Page 69 - Availible now from Breton Books" Flora McPherson's Cape Breton Classic: Watchman Against the World The Remarkable Journey of Norman MacLeod & His People From Scotland to Cape Breton Island to New Zealand
ISSUE : Issue 64
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1993/8/1
yan was a gentle, delicate boy, happier with his mother in the house or poring over his books by the fire than playing out? doors with his lively brothers. He died in 1838 when he was twenty-one years old. His little sister, Mary, was a stronger child. She was bom in Pictou the year after her mother and the boys came from Scotland, and, in her mother's arms, came safely through the shipwreck on Prince Edward Island and the rough joumey through the strait toward St. Ann's. Alexander, whom they called Sandy at home, was bom when they had been settled for a year in their cabin at the head of the harbour. Then came Murdoch, Samuel and Edward. It was little more than a year after Edward's birth that Margaret was bom, a rosy happy child who immediately became Peggy to everyone, even her stem father. She was taking her first un? certain steps the next summer when her brother Edward died and they dug die small grave on the hillside and marked it with the curt epitaph, "Short spring; Endless autumn." It was little Peggy who could go to her grieving parents and tease the younger boys out of their bewilderment. She would never lose this special place in the family. The next year, when, she was forty-three years old, Mary McLeod had her tenth child. This boy, as was often the custom in that time, they named Edward in memory of the little son who had died. With the exception of Bunyan, the children were strong and healthy, but their mother's health was seriously im? paired. She had never been a robust woman, and her life had demanded great physical strength. For her exhaustion there were emotional causes, too. She had lived with Norman for nearly twenty years. He loved and cared for her as a strong per? son for a weak one, but she could have no real share in his life. Although in his letters he often laments her poor health, his in? sistence upon it might imply that he preferred that his wife should be fragile and, once she had fulfilled her function in bearing his children, should be thus relegated to a minor posi? tion. For her, an intelligent woman who could not share in her husband's work nor direct the upbringing of her own children, what recourse was tiiere but to be delicate? After her first difficult years Mary McLeod did not have to endure the physical hardships of pioneer life. Domestic help was always available as a voluntary service from the communi? ty. When they had been about ten years at St. Ann's, Norman had sawn lumber brought from Pictou to build a large three- -CO- SUPERIOR '"'"'' LIMITED COMPLETE OPTICAL SERVICE Owned & Operated /' S_/' v _.. , _ fr Y ' Shirley Sparling Optician JAMES DEAN Optician 2sid Pair FREE ?? Check in store I MOti. - Tues. - Sat. 10 am - 6 pm; Wed. - Thufs. - Frt. 10 aw - 9 pm I 564-8486 Mayflower Mall Lloyd MacDonald NISSAN cnmazii Our 34th Year 124 KINGS ROAD SYDNEY RIVER Toll Free 1-800-565-9427 20 CAR SHOWROOM 1994 Pathfinder 4x4 NOW IN STOCK • Also Available in 4-Door • Storey house. From that time they had a housekeeper as well as their other help. It was a few years after Edward's birth diat Norman wrote to his friend in Pictou: "I should be humbly thankful to the Lord for the degree of health that my dear Mary enjoys at this time altho she is no - er expected to be but delicate. The boy Bunyan is still but very tender, yet not always uncomforta? ble. He is generally improving his literal Rev. Norman McLeod knowledge by study and reading altho much confined to the house since die beginning of winter.... My poor partner, tender as her frame is, would be glad to accompany me (to Pictou) if her health should in any way recmit. I would think it very agree? able to her constitution and to that of my sickly boy to take a short summer voyage, and this could not fail being a strong in? ducement to my mind on the subject. I have been away with them at sea for the space of a week in the beginning of August • and it was remarkably known that they both rapidly improved their health. I sorely regretted that my duties at home would not then admit of a longer stay upon the floating element." AGift Ifou Can Keep Opening... The Nova Scotia Government Bookstore has hundreds of unusual & interesting titles in stock. Micmac Quillwork...Following the Sea...Birds of Nova Scotia...The Maritime Provinces Atlas...Children's Books...Recipes...Maps and more We sell these and many more exciting and informative publications at the: Nova Scotia Govemment Bookstore 1700 Granville Street, Halifax For a free catalogue listing government titles available, write us at: Nova Scotia Government Bookstore, P.O. Box 637, Halifax, N.S. B3J 2T3 or call us toll free 1-424-7580. Nova Scotia Government Bookstore
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