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She couldn't appear to pin him down of course. She had to let him range where he would, contenting herself with giving the talk a little push this way or that when the opportunity offered. She encouraged him to talk of his childhood and youth, to which he was nothing loath. He unconsciously drew her a picture of a willful, jealous, destructive boy, a little monument of selfishness. There was a bad crack in his nature. He hated beauty, moral and physical, but particularly physical beauty. Pen marked the pained sneer with which his eyes followed the stalwart young steward who carried away the cups. Riever had to have handsome servants to maintain his position, but their comeliness was a perpetual reproach to him. No wonder he had hated Don Counsell from the first, Pen thought. She guessed darkly that Riever was the kind that pursues beautiful women only to hurt them.
He was no beauty. His face was a little reddened and roughened with incipient erysipelas. Don had said that he and Riever were of the same age, but the millionaire might have been of any age between twenty-five and forty-five; there was no look of youth about him. He was redeemed from insignificance by his assured habit of command. Yet his assurance did not go very deep. Pen had discovered that he might quite easily be put out of countenance, only nobody ever tried it. When he chose as at present, he could be most agreeable, but there was always a pained roll to his eyes, such as may be seen in the eyes of a bad-tempered horse, a look that boded no good to his underlings.
The attack on Canada by way of the Hudson and Lake Champlain was to have been commanded by Lord Lovelace or some officer of his choice; but as he was dead, Ingoldsby, his successor in the government of the province, jointly with the governors of several adjacent colonies who had met at New York, appointed Colonel Nicholson in his stead. Nicholson[Pg 140] went to Albany, whence, with about fifteen hundred men, he moved up the Hudson, built a stockade fort opposite Saratoga, and another at the spot known as the Great Carrying Place. This latter he called Fort Nicholson,a name which it afterwards exchanged for that of Fort Lydius, and later still for that of Fort Edward, which the town that occupies the site owns to this day. Thence he cut a rough roadway through the woods to where Wood Creek, choked with beaver dams, writhed through flat green meadows, walled in by rock and forest. Here he built another fort, which was afterwards rebuilt and named Fort Anne. Wood Creek led to Lake Champlain, and Lake Champlain to Chambly and Montreal,the objective points of the expedition. All was astir at the camp. Flat-boats and canoes were made, and stores brought up from Albany, till everything was ready for an advance the moment word should come that the British fleet had reached Boston. Vetch, all impatience, went thither to meet it, as if his presence could hasten its arrival.With all their civility, the French officers did their best to entice away Washington's Indians; and it was with extreme difficulty that he could persuade them to go with him. Through marshes and swamps, forests choked with snow, and drenched with incessant rain, they toiled on for four days more, till the wooden walls of Fort Le B?uf appeared at last, surrounded by fields studded thick with stumps, and half-encircled by the chill current of French Creek, along the banks of which lay more than two hundred canoes, ready to carry troops in the spring. Washington describes Legardeur de Saint-Pierre as "an elderly gentleman with much the air of a soldier." The letter sent him by Dinwiddie expressed astonishment that his troops should build forts upon lands "so notoriously known to be the property of the Crown of Great Britain." "I must desire you," continued the letter, "to acquaint me by whose authority and instructions you have lately marched from Canada with an armed force, and invaded the King of Great Britain's territories. It becomes my duty to require your peaceable departure; and that you would forbear prosecuting a purpose so interruptive of the harmony and good understanding which His Majesty is desirous to continue and cultivate with the Most Christian King. I persuade myself 135
"Yours for this trip."The rashness of Abercromby before the fight was matched by his poltroonery after it. Such was his terror that on the evening of his defeat he sent an order to Colonel Cummings, commanding at Fort William Henry, to send all the sick and wounded and all the heavy artillery to New York without delay.  He himself followed so closely upon this disgraceful missive that Cummings had no time to obey it.
The transportation of military stores gave another opportunity of plunder. The contractor would procure from the Governor or the local commandant an order requiring the inhabitants to serve him as boatmen, drivers, or porters, under a promise of exemption that year from duty as soldiers. This saved him his chief item of expense, and the profits of his contract rose in proportion.
V2 had given us, he said he 'wished the affair was well over, one way or the other; that his countrymen were all discontented, and would either surrender, or disperse and act a neutral part, if it were not for the persuasions of their priests and the fear of being maltreated by the savages, with whom they are threatened on all occasions.'" A deserter reported on the nineteenth of July that nothing but dread of the Indians kept the Canadians in the camp.