Page 2 - Rita & Rory Murphy & Moonshining Days
ISSUE : Issue 14
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1976/8/1
it altogether. I'm 51. And I worked all my life in the pit. Handled stone, bored stone all my life in the pit. Hie first time I was arrested I was 15 years old. It was on a Christmas Eve morning and the mounties walked in on top of us, me and a first cousin of mine • the two of us were the same age. We were right at the still and she was going full blast when he got us. It was 6 o'clock in the morning. They followed us through the snow. Ibey knew I was making it. It was the idea of catching me, that was all. And a lot of times I was caught I was squealed on. Rita: But I mean he never got rich over it. He never could put money in the bank. We had a lot of kids, too. We had 9. (Did it help raising the kids?) No. I think it hurt more than it helped because he was in jail more than he was out during the time when they were small. And it was hard there because in those days you were only getting 4 dollars relief from the county. Rory: But you never met a better bunch than the mounties. It was not the mounties' fault. He had a job to do and the squeal? ers on his back all the time. Rita: I've seen them come here on a Christmas Day. They didn't have a search warrant but I let them look through the house. Ihey wanted to look at Rory's boots. They had taken plaster casts of boots that were around a still. Ihey tore the house upside dovm. But they damn well put it back together again. Just wanted to see if he was in on this. Which he wasn't. The last time he was caught it was with a polaroid camera. He went out to the Dfoods to run off • he just had one barrel left in the woods. And it was there, what Rory, 3 weeks or more? Rory: I knew they had the place caught, you know? Rita: So it was on a Sunday and Rory said, "I think I'll go out and bump a barrel." Then, "No," he said, "I don't think I better." Well he changed his mind and made it up 3 or 4 tiraes. At last he left. It was about 10 o' clock in the raorning and he said, "Expect me back around 2." Well, if Rory ever went to the woods and said Rita I'll be back a certain time, you can bet your sweet dollar that's th' time he'll corae back. He could tirae frora the tirae he left home till he ran a pot or two pots and came home • and you can have his supper on the table waiting for hira. Anyhow, I saw this car coraing in the yard around 2 o* clock and it was an unmarked car. But he opened the door and I just looked at the boot and knew it was a raounty • and then I saw Rory falling out of the car, para? lyzed drunk. He said he was caught. Hie raounty let hira sit down at the still and get drunk. And took hira in and showed all the pictures frora the tirae Rory went in, set the still up, getting the wood • >all pictures of hira. Now out of the years we've been raarried, I guess Rory did about 7 years out of that. Now that's combined. Rory: I did 3 raonths the first tirae* Rita: He did 9 months. Carae out and went back. Did 18 months. Carae out and went back. Did 15 raonths. Went back and did another 8 • and there I'd be with another baby ready to have one. And like for what they gave hira for making moonshine for a living for the kids • you go and rob a bank today and you wouldn't serve half as rauch tirae. But At Margaree Harbour on the Cabot Trail )Eanai)iI)preasI) (gift'op Along this indoor fantasy of London 100 years ago you will find shops featuring: Antiques Fair Isle Sweaters Nova Scotia Handcrafts Tartans, Kilts, Jewelry and China . Museums of LOCAL CRAFTS, ANTIQUE TOYS and HISTORICAL DIORAMAS Schooner Restaurant :The"Marion Elizabeth" Dine aboard the historic sister ship to the Bluenose. Fully Licenced and Famous for Seafood lil:i:I?MaiM
Cape Breton's Magazine