRANT Col. Wm. Johnson's Indian wife

JOSEPH BRANT Young brother of Molly Brant, afterward
the great Mohawk chief, Thayendanegea

ROBERT DINWIDDIE Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia

WILLIAM SHIRLEY Governor of Massachusetts

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Famous American patriot

JAMES COLDEN A young Philadelphia captain

WILLIAM WILTON A young Philadelphia lieutenant

HUGH CARSON A young Philadelphia lieutenant

JACOBUS HUYSMAN An Albany burgher

CATERINA Jacobus Huysman's cook

ALEXANDER MCLEAN An Albany schoolmaster

BENJAMIN HARDY A New York merchant

JOHNATHAN PILLSBURY Clerk to Benjamin Hardy

ADRIAN VAN ZOON A New York merchant

THE SLAVER A nameless rover


ALFRED GROSVENOR A young English officer

JAMES CABELL A young Virginian

WALTER STUART A young Virginian

BLACK RIFLE A famous "Indian fighter"

ELIHU STRONG A Massachusetts colonel

ALAN HERVEY A New York financier

STUART WHITE Captain of the British sloop, _Hawk_

JOHN LATHAM Lieutenant of the British sloop, _Hawk_

EDWARD CHARTERIS A young officer of the Royal Americans

ZEBEDEE CRANE A young scout and forest runner

ROBERT ROGERS Famous Captain of American Rangers






















Mynheer Jacobus Huysman walked to the window and looked out at the neat
red brick houses, the grass, now turning yellow, and the leaves, more
brown than green. He was troubled, in truth his heart lay very heavy
within him. He was thinking over the terrible news that had come so
swiftly, as evil report has a way of doing. But he had cause for
satisfaction, too, and recalling it, he turned to gaze once more upon
the two lads who, escaping so many perils, had arrived at the shelter of
his home.

Robert and Tayoga were thin and worn, their clothing was soiled and
torn, but youth was youth and they were forgetting dangers past in a
splendid dinner that the fat Caterina was serving for them while Mynheer
Jacobus, her master, stood by and saw the good deed well done.

The dining room, large and furnished solidly, was wonderful in its
neatness and comfort. The heavy mahogany of table, sideboard and chairs
was polished and gleaming. No trace of dirt was allowed to linger
anywhere. When the door to the adjoining kitchen opened, as Caterina
passed through, pleasant odors floated in, inciting the two to fresh
efforts at the trencher. It was all as it had been when they were young
boys living there, attending the school of Alexander McLean and
traveling by painful steps along the road to knowledge. In its snugness,
its security and the luxury it offered it was a wonderful contrast to
the dark forest, where death lurked in every bush. Robert drew a long
sigh of content and poured himself another cup of coffee.

"And you escaped from the French after the great battle?" said Mynheer
Jacobus, asking the same question over and over again.

"Yes, sir," replied Robert, "and it was not a difficult thing to do at
all. The victory of the French was so remarkable, and I think so
unexpected, that they were paying little attention to me. I just walked
out of their camp, and the only man I met was the Chevalier de St. Luc,
who did not seem at all interested in stopping me - a curious fact, but a
fact all the same."

"A great leader and a fine man iss the Chevalier de St. Luc," said Mr.

"He's both, as I've had many chances to learn, and I intend to know more
about him some day."

"It may be that you will know even more than you think."

Robert looked sharply at the burgher, and he was about to ask questions,
but he reflected that Mynheer Jacobus, if he were able to answer, would
be evasive like all the others and so he checked the words at his lips.

"I suppose that time will disclose everything," he contented himself
with saying. "Meanwhile, I want to tell you, sir, that Tayoga and I
appreciate to the full your hospitality. It is noble, it always was
noble, as we've had ample occasion to discover."

The full red face of Mynheer Jacobus bloomed into a smile. The corners
of his mouth turned up, and his eyes twinkled.

"I must have had a premonition that you two were coming," he said, "and
so I stocked the larder. I remembered of old your appetites, a hunger
that could be satisfied only with great effort, and then could come back
again an hour later, as fresh and keen as ever. You are strong and
healthy boys, for which you should be grateful."

"We are," said Robert, with great emphasis.

"And you do not know whether Montcalm iss advancing with his army?"

"We don't, sir, but is Albany alarmed?"

"It iss! It iss alarmed very greatly. It wass not dreamed by any of us
that our army could be defeated, that magnificent army which I saw go
away to what I thought was certain victory. Ah, how could it have
happened? How could it have happened, Robert?"

"We simply threw away our chances, sir. I saw it all. We underrated the
French. If we had brought up our big guns it would have been easy. There
was no lack of courage on the part of our men. I don't believe that
people of British blood ever showed greater bravery, and that means
bravery equal to anybody's."

Mynheer Jacobus Huysman sighed heavily.

"What a waste! What a waste!" he said. "Now the army hass retreated and
the whole border iss uncovered. The tomahawk and scalping knife are at
work. Tales of slaughter come in efery day, and it iss said that
Montcalm iss advancing on Albany itself."

"I don't believe, sir, that he will come," said Robert. "The French
numbers are much fewer than is generally supposed, and I can't think he
will dare to attack Albany."

"It does not seem reasonable, but there iss great alarm. Many people are
leaving on the packets for New York. Who would have thought it? Who
could have thought it! But I mean to stay, and if Montcalm comes I will
help fight in the defense."

"I knew you wouldn't leave, sir. But despite our defeat we've a powerful
army yet, and England and the Colonies will not sit down and just weep."

"What you say iss so, Robert, my boy. I am not of English blood, but
when things look worst iss the time when England shows best, and the
people here are of the same breed. I do not despair. What did you say
had become of Willet?"

"Shortly before we reached Albany he turned aside to see Sir William
Johnson. We had, too, with us, a young Englishman named Grosvenor, a
fine fellow, but he went at once to the English camp here to report for
duty. He was in the battle at Ticonderoga and he also will testify that
our army, although beaten, could have brought up its artillery and have
fought again in a day or two. It would have gained the victory, too."

"I suppose so! I suppose so! But it did not fight again, and what might
have been did not happen. It means a longer war in this country and a
longer war all over the world. It spreads! It iss a great war, extending
to most of the civilized lands, the greatest war of modern times and
many think it will be the last war, but I know not. The character of
mankind does not change. What do you two boys mean to do?"

"We have not decided yet," replied Robert, speaking for both. "We'll go
back to the war, of course, which means that we'll travel once more
toward the north, but we'll have to rest a few days."

"And this house iss for you to rest in - a few days or many days, as you
please, though I hope it will be many. Caterina shall cook for you four,
five meals a day, if you wish, and much at every meal. I do not forget
how when you were little you raided the fruit trees, and the berry
bushes and the vines. Well, the fruit will soon be ripe again und I will
turn my back the other way. I will make that fat Caterina do the same,
and you and Tayoga can imagine that you are little boys once more."

"I know you mean that, Mynheer Jacobus, and we thank you from the bottom
of our hearts," said Robert, as the moisture came into his eyes.

"Here comes Master Alexander McLean," said Mr. Huysman, who had turned
back to the window. "He must have heard of your arrival and he wishes to
see if your perils in the woods have made you forget your ancient

In a minute or two Master McLean, tall, thin, reddish of hair, and
severe of gaze entered, his frosty blue eyes lighting up as he shook
hands with the boys, though his manner remained austere.

"I heard that you had arrived after the great defeat at Ticonderoga," he
said, "and you are fortunate to have escaped with your lives. I rejoice
at it, but those who go into the woods in such times must expect great
perils. It is of course well for all our young men to offer their lives
now for their country, but I thought I saw in you at least, Robert
Lennox, the germ of a great scholar, and it would be a pity for you to
lose your life in some forest skirmish."

"I thank you for the compliment," said Robert, "but as I was telling
Mynheer Jacobus I mean to go back into the woods."

"I doubt it not. The young of this generation are wise in their own
conceit. It was hard enough to control Tayoga and you several years ago,
and I cannot expect to do it now. Doubtless all the knowledge that I
have been at such pains to instill into you will be lost in the
excitement of trail and camp."

"I hope not, sir, though it's true that we've had some very stirring
times. When one is in imminent danger of his life he cannot think much
of his Latin, his Greek and his ancient history."

The severe features of Master Alexander McLean wrinkled into a frown.

"I do not know about that," he said. "Alexander the Great slept with his
Homer under his pillow, and doubtless he also carried the book with him
on his Asiatic campaigns, refreshing and strengthening his mind from
time to time with dips into its inspiring pages. There is no crisis in
which it is pardonable for you to forget your learning, though I fear me
much that you have done so. What was the date, Robert, of the fall of

"Mahomet the Second entered it, sir, in the year 1453 A. D."

"Very good. I begin to have more confidence in you. And why is Homer
considered a much greater poet than Virgil?"

"More masculine, more powerful, sir, and far more original. In fact the
Romans in their literature, as in nearly all other arts, were merely
imitators of the Greeks."

The face of Master McLean relaxed into a smile.

"Excellent! Excellent!" he exclaimed. "You have done better than you
claimed for yourself, but modesty is an attribute that becomes the
young, and now I tell you again, Robert, that I am most glad you and
Tayoga have come safely out of the forest. I wish to inform you also
that Master Benjamin Hardy and his chief clerk, Jonathan Pillsbury, have
arrived from New York on the fast packet, _River Queen_, and even now
they are depositing their baggage at the George Inn, where they are
expecting to stay."

Master Jacobus who had been silent while the schoolmaster talked, awoke
suddenly to life.

"At the George Inn!" he exclaimed. "It iss a good inn, good enough for
anybody, but when friends of mine come to Albany they stay with me or I
take offense. Bide here, my friends, and I will go for them. Alexander,
sit with the lads and partake of refreshment while I am gone."

He hastened from the room and Master McLean, upon being urged, joined
Robert and Tayoga at the table, where he showed that he too was a good
man at the board, thinness being no bar to appetite and capacity. As he
ate he asked the boys many questions, and they, knowing well his kindly
heart under his crusty manner, answered them all readily and freely.
Elderly and bookish though he was, his heart throbbed at the tale of the
great perils through which they had gone, and his face darkened when
Robert told anew the story of Ticonderoga.

"It is our greatest defeat so far," he said, "and I hope our misfortunes
came to a climax there. We must have repayment for it. We must aim at
the heart of the French power, and that is Quebec. Instead of fighting
on the defense, Britain and her colonies must strike down Canada."

"So it seems to me too, sir," said Robert. "We're permitting the Marquis
de Montcalm to make the fighting, to choose the fields of battle, and as
long as we do that we have to dance to his music. But, sir, that's only
my opinion. I would not presume to give it in the presence of my

"You've had much experience despite your youth and you're entitled to
your thoughts. But I hear heavy steps. 'Tis odds that it's Jacobus with
his friends."

The door was opened and Mr. Huysman with many words of welcome ushered
in his guests, who being simple and strong men brought their own baggage
from the inn. Robert rose at once and faced Benjamin Hardy in whose eyes
shone an undoubted gladness. The merchant did not look a day older than
when Robert had last seen him in New York, and he was as robust and
hearty as ever. Jonathan Pillsbury, tall, thin and dressed with
meticulous care, also permitted himself a smile.

"Robert, my lad!" exclaimed Benjamin Hardy, dropping his baggage and
holding out two sinewy hands. "'Tis a delight to find you and Tayoga
here. I knew not what had become of you two, and I feared the worst, the
times being so perilous. Upon my word, we've quite a reunion!"

Robert returned his powerful and friendly grasp. He was more than glad
to see him for several reasons; for his own sake, because he liked him
exceedingly, and because he was sure Master Benjamin held in his keeping
those secrets of his own life which he was yet to learn.

"Sir," he said, "'tis not my house, though I've lived in it, and I know
that Mr. Huysman has already given you a most thorough welcome, so I add
that it's a delight to me to see you again. 'Twas a pleasant and most
memorable visit that Tayoga and I had at your home in New York."

"And eventful enough, too. You came very near going to the Guineas on a
slave trip. That was the kind of hospitality I offered you."

"No fault of yours, sir. I shall never forget the welcome you gave us in
New York. It warms my heart now to think of it."

"I see you've not lost your gift of speech. Words continue to well from
your lips, and they're good words, too. But I talk overmuch myself. Here
is Jonathan waiting to speak to you. I told him I was coming to Albany.
'Upon what affair?' he asked. ''Tis secret,' I replied. 'Meaning you do
not want to tell me of its nature,' he said. 'Yes,' I replied. Then he
said, 'Whatever its gist, you'll need my presence and advice. I'm going
with you.' And here he is. Doubtless he is right."

Jonathan Pillsbury clasped Robert's hand as warmly as he ever clasped
anybody's and permitted himself a second smile, which was his limit, and
only extraordinary occasions could elicit two.

"Our conversation has been repeated with accuracy," he said. "I do not
yet know why I have come to Albany, but I feel sure it is well that I
have come."

Mr. Huysman hustled about, his great red face glowing while fat Caterina
brought in more to eat. He insisted that the new guests sit at the table
and eat tremendously. It was a time when hospitality meant repeated
offerings of food, which in America was the most abundant of all things,
and Mr. Hardy and Mr. Pillsbury easily allowed themselves to be

"And now, Robert, you must tell me something more about Dave," said the
merchant as they rose from the table.

Young Lennox promptly narrated their adventures among the peaks and
about the lakes while the older men listened with breathless attention.
Nor did the story of the great hunter suffer in Robert's telling. He had
an immense admiration for Willet and he spoke of his deeds with such
vivid words and with so much imagery and embroidery that they seemed to
be enacted again there in that quiet room before the men who listened.

"Ah, that is Dave! True as steel. As honest and brave as they ever make
'em," said Master Benjamin Hardy, when he had finished. "A man! a real
man if ever one walked this earth!"

"And don't forget Tayoga here," said Robert. "The greatest trailer ever
born. He saved us more than once by his ability to read the faintest
sign the earth might yield."

"When Dagaeoga begins to talk he never knows how to stop," said Tayoga;
"I but did the things all the warriors of my nation are taught to do. I
would be unworthy to call myself a member of the clan of the Bear, of
the nation Onondaga, of the great League of the Hodenosaunee, if I could
not follow a trail. Peace, Dagaeoga!"

Robert joined in the laugh, and then the men began to talk about the
prospects of an attack upon Albany by the French and Indians, though all
of them inclined to Robert's view that Montcalm would not try it.

"As you were a prisoner among them you ought to know something about
their force, Robert," said Mr. Hardy.

"I had opportunities to observe," replied the lad, "and from what I saw,
and from what I have since heard concerning our numbers I judge that we
were at least four to one, perhaps more. But we threw away all our
advantage when we came with bare breasts against their wooden wall and
sharpened boughs."

"It is a painful thing to talk about and to think about, but Britain
never gives up. She marches over her mistakes and failures to triumph,
and we are bone of her bone. And you saw St. Luc!"

"Often, sir. In the battle and in the preparations for it he was the
right arm of the Marquis de Montcalm. He is a master of forest war."

"He is all that, Robert, my lad. A strange, a most brilliant man, he is
one of our most formidable enemies."

"But a gallant one, sir. He did nothing to prevent my escape. I feel
that at Ticonderoga as well as elsewhere I am greatly in his debt."

"Undoubtedly he favors you. It does not surprise me."

Intense curiosity leaped up in Robert's heart once more. What was he to
St. Luc! What was St. Luc to him! All these elderly men seemed to hold a
secret that was hidden from him, and yet it concerned him most. His lips
twitched and he was about to ask a question, but he reflected that, as
always before, it would not be answered, it would be evaded, and he
restrained his eager spirit. He knew that all the men liked him, that
they had his good at heart, and that when the time came to speak they
would speak. The words that had risen to his lips were unspoken.

Robert felt that his elders wanted to talk, that something they would
rather not tell to the lads was in their minds, and meanwhile the
brilliant sunshine and free air outside were calling to him and the

"I think," he said, addressing them all collectively, "that Tayoga and I
should go to see Lieutenant Grosvenor. He was our comrade in the
forest, and he has been somewhat overcome by his great hardships."

"The idea would not be bad," said Master Benjamin Hardy. "Youth to
youth, and, while you are gone, we old fellows will talk of days long
ago as old fellows are wont to do."

And so they did want him and Tayoga to go! He had divined their wishes
aright. He was quite sure, too, that when he and the Onondaga were away
the past would be very little in their minds. These active men in the
very prime of their powers were concerned most about the present and the
future. Well, whatever it was he was sure they would discuss it with
wisdom and foresight.

"Come, Tayoga," he said. "Outdoors is calling to us."

"And be sure that you return in time for supper," said Master Jacobus.
"This house is to be your home as long as you are in Albany. I should be
offended mortally if you went elsewhere."

"No danger of that," said Robert. "Tayoga and I know a good home when we
find it. And we know friends, too, when we see them."

It was a bit of sentiment, but he felt it very deeply and he saw that
all of the men looked pleased. As he and Tayoga went out he noticed that
they drew their chairs about the dining-room table that Caterina had
cleared, and before the door closed upon the two lads they were already
talking in low and earnest tones.

"They have affairs of importance which are not for us," he said, when he
and the Onondaga were outside.

"It is so," said Tayoga. "The white people have their chiefs and sachems
like the nations of the Hodenosaunee, and their ranks are filled by age.
The young warriors are for the trail, the hunt, and the war path, and

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Online LibraryJoseph A. AltshelerThe Sun Of Quebec A Story of a Great Crisis → online text (page 1 of 23)