Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 42 > Page 69 - With Archie Neil Chisholm or Margaree Forks

Page 69 - With Archie Neil Chisholm or Margaree Forks

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/6/1 (330 reads)

And that night--of all the sickness and pain and everything else I went through, that night was the worst I ever went through. You're going to laugh at me and say, "He's making it up." But I'll tell you that that bottle had arms on it. It seemed to reach out to me. And I said to myself, for the first time in my life, I'd say, Archie Neil, you have D.T.'s now-- when you see things and all of that. And I was able to rationalize. And I'd do that. I'd just pinch myself--yeah, I'm awake. As there's a Saviour above me, I'm telling you the truth. I'd see snakes. As there's a God above me. There were snakes and everything, and they were coming through the keyhole, and they were getting larger as they were coming through. And I was seeing all sorts of ug? ly faces around me. Nothing pleasant. The most horrible looking faces. Then when I'd sit up in bed and get my bearings, they seemed to disappear. Then I'd just relax and go back to sleep, and as soon as I would be just dozing asleep, back they'd come again. So I knew it was a figment of the imagination. I was alone in the room, alone all the time. (Nobody came to you.) No. They would have come if I had called them. But I was alone in the room. And Mrs. Deveau would come up now and again to see if I wanted a cup of tea or something. She was a lady I'll never forget. I was in this shape that when she brought me a cup of tea I wouldn't take the tea in front of her. I asked her to put it on the chair. When I went to take the tea I couldn't--my hands were shaking that badly I_couldn't. And I stayed in bed for two days. I wouldn't come down--I was ashamed. And then I came down. And when the following Monday came, I was ready to go back to teach. It was right on the hill above them. It was a two-room school then. I went to teach. And about two weeks or three weeks after? wards, I came downstairs one day with the quarts I had broken the half quart out the Isle Royale Beverages Ltd. It's the real thing. Coke. OfillWH Your authorized COCA-COLA bottler 564-8130 526-4439 245 Welton Street Sydney, N, S, window, but I left the full one. I came down and I put it on the table. And I said, "Thomas, I've gotten a cheque, and I'm go? ing to pay you." So I paid him for the quart that I drank. And I said, "There's the other one, or I'll pay you for that. What'11 you do with it, break it?" "No," he said, "I'll keep it." He looked at me straight in the eyes. "For the first time in my life," he said, "I'm believing you." And so, from that day on I never looked back. (You never took another drink?) No, never. That will be 36 years (last) March. (When were you bom?) In May 25, 1907. I had polio when I was just about 5 years old, and it affected both legs. I was 4 years before I could stand. Four years af? ter I took polio, I crawled. That was the only way I could get around. And then grad? ually I began to be able to stand up by a chair. Then my godfather, whose name was Peter Pat Coady, made me a little set of crutches. And I learned to slide along with the crutches • I was 9 years old when I could walk. And I went to school at Mar? garee Forks. There are dozens of people a- round here still living who went to school with me, and who can remember. I went to school on horseback. We had a little brown mare by the name of Ida. One of my brothers would put me on Ida's back and take me to school. And then I would slide off with the crutches and go to school. The mare would find her way home. I'd let her go at the school, she'd go right home. But at 3:30 when the school CHETICAMI SINCE 1766 INVERNES; Robin, Jones & Whitman, Inc. SUPPLIERS OF: Hardware • Clothing • Giftware Paint 6e Wallpaper ?? Building Supplies Souvenirs Inverness 258-2241 • Cheticamp 224-2022 ROBIN'S Serving Canadians Proudly for over 200 Years (69)
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download