Cape Breton's Magazine

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Page 9 - Remembering Rum-Running Days

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1975/6/1 (420 reads)

spring there was a fellow carae down from New York. He was a custoras detective, try? ing to find out what part the Araerican custoras played in this rura running • why we were coraing in New York and going out without being molested. And that was ray last trip in rura running. That was pretty near the end of it anyhow. (Were you ever af? raid?) Well, you're always taking a chance. But you were into it and they were pay? ing good raoney. Those days we were getting arotmd 6-700 a raonth. (If you were ship? ping legal things, what would you make?) 85 to 100 dollars a month. Red Dan Sraith: They were at that rura running on a small scale it wasn't rum running then but it's the same • when I was small and when I was a kid. People here then were poor, and they were good workers; and they were raising a lot of cattle, more than they would plan to eat, a lot of thera. And it was all sailirg vessels then and they were going to St. Pierre with thera • taking cattle to St. Pierre and getting money for some of th'm and rura and stuff for others of thera. But it was then lawful to get rura in here. It wasn't rum running. And a few years after the government made a law that it would be stopped. But it never stopped • small boats going and getting a load and landing it here. And do you know, it's quite a joke • perhaps it made bad habits for people because they liked to drink • but there was a lot of stealing in it. Steal? ing. It was hidden, and like everything else they got acquainted with it. And if you were hiding sorae liquor perhaps there was 2 or 3 watching you, frora different an? chors, where you are hiding it. And when you'd go for it there wouldn't be a bit of it there. Those would go and steal it and hide it for theraselves. And where those fellows would be hiding it there would be soraebody else watching them. And when they would go back there was none of it there. I fished in Ingonish in rum running time, and I don't believe I'm stretching it • the sarae keg would be stolen a dozen times. Yes. The same keg. I'ra saying keg. There was kegs and kegs and kegs. There was a boatload landed up in the harbour. Nobody around here knew the boat was supposed to land that night. And a fellow accidentally • not expecting it • came down for a load of eel grass to bank the house, to the shore with a horse and cart. Didn't he run across sorae of those kegs buried. Filled tii' cart pretty full with the kegs and put a little eelgrass on top and went home • went to the woods to hide them. Well, he got thera hidden all right. But when he was going to take them people got wise of hira • people drinking. Next tirae he went there wasn't a bit there. That happened up here. My own .relatives. My second cousin, he was good at that work. He was to St. Pierre. He was a good seaman. The boat was the Joseph Patrick. Went over to St. Pierre • this would be around 1926 or 7 • they came back to this side and I don't know. There v/as a lot of crooked work done around the vessels then. He got in on thick fog and put her ashore dovm on Plaster Point coming on morning. In July. Fellows from there had nets out and when they went out, here was the boat ashore with the stuff in her. Took it all ashore out of her to the woods here, scattered it here and there through the day. I was staying at Big Grapplen, in a shanty. We went across to the nets all right- thick, thick of fog. And here it was the Joseph Patrick that went to St. Pierre, not a thing aboard her and her rolling on the bottom there. Everything out of her. Well, we knew very well what happened. The tide was right and we put the little motor boat on her and we towed her off and once we got her off to deep water she was all rightj<' We put a fellow aboard of her and he took her over to North Gut and put her on jthe Cape Bfreton's Magazine/9 ??rltUh Soldier Lichen
Cape Breton's Magazine
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