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Page 4 - Old Tales of Sorcery Remembered

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/12/1 (347 reads)

land, in the graveyard near where the Jer? sey firm was once located.) He was a wealthy, wealthy man. He had a beautiful tombstone. (I visited his grave today.) Did you? Is that big black sheet of marble still there? (No, no...all that's left now is a piece of white marble.) The foot of Charlie Romeril's was a piece of marble a- bout 5 feet square. Let me tell you what Charlie Romeril's monument was like. It was a big slab of black marble. And then there was a nice great square of white mar? ble. And then there was another smaller. And all those letters that were on it-- they were all solid gold. You hear me? They were all gold. (The top of the stone is gone. There's part of the word "remem? bered." Then it reads, "Charles William Romeril, Native of Jersey, Born 4th Janu? ary 1846 and Died at Cheticamp 21st Febru? ary 1877, Aged 31 Years." On another side it has, "Not gone from memory nor yet from love but to his Father's home above." If there was a black slab it must be further under the ground.) Or it's been removed. You wouldn't see a piece of the cross, would you? There was a beautiful white cross on that monument. It was a big monu? ment. It would stand about 5 or 6 feet high. (Oh no, nothing like that, dear. But it looks like it could have been.) But it did. I've seen it a thousand times. He was a very young man. And he was a very wealthy man, also. They dug that grave there 5 or 6 years ago. He's supposed to have been buried with a lot of money, lots of jewellery, gold watch and I don't know what else. He was one after the head man at The Point. (There are only 2 or 3 graves to be seen there now.) There must have been about 50 people buried there. You should have seen that beautiful grave? yard. What vandals can do. It was beauti? ful. That story about Charlie Romeril--it's sup? posed to be true. But you know, the lady he had--she wasn't big then. She was only 16 years old or 17. When I knew her, she was married, and she would always wear a red ribbon with three knots in it. Then when it would get worn out, the priest would bless another ribbon and put it on her neck. (Was that her protection?) Yes, supposed to be. Whenever it would get worn out, he would give hef another one. If you would tell her that there is no sorcier, you'd get it. She knew better. (Jean Phillip Larade had worked as a handy? man for George LeBrun. He took me out to what's left of the Jersey cemetery at The Point, Cheticamp Island, to see Charlie Romeril's grave. In Fr. Anselme Chiasson's book about Cheticamp, it says that Charlie Romeril died in the spring, died when the snowman melted in the spring.) Jean Phil? lip Larade: But he didn't die in the spring, he died in February. The grave is still there and I can show you the date he died. I remember when the book came out, old George was always telling me about Charlie Romeril. I had it in my mind to go to that grave. I had to dig a foot deep to read what date he died. And after that I covered it back so nobody would see it. Ex? cept me, I knew. (The gravestone did in fact state that Charlie Romeril died 21 February 1877.) Jean Phillip: Those Jersey people, when they came on the Island--there wasn't any? thing for them to do. They had to let go somewhere, those young people. Take young boys 15, 16 years old, that came out from Jersey--and here on an island--you can see the place there (a foundation and well can still be located)--there was nothing for them to do. Except play dirty tricks. And they were doing it. (Did they have girl friends?) I guess some of them had. (Were they girls from Jersey?) No, no, there were no girls that came out from Jersey, I don't think. (So these boys would be see? ing Acadian girls.) Yes. (Do you think the community would like that?) No, I don't think so, at the time. They were not the same religion. That's the first thing. (Were the LeBruns different from the other Jerseymen?) They were not different, but they mixed more with the people, I guess. All the bad things that were said, were said about young people. The young people that came here as clerks--they had a lit? tle devil in them. They were young fellows and they wanted to have some fun. (I guess we forget how young they were.) I remember old George was telling me about Charlie Romeril one time--he nearly put The Point on fire. He had a little barrel of coal tar--I don't know what they called it at that time--something they were put? ting on the boat. He put the barrel on fire and he was rolling it between the old fishermen's shacks--and he nearly started a fire. At that time he was nearly sent back to Jersey for doing that. So the old people thought it was sorcery. But old George and--I don't know who was in charge there at the time--they knew better. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
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