Page 40 - Marguerite Gallant: Songs and Stories
ISSUE : Issue 20
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1978/8/1
could only make two things. When they used to make the Iximber for the houses, he could take a piece of wood and make it smooth all over as if it were planed. With a broadaxe. He couldn't even put a row of shingles straight. And the other thing he could do very well, he could fix shoes • put half soles on shoes. And then he was an expert at the fish • he could go like lightning at splitting fish there, get it ready to dry. He was one of the great fish? ermen. He started his life as a sea cap? tain. He had boats he used to sail from Cheticamp to the West Indies. He had three of them. One he lost. One was burned. The other one the sheriff took. Look, for 80- some odd dollars they took a boat, a dory, maybe 3 or 4 cows, sheep. Only thing left was one little calf. They took all the lambs. They took the house, the barn • for one lousy 80-some odd dollars. They took everything. What could he do then? He had to start fishing. You know, the life of people is sad. Too sad sometimes to write. Life is not all roses I can tell you. You know, when I was a little girl, I was sent away from home, to Terre Noire there, when I was 11 years old • to work. The woman had a boy and the twins. And I stayed there till I was 15. And it wasn't so easy to help a woman with her children. But that was my job. (Were you in school?) No school. Do you think there would be time for school? You must understand, we didn't play in those days. The children had to work. They had to weed potatoes and they had to clean potatoes and they had to dig potatoes. Very few had time to go to school, (What was your pay?) Not a thing. Some? times, whatever they wanted to give you • the only money I got from 1911 to 1915. my two brothers came to a' picnic they had there, and one gave me one dollar and the other one gave me two dollars • and that's all the money I saw. But the woman was very kind to me, whenever she could be. With that two dollars and a half • I bought a lovely little coat. And I bought 10 yards of beautiful flannelette and a whole lot of little things beside. And once, my brother Charlie gave me two dollars and my mother took it away from me and gave me 10 cents. Was I ever sick. You know, that's the first time I ever told this story. And it's true just the same. But it is true. We worked like slaves, for nothing. Some? times I think about those things and I laugh and I scream. My sister and I used to talk about it. She used to work all the time. We used to say she didn't know any? thing about poverty. She used to get as high as 10 or 12 dollars a month • and we used to say that and then we used to laugh. You know, these things should not be for? gotten, the old stories and the old songs. Sometimes they come back to me. Pourquoi me fuir, passagere hirondelle Ah viens fixer t'on vol aupres de moi Pourquoi me fuir lorsque ma "v-oix t'appelle Ne suis-je pas en exile comme toi? Ne suis-je pas en exile comme toi? Dans le desert le destin nous rassemble Ah ne crains pas de rester prIs de moi Si tu 'gemis nous gemirons ensemble Ne suis-je pas plus a plaindre que toi? Ne suis-je pas plus ' plaindre que toi? Tu revoirras ton ancienne patrie Le premier nid de ton amour helas Un sort cruel qu'on fit ice ma vie Ne suis-je pas plus a plaindre que toi? Ne suis-je pas plus a plaindre que toi? Ne suis-je pas plus a plaindre que toi? Picnic Tables Well-water tee Cubes Morrison's General Store W R B e K c o v' HiadowSf Doors, Aimings, Railings, Siding Modern Aluminum Products 'Iton Street, Sydner 562-1104 / 562.1105 Year Rotind Service to Cape Bretoners and their Friends Gampbell's Market Baddeck .on Traos-Ganada'Hwy. ''w''' 5 miles west of '''F Baddeck 'W'' ' Heated Swimming Pool 'W ''' # Laundromat - Camper's Store 'W M'''L • Playground - Hot Showers mw M'kk 'k • Hookups - Canoeing • Seafood Chowder House BADDECK - CABOT TRAIL KAMPGROUND RAJ'S GIFT SHOP and Canteen facing ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL MUSEUM, BADDECK. N. S. A unique selection of Gifts and Handcrafts Souvenirs of Baddeck ''rf'' , Nova Scotia Cape Breton ''I'IHBBjjJI' Local and Scottish Tartan and Chinaware
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