Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter II >> Page 22

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Page 22

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
six coverlets, like those which decorated his couch. The
French were not wanting in gratitude, which they testified
by similar presents, and the parties separated, equally
pleased and satisfied. The colonists had scarcely returned
to the fort, when it was destroyed by fire ; a catas-
trophe which was soon repaired by their Indian neighbors.
They hurried to the spot, and with an industry only
equalled by their generous enthusiasm, a large company,
under the direction of two of their chiefs, rebuilt the fabric
in the short space of twelve hours.
But no generosity of the Indians could enable them to
supply the continual demands which the colonists made
for food. The resources of Ouade failed them in like
manner with those of Audusta, and a portion of the
company was sent to explore the country. They were
next supplied by Couexis, who added to his gifts a certain
number of exceeding fair pearls, some pieces of fine
chrystal, and certain silver ore. This last gift inflamed
the minds of the colonists with new and fatal desires.
They eagerly demanded whence the chrystal and the
silver came, and were told that the " inhabitants of the
country did dig the same at the foot of certain high
mountains, where they found it in very good quantity."
Hitherto, the French had conducted themselves in a
proper and becoming manner. They had dealt justly and
gently with the natives, and had been treated kindly.
"But," in the language of the old chronicle, from which
we quote, "misfortune, or rather the just judgment of
God, would have it, that those who could not be overcome
by fire nor water, should be undone by their own selves
This is the common fashion of men who cannot continue