Page 55 - Bishop Plessis Visits Cape Breton, 1815
ISSUE : Issue 56
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1991/1/1
helm broken, oarlocks swept away, sail tom, etc. Despite those small accidents, repaired on the spot, it is tme to say that his canoe, strong? er than the other, could still have withstood the sea. But since both boats sailed together, his was obliged to camp with the other group. There was time only to prepare a shelter for the night. The guides chopped wood, lit a fire, made a shelter partly of branches and partly with the sails from their canoes. They had with them a small amount of fish and potatoes but neither eggs, nor butter, nor bread, nor meat. We had all of that. A commercial treaty was soon concluded between them and us. Tomorrow, vigil of St. Peter, they will share their pota? toes and fish with us. In exchange, they will have eggs, butter and rhum, which they did not have. All of this was done in good faith with each other. The rain was not as amenable as the people. It increased constantly until the morning, fell in torrents on every part of the shelter and flooded the ground. Everybody got up, this one with wet feet, this one with a wet head, the other wet all over. The holy vigil was nonethe? less observed. Everyone, while drying himself, observed abstinence and attended to the other exercises prescribed. In addition to a spiri? tual reading and the reading of a chapter from the New Testament, which were daily exercises, we also had a meditation in common, which was not usual. sleep at his place; but they were without success like the first ones, none being in a hurry to expose himself to a certain malady [transla? tor's note: scabies] which is sometimes caught in Scottish households of that class. The bishop, in reply to his courtesy, promised that he would breakfast in his home after mass, and he asked that he send word to his neighbours in the surrounding area that it would be said in order to solemnize the feast of the Holy Apostles. Meanwhile, night was falling and it was time to rest. With rope and curtains from the luggage, a sort of closet was erected for the prelate in one of the corners of the chapel. After prayers, the guides went to their canoes and the priests, after having swept the floor, set up their cots, one in the nave, the other in the sanctuary, another on the altar steps and the bishop in his closet, which served, on the following day, as a vestry during the masses, of storage for the luggage, and as a breakfast room for those in a hurry. June 29 - It will readily be understood that in this new and poor chap? el there was nothing to celebrate. The portable chapel was used as usual. The bishop had reserved the last mass for himself. He de? ferred it towards noon in order to give the faithful plenty of time to come. He wanted to say a few edifying words in English, but not one of the assistants was able to translate in Gaelic. We had to remain si- June 28 - During a rather lean and frugal meal, near noon, the wind dropped and, since the rain had stopped during the morning, we continued our journey. The idea was to reach the Scots' chapel, which entailed rowing 10 to 12 leagues. It was accomplished with a great deal of fa? tigue for the rowers. It was night when we arrived at the chapel. It was immediately chosen to be the lodgings for the bishop and his group. I think we are now at Christmas Island.... When finished this chapel will have two windows whk;h are not yet cut, although the small frames are done, with panes, and they are ready to be set. In the mean? time, it receives daylight through the door, when it is opened, and through the cracks found between the wooden frame. Those cracks had been caulked with moss last year but part of this moss fell and daylight comes through the empty spaces. Mr. Gaulin, who is able to be understood in Gaelic, was sent to the settler who lives nearest the chapel, to request milk in or? der to give the travellers a collation or a supper, each according to his age or de? gree of tiredness felt during this laborious half day. John McLine was the name of this settler. He insisted a great deal for us to sleep in his house but, unable to win on this point, he came to the chapel, ac? companied by his wife and one of his chil? dren, the only one in the family who could speak a little English. They brought with them light (fire) and two basins, one of which contained 4 or 6 gallons of milk. The two basins were immediately placed on a table. The travellers, well supplied with good biscuits, knives and large glass? es, began an attack on the warm milk. Each took more or less according to his conscience and his needs; but, generally speaking, the collation was not light, since in less than half an hour, the ten gallons had been absoriaed. McLine, much flat? tered by the honour we had done to his merchandise, reiterated his invitations to NOW ON SALE! Cape Breton's 2 Greatest Shipwreck Narratives- in 1 Great Book! CASTAWAY ON Cape Breton Ensign Prenties' Shipwreck at Margaree Harbour 1780 Edited with an Historical Setting and Notes j by G. G. Campbell Samuel Burrows' 'Narrative of Shipwreck on the Cheticamp Coast, 1823 Notes on Acadians Who Cared for Survivors by C. D. Roach' THIS IS NORTHERN CAPE BRETON IN WINTER. These are true first-person accounts of excruciating survival and of humanity. They are remarkably well-told. And they will mark your life. Available now from the usual outlets or from: t?? i Breton Books Cape Breton's Magazine Wreck Cove, Nova Scotia BOC IHO PAPERBACK $9.95 In Canada, send $10.65, which includes the G.S.T. Castaway on Cape Breton is published in Honour of the 150th Anniversary of Sydney Academy and in IVIemory of Dr. G. G. Campbell, Principal from 1933 to 1968
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