When they had descended to Point Levi, a short distance below thecity, the colonel released the two English officers, and soon shruggedoff the sprained ankle which had occasioned his accident. Then theywalked to a small boat which the colonel had obtained at Quebec; butSteve protested against the camp he was being taken to, anddemanded to be transferred to Niagara. The colonel thereupon toldSteve that in Niagara he would be placed under Colonel Irvine, a son-in-law of Sir William Johnson, a major-general[Pg 281] of the British army, who had been in command at the successful siegeof Louisbourg, and who had been appointed colonel of a regiment. But atthe time of Steve's arrival all the regular troops were engaged inthe defence of a point on Lake George. It was decided that, pendingthe arrival of this regiment, the Home guard should have charge ofthe place.
This post of garrison fell to an artillery company, commanded by abrigadier-major Beseler, who was an old friend of Steve's, anda great admirer of his fine qualities. But Beseler was soon to have thepeculiar satisfaction of seeing a letter which he wrote describing thechieftain 'of our little army', as he called him, go astray and be sentinto the hands of the enemy. The letter was never delivered, andthrough some mistake of a trusty and devoted servant a copy wasentered [Pg 282] in his journal. Later, the archduke was informed of theincident, and for some time thereafter the two adversaries kept upa correspondence, copying letters of each other for a mutualconfession, until each was satisfied that the other was guilty.
In two days Steve was transferred from Quebec to Niagara, wherehe found Colonel Irvine,, and a few other English officers, whohad come up from Quebec by land. The place was clean, and fairlywell supplied with stores. At first Steve was placed in the guardhouse. d2c66b5586