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Page 81 - Margaret Neil James - A Love Story

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1992/6/1 (136 reads)

would say, "Do you want to come to lona with me and I'll get you some peem?" And they wouldn't go unless I'd go. They wouldn't leave me home. They were like they were guard- 'S,': ing me, you know, that I wouldn't go any? where on them. So I remember one Saturday I was half through scrubbing the kitchen floor. And they wanted to go to lona so bad. And it was near time for the store to close. I had to go to lona like I was, to let them get their ice cream and come back home, 'cause they wouldn't go without me! But I'll never for? get that day, I Mary, Michael, and Francis, with Margaret, at their mother's grave said, "For goodness' sakes, I hope nothing happens on the way," Because I wasn't very well dressed, going heading to lona..,. In November I went to South Cove to a dance, with the neighbours down here. And Mary woke up--she always slept in a single bed in her father's room. And Francis slept with his father, and Michael was in a cot, in a crib. But when Mary woke up at night, she came in across the hall, into the bed with me. And she started this night across the hall to go in bed with me. And Neil hollered at her to come back. And she said, "I'm going to bed with Mar? garet," And he said, "No, come back here." And she kept going. And she pushed the door open and she saw I wasn't in the bed, and she started to cry. And she said, "Margaret's gone!" And he said, "Oh, she's only down at Jimmy Allen's"--this was the house down below here. Which was where I went, but then I went from there to the dance. And she looked out and she saw that--"She's not--there's no lights on." And she said, "She's gone, just like Mom? my, and she's not coming any more," And she started to cry and screech. And he did everything to try to keep her quiet. Well, when I came home, he and her were sitting on the trunk in the hall. And I never saw a child in such a state in my life. And he was pretty up? set. And he just said to me, "Go in your room, and I'll put her in with you when you're ready, when you get in bed." So I thought to myself, "Well, what did I do?"--you know. But an5rway, I went in, and she came in. Well, if she woke up once, she woke up a dozen times that night. And she'd hug me and say, "Oh, I'm glad you're here, I'm glad you didn't go away," And she was just petrified. And I said, "I have to go to some things. But I'll come back. I won't go and leave you. Look at--all my clothes are here." And I was trying to pacify her, you know, that I wouldn't go and leave my clothes. So the next day, Neil went on the bus in the morning. And he really didn't talk too much to me before he left in the morning. ' He just got, up and he did the barn chores, and he came home and he had something to eat, and he went on the bus. When he came ' home off the bus, he said, "We have to talk," And I said, "Okay," So we went up? stairs and we talked. He said, "I never want to see that child going through what she did last night, again," I said, "Well, what do you expect EXPLORE SYDNEY'S PAST. CAPE BRETON CENTRE FOR HERITAGE & SCIENCE • 225 GEORGE STREET • (OPEN YEAR ROUND) Summer: Mid-June to Labour Day 10-4 Mon-Sat Operated by the Old Sydney Society For information call (902) 539-1572 ST. PATRICK'S MUSEUM • 87 ESPLANADE • OPEN: Mid-June to Labour Day 9:30 - 5:30 Daily JOST HOUSE • 54 CHARLOTTE STREET • Summer: 10-4 Mon-Sat For information call (902) 539-0355 COSSIT HOUSE • 75 CHARLOTTE STREET • OPEN: June 1 to October 15 9:30 - 5:30 Daily A branch museum of the Nova Scotia Museum Complex
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