These words, and many similar to them, were passed from mouth to mouth by the garrison and townsfolk of Quebec. None would admit that disaster was possible to "the impregnable city;" and yet its shattered walls and ruined houses, the crowded hospital and the deserted buildings, all told a terrible tale. The upper town had suffered lately almost as severely as the lower had done at the commencement of the bombardment. It was a problem now where to find safe shelter for the citizens. Great numbers of them had fled to the country beyond, or to other Canadian settlements; for not only was this terrible bombardment destroying their homes, and inflicting fearful hurt upon those exposed to it, but provisions were becoming very scarce; and if the English once got foothold on the west side of the town, they would be able to cut off Quebec from her source of supply.