ill all was silent as the grave. Hauling the bow of the canoe on the beach to keep it fast, the three men took their weapons, and, entering the woods in single file, walked cautiously but swiftly in the direction of the smoke. They soon reached the spot, and the scene which met their eyes was one which, while it accounted for the silence that reigned around, filled their minds with sadness and horror.
In an open space, where a number of trees had been cut down, stood about a dozen skin tents or Indian lodges, some with the curtain-doors closed, others open, exposing the interiors, on the floors of which the dead bodies of Indian men, women, and children, lay in every attitude and in all stages of decomposition. Outside of the tents other corpses lay strewn on the ground, and most of these bore evidence of having been more or less torn by wolves. The travellers knew at a glance that these unfortunate people had fallen before that terrible disease, small-pox, which had recently attacked and almost depopu
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