at my house. Now I had another breakdown. But I remember Father Burks words so I came out of it in about a month.
Emile had works on all kinds of jobs. He works for awhile for a company name [Chinchette], a road builder in Frenchville and every time he came home he was drunk. And after he helped build the hospital and it was always the same thing. After he started to gather [ ], old scrap iron with Honore Bouchard and he was drinking very heavily. Every night he came home his clothese was full of rust and he was drunk and he didn’t wash. He went to bed and in the morning the bed was all wet but I couldnt’ say nothing.
One Sunday night he went gambling, I told him you better stay here it will be too bad for you if you go. But his mother was home so he thought she won’t say nothing in front of my mother and he leaves. This was in the afternoon. At 10 o’clock at night I sent Roland and Richard to go get him. He was not far from the house but he didn’t come back. Roland and Richard stay there too. So at 11 o’clock Lew and Clarance came home. I said go get your father it’s late and he got to work tomorrow. But they stay there too. I go to bed and when he got home was was not [time] for me to say nothing but that night I wait for him. I close the light
and wait and wait. I thought I got to make believe that I madder than I was. And I wait. At 1/2 past 12 I saw them come, an old bunch of musketeer, the father his 4 sons. There was a pair of rubbers to put over the shoes behind the door. I pic one up and as he came in the door, I hit him with the rubber and said if you don’t stop your gambling you will taste more than this another time. So to my knowledge ti was his last gambling.
It was not funny you know. Some time he didn’t had a dime in his pocket to give to one of our children to pay his lunch at school. I had to borrow money here and there to buy food. And for a couple of years he couldn’t pay the house tax so they foreclose the house. So he had to borrow from the Federal loan to pay that tax. We were always in debt from loans. One time we were over $300.00 in grocery debts over Louis Paradis store and Mr. Paradi stop his wages. So he borrow again. So I had to do something to stop him gambling but he never stay home. Just the same, finishing supper he put his hat and left. And he went to pass his evening over the neighbors but I didn’t mind as long as he didn’t gamble.
But one night Lilianne was home at the
time. He took his hat as always and went out. I pass in my bed room and I saw him. He was stopped in the road. I thought what’s he doing there? I watch him for a while and when I thought he was safe that I want see him go. He turn back and run to pass the house and there was a dirty house where they were selling liquor. And it was always full of bad girls and men. I put a jacket on and I took the little short cut and when he sees me come in this house too his face was white like a sheet. I give him a push in the door and said you come home, you prostitute runner. I tell you Emile was coming home. In the road we met some people I didn’t care because I didn’t know them. I give him another push and in the house I was so mad I took my eye glasses and threw them in the face. I’m telling you be stop going there but he never stayed home at night. And on weekends no matter how sick I was I said sometimes and I cry “Why don’t you stay home to help me with the kids?” But at that time he didn’t care for kids. He never helped me with them and he never help me in any way. And no matter how sick I was Emile went fishing and hunting sometimes for a week. I took care of my family the best I could. And I was living for my children only.
For Richard, about his drinking, I try to
talk to him softly; it was no use. I try talking hard to him. Nothing doing. Rather he gave me $25 a week to pay his board and when he was out of work, I didn’t charge for keeping him. He give me a little money to put away for him and everytime he work and have a little money he drink. He went to the Guard meeting sometime drunk like hell. he was a Sargent and he was a good soldier. They all like him in the Guard.
Rose and Pat was married now and Emile was now working with our son in law Leon Ouillette. They almost fight sometimes but they got along fine. Emile likes Leon. They were working in the woods together. After a while Emile took a job at woods so Leon works for him and he also hires another man to work for him. At first he was making good money.
I was still keeping foster children so one day Emile came home and said, “My wife, I will buy a car. I will give $400 dollars cash and the rest I will have it put on finance.” After dinner he put his cap to leave to go get his car. I said. “Wait a minute, I pass in my bedroom and I count $1900. I said. ” Don’t buy a car on finance.
Just pay cash for your car.” He couldn’t believe his eyes. He said, “Where did you get this money?” I said, “I saved from my pay for the foster children.” He was so glad. I never seen a person so glad. He jump on the floor. I was glad for him too because he was working very hard and I understood that without a car he need to go some place for business and no car it was hard for me. And me, I couldn’t go shopping. I had to send the kids to shop. I been 10 years without going down Fort Kent store. So we need a car I thought. He came home with his new Chevrolet like a millionaire. I was so glad for him too.
After a while he came home drunk with the car. I said, “Yes, you need a car to drink? If you drink, you don’t need a car, you walk again.” I took the car keys and hid them for two weeks. He didn’t say a word about the car and I didn’t nothing rather the car was in front of the house. And he went to work with Leon. One night he said. “Give me the car keys. I won’t drink no more, I promise.” So that was the end of his drinking. Oh he took a swallow once in a while but not to bother. And he stay home more.
We went to Connecticut for the first time to see the 5 children there and family. We had a good vacation for us. Just 3 days at Thanksgiving. We went with our daughter and husband Elmer Dubois.
Elmer know the way to Connecticut and for us it was our first time. Roland and Lewellyn and Clarence and Geneva and Rose was living there at the time. We came not not tired at all. With Elmer and Cecelia this was in 1967.
In 1969 Emile want to change his car for a new Chevrolet. So I give hime again $1500 and I went and paid the house tax. Our house really ours now. We had paid it in full. After Emile stop gambling it was so nice. We never bought on credit and we had money to buy what we need but we were both working hard.
That’s when I started to notice my husband more and to know him better. I have been too busy before to be able to know my husband well. I didn;t care but ow I do care. I find out that he was loving his children an awful lot. He was always worry about them he was always ready to help them as they need it. And he was a man. When he needed to say things to some one he said it to their face. After he quit gambling and drinking, he could have a dollar in his pocket for months. He never spend a penny for nothing. He was a good man now and I learn to love him. It was late I know but as we say, better late than never. We could sit and talk now like 2 married people, not strangers. We had so much to say to each after about
all those past years that we lost in nowhere. We had to catch on .
How many night we sat talking he told me everything about Aurare and his mother He he was believing all they said about me. Making him believe that his children didn’t belong to him and his mother told him never move your wife to Fort Kent or you will stay along. She will go away with another man. And don;t buy her nothing’ it’s spoil money and so much bad things about me. I said, “Poor, poor husband. Where were you thinking my children came from? Did your mother thought my children came from heaven?” He said, “I know everything, Now I know it was all lies. But in those days I believed them.”
And I also told him how scared I was when I saw him sharpen his knife and razor. He said, “Poor wife, you were crying, I never in my mind thought of hurting you. I always love you.” But I said, “I was just a child and I was scared.”
And how he hated Aurare now. It was terrible. Some time he saw her fishing and he said, “If she could fall in the bottom of the lake.” I said, “Emile, don’t say those things, She is your sister, He said. ” I don’t care if she is my sister, she lied to me too much. For his mother he never say nothing wrong about her but after we moved from Black Lake, when she said some thing wrong about me, he
was fast to tell her to mind her own business. He never believed them after.
For me, I didn’t talk to Aurare for 35 years. I forgive her everything but I can’t forget.
After his father lost everything they had and now Emile’s mother was a widow, I was keeping Emile’s Aunt Connie, her husband Octave Therault was dead. And Aunt Julie Landry – they were sisters to my mom in law. And I was boarding them at home.
One day my mother in law came and ask me I would like to come and stay here too if you want me. If I want you, Oh yes, we want you, of course. Come anytime.
So that night she was home so their sisters were with me. And I said to my mom in law, i don’t want you to pay us. We are glad for you to be here.
And one day she was talking about Aurare how jealous she was. And she look at me and said,” Estelle I know I done you wrong but it was Aurare’s doing. She lies so much to me and at that ime I was believing her. I’m sorry,” she said. I was so glad hearing my mom in law say those things to me. I took her in my arms and in front of Aunt Jule and Aunt Connie I kiss her on her white hair. I was so glad at last Emile was believing in me and now his mother. I couldn’t be so happy. And some time I look at
my mom in law and I thought I don’t know if she think that my bread she eat today is taking the place of her worse crumbs of her bread she had refused to me. If she saw me starve and my hand I cook for her was my same hand she find too dirty to milk her cow. And she had wish me that I couldn’t be sick enough to please her. Well for her every thing turn upside down. They lost their farm and now I was the one to support her. And I give her my best. And I took care of her the best way I could. I have forgiven her too but to forget, never.
She died in the old folks home in Eagle Lake in 1967. And who was with her when she pass away? Me. Not one of her daughters. I was there with Emile and Aunt Connie. We went to see her the day before she died and she didn’t hear nothing and her eyes were closed. And I give her a drink of water with a straw and she was so thirsty. I took her hand and she smile. She seemed to know who I was.
The next day one half hour after being near her bed she pass away – like a candle that finish burning. Not a sign, not a sound. She was gone. We say the good parts at her funeral and for the marking of the date and the year she pass away on the tomb stone and earlier in the years when we were
still living with T.A. St. John on the farm.
One spring morning Emile’s father came to see Emile and ask if Emile want to go help him plant his potato crop. He said.”I will plant you a few rows of potatoes and next fall I will haul them to town for you. This will help you next winter.” So Emile said, “I’ll go.”And in the fall, Emile sell his potatoes for $600. He was glad. He never had $600 before.
So Ozime came one day and said, “Emile, if you can lend me $500. I will buy a team of horses and haul some wood and I give it back to you in one month. So Emile thought to himself I can get along for one month and this will help Ozime. So he took $500 and give it to him.
A month pass, 2 and 3 months. Emile ask Ozime again. “Ozime I need my money.” Ozime said, “Wait, you are not on fire. I will give it to you when I can.” And he never paid it back. Emile was so mad, he hated his brother Ozime ever since. They are both dead now. I hope the Lord didn’t put them together or it would have been a job to separate them back.
At 62 Emile retired. He had worked in the woods with Leon for 10 years and he didn’t make any more money in the woods. The hauling and shipping costs too much. The last two weeks, I had to pay the men with
my own money. About the year he retired, he bought a piece of land at Black Lake near the lake. It’s a beautiful place. It was large enough. He sold 5 lots and keeps one for ourselves to build a cottage on. So I help him and we build a nice little camp. And he bought a 6 horsepower motor. So I went and I bought an aluminum boat 14 feet long, a very good boat that he used only 2 hours on the lake. I also bought the 9-1/2 horsepower motor. I bought the boat and motor for $500. and the price of the boat was $400 but this man needed some money to move to Lewiston and he sold me the boat and the motor.
So we started to fish together at Black Lake and elsewhere. We went very often at Togue Pond with Elmer and Priscilla and Elmer’s father and mother. We pass 2-3 days at a time there. We camp near the lake, it was so beautiful. We catch nice tiger fish and nice salmon. And after the camp was built, Emile fix all the land around the camp and he planted trees all over. All kinds of trees and on the lot he sold to Lew, he made a big garden. He plants a big plot of potatoes to sell early in the fall. So we fish and take care of the garden.
In the fall Emile took some customers and sell them fresh potatoes and vegetables. She had a very good time.