and I cannot do the impossible. And as I only have my trunk to put some clothes, I ask Emile, won’t you bring me some carton box so I can put my baby clothes. So he bring me boxes. But after I took them upstairs, I lost them and I couldn’t find out where they disappeared to. And Emile keep bringing me boxes everytime he went down town. He said are you eating all those boxes. i said I couldn’t use one. Some body took them. Years after Emile’s sister Clarice told me where those boxes disappeared to. She said if you go look in the atic, Aurare throw your boxes there so you wouldn’t use them. One day mom-in-law give us each one new sheet and a pair of pillow cases. Me and Emily and Clarice and Aurare. I was glad it was the first thing that she gave to me. I place them in my trunk. And I thought I will use this when my baby come. but when my baby come my sheet and pillow cases was gone. I didn’t have them no more. And I knew darn well where they went to, but I didn’t mention this to mom-in-law or Emile. Three days before my baby was born I didn’t feel well, but I thought this must be the food I ate. I went with Aurare to pick Hazel nuts to sell. Mom-in-law pick some and we had to pick some too. So I feel bad all day. And the next day we went again.
But the third day we were picking on farms below and I had so much pain, I said to Aurare, I can’t pick nuts no more. I am going to home. So she came home with me. I went to bed and Joe’s wife she just had a baby five weeks before. She was there and came upstairs. I was crying. She ran to mom-in-law and said, Estelle is sick. And as soon as she saw me she said, it’s your baby coming. Father-in-law ask me where is Emile. I said, I don’t know. To find him our uncle Hubald and he was mad. He sent him to call the doctor. And when he came back home his father said, what kind of man are you. Your wife is having your baby. And all you care for is run around with Ramio. Why don’t you stay home once in a while. The doctor Archanbeault came and not very long after my baby came into the world. All rosy and nice. A sweet little girl. I named her Laurette like one of my cousins. I was so happy. I thanked the Lord for my baby girl and said, Dear Lord give me all the babies you want. I will love them and take good care of them. I promise you I will give my life for all the children you can give me. My mom-in-law said, you will nurse your little girl. Bottle is no good for a baby. But I was so weak. It was awful in those days. We had to pass at least 9 days in bed. And we
couldn’t change the bed. She said it’s not good to change your bed. The sheets are cold and you might take some fresh air. At seven days in bed, I couldn’t stand no more. I said I got to change my bed. So mom-in-law took a sheet and pillow cases and said to Emile, sleep on this tonight so this will be warm to change the bed tomorrow. And the next morning all was wet. Me and him and the bed. Oh she was mad. I heard her swears in the kitchen. So now we had to change the bed. We pass the winter there, but after Laurette was born she was crying all the time. Starting at three in the afternoon up to three in the morning. I could not stop her from crying. She was thin and crying. I didn’t have enough milk for her and I couldn’t give her a bottle. And father-in-law couldn’t stand to hear a baby cry. So I pass all night with Laurette to try to stop her from crying. I became so tired, I thought I would die. All I weighed was 92 pounds, and I was not 16 years old yet. It was horrible. One night I fell asleep with her in my arms and she rolled to the floor. Aurare came to pick her up. She woke me and said, your baby fell to the floor. The next morning both my baby’s knees were black. At three months I started her on food, and she stopped crying and gained weight and she was a good baby.
In the spring, we moved into an old house belonging to Alduie Lagasse. It was near Black Lake about 1/4 mile from the in-laws. I was glad to move there because Hilaire didn’t leave my baby alone. One day I saw spitting in Laurette’s face. And when I told him why are you doing this, he said, I hate her and he start crying as if I had slapped him. He rand to his mother and said Estelle won’t leave me alone. So she was mad at me. Calling me names and a good-for-nothing. Hilaire was the baby and nobody could say nothing to him. He would fall on the floor in a fit, so nobody dared to say nothing to him. He was so spoiled he was like a little devil. So when we moved near the lake I was glad. Emile’s father let us have an old stove and he and Emile made us a rough table. And Laurette’s crib that I bought for her with my money I made from crochetting for the company. I paid [$10.00] for it. It was a nice little crib and our bed. Two old chairs and Laura let me have an old rocking chair to rock my baby. I kept this old house clean. I was always alone as ever. Emile work one day or two sometimes from salted pork and buckwheat flour. When Laurette slept sometimes I went fishing a the lake. I liked to fish. And in the fall we moved with Laura, for this old house was too cold to pass the winter in. Laurette was one year old, but she eat a lot too.
Emile hunted rabbits and he took them down town to sell them. All he could work was one day or two a week for his uncle Hubald. To buy some salt pork and buckwheat flour, uncle Hubald give him his potatoes. And this little house that Laura lived in was so cold we couldn’t wash the floor. The water would freeze as soon as she touches the floor. And When Laurette wet here bed it freeze under her. So I put her in bed with me and Emile too when he wets the bed, the border of the bed was frozen. In the morning we had to put the wash on a line out doors. And my God it was cold. Behind the stove there was a window and it was broken, so Azime put 2 burlap bags at the place of the window glass. And we had to keep the potatoes in the stable to keep them from freezing. One day Azime bring home one day’s eggs and they put them in a box in their bed at night so she could use them the next day. Poor Laura she had suffer a lot too. Azime was rough with her. I saw him many many time throwing all he had in his hand in Laura’s face pieces of potatoes, pieces of pancake, forks and dishes, anything. She didn’t have much to eat too. Azime was not working too. At first Emile try to be rough with me too. One day he squeezed my neck so hard, it made
me to big [scabs] behind the ears. The marks of his nails. Laura combed me one day because she was always combing me. She loved to play with my curly hair and she saw those scabs. She said what kind of scabs have you behind the ears. So I said Emile squeeze my neck to hard. She was mad. She said let me put my hands on Emile. I will squeeze him too. I said, don’t Laura. This will be worse. So she didn’t say nothing, but he never throw me anything. He was good to give me names and all sorts of things, but I said, hit me once and you will stay alone. It will be the only reason that I couldn’t have stand him because every time he got mad, he sit and sharpen his razor or hunting knife. And he always look at me at the corner of his eyes. And it was scaring me so much. I always been scared of knives and he always look at me at the corners of his eyes. And it was scaring me so much. I always been scared of knives after this. I was pregnant again that winter. I was sick a lot and Laura took good care of me. She was good for Laurette too. In the spring I tell you I was glad that summer was coming to warm myself i the sun. Emile fix a little hanger behind his father’s house. There was no more grain in this little hanger, he put some red paper around inside and we move in. Laurette
was a very smart child. She was 18 months old and she talk a lot and she was potty trained. So in this summer as you remember I had not been confirmed and the Bishop was coming to Daigle Church. I went to see Father Wilfred Ouilette, the same priest who married us. Well he said yes, but you will have to walk to church for three weeks with the other kids to be confirmed. Well I said, Father it’s impossible. I will have a child soon. Well he said, it’s not my fault. I cam home and mad. But in about two weeks Father Ouilette was transfered to another place. And Father Emile Robertaille too his place at Daigle. i went back to see Father Robertaille and told him about Father Ouilette wanting me to walk for three weeks with the other kids. Oh no, he said, come the Sunday morning that the Bishop will be here. I came to confession and communion and in the afternoon you will be confirmed. So I was glad. The day I was confirmed after the ceremonies, Father Robertaille comes to me and said, you will have a baby soon. I said yes Father. He said in case you cannot have this baby confirmed, he is confirmed in you today. So I said, thank you Father. I cam home happy. It was July 29 and my baby was born August 6th, my first little boy. I named him after my brother
Lewis. He was big baby and a good baby. but my [battle, body?] was ready to give to him when he was born. The next day that I was in bed, we had a thunder storm and they had to put 5 or 6 pans on my bed. It was raining inside like a basket. The third day they leave me there alone to go pick blueberries in St. John. Laura and Azime went too. I ask Emile to stay with me that day. But talking to him was like talking to an object, so he went. I had no wood inside. It was a very cold day. Laurette was cold and me too. For my little baby, he was in my bed so he was okay. So I had to do something, Laurette was hungry too. So I get out of bed and put a coat on me and I went out door to get some wood. To light the stove to warm Laurette and I cook her some oat meal to eat. And I eat some too. And late in the afternoon when they come home I was up and it was warm inside. Mom-in-law was mad. You go back to bed. You are going to be sick, but I didn’t go back to bed. I was nursing Lew, but he had a bottle too and he grew like a weed. He as a very big baby. And today at the age of 53 he weighs around 230. He always was big. When Lew was one month old, Emile said, if you write your sister Anna and ask her if we could go live with her for a few weeks, I’ll go pick
potatoes this fall. And as Anna and her husband were also going potato picking, she answer right back and said, we’ll be glad to have you. So September 15 we moved with my sister and Emile with them to pick. And he was a very good picker. Over a hundred barrels every day at 10 cents a barrel. And i was doing the house chores and one day I was washing the clothes and after I was done I took my brother on on the stove half full of [caustic] water that I used to boil the clothes. I wanted to put some water in a bucket to wash my floor. I put the end of the boilder on the side of the bucket and that bucket of boiling water upset on my right leg. I was burned so bad. I took my stocking off and all the flesh came off with it. For a month I suffer so bad. Now I know what my poor brother Leonard had suffered the two times he was burned. i passed the nights swinging my leg beside the bed. It was in pain so much. One day mother came home. She was living near us. And she said, get ready, I am taking you to the doctor. So I let Anna keep the two kids and the doctor took something like a wax paper and she scrub all burned flesh. I was crying. Mom was crying too. And after having finished scrubbing the bad flesh, he put some [inguantine] salve and gauze and wrap on my leg. I felt better after this. My leg start to heal and soon after
I was okay again. One day Emile came home with a nice big phonograph with 10 records. He paid 50 dollars for it. It was second hand, but look like new. He knew I liked music, so he bought me this phonograph. I was so glad he was working at the fertilizer factory now. And after the [drying] was over, he didn’t say nothing about going back to Black Lake. I was so glad. My mother was near, and Anna and [Honory] move on a farmers jobs that Honory took year round. So we was along now, but later on Emile start gambling with his friends at the [federation plants]. He came home very late at night and January 1st he said, I got to go work. I know it was not time because the federtation plant was closed that day. Anyway, he left in the morning as usual and I had no wood, not inside or outside. No wood at all. And it was so cold in the house. Mom came in the afternoon to wish me Happy New Year. I told her that it was cold inside, I have no more wood. She went home and not long after, my step father came with his horse and sled and with a small load of wood. And he was mad about Emile. The next day it was Sunday. My step father came back. Emile was just getting up. He arrived at 11 o’clock. The night before, no more money. He lost