Page 16 - Remembering Rum-Running Days
ISSUE : Issue 11
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1975/6/1
William Fraser, Inspector RCMP Retired: I reraeraber searching for liquor one time and we couldn't find it anywhere, and I was leaving the place and I heard a pig in the pig pen. And I went over to have a look • I actually went over to look at the pig • there was another constable with rae. And the pig was running around the pig pen and he slipped • and when he slipped he pushed the dirt aside and here was the shiny head of a spike, under about an inch of dirt in the pig pen. Aw, I said, this is it. So we got some boards, penned the pig up against the wall in a small area, tore up the floor and we found the cache of rura. That happened north of Sraokey. I reraeraber one tirae we searched a house and searched and searched and searched and finally we were leaving and coraing outside, I looked at the floor, the step you see, and it looked odd. I got down and looked at it and I saw a little pinhole. I found a darning needle and I pressed it down into this hole • the whole thing flew up. There was a spring, the board carae right up • and that was the cache of rura. Another place we were search? ing the water tap was where the rura came out. You turn the hot water tap and rura would corae out of a big tank in the wall. They had sorae good caches; they were inge? nious, really. Then lots of tiraes you'd corae along at night and you'd stop a car and there'd be a keg in the trunk or in the backseat. There was a bootlegger in every coramunity. Sold it out of his horae, out of his barn, out of his field. Everywhere. Just as soon as we found one hide they raade a better one. And there was no stigraa to being a bootlegger and handling contraband rum. Everybody did it. There was nothing morally wrong. The liquor stores came in '31-'32 • but it continued long after that, because it was cheap. It was a dollar and a half for a quart where it was three dol? lars in the store. And it was much better liquor, eh? It was thicker and it was stronger. But once in a while they used to get some sour rura as they called it and the people'd be cross for a little while and they'd go to the liquor store • but they would come back to the bootlegger again. And you'd lay in wait, watch a place, watch a fellow coraing out with a bottle and try to grab hira • and they'd throw it and break it, you know, if they had a keg they'd push it out of the car and speed away. It was great fun those days, chasing cars. Tvro or three well-known rum runners on Cape Bre? ton drove around in big cars for those days while we were saddled with Fords and Chevs. But we did very well. (Was there ever any violence?) No, never. Not in Cape ' 314 Charlotte Street SYDNEY ' PRINTERS LTD. 180 TOWNSEND STREET, SYDNEY, N. S. TELEPHONE (902) 564'245 Formerly Cape Breton Printers C & G MadEOD LIMITED Books on Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Lion of Scotland (Norraan MacLeod of St. Ann's) 3.95 Loch Bras d'Or 3.95 Bride of Loch Bras d'Or 2.95 Girl frora Loch Bras d'Or 2.95 Beyond the Atlantic Roar (A Study of the Nova Scotia Scots) 4.95 Dame Flora of MacLeod 11.75 Meraoirs of a Cape Breton Doctor (Dr. C. t. MacMillan ot Baddeck) 7.95 and The Collectors' Edition of Cape Breton's Magazine 3.75 The Largest Display of Souvenirs in Cape Breton Mail Orders 1 361 Charlotte Street - P 1 SYDNEY, NOVA CANADA . O. Box 658 SCOTIA A Specialty
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