Page 8 - MacDougalls and Whittys and Songs
ISSUE : Issue 23
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1979/8/1
the conductors where they wanted to stop, and the poor fellows would have to stop. God knows what they wouldn't do. I'm not telling you a lie. I've seen them going out and bringing aboard the train God knows how many hens they took out of a henhouse. And when the train was going as fast as ever she could go • fastest I ever saw was 48 miles an hour • because the mile? age was on posts and that's all you had to do, everyone had a watch, seeing how many miles we were going an hour. Anyway, bring those poor hens in and they wouldn't kill them • they'd let them go. Pire them out through the windows. One by one you'd see the hens go. The poor things. These were mostly young fellows. (You're not saying everyone did this.) No, no, no. Just two, say, in the car I was in. And they would get together wherever the train would stop. But after we crossed Quebec Bridge, the soldiers were there lined up with their guns. "Now you touch one of these stores and we'll touch you." There was no more stealing after we crossed Quebec Bridge. They had soldiers right along, wherever they slowed down for coal and water and things like that • the soldiers would be there. And it's a good thing the stealing stopped because the cars were already piled up with things they never used. Neckties, shirts, shoes • boxes of little kids' shoes • shoes with copper toes. See they were no good, fire them away. (What did you do that was bad?) Well, I suppose I did my share. But I didn't do any stealing, I can tell you that. I nev? er took anything. I had a dread over me. I was 23 and there were lots there only 17 and they didn't know what badness meant. You could talk to people and tell them it wasn't riffht to be brineine hens and Rtuff like that in the train • which we did. They'd just laugh at you. (If this was the case, I'm surprised the Harvest Trains kept running.) Stopped af? ter that year. She never took anyone, only students going to college after that. They weren't allowing anyone to go who was on the train before. Then they started get? ting better gear on the fields and now I don't think even the college boys are go? ing* (And you say it was a wonderful experience. How could it be so good? You went out too early, food was all ruined, had to work on the waterworks, and then you were just lucky to get some harvest work....) Yeah, it was all luck. (And that was the best job you ever had?) Well, it was the best job I ever had with a boss onto it. He was just like a father to us all. Told us he'd give us 6 dollars a day and free board • and when he paid us off, he paid us off with 7? Straight time. So he was a good guy. Seven dollars a day in 1920 was big money. I went there in Avigust • I think the 12th of August we hired on • and my brother- in-law, Mike's father • he and I came home the last of October. A little over two months. And I had something clear over 400 dollars. Went with nothing but my fare. And Dan R. put at the end of the song: "So now my song is over, no more I have to say/ But we will soon be goir' back to that place we call South Bay/'Our boats and trawls we'll now fit, for the eastern piece prepare/ To get us some provision and some clothing for to wear." Dan R. would come in here now, sit around sizing up you and I. That's what he'd done going to the Harvest. Had 22 verses in that song, going to the Harvest. And I never knew hfi was cinins it. When we were Kaynor's Outlit, ??BBIi''''SM.'C2''!J'5-:i''. ?? Marvell's Farm, The Harvest 1905 (courtesy A lileanor Huntington; Cape Breton's Original Fish and Chips Outlets Glace Bay Union St., 849-1337 Fin and Feather Sydney Welton St., 539-8940 • With Two Resxaurant Locations to Serve lou
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