Page 11 - Old Tales of Sorcery Remembered
ISSUE : Issue 30
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1981/12/1
She had a crowd of kids and she wouldn't give him the blanket. I'm not too sure. But it was something that he wanted. And the next day she couldn't make the but? ter... she could chum and churn and chum and no butter, no butter. So when she was tired of it, she took an old-fashioned clothes iron. She put it on the stove. She got it right hot. And she passed it a- round the top of the chum. And a couple of weeks later they heard that that man had his neck full of--it was all raw. (Like a boil?) Almost like that, but flat? ter. There were scabs all over. He was wearing a handkerchief tied on his neck every day--and then they found out. It was like a burn. That's how they found out it might have been that. (And after that, would the churn work?) Oh, yes. It worked the next time--as soon as she did that (with the iron). Maybe he went at night, when the cow was at pasture--he saw the cow. He was bound to go. He had to go. He had to see the one who he was bothering. J. J. Deveaux: That fellow--(The Acadian)--' a fellow killed him. There was a guy, he had a bunch of hens. He had some words with (The Acadian), and he told him he's going to be sorry, he's going to lose his hens. "You're going to be sorry. You're go? ing to lose all your hens." I think he went there for eggs and he didn't want to give him some. "You're going to be sorry. You're going to lose all your hens." Al? most every morning he went to the bam--a couple of hens dead. One morning he went to the barn, there was one that was not dead, but he was pretty bad. He just took the hen and put it in the oven and closed the door, tied up the door. Made a big fire in it. Cooked the hen alive. Cooked the hen alive. A week after, (The Acadian) was in his bed. All one of his sides all burned. He died from that. (Mrs. Deveaux, laughing: He didn't turn the hen over. He only burned one side.) J. J. Deveaux: He was burned on one side and it was getting bigger and bigger--and he died from that. That's what I heard from the people. I nev? er saw it myself. (So you say the Jersey used the sorcery on the Acadians.) J. J. Chiasson: Yes. If they found anyone they thought was weak- minded so they could work on you. They didn't want to tackle one that wasn't scared of them. (But why did they do it?) Well, I don't know, as far as the Jersey- men- -unless to put it in their mind to go to their store instead of going to other stores. Might have used it for that pur? pose. J.J. Deveaux: They wanted to try to get control. Of everything that was going on in Cheticamp--that's what they were try? ing to do. (But were only Jerseymen sorcerers? Were there French people, too?) J. J. Chiasson: Not any more than what I told you already-- that some of them believed that the ways of the Jerse5mien were all right. And they may have been in with the devil, too. That's the French people, some of them, a few of them--yes. Oh, 3 or 4 families that were. (Marie, tell me this, when you were small, when you'were growing up, was the devil that real?) Marie Deveau: Well, not in a sense, but in a way, you know. (In what way was he real?) Well, he wasn't real a- mong us because I think it was a better time then than it is now. Because I think we were more, maybe, more religious. I don't know. (Would the priests or your par? ents say the devil wants you, will try to get you?) Well, some priests ...--still, be? fore they'd finish their retreat, they'd always say that God is all, surpasses the devil, you know? That if we want to con? fess our sins, we'll be all right. (And the devil himself, was it ever said that he was seen in Cheticamp?) No, no. The dev? il wasn't seen. But they were saying that the ones that were doing that, they must have given themselves to the devil. But maybe it wasn't that. It was some kind of magic. I don't know. But some of them were bad. If they would have a word with you and you can't convince them, or if you would have the best of them--well, they'd turn to that. I remember when we were small we all had each a Saint Benedict. It was a medal. It was saying on that it was meant for sor- J,J.Chiasson and part of his family on his 98th birthday." (11)
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