Page 29 - Austin Roberts' Second World War
ISSUE : Issue 47
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1988/1/1
were strong enough to work and that, and kept your nose clean, you could get along pretty well. You'd get the odd clout, or kick, here and there. But if you stepped out of line at all, boy, you were gone. There was one day we were unloading pig iron out of a boat. They'd bring it up in slings, and we were loading it into carts. The girls used to drive what we called the ox carts--a cow and a big, long, rubber- wheeled cart. But one of the English fel? lows --he wasn't in our crowd, he was in a different crowd, but he was from the same camp. Oh, I guess he just more or less got to the stage where he said, "To hell with it--it's not worth the whole thing." So he sat down. And one of the guards came along and gave him the boot .and told him to get up. He wouldn't. The guard gave him a lit? tle jab with the bayonet, and he got up and he pushed the guard, anjrway. And of course, immediately, they grabbed him and tied him up. So, we went into camp that night. Took him in. And we all had to stand to atten? tion. And they brought a table out, and the camp commandant came out and gave a big speech. They had the fellow tied to a stake there, and then he came down, and took his club, and beat him to death. That's just the way they, you know, the way they fig? ured they'd do a thing. As I say: if you kept your nose clean. You were always getting a clout for something or other. They all carried a stick like that, a hardwood stick. Give you a clout. Some of them were worse than others, of course. Some of them gave you a clout out of pure meanness. We got used to them after a time, and got so we could speak some of the language. Most of us were old--we had been loggers or farmers or something, and the fellows from out West were all farmers--so we were a pretty sturdy breed, you know. For in? stance, now, we were loading pig iron. We were supposed to load 25 tons a day, each man. Well, if you were sick and couldn't go out, you had to stay in camp--you didn't get anything to eat. You had to work in or? der to eat. If you got sick and stayed in camp, they just left you there and you died off, because you had nothing to eat. So, what we'd do, if we had a couple of fellows were sick, belonging to our crowd--we'd take them out with us. And you could lay them down there--they didn't care. But you had to do the extra work to pay his 25 ton of pig iron, or whatever you were doing. (The pig iron) was coming up out of the boat in slings. They were 75-pound blocks. You had to pick them up and load them on the oxcarts. Take them over and load them in a car. (Picking up each one?) Each one, twice. You had to load it, and unload it Druker Insurance Charlotte St., Sydney . . . 562-5504 Mayflower Mall 564-1818 , Will INSUm VIRTUALLY ANY CAR, HOUSE OR BUSINESS COMPARE. RATES. YOU COULD SAVE. Phone Toll Free 1-564-6000 BUDGET PLAN AVAILABLE IN EMERGENCY: Awie Druker, F.I.I.C. 564-6615 ALUMINUr' Phone:539-4111 No structural changes No more painting Clean from inside 341 Welton St.. Sydney SERVING ALL OF CAPE BRETON PRODUCTS LTD. FREE ESTIMATES C>STLAND PLYMOUTH CHRYSLER LTD. "We Make Them the Best, So We Back Them the Best" Dakota 4 X 2 SE • -.-.-''7 Years/115,000 Kilometres • == • iS The Best in the Industry The Best Backed Used Cars in the Island EASTLAND Plymouth Chrysler Ltd, Welton street, Sydney 539-2280 "Where You 'n Lease for Less" (29]
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