Stories of Great Americans for Little Americans - Edward Eggleston

Indian Pictures

When Marquette and his men left the Illinois, they went on down the river. The friendly Illinois had told them that the Indians they would see were bad, and that they would kill any one who came into their country.

The Frenchmen had heard before this that there were demons and monsters in the river. One day they saw some high rocks with pictures painted on them. The ugly pictures made them think of these monsters. They were painted in red, black, and green colors. They were pictures of two Indian demons or gods.

Each one of these monsters was about the size of a calf. They had horns as long as those of a deer. Their eyes were red. Their faces were like a man's, but they were ugly and frightful. They had beards like a tiger's. Their bodies were covered with scales like those on a fish. Their long tails were wound round their bodies, and over their heads, and down between their legs. The end of each tail was like that of a fish.

The Indians prayed to these ugly gods when they passed in their canoes. Even Mar-quette and his men were a little frightened when they saw such pictures in a place so lonely.

The Frenchmen went down the river about twelve hundred miles. Sometimes the Indians tried to kill them, but by showing the peace pipe they made friends. At last they turned back. Joliet went to Canada. Marquette preached to the Indians in the West till he died.