Page 42 - Bishop Plessis Visits Cape Breton, 1815
ISSUE : Issue 55
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/8/1
all that is to be found there now. Only one of them, Pe? ter Kennedy, has built his house on a site in the old town. The shore, at this spot, is covered with some twenty spiked pieces of iron artillery. June 19 - The richer inhabitants of the island come from time to time and according to their needs, scour the ruins of Louisbourg in order to salvage bricks of an ex? cellent quality, which they use to build chimneys.... After having visited with a sentiment of sorrow all the re? mains that Louisbourg offered to a reasonably inquisi? tive mind, the bishop and his companions recited on their knees a De Profundis for the faithful who died in this town, then they concentrated on getting back to their schooner the very same evening. Peter Kennedy followed them there, asking in his name and that of the other Catholic inhabitants, that mass be said for them the following morning. However, since it was not a Sunday and because the prelate wanted to hasten his trip, they were told that they would have a mass only if the wind prevent? ed the party from leaving in the morning, but, should the winds be fa? vorable, they must not expect a mass. That is what happened; the wind rose on the good side during the night. We cast off at five o'clock the following day and left the harbour with the prospect of a most splendid travelling day. Great and little Laurem- bec (Little Lorraine), /a baleine and Portenave slipped by quickly. How? ever, as we neared Scatari Island an almost dead calm considerably Thank you foster parents for opening your hearts and homes to foster children. Department of Community Services slowed our progress and gave the travellers ample opportunity to ad? mire the patience and hardwork of a group of cod fishermen, almost in the middle of awful breakers which run alongside this shore of Cape Breton, where they roar and their spray spews up an impressive foam. Well! You can see shallops of 18 to 20 tons, sometimes evenbarges, fishing during the entire day in this dangerous and disagreeable spot, dancing from morning to night to the will of these unbridled waves, which make them disappear ten times in an hour, and seem always ready to swallow them up, in the hope of earning a pittance. Such an auspicious day ended with only six leagues of good travel? ling because a heavy northern wind rose during the afternoon. Cap? tain Foret thought it prudent to retrace his steps a little in order to drop anchor in Menadou (Main-a-Dieu). something he was able to execute only after hauling on the sails several times in order to protect himself from rocks which are numerous in this spot. June 20 - The bay of Menadou is very similar to that of Louisbourg, being fairly broad in its width but not very deep. This anchorage is not a particularly good one. The western part of this bay is very ex? posed to the sea winds, so that in order to find a safe haven, it is necessary to reach the eastern or northeastern part, where there is a very small harbour in which large vessels could not enter be? cause the water is not deep enough. It is with difficulty even, and never without the risk of running aground, that large schooners are able to find a spot. Ours was able to come in with some difficulty only around seven o'clock in the evening, and the four ecclesiastics who accompa? nied the bishop immediately went ashore to meet with the inhabitants because the shore of this little harbour is lined with some twenty households, twelve of whom are Catholics, and most of them the sons or sons-in-law of David Burke, the local patriarch. It was agreed with them that they would have a little mis? sion, if the wind allowed Captain Foret a short stay in this spot. 21 - The following day, which was a Wednesday, we went ashore very early. The idea was to find a suitable building which could be used as a chapel. The choice fell on a house built of upright stakes, which belonged to a Catholic who was absent, and whose Protestant wife graciously gave us the key. This house had not yet been lived in, nor even finished, the second storey floor was missing, the walls were unfinished, there was no moss between the stakes, which is the normal way to insulate walls in these parts, it was necessary to protect it against the raging wind. Therefore, it was
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