Inside Front Cover - A Trek from Cheticamp to Pleasant Bay as written by Dr. Leo J. LeBlanc
ISSUE : Issue 66
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/6/1
A Trek from Cheticamp to Pleasant Bay as written by Dr. Leo J. LeBlanc in 1936 A view of the road over the mountains from Cheticamp to Pleasant Bay in the Cape Breton h ered in snow and ice • it is the middle of the night • 'and you are travelling on snowshoes... Now, imagine everything cov- Dr. Leo LeBlanc: At 9 a.m., February 21st, as I was preparing to make a call some four miles south of my home, and debating with myself whether I should take a wagon or a sleigh, a phone call came from Mrs. Maclsaac, the nurse in attendance at the Fraser home. Pleasant Bay Interval, some thirty-two miles away. All I could make out on the phone was that the little patient, a child three years of age, was running a temperature of 103? F, with considerable abdominal distention. Patient had suffered with a severe pain in the region of the 11 rib (left side) the last two days. Called the day before; I had ordered a treatment but with no relief. From the description given by the nurse I feared an abdominal condition so I asked for a few words with the father, which re? quest was granted. I told the father, over the phone, to have the nurse carry on an? other treatment and to call me by phone at 11 a.m.; I expected then to be at home. At twelve (noon) I was called; the message had come before my arrival home. The father gave me to understand that the treatment had given no relief to the abdominal dis? tention. I then said, "Call a medical man," and the answer back was, "Will you come?" I pondered for a few minutes and then decided on going, for although my home had been sad? dened by the tragic death of our dear baby Gerald, an inspiring message seemed to say, "Here is an only child ill thirty miles away seeking medical relief." Leaving with my team at 2 p.m. I travelled to Cape Rouge, seven miles north, and sta? bled my horse at Edward LeBlanc's. Then, with a guide, a lunch and show-shoes, we left Cape Rouge at 3:30 p.m. I decided to take it easy at first, for not being used to walking, I feared my poor muscles. I walked to the top of French Mountain, a distance of over two miles, a rather icy walk, and rest? ed there waiting for my guide, who was plod? ding his way up the steep trail with my med? ical case and lunch. Before my guide arrived I decided to don the snow-shoes, and try my luck on them. Reaching Jumping Brook I waited for the guide who was trailing his way behind. I asked of him to walk faster. It was then 5:30 p.m. He, unconcerned, replied, "You must not rush yourself." Then I spurted along on my snow-shoes and reached Camp No. 1. Waiting for the guide I said to him, "We must hurry." He replied, "I am taking it easy, so you had better keep ahead and I'll overtake you." Thinking he was sincere I kept on. At the South Branch of the Fishing Cove Riv? er darkness had overtaken me and in making the turn (or horse-shoe curve) it was im? possible to use snow-shoes. Crawling on my hands and knees for about a quarter of a mile, I got to the other side. There I wait? ed for the guide, but after half an hour's wait (I was getting cold), I called out his name a few times but the only reply was my own echo. What was I to do then? I told my family. "I am going to try and help that child, happen what may." I decided to rush to the Halfway-house and I arrived there at 7 p.m. (It was some Dr. Leo's Trek Continues on Page 70 FRONT COVER PHOTOGRAPH: Alfred P. MacKay of Big Harbour island
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