Page 17 - Remembering Rum-Running Days
ISSUE : Issue 11
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1975/6/1
Breton. There was one shot fired I think at a very swift rum runner called the Li? berty • it was a boat about 100 feet long and she was unloading rura at the end oT~ Sydney Hartx>ur and one of the RCMP fired a shot • the boat getting away. But no, there wasn't any. They weren't crirainals, eh? They were making a living. They were cheating the government out of some taxes, that's all. Nobody ever carried a gun as far as I know. These fellows were pretty philosophical. If they get caught they get caught. It was a game with thera. I've had the bootlegger pass the liquor over to rae, say, "You win this tirae." In those days we charged them with selling under the Liquor Act if we had any evi? dence whatsoever and we charged thera with possession under the Custoras Act. We al? ways charged them with dual prosecution, and the second offence under the provincial statute was always 3 months and the second offence under the federal statute was a fine of 500 dollars and 6 months or in lieu of the 500 dollars another 6 months. So it was pretty stiff. If you caught thera they fought very hard. They had good la'vyers because they had the raeans of getting good lawyers. But then coraing along 1938-39 we started to use the provisions of the Conspiracy sections ("conspiracy to defraud the revenue") and that was the end of it. The war came right on that. As a raatter of fact during the first raonth of the war we were deep into a conspiracy trial where there was 57 charged, all in the one big conspiracy. The investigation went on for a cou? ple of years and we were tying everything together. We suspected rura was being hauled frora Canso to Isle Madarae. I got a telephone call and they said it was a sraall swordfishing boat, a green boat • and I went to Petite-de-Grat and Arichat and * West Arichat and D'Ecousse • looked at all the boats, who had been out the night be? fore, tried to get sorae inforraation. And there were 5 or 6 boats tied up at Arichat and I went to jurap down off the wharf onto this boat and to support rayself ray hand' went down and touched the gunwale. And my goodness when I brought ray hand back up it was white paint. Wet. All above the waterline the boat had been green and just painted that day. I got the fellow and questioned hira and he adraitted that he had hauled a load of rum that night. The guy knew I had hira. There was marks on the flooi where kegs had been standing. I made a. seizure, got sorae of the rura, and he was in the conspiracy. I seized the boat frora hira and he went to jail • and I eventually burned the boat. Oh, yeah. Smashed the engine up with an axe and sledge hamraer, threw a five-gallon can of gasoline into her and threw a match at it. Right near the custoras house in Arichat. That was coramon. Sure. We practically eliminated thera before the war but I think it really was the war starting in 1939 that really put the rura running out of business. The men who were Warrath, Corafort and Farra-fashioned Hospitality await you at the Inn. INVERARY INN, Baddeck, Nova Scotia Our Dining Room is famed for its Scottish Fare. Isobel and Dan MacAulay. Innkeepers The Inn (an old farmhouse), the Barn and pine-paneled Cottages are located on the outskirts of Baddeck, just off the Trans-Canada Highway. A Berkshire Traveller Country Inn
Cape Breton's Magazine