every penny. So he was Marabow. My step father was mad at him. And he said, you don’t know that you have a wife and two kids. No wood a the house? If you don’t treat your wife better, I will see to it that you do. Emile was and and tell my step father to mind his own business. My wife, he said, is my affairs not yours, and if you don’t like it stay away from here. So my step father left without saying another word. Now Emile was mad at me. He started to give me names. He always called me la bonne fame kit when he was mad. And he said, you are just good to talk behind my back. But it was not my fault. His mother came home that afternoon and saw that I was cold. With the kids with no wood to put in the my stove. He bought a cord of wood from a farmer, Paul Cyer was his name, for 15 dollars and he never paid him. And he didn’t pay the rent 10 dollars a month. So in the spring we had to move out. My woman neighbor was good to me. She gave 2 quarts of milk everyday, and she didn’t want any payment too. So we moving in a little rent the other side of my mother but not far. It was just a little rent. Very small bed room and a kitchen and a very large shed out doors. It was about half the size of the rent I’m
living in today. And the shed, one day I found a box of dirty dishes. So when the landlord came to collect the rent I asked him about this box of dishes. Oh, he said, an old man was living here and he is dead now. So you can have this if you want to. So I washed and boiled those dishes and it was all good dishes. We had a big kitchen stove burning only coal. So when Emile passed along the tracks to come home from work, he picked a big bag of coal. So the apartment was warm all days. We moved there in March. I had nothing to wash in so my mother sand sister Anna came every two weeks. Mother brought her washing machine and they wash for me. An I hang my clothes in the big shed. So it was cold there. I was pregnant again. Every week Emile play [moving] and drink. He came home very late some times. The kids, for him, he never look at them. He knows the were made that’s all. He didn’t care for any of us. All he had in mind was gambling. But one weekend he came home with a boiler and a wash board and a small tub. I was so glad I had a good table and chairs that step father had given me. And now I had some things to wash with. I was rich I thought. My two children were fine. I didn’t feel to good again, but I thought I will feel better soon.
Every morning I had to run to get the milk and I had to pass the same little short cut that I used to cry by the big tree. But I had no time to stop now. My two kids were still sleeping and I ran as fast as I could and came back before they woke up. On Good Friday, I had the surprise of my life. Who came in the house? Emile’s father. I was so surprised to see him. He seem glad to see me. He shake hands and kiss me. He talk about Emile’s job and all kinds of things. Emile cam home and he was as surprised as I was to see his father home. And as we have no place to put him to bed. Emile too him over my mother’s to sleep. And Emile came back and said to me, father much have come here for some thing because it was Good Friday. so the next morning his father came back and talk for a while and said, well I came to see you Emile. I have bought a team of horses and they are very wild and I don’t feel well enough to work those horses. And I thought if you want to come work with the horses, we’ll work together and in June I will pass the farm at your name and you’ll take care of us. I knew right away that was a lie. Emile’s father was still to young to give his farm away.
He was just afraid of his new horse. So, Emile didn’t know what to say. Well his father said, think about it for 2 weeks and let me know, but not later. If you come, tell me the day and I will go get you at the Frenchville Depot. And he left to go back to take the train for home. Now before going further, I would like to say another thing. When Laurette was a month old, Leo Caron asked Emile one day if we would like to go pass three days in Caribou. He and his wife was going to see a doctor and they had to pass three days in Caribou. So Emile said, yes we’ll go. I was so glad to go show Laurette to my mother. Of course my mother saw Laurette when she was a day old. She and step father came to be her God parents. But now she as a month old and for me there was not a nicer lady in all the world. And after we’d been gone two days a letter came at home. It was coming from my sister Anna. So as mom-in-law couldn’t read or write. So when I arrived in Caribou with Emile, mother was so glad to see me and my baby. their house had burned down and my step father had made a temporary place to live until their new house was ready. I saw Anna too and she told me, I wrote you a letter, did you get it. I said, no. Well she said, you will get it when you go back. She said it was to ask Emile
if he wanted to come to work with my husband. You can stay with us and she said nothing more. So after three days was over we returned home and Emile went to the barn to see if the animals had been fed. So I went in and as soon as I step in the house my mother-in-law didn’t look at me at all. She was cooking supper and Emile’s father said, Aurare read the letter to Estelle. I said what letter. For a moment I had forgotten about the letter Anna said she wrote me. Aurare pulled a chair near the wall and she step on it to be near the lamp that was hanging on the wall. And she start reading. Nothing was wrong on the letter except she said, I know Estelle that you are not happy there. So she ask us to move with her so Emile could with with her husband. I said give me my letter. She said, oh no. You won’t get that letter. Emile came in and I was crying with Laurette in my arms. He said, what’s going on here, and you, what are you crying for. His mother said, Anna wrote to Estelle to move to Caribou and so you can work with her husband. And you don’t have to move Estelle, with them to become a prostitute like Anna and her mother and all kind of junk she and Aurare said. And she looked at me and said, you are like your mother,
la bonne fame kit. Emile said give me this letter, Aurare. But his mother said, no you won’t get that letter. So I went to bed without supper that night. Emile came up and said, stop crying and come eat supper. But my heart was to sick to eat. I use to write to mother once in a while when I could have two cents for a stamp, but after this event, I couldn’t write mother no more because you see only Aurare could go to the mail box. The mail box was in front of Uncle Hurbald Hebert at the foot of the hill coming from Frenchville. So only Aurare had the right to go at the mail box. and when I give her a letter to mail she didn’t mail it because mother never received my letters. And when mother wrote me a letter, you know where I find them. Well coming home from the mail box not far from the house there was a big rock near the road. And Aurare site there and read moms letters and she tears them into pieces and throw them in the road. I find the pieces bu all I know it was my mother’s writing but the piece was too small to put together. So I couldn’t hear from mother no more and I couldn’t write her either. This was Aurare again. Now go back forward again, almost two week after Emile father came home. He asked me what
are you saying about father’s offer? I said, you often told me that you were my boss, so if you are the boss, I have absolutely nothing to say. Well he said you can tell me what you think. I said, I think nothing. If I say yes, We’ll go and if we don’t get along there you will say to me, you should have said no. And if I say no, not to go, afterwards you will say, if you had wanted to, we’d be on the farm today. As you are the boss, if you go I’ll go because I belong to you as you say. so decide for yourself. The next day he said, we’ll write to father and tell him that we will be there April 15. I said, find yourself another writer. I don’t want to meddle in your affairs. So I never knew who wrote that letter for him, but he asked step father to put our things in the back of his shed for a while until he could come with his father to get them. And April 15 we too the train and as he said, his father was waiting for us at the Depot. He was glad that we came. But at home it was a very different thing. When we came into the house, his mother was mad. She didn’t look at us at all. And Aurare was mad too. and she said to Emile, you should have stayed in your hole with your wife and bastard. Emile’s father looked at Emile and shaked his headd as if to say don’t say nothing. We ate. The supper was ready. And
I washed my children’s and I went upstairs. Our bed was ready. The next morning I asked mom-in-law, can I help you milk the cows and feed the calfs. She said, no, you help Aurare to do the house chores and let me be with my cows. So that’s what I done. Aurare she was a good worker. So I start to work with her in the house doing the chores and the washing. And I worked as hard as I could to please them. Emile begin to work on the farm with the new horses. And they were very wild. But in the house, not matter how hard I worked, I couldn’t do enough to satisfy them. And father-in-law was always mad about Emile too. What was making him mad, he didn’t say nothing to Emile’s face. He came in the house and said, I don’t know why I raise a lazy son like this. I cannot make him do a job right. He’s stubborn and do only what he please. This made me mad because if he had something to say to him, why don’t he say it to him instead of telling us this in the house because I know Emile was working hard and he was doing his best. Clarice got married in May or June and my mom-in-law said, Estelle you don’t need your furniture that Emile put in the barn. When Emile
could go with his father to caribou they bring my furniture from step father’s shed. And they put this in the barn. So she said you are living with us so you don’t need those things. I will give this to Clarice. So I didn’t say nothing. Only my bed I kept. she give the rest to Clarice.
And in September Clarence. My little Clarence. I named him Clarence after Emile’s brother Clarence. And to eat in bed, my mom-in-law all she give me was pancakes soaked in pork fat. Grease as I say. And this made me so sick it was too fat and I couldn’t digest this. She always said it’s not good eating too much in bed. You eat more when you get up. So one day father-in-law was going to Fort Kent. So I had 25 cents. I give ti to mom-in-law and said, could you give this 25 cents to father so he can bring me 4 bread. We buy 4 breads for 25 cents in those years. Well she said I will give it to him, but you know Honore. He’s no good to make commission. He came home with the 4 bread. And my mother-in-law took them and said, Estelle, I will put your 4 breads in my little trunk upstairs and just ask me when you want some and I’ll go get you some. Otherwise the children will spoil them. So I tell you, I never ask for a slice of that
bread and I never any. When my Clarence was a month old, Aurare got married. She was three months pregnant. She married Alsime Bourgoin my cousin. And after she was married she wanted us to move from there because she didn’t want us to now that she was to have a baby. So she start bullying my children around. Laurette and Lew. She too Laurette by the hair one time and threw her on the wall. And she called them little bastards and all kind of lies she tell her mother about me. Things not believable. So after supper I too the children and stayed upstairs with them. One day Aurare and her mother go mad at me. They didn’t have to get mad because they were mad all the time. They start calling me all sorts of names and said, you are only good to make bastards. You are no good for nothing else. You are just like your mother and calling mother names so dirty that I don’t dare write them on my white paper. They could call me names, but my dear mother that she was a good mother and good in anyways we can say. And to hear them dirty her name, my god my heart was breaking in tears. I was crying and I open my mouth. I shouldn’t have but I did. I said look, when I came here, do you