Pages 31 – 40

of course the horse hitch to the sled. I sat in the bottom on the straw. The road was bad. I was shy. We didn’t say too much. I didn’t know Emile at all. I saw him once when he was in short pants, and a runny nose. He was about 12 at the time and me 8 years old. So we arrived at Laura’s. Laura was glad to see me and [Azime] too and her oldest Camille and Rhella. It was time to eat supper about 5:30 o’clock. We sat down and eat. And we were just finished eating Emile came back he was 18 years old. He came in and ask me to go take a walk with him out doors. It had been a very nice April day, so I looked at Laura and she said you may go. I can do the dishes. So I put my coat and went. We walked for a little while but I had nothing to say. So I said let’s go back home.  The next day Emile come again and ask me again for a walk. I looked at Laura because at home when mother was not there we had to ask our oldest sister to go some place and if she said yes it was ok. But if she sahid no that’s it. We had to listen. So I looked at her and she said yes, you go take a walk. We were just gone out about 10 minutes [and] Emile asked me to be his wife. I was so surprised, I said are you crazy, you. I don’t even know you and you don’t know me. Oh he said we know each other enough to get married. And once your mother promised me on of her

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daughters for a commission I made for her. He was 12 years old at the time. I said my mother told you this for a joke. Well he said, just the same I want to marry you. Well I don’t I said. Let’s go home. But I could laugh about this demand. I thought he’s crazy. I say nothing to Laura. But the next day Laura ask me did Emile ask you to marry him. I was so suprised that she know about his. I said, yes and he’s crazy. I don’t know hime and I don’t know men period. And I don’t want to get married. Well she said why you don’t want to get married. Emile is my brother-in-law and he will be good for you. And you can stay with us she said. And if you wash diapers it will be your own baby’s diapers. She knew that I have worked hard for awhile that winter. So it was not to help her, she wanted me down there at Black Lake. She was not near having her child. Emile came every day and the more I saw him the more I hated him. I thought to myself, why don’t he stay home for a while. He as at Laura’s all the time like a cat watching a mouse. Emile’s mother came to and said Emile will be good for you. It’s better for you to get married. Laura said yes and step father said that he is willing to take care of Lily and Lewis, but you will have to earn your living.

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But I didn’t mind working. And for one thing step father never said that he didn’t want to take me. He was so glad to have me home. Laura had lied to mother to have me there and she also lied about my step father. It was not fair to him because he was a very good man. I didn’t say nothing because we could not talk back to our grown up sister. So I shut myu mouth. Now they are getting ready for a wedding! Emile went at Daigle to see the priest. His father was with him and the publication took place about the 5th or 6th of May! And the wedding set for May 17th. We didn’t need any blood test. All we need was our baptismal papers and first communion and a certificate of marriage. Laura wrote to St Agatha for my birth certificate and first communion, so it was time to go to Fort Kent for the marriage certificate. This was at the town clerk. Jack Sweeny was the town clerk at the time. It was 1926. He fill the paper and ask us our age. Emile said 18 and I said 14. Oh he said your parents will have to sign too. I said father is dead. Well he said just have your mother to sign and this will be alright. So good I thought. If I can go to Caribou, my Emile will come down alone. All the way home Emile talk of going to Caribou the next

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day. When we got home I said to Laura, Emile and I, we’ll leave in the morning to go to Caribou so my mother can sign our marriage certificate. I was on air. I sang all night and I get up early the next morning and say my prayers and said, thank you Lord to let me go to Caribou. But what I saw coming, Emile [and his] father. He came in and said the road are so bad for the horse. I will go to Caribou at you place. Give me your paper and I will walk to Frenchville Depot to take the train and I will pass the night at your mother’s and come down tomorrow. My dream of yesterday was shattered. God didn’t answer my prayers. I cried all that night. Laura asked me were you crying last night. Your eyes are red. i said no and start working so I won’t bust into tears right there. It was no use saying anything because I didn’t have any money to go back. And beside I didn’t know anyone at Black Lake except Laura and [Azime] and I was sure it would be no use to ask them for some money to go back because it was them who wants me there. When Emile’s father arrived at my mother’s house, he didn’t say nothing. But mother was sure that he was there for something she ask about Laura. If she had her baby yet and ask about me and the kids and they went to bed. And the

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next morning step father leave for work and Emile and father was getting ready to leave to come back home. When he showed my mother the certificate and he said Estelle wants to get married and you need to sign, my mother said to him, Estelle is to young to get married and I wont sign. I know now she said why Laura wants Estelle. This was to get her married and I won’t sign. Go home she said to Mr. Hebert and tell Laura to send Estelle back home right away. Well Mr. Hebert said its up to you to sign or not. Its you daughter and he walk to near the road in the driveway and turn and said to mother its ok. You wont sign, but one day you might run after Emile to marry your daughter and maybe it will be too late. Mother took scared and thought they can tell Emile to get Estelle pregnant and to be obliged to get married after this. And as I had a step father and my real father was dead, she said well bring me the paper I’ll sign. And she was crying poor mother. And she thought poor Aime. How I wish he’d been here today. I would never sign this paper. And me, I prayed all night, please God don’t let mother sign this paper. I don’t want to get married. I’m only 14 years old. I pray, please Lord, answer my prayers this time. I cried again all

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night. [Azime] said the next moring I heard you crying last night. Are you sick? I said no I’m not sick, but yes inside I was very sick, my heart was sick as ever been before. At night when Mr. Hebert walk in he said your mother sign and she was glad to sign. Starting that day I cried every night. God didn’t want to answer my prayers. Dear God I pray, give me strength to go through with this to please my sister. May 17th as planned, we leave for church. My heart was heavy. I put my purple dress that I brought for Easter. My coat and hat and new shoes. Emile ask his uncle Hubald to be my father for witnesses. We were 2 wagons, me and Hubald Hebert and Emile and his father. We went to church at Daigle. There was still big snow banks in the road. We pass through the field some places. Father Ouilette, the same one we had in St Agatha. When I made my first communion, he performed the ceremonies and with a 9 dollar ring we got married and after the mass, Emile was so anxious to go out the church. He was at the door and I was still in my chair in front. He didn’t wait for me. Two crazy kids who don’t know what they are doing. After the mass uncle Hubald, my uncle now, went back to his work. And no one of my family except Laura

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was at my wedding. My mother wasn’t invited and any of my brothers and sisters. Emile’s family was there, no presents, no flowers, nothing. Emile’s cousin Ramio Hebert and [Yovanne Quirette] was there. They were supposed to be best man and bride’s maid. But I didn’t see why a best man and bridesmaid for such a cheap wedding like this. Twenty dollars for the mass. It was so sad for me. I was on the verge to start crying all the times. We eat for dinner and supper, over Emile’s parents and Clarice, Emile’s sister sang and they ask me to sing a song too, but I was crying inside. I didn’t feel to sing. After the visitors were gone, we had to pass the night at Emile’s parents. but I made Emile promise that we will go stay with Laura and [Azime], so we went to bed. And when Emile try to touch myself, oh no you won’t touch me. I didn’t know nothing about men and I didn’t want to know, especially him. The he got nearer the more I push myself nearer the wall. And if we would have been alone I would have runs so fast that nobody could have caught me. He try to tell me that he love and we were married. That I now belong to him. In my mind I thought, that’s what you think that I belong to you. but you will go far before

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I belong to you. After pleading for a while, he turned his back and very mad too. And he fell asleep. I cried all night and thought what am I going to do. The next morning I got up early and my mother in law now asked me, how do you pass the night and she was laughing. I could feel my face flush with shame. I didn’t answer her. Emile get up and we eat breakfast and I said let’s go to Laura’s. I didn’t want to spend another minutes with those strangers. Emile had two unmarried sisters and a married on. The one not married was Aurare, 17 years old and Clarice my age. And the married one was Emily. She was married, but her husband was sick in Presquile Sanetorium. And 2 little brothers, Helaine, 6 years old, and Clarence 8 years old. And they were all strangers to me so we went to Laura’s. Every time Emile tried to touch me I cried. I know I was wrong, but I couldn’t [submit] myself. So one way or the other, Laura knew about this. And one day she give me a lesson about sex. She said you are married now and you go to submit yourself to the married life. I was so ashamed, I didn’t know what to say, and I thought why don’t she shut up with all this dirty junk. That night

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I prayed, Oh Lord help me. I know I am wrong. I was married for better or worse, in sickness and in health until death the priest had prayed. So I pray and said, Oh Lord you had us [tied] together, help me and with your help I will do the impossible. For your far your grace I will do anything you want me to do. But I began hating my husband so much. It was like a pest. Every time I saw him come in no more talking for me and no more laughing. I used to sing all the time, but now no more singing. I cried all night. I was doing my best to hide my tears, but some times Azime notice that I been crying all night. He began sassing Emile for this. He said it’s your fault you made her cry every night. Laura was mad about Emile too and Emile’s parents take Emile’s part. [side] Oh it was like fire and water all the time. I couldn’t eat and I begin to lose weight. And about leaving with Larua for 2 weeks Emile said let’s go live my parents. He wasn’t working and he had no money after the wedding. He had 10 cents in his pocket. He had worked hard in the wood all winter but in the spring when he came home he gave his money to his father.  But

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when Emile got married his father paid twenty dollars for the marriage mass. And 9 dollars for the ring. And he bought him a very cheep suit about 10 dollars and keep the rest of Emile’s money. So all Emile have was 10 cents. So when he mentioned to go live with his parents, he didn’t want [Azime] to support him, he said so. I had nothing I could do. I was married and he was the boss as he said. So I had to go, but how I hated it there with a house full of strangers. Emile get up in the morning and took his fishing pole and off to fish all day. I was glad he was not in the house. And his mother started to hate me. Her and Aurare gave me names and some times laugh at me. It made me mad, but I couldn’t say nothing. At night when Emile came back with a bunch of trouts, I had to clean them. And every day we had trout to eat and suckers too. I was so tired of cleaning trouts. I hate trout ever since. I don’t eat trout no more. And Emile had a cousin Rameo Hebert. And they were always together. At night after supper Emile took his hat and went to see Rameo and they went over a family of Dechaine where there we boys and girls there and he always come home at 11 o’clock at night. He mother said, sometimes why don’t you stay home.

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