Page 9 - With Katie Margaret Gillis, Mabou Coal Mines
ISSUE : Issue 38
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1985/1/1
Angus, then, always said, "Well, why don't you come to Quebec?" "Oh," I said, "I wouldn't go to that part, you hear so much about it." But when I went, I found out what it was, (So you did go.) Finally, in June, in '39. (You were in no hurry to get married, that's for sure.) Well, I was having just a good time, and lovely jobs, see, and I wasn't really interested in it. I was seeing a lot of failures in some. Ones that got married young--had a hard life--married a fellow that was heavy on the liquor, and kids were coming, and times were hard. You see, I really watched. My sister Ann and I just saw a littlei of that, and it put us i right to the test, that what's going to happen, anybody. Mom was forever writing, hoping for the best, and be sure: "Don't have anything to do with people up there." But anyway, from then on, I came to Quebec. Oh yeah, he wrote me in March, "I'm not go? ing home fishing this year." He went home every year, fishing. And he said, "How a- bout, please call me on the phone and let me know what your intentions are." So, I was on a good job then, an awful good job. He sent me beautiful things, and messages, and everything. So, of course it was a long time, and I knew that he wrote what he meant, that he meant it. He wrote sever? al letters all the following year, '38, and so on. Oh, we broke up for a year, al? most, between. We didn't bother writing, hardly at all. I don't know why. But I was contented and happy and working. So, final? ly, I came down to Quebec, and Angus's bro? ther Neil stood for us, and a French girl, no English--there were no other girls. She'd have a catalogue, show me the pic? tures, and I had to go by that. So, they stood for us. And oh, from then on, Angus was awful good to me. Never left me, in my life. If he had to carry me on his back, he would just carry me through muskeg on his back. I never saw the like. I was married, and then we went out on a job. And I had no jeans, little thin clothes, New York clothes. The flies were taking the piece out of me and going up in? to the trees, the big mosquitoes! Oh, me crying away, Angus trying to carry me, and a packsack, and I had diddle-daddies from New York, things that should be thrown out, instead of dragging them to a camp. I was to a camp, lived with my husband there. He was foreman on the drill there. For 4 months, saw no woman. Not a thing. Not ev? en a call. We were going out on a plane, and we'd meet the mail down in the boat once a month. But oh, what a life! Those men had to carry machines on their back, and the packsacks. Oh, what they went through, you'll never know. It did me the world's good to see what people had to go through. They carried the machine through muskeg on their backs. Drilling for zinc or gold or iron--mostly gold. (Did you have a house of your own?) No, no. I camped out where there's bears and woIves--40, 45 below zero. They were pret? ty good; they gave us a good camp. I cooked there. They gave me something to do so I wouldn't be lonesome in there at all. I was cooking. But it was only 3 men. Four men, with Angus. And I was sleeping in the camp. 45 below. I made good. And they gave me extra money when I was going out, and Angus and I took a trip to New York. He gave me--I don't know what you call it--An- gus got it too, because he was foreman. (Probably hazard pay!) Yes, because the men wouldn't stay out there cooking, they wanted to get out, you know. I got good, good, good money. In fact, we built the barn out here with that, Angus and I, with the money of that year. With the wages. We had a hard winter, though. It wasn't easy. But my cooking was very plain--just pies, and meats, and so on. Homemade bread. I had to make my bread. They'd send out a pig on the plane. And they put it in a place where it was freezing. There was no freezer. Oh, it was tough. We used to cov? er it with soda and things, so the flies wouldn't (get it) in the spring. The pork. CONTINUED NEXT PAGE Clan Crests, Neckties, & Coat of Arms, Local Cape Breton Handcrafts Mac's feTartan House MAYFLOWER i 10 A.M. - 10 'MALL SYDNEY B1P6S9 MONDAY - SATURDAY (902)539-1040 Wide Assortment of Tartan Skirts, Kilts, & Fabrics, Historical Maps, Heraldic Jewellery (9)
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