Plate XII. Outina, going at the Head of His Army, Against the Enemy, Consults a Sorcerer on the Event
Laudonnière, having received some of the men of the chief, Holata Utina, or Outina, living about forty miles south from the French fort, and who had been taken in a previous expedition by his enemy Saturioua, sent them back to their chief, upon which a solemn league ws made, and a mutual friendship promised. This treaty was made for the reason that the only road, whether by land or by the rivers, to the Apalatcy Mountains, in which gold, silver, and copper [æs] are found, was through the dominions of this chief; and it was in his friendship, now of scarcely a year’s standing, that the French trusted to obtain free access to these mountains. As this friendship, however, was still in force, he asked Laudonnière for some arquebusiers, as he wished to make war on an enemy; on which twenty-five were sent him, under d’Ottigny, Laudonnière’s lieutenant. The chief received them with great
delight, as he made sure of the victory through their assistance; for the fame of the arquebuses had penetrated throughout all that region, and had struck all with terror. The chief having therefore completed his preperations, the army marched. Their first day’s journey was easy; the second very difficult, being through swamps thickly overgrown with thorns and brambles. Here the Indians were obliged to carry the French on their shoulders, which was the greater relief by reason of the extreme heat. At length they reached the enemy’s territories, when the chief halted his force, and summoning an aged sorcerer, more than a hundred and twenty years old, directed him to report what was the state of affairs with the enemy. The sorcerer accordingly made ready a place in the middle of the army and, seeing the shield which d’Ottigny’s page was carrying, asked to take it. On receiving it, he laid it on the ground, and drew around it a circle, upon which he inscribed various characters and signs. Then he knelt down on the shield and sat on his hells, so that no part of him touched the earth, and began to recite some unknown words in a low tone, and to make various gestures, as if engaged in vehement discourse. This lasted for a quarter of an hour, when he began to assume an appearance so frightful that he was hardly like a human being, for he twisted his limbs so that the bones could be heard to snap out of place, and did many unnatural things. After going through with all this, he came back all at once to his ordinary condition, but in a fragile state, and with an air as if astonished; and then, stepping out of his circle, he saluted the chief, and told him the number of the enemy, and where they were intending to meet him.