e the days of Jacques Cartier and Samuel Champlain. In the earlier days, when the French first came to Canada, this Western Sea was supposed to be somewhere above Montreal. Probably the Indians who first spoke of it to Jacques Cartier meant nothing more than Lake Ontario. Then, in the days of Champlain, the sea was sought farther westward. Champlain heard rumours of a great water beyond the Ottawa river. He paddled up the Ottawa, reached Lake Nipissing, and, descending what is now known as French River, found the immense body of water of which the Indians had told him. He had discovered Lake Huron, but this, again, was not the Western Sea. Other explorers, following in his footsteps, discovered Lake Michigan and Lake Superior; but still neither of these was the Western Sea. So, in La Vérendrye's day, men were dreaming of a Western Sea somewhere beyond Lake Superior. How far was it westward of Lake Superior? Who could tell? The Indians were always ready with a plausible tale, and many believed that the
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