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Page 1 - Old Tales of Sorcery Remembered

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/12/1 (1453 reads)

Old Tales of Sorcery Remembered __x._- ___-'-i- "'---*-j_Deveau_j_ "' .. - -. n . , , . ' . ' , , , , conversations with Marie Deveau, Marguerite Gallant, J.J. & Denise Deveaux, and J.J. Chiasson J. J. Chiasson: I had a brother that was servant boy at Arichat to Fr. Gallant, and there was a strange priest came that landed at Fr. Gallant's. Fr. Gallant was getting almost blind, so he got this. So one night he was called on a sick call, and my brother--it was in the winter--he got the horse and the sleigh and he went with the new priest. And on the way, my brother asked him about this sorcery. The new priest said, "Yes, there are two kinds of sorcery. One, they use it in a meeting of some kind--for to make the people laugh. Probably work on a young man, you know. They had one one night. Said, 'What did you do with the 50 cents that you stole from me?' He said, 'I didn't steal it.' 'Look in the side pocket of your coat.' Look. Sure enough--50 cents was there. Well, that's for entertainment." So he said, "The next one, they use it with the intercession of the devil." (So one kind of sorcery is for entertainment....) And one's with the help of the devil. (Did you ever know anyone who could do sor? cery?) Well, some people from Cheticamp, they used it. I don't know if they had the help of the devil or not but anj'way, peo? ple were scared of them because they were supposed to be able to perform that sor? cery. (Did you know any of these people?) Yes, I did know some of them. And there were beggars that go to a home and beg for something--money or something else--and if you didn't receive them well, they'd say, "You'll be sorry for that." So there were people there, when they'd come to churn the cream that they had to make butter-- the whole thing turned like water. Then they had other people who could clear them, someone who could get them out of this trance. Well, it seems that maybe they didn't have much to do any more than the people that were bothered believed that this person could clear them. And apparent- ly they did. When they believed in that person more than they would the person that was keeping them in that trance. (Do you feel then that it was a trance? More in their mind than in the butter?) Oh yes, yes. Oh, no--it happened to the butter. There was one fellow there who used to go around mending like churns and strainers and coffeepots--he was supposed to be one of.them. There was a man there at our place--he wouldn't mind talking to the dev? il himself. When that fellow came to our place, he said, "What are you doing here?" Said, "They tell me that you're a sorcer? er." "Ah, tut, tut, tut, tut." He talked to him, said, "Put the wish on me, go a- head." (J. J. grumbled as the sorcerer did.) He wouldn't try, because it seems that you have to have, what will I call it?--an easy mind--that they can work on you. If you have a strong will power, they can't touch you. (Were you ever afraid of them?) Not me. Oh no, no. I'd tell them to go to hell. They never tried on me. I wasn't scared of them and they never tried on me. I felt that I could send them away well dissatisfied. CAPE BRETON'S MAGAZINE, NUMBER THIRTY WRECK COVE, CAPE BRETON, NOVA SCOTIA SECOND CLASS MAIL -- REGISTRATION NUMBER 3014
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