In February 1692 Governor Frontenac sent out a party consisting of 120 Frenchmen and 205 Indians to harass the Iroquois in their hunting grounds near Lac Saint-François in the Thousand Islands. They headed toward Fort Frontenac at Cataraqui. It was a military outpost built in 1673 at the confluence of the Cataraqui and Saint-Laurence Rivers. The nearby island of Toniata was famous for eel fishery. The mission had the dual purpose of preventing the Indians from trapping for furs to sell to the British for guns and ammunition, as well as to limit their ability to hunt for food.

Miséricorde, sauvez-moi!

The commanding officer, Claude Guillouet d'Orvilliers, though considered to be a rising star, was injured by scalding water from a kettle that spilled while they camped so the task to lead the troops fell on Josué Dubois Berthelot de Beaucours, a young engineer. He rallied the beleaguered regulars who suffered from freezing cold and low rations. Tracking the Indians from the marks left by their snow-shoes, they came upon their encampment. The surprise was complete, and they handily defeated the hunters. Those who were not killed were taken prisoner.

One among the wounded called out, Miséricorde, sauvez-moi, je suis Français (Mercy, save me, I am French). It was fortuitous that he spoke up. After three years he was barely distinguishable from his captors. Charlevoix who reported the incident wrote that "not having been recognized at first sight in his Indian clothes, we thought to have him (La Plante) killed as an Iroquois". But our ancestor Clément Lériger was at last freed from enemy hands.


Soon after his repatriation in 1692 the governor, Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac et de Palluau, promoted him to enseigne (sub-lieutenant). Louis XIV's order of 1 March 1693 confirmed his rise in rank. His value had increased to the colony as in his years of captivity he learned the language and the habits of the enemy.

Clément was put in command of a garrison at the outpost at Saint-Lambert. Across the river from Montréal, it was positioned between two seigneuries: Longueuil, held by Charles LeMoyne and LaPrairie, by the Jesuits. Clément purchased a fine piece of fertile land in "the area of La Tortue" (likely refers to the rivière de la Tortue) from Pierre Bourdeau for 400 livres on 27 July 1700. It was 30 by 50 arpents, with 3 arpents bordering along the river. He was preparing for the next phase of his life.