Canadian Inheritance Series # 2 - Runner of the Woods by C.T. RITCHIE
His full name was Pierre Esprit Radisson. His parents had crossed the ocean from France in 1651 to settle in the new village of Three Rivers. Outside the palisades of this village, an Indian war raged. Pierre was sixteen years old when he was captured by a Mohawk band while out hunting. The word Mohawk meant man-eater, and young Radisson knew he was at the mercy of one of the most-feared Iroquois tribes.
He was adopted by the Mohawks, saved from death by his courage. In the time he lived with them, he gained a knowledge of their ways that served him well in future years. It kept him alive when his first escape attempt failed, and helped him to make his next escape successful. He spent a year in France, and returned to join a settlement in the heart of Iroquois country. The Indians had plotted a massacre of the settlers, and it was Radisson’s awareness of Mohawk customs, combined with his calculated bravery, that deprived them of their victims.
Then began Radisson’s boldest venture, a journey up the Ottawa River to Lake Superior. At that time, the Iroquois strangle-hold on the Ottawa — with war canoes on the river, and forts built at almost every major portage — had reduced the fur trade from the interior to a trickle. Radisson and his brother-in-law Groseilliers broke through the blockade twice, once going up-river, and again when they returned with a magnificent cargo of furs. On the shores of Lake Superior Pierre Radisson first saw the prime beaver pelts brought overland from the Cree Indians of the north. He conceived the idea of trading directly with the Cree through Hudson Bay — a stroke of imagination that shaped the future of Canada.
In this true story of a remarkable fighter and explorer, C.T. Ritchie carries the reader with rare skill from one thrilling incident to the next. The atmosphere of earliest times is conveyed with vivid exactness.