Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter V >> Page 49

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Page 49

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
event, that in their panic they fled from their defences
and sought shelter in the neighboring thickets. But here
they were met by the Indians under Olotocara, who drove
them back upon the French. Death encountered them
on all sides, and those who survived the conflict were
reserved for a more especial and more cruel fate. They
were conducted, with those taken at the smaller forts, to
the trees on which Melendez had hung the Frenchmen
under Ribault, and suspended to the same boughs.
Taking down the inscription of Melendez, De Gorgues
put another, much more appropriate, in its place.I do
this," said the writing, which was impressed by a sear-
ing iron upon a pine plank,�" I do this, not to Spaniards,
nor infidels ; but to traitors, thieves and murderers."
The victor had sternly carried out his resolution of
vengeance. He had proved himself as inflexibly just as
he was merciless, since the victims had been the offend-
ers, or had so far approved and participated in the crime
for which they were punished, as to leave us little occa-
sion for rebuke or regret. It is, perhaps, only by a
terrible retribution like this, that guilt is taught to pause
in the career of crime, to doubt its own security, and
forbear the deed of blood which may waken up such an
Having set forth on this single purpose, its completion
left the generous Gascon little more to do. He had no
selfish objects of conquest or colonization. The stern
and undivided desire of his mind was satisfied ; and,
razing to its foundation the fort which had been the
theatre of such a sanguinary story, he returned to France
to receive, not the honors and rewards of its monarch,