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Page 5 - The "Pluck Me" Life and Death of the Company Store

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1973/3/1 (1715 reads)
 

killed. Turned out one was killed. We didn't wait. I had a gun. There's no doubt in my mind that our intention was to kill every one of them. But before we got over there the men there blew up and rushed the plant. They rushed these fellows on horseback. All them fellows had was a chamber full of bullets. They wasted them. They backed them up to the plant where the men were working. They yelled they were out of ammunition. Well, Jesus, that was an admission, and the crowd got next to them and they got the god-damndest hammering they ever got. But Waterford is a Catholic district, and a priest there had a wonderful influence. He jumped up and pleaded with them not to hurt these men. They took them and put them all in jail, for protection. Well we were going over • we knew they were in jail • it was our in? tention to kill every one of them. The authorities knew this parade was coming over and they knew the priest wouldn't have any influence with us. It wasn't religion. It was the force 'of mob rule. And just as we got in the train with them was pulling out. But we stayed there. We went in and wrecked the plant. The first raid on the company stores took place that night in Waterford, at dark. That was a private place. The company didn't own it. The mayor, the vice president of the union at one time, he said for Jesus sake, boys, if you're going in, there are a lot of wooden buildings, be careful of fire • or Waterford is finished. Without electri? city there was nothing to pump with. So we went in and cleaned her. In the meantime we had three big store at Number Two, stocked to the top. And them fellows said by Jesus what are we doing here. It took us three nights to clean them stores out. The third night • and not exactly cleaned • they put the match to it. Then they went to the general store in Glace Bay. That store supplied all the stores. Cleaned that out and burnt it. Then Number Eleven. Then burnt them all. Gordon MacGregor: I can remember just how it happened. Everybody knew, you see, that the stores were to be raided. I was living in Number 6. There used to be a train ran from Donkin • I always call it Number 6, little bitty town • to Glace Bay on Saturday nights. 40 cents return for an adult, 20 cents for a child, and young kids free. Used to leave Donkin at 6 o'clock in the evening and leave Glace Bay by Danny "Dancer" MacDonald and his son STOTT ALUMINUM CORPORATION LTD. Exclusive Distributor Alcan Aluminum Siding New Lurite Finish FOR FREE ESTIMATES CALL 562-5591 COMPARE BEFORE YOU BUY Cape Breton's Magazine/5
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