Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 35 > Page 20 - Dan Alex MacLeod "I Moved Houses"

Page 20 - Dan Alex MacLeod "I Moved Houses"

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1983/12/1 (396 reads)

Sandy MacLean CONTINUED FROM INSIDE FRONT COVER claps his hands.) The eye started to heal up, and never never again any trouble. (He didn't put any medicine on it?) Oh, no. Just hands. The seventh son will do that. (Is there anything else the seventh son will do?) Not that I know of. (There was a fellow north of Smokey, a Mines fellow. And many people swear that he could cure. He used to come and--it was a little different. He used to put a coin in the water....) I saw that done here. My grandfather would do that. As a rule, an English coin, you know, like our quarter, it was 24 cents in our money at that time-- was the best that he saved for the like of that. That is, an old quarter or half dol? lar. He'd get a bowl there. And he'd go down to the brook. And he'd take it up a- gainst the stream. Whatever he was saying, he'd put the coin around. I don't know what he'd say, and I never learned it. But my aunt learned it from him. He put the coin around. And then he'd let it drop. Then he'd come up and he'd put it on the back of your neck--he was saying something then, you know. I never heard him. He wouldn't talk it out loud; he'd rub it un? der here (under your chin), then you'd hold your hands on both hands (on the palms), he'd put his fingers down (he'd put his fingers down and let them hang, yes)--and he'd give you a slam across the face. Give you a slashing over the face. (Slap you with his fingers in the face?) Well, he wouldn't touch your face, but the water would go off them onto you. Then he'd go out, and there was a stone out there, and he'd start, whatever he was say? ing, pouring that water on the stone. I saw the coin sticking to the bottom of that dish. You'd have to pick it off it. Stuck right to the dish. (I see, the whole time the coin remained in the dish.) Oh, yes. And he finished up. At last he'd come in, and he'd struck the bowl like that and the coin was stuck right to the bottom. You'd have to pick it out of it. (Well, what was this for? He'd do it on the back of your neck, under your chin, and on both hands....) And then slop it in the face. (A certain time of the year?) No, didn't matter when. I saw a MacKinnon from over here--he had a horse. When the horse would be eating, he'd choke, choke, choke. And he couldn't eat at all. Take a bit and it'd choke him. He knew that my grandfa? ther had something. He drove, put him in the wagon. Willow tree, big willow tree there--he tied him there and he came in. And he told my grandfather. Oh well, yes. So he got the silver, put it in the dish, went down, picked up the water, dropped this silver, came up--he put it on the horse. Back of the ears and up underneath his chin, down to the tail, to the butt. He went then and he poured the water out. He came in. Jesus, after a little, the horse shook himself. MacKinnon went with the horse. Cleared away at eating--there was nothing wrong. (When he would do it on a person, when he would do it to you--what was the reason?) Oh, you'd be sickly. Out of order complete? ly. Just kind of sick. In Gaelic they call that the Galar Dubh--the Black Disease. And I asked my grandfather, "How is it that some people were doing that on you?" And he said, "A person that loved you with his heart, and detested you with his eyes-- he'd do it." (Make you sick?) Yes. My grandfather was bom in the Isle of Rum, in Scotland. He was three years of age when he landed here. That was in 1826. They landed in Mulgrave, spent the first winter there. They were going to land in Buenos Aires, South America. And their way coming, there was a boat caught up to them. Asked them what they were doing. Told them they were going to land. "No, no," he said, "you'd better not. They're all cannibals in this country here, and you'll get killed before you'll get to shore." So they changed their course, they came in in Mulgrave, and spent the first week. Oh, there were quite a few of them came. My grandfather, his father and his mother, his uncles. My great-grandfather then ap? plied to Ottawa, and he got a grant of 200 acres of land--this is part of it--he got the grant, it was put on record, probated, you know. Then, when my great-grandfather was dying, he willed the property to the fellow came over with my grandfather, Alex? ander- -my grandfather and my granduncle, Lauchie, he willed the 200 acres to them. We have--what is it now?--1/3 of 200. 66 2/3 acres apiece. My grandfather came over this part of it, and my granduncle had the next one, and my granduncle, Sandy, had the lower part. Then my grandfather went down to Middle River, and he married a Finlayson woman from Middle River-- they're partly Swede, you see, there's some Swede in me. And when my father was going to be bom, she went down home--my father was born in Middle River, Victoria County, not here. Then came back after a- while. Grandfather was up making a clear? ing here, putting up a log house, and busi? ness like that. Started out from there till they cleared what's clear here today. They worked hard. Stxamping, and setting the stumps afire then. Then spreading the ashes, sowing grain. And things would grow, I guess, good, then. The ground in good shape, and the ashes and all that. So it came to what it is today. MJjM Parks ?? T' Canada Pares Canada ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK Open Daily Year Round Winter Schedule: 9 am. - 5 p.m. 3 MAJOR EXHIBIT AREAS: Bell the Man Bell the Experimenter Hydrofoil Hall GUIDE SERVICE AVAILABLE Baddeck N.S. Canada
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