Were-wolves Of Detroit

: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

Long were the shores of Detroit vexed by the Snake God of Belle Isle and

his children, the witches, for the latter sold enchantments and were the

terror of good people. Jacques Morand, the coureur de bois, was in love

with Genevieve Parent, but she disliked him and wished only to serve the

church. Courting having proved of no avail, he resolved on force when she

had decided to enter a convent, and he went to one of the witches, who
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served as devil's agent, to sell his soul. The witch accepted the slight

commodity and paid for it with a grant of power to change from a man's

form to that of a were-wolf, or loup garou, that he might the easier

bear away his victim. Incautiously, he followed her to Grosse Pointe,

where an image of the Virgin had been set up, and as Genevieve dropped at

the feet of the statue to implore aid, the wolf, as he leaped to her

side, was suddenly turned to stone.

Harder was the fate of another maiden, Archange Simonet, for she was

seized by a were-wolf at this place and hurried away while dancing at her

own wedding. The bridegroom devoted his life to the search for her, and

finally lost his reason, but he prosecuted the hunt so vengefully and

shrewdly that he always found assistance. One of the neighbors cut off

the wolf's tail with a silver bullet, the appendage being for many years

preserved by the Indians. The lover finally came upon the creature and

chased it to the shore, where its footprint is still seen in one of the

bowlders, but it leaped into the water and disappeared. In his crazy

fancy the lover declared that it had jumped down the throat of a catfish,

and that is why the French Canadians have a prejudice against catfish as

an article of diet.

The man-wolf dared as much for gain as for love. On the night that Jean

Chiquot got the Indians drunk and bore off their beaver-skins, the wood

witches, known as the white women, fell upon him and tore a part of his

treasure from him, while a were-wolf pounced so hard on his back that he

lost more. He drove the creatures to a little distance, but was glad to

be safe inside of the fort again, though the officers laughed at him and

called him a coward. When they went back over the route with him they

were astonished to find the grass scorched where the women had fled

before him, and little springs in the turf showed where they had been

swallowed up. Sulphur-water was bubbling from the spot where the wolf

dived into the earth when the trader's rosary fell out of his jacket.

Belle Fontaine, the spot was called, long afterward.