Cape Breton's Magazine

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Page 3 - In the North River Lumber Woods

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1974/3/1 (1463 reads)
 

and underwear and stuff like that, you know. Come up from the depot. Scaler had to keep track of that, and sell. And then that come off your pay at the end of the month. Something like the company store, V''''" ~ Johnny Murphy, Margaree; John Joseph Gillis in white cook's clothes with a crowd at Camp 23; one of the Splash Dams on a brook feeding into the North River, Great time? Great time all right, I loaded sleds there 9 feet on the level and the big blocks'd be in the bottom, and I had the load of two sleds there one winter • I was getting 48 dollars a month and board. And the teamster was giving me 10 cents a cord because it was hard to get loaders and you'd have to put that up out of that hole up on the snow while he was to the landing. Then when he'd come back you'd load those sleighs. You'd be digging the wood back out of the snow because it was cut in the summer • yes, would be right on the ground. Put her over your head, I enjoyed it all right, I used to wish to see fire start one end of Cape Breton and burn her flat to the other end. If they called them the good old days I don't know what in the hell they were thinking about. Now, man alive, you been up Big Interval, up the head of the Margaree River, Must be about 12 miles from here. Well that's the way we used to go in there, and we figured when we were up there we were halfway in to Camp 7. And it was nothing to walk there in a day, I seen a fellow come in there. Bill 0' Brian, He was a lathe-layer, was his trade. And a lathe-layer holds the nails in his mouth. And where he holds the nails in his mouth • I can see that man yet • he got poisoned or something • he had no nose. And all he'd come in there for was to rip those fellows playing poker. He cut enough wood to pay his board, and that's all he cut. And they played poker every night. And Sunday they played all day. And he made a lot more than any of us that was working out there. But there was good order. The boss walked the length of the camp, just holler 5 min? utes to 9 boys. And at 9 o'clock you could hear a pinfall. The only time you'd see trouble--say that Saturday was raining, or Friday and Saturday • they never worked on Sunday. Three days in a row idle, a bunch of men like that • they'd get irritable or something. You could figure they'd get in an argument over something. But not too much. And the cook was lord and master of the cookroom. Vhen he said go, you went. The cook showed you your place at the table, and you kept that place. If you took another fellow's place, well he just picked you up by the collar. And he'd just tell you once. And nobody spoke at the table. Positively nobody spoke. Supposing there was no bread on a plate • or if the cookee didn't notice there xiras no meat • you just tapped the fork with your knife or fork. A cook that would allow talking, he wasn't a good cook. The crosser the cook the better he waSo And oh they had dandy cooks. Cape Breton's Magazine/3
Cape Breton's Magazine
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