Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER IV 1661-1664 RADISSON'S FOURTH VOYAGE The Success of the Explorers arouses Envy It becomes known that they have heard of the Famous Sea of the North When they ask Permission to resume their Explorations, the French Governor refuses except on Condition of receiving Half the Profits In Defiance, the Explorers steal off at Midnight They return with a Fortune and are driven from New France Radisson was not yet twenty-six years of age, and his explorations of the Great Northwest had won him both fame and fortune. As Spain sought gold in the New Word, so France sought precious furs. Furs were the only possible means of wealth to the French colony, and for ten years the fur trade had languished owing to the Iroquois wars. For a year after the migration of the Hurons to Onondaga, not a single beaver skin was brought to Montreal. Then began the annual visits of the Indians from the Upper Country to the forts of the St. Lawrence. Sweeping down the northern rivers like wild-fowl, in far-spread, desultory flocks, came the Indians of the Pays d'enHaut. Down the Ottawa to Montreal, down the St. Maurice to Three Rivers, down the Saguenay and round to Quebec, came the treasure-craft, light fleets of birch canoes laden to the water-line with beaver skins. Whence came the wealth that revived the languishing trade of New France ? From a vague, far Eldorado somewhere round a sea in the North. Hudson had discovered this sea half a century before Radisson's day; Jean Bourdon, a Frenchman, had coasted up Labrador in 1657 seeking the Bay of the North; and on their last trip the explorers had learned from the Crees who came through the dense forests of the hinterland that there lay round this Bay of the North a vast country with untold wealth of furs. The discovery of a rout...
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