Page 37 - 4 Stories from the New Book by Helen Creighton
ISSUE : Issue 65
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/1/1
he wanted to be in that house. He arrived at that same house and rang the bell and there came to the door the father of the girl. He says, "Pardon me, but this being a country place and no hotel, is there anywhere that I could be put up for the night?" He says, "We are very much taken up tonight as my daugh? ter is to be married, but just wait till I see my wife." Being a gen- demanly looking man they said, "If you don't mind a wedding being here we can put you up." He saw that he had things coming all right so he said he didn't w'nt to be an encumbrance and he could go to the next house. But being very nice about it, they insisted on him coming in. The time was about ready for the wedding, so the brothers came in and told the story of their adventures and it didn't amount to very much, the first fellow. The next fellow told his story, but she in the meantime had her eye on him because there was something familiar about him that attracted her attention. She didn't care for either of the stories so she went over to him and said, "What about you? Are you a married man?" He says, "No, I'm not. I might have been but it wasn't meant for me to be married." So she told him the mystery of her marriage and that they were to tell a story to decide which one it would be, but that neither of the stories had been very satisfacto? ry. She asked him if he would like to be married and if he wished to tell a story he could be the man. So he tell about going away for seven years and coming back, and the first day he was there he went a-gunning in a place he was very familiar with and he had very good luck. He saw game, a very pretty fawn, and he fired the gun and he just merely wounded her. The second time was the same, only he made a deeper wound. The third day he went a-gunning and he saw the same fawn and he says, "I fired and the shot took effea." He says, "I've got her. If you don't believe me here is her skin." So he undone his grip and threw out the garment she had worn next her skin. So she knew him from the story and those two were married right away. They embraced one another in true love and were married that night. Helen Creighton: Then we were treated to delicious fish chowder, biscuits and tea made by their neighbour, also a fisherman. Everybody seemed pleased to have the old men (Norman McGrath and Horace Johnston) living there and what with Mr. McGrath's folk tales, or "fable stories" as he called them, and Mr. Johnston's tall tales, the lo? cal residents spent many pleasant hours. But when my artist friend ar? rived the next day to sketch Mr. McGrath, she saw that he had shaved and put on a white shirt and tie. This invariably happens when infor? mants know your plans ahead of time. The Haunted House AS TOLD BY WILMOT MacDONALD, NEWCASTLE, N Helen Creighton: I usually stayed on for a few days after the (Mi- ramichi Folk) Festival, and on one of these occasions Wilmot MacDo? nald and his wife arrived to visit Miss Manny. Logs were burning on the hearth, he had been acclaimed the best woods singer, and he was in the mood for storytelling. I set my tape recorder in motion and got a ghost yarn so well told that I used it over and over again to finish off a lecture, it was told with such obvious zest and enjoyment, and al? ways with his receptive adult audience in mind.... WELL NOW, FIRST START OF MY LIFE, you know, I was away down in Maine, coming across • walking of course, you know • wasn't much way to go, only walk then, had no money. So anyway I thought I seen a kind ofa house there and it looked pretty nice, and I thought to myself, "If I can get in there now for the night I'll be all set." So I went in anyway and I rapped at the door and this man come to the door, so I asked him could he keep me all night. "Well now," he said, "I have seven or eight ofa family; I ain't got a bed in the house." I said, "I don't want a bed, 'long as you put me in, keep me from freezing to death, I'll sleep on the floor." "Well now," he said. I said, "I got no money. No, and," I said, "I got very little clothes, which I'd freeze to death if I have to stay outside." "Well now," he said, "come on in and I'll get ye something to eat." So we come in and we had our supper. He said, "Lookit," he said, "do you want to make a htmdred dollars tonight?" BATTERED WOMEN AND YOUR CHILDREN If you need help: 539-2945 TRANSITION HOUSE Wilmot MacDonald with his grandson "Oh," I said, "there's not a man in this country would like a hundred dollars any better than me tonight. I could get away down to Canada if I had a hundred dollars." He said, "Do you see that house right across the road there?" I said, "Yes." "Well," he said, "that house is vacant; that belongs to me, and," he said, "there haven't been a soul able to stay in that house," he said, "for five years. That house is haunted." I said, "What do you mean by a haunted house?" He says, "You don't believe in ghosts?" I said, "No, Sir, I do not." I said, "My father and mother taught me that there was no such a thing as a ghost. She says there might be a forerunner before a death, but not after. So," I said, "I don't be? lieve in ghosts." "Well," he says, "lookit. You'll get a hundred dollars if you're able to stay in that house tonight." I said, "I'll try her." He said, "O.K. Now," he said, "all those windows in that house is all shutters on the outside and bolted, and," he says, "when you go
Cape Breton's Magazine