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Her opportunity came when one of Riever's men came to ask if he had any orders for the boat. It was returning to the Island to get the regular mail which arrived about noon.This was all very well but what good did it do her? They might talk for a month of mornings without her getting any further. And she had not a day to spare. How was she to get facts? The obvious thing would be to bribe his servants, to have his effects searched and so on. This was impossible for Pen. She was ready to despair of ever bridging the chasm between surmise and fact.
They next turned their attention to Fort Albany, thirty leagues from Fort Hayes, in a direction opposite to that of Fort Rupert. Here there were about thirty men, under Henry Sargent, an agent of the company. Surprise was this time impossible; for news of their proceedings had gone before them, and Sargent, though no soldier, stood on his defence. The Canadians arrived, some in canoes, some in the captured vessel, bringing ten captured pieces of cannon, which they planted in battery on a neighboring hill, well covered by intrenchments from the English shot. Here they presently opened fire; and, in an hour, the stockade with the houses that it enclosed was completely riddled. The English took shelter in a cellar, nor was it till the fire slackened that they ventured out to show a white flag and ask for a parley. Troyes and Sargent had an interview. The Englishman regaled his conqueror with a bottle of Spanish wine; and, after drinking the health of King Louis and King James, they settled the terms of capitulation. The prisoners were sent home in an English vessel which soon after arrived; and Maricourt remained to command at the bay, while Troyes returned to report his success to Denonville. 
 Iberville wrote in 1701 a long memorial, in which he tried to convince the Spanish court that it was for the interest of Spain that the French should form a barrier between her colonies and those of England, which, he says, were about to seize the country as far as the Mississippi and beyond it.Whether he made good this valorous declaration will presently be seen.
New York, then, was for many years the only rival of Canada for the control of the West. It was a fatal error in the rulers of New France that they did not, in the seventeenth century, use more strenuous efforts to possess themselves, by purchase, exchange, or conquest, of this troublesome and dangerous neighbor. There was a time, under the reign of Charles II., when negotiation for the purchase of New York might have been successful; and if this failed, the conquest of the province, if attempted by forces equal to the importance of the object, would have been far from hopeless. With New York in French hands, the fate of the continent would probably have been changed. The British possessions would have been cut in two. New England, isolated and placed in constant jeopardy, would have vainly poured her unmanageable herds of raw militia against the disciplined veterans of Old France intrenched at the mouth of the Hudson. Canada would have gained complete control of her old enemies, the Iroquois, who would have been wholly dependent on her for the arms and ammunition without which they could do nothing.