Epilogue Pages 132-136

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Today I am alone as I have never been before, in a little apartment.  The house that I thought that I could never leave because there was so many memories, the children and I saw growing there, sickness and then health.  The first step of Paul and Cecilia and Rose and my dear baby Patrick. It seems that I can still hear them take their first steps. their little feet on the floor. They all got married while living in their house, our home.  The good times I had with my family, their singing, their music playing and broken hearts many times too.  Three of my sons got divorced; it’s hard for a husband and wife to draw apart but don’t forget the heart of the mother, the sorrow she can have seeing her children getting divorced.  The poor children between them.  Two are remarried today, thank the Lord.  They married each a good wife and they got back their future.  I hope one day the other one could also find a good wife to set his life anew. My house there was too many memories. The chair at the end of the table where he used to sit and sleep, his head laid on his hand sleeping. I couldn’t stay there no more so I moved. The house has been sold; I was glad because if I

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have seen my house empty too long I had gone back there maybe. So I was very glad when one of my nephews bought it.  Of course I miss my house. I’m very lonesome some times. I cry now in silence but my tears aren’t worth nothing now.  I don’t want to show my loneliness to my children; I don’t want to hide from them what is hurting me the most now is going to see my poor Richard at the house.  He got pain all the time; he hates the doctor, the nurses, the workers. He has no patience at all.  I give him all  he needs, poor him, but I cannot give him what he needs. God only can give him that comfort,  his health. Every time I go see him, I can’t stay long. and when I leave I leave with him a part of my heart with him. My children they are good to me. I love them as always and I will love them till the end. They have been my life. I live my life for them. I don’t want to bother them their lives then I can because they have their family to take care of. Sometimes I need to bother them for things or other and I don’t like this.  They are all ready every time I need them. I’m sorry for them, having to bother with me.  I love them and I know they all love me.  I also have good son-in-law

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and daughter-in-law and I love them all.  Today I have 44 children and 26 great grandchildren also. For my sister Laura she done me wrong to lie to me and my mother but she has been bery good to me and I forgi e her and love her.  She is in Frenchville Security Home. All I have left now is one brother Leonard and three sisters.  For Emily, Emile’s sister who works for me for a lone time she died in 1949. She was a good sister-in-law. May God give rest to her soul.  As for Aurare, she is still living but she has been in poor health for many years now.

Today I love all the peoples.  If I have enemies somewhere, I don’t know about them.  And I love them where ever they are.  For my little apartment, it’s very small but warm and comfortable.

And I love the place. I got good neighbors to pass my time.  I got a good big TC and I got tape recorder and many beautiful cassette tapes and whem I’m lonesome I play my tapes and sing.  I have a good violin and accordian that I sold but they are in good hands. I sold them to my grandchild Lewis Labrie. I miss my music.  I wish I had

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kept them for a while but it’s too late now to think about them.

I registered over 300 songs for the public, archiving all French old songs.  If you happen to go to Quebec, Canada you can go to the archives and hear my songs there and also my pictures. My name is there too. I also registered my songs on tapes for me. I also wrote about 300 of my songs so I won’t forget them. And if God give me my sight still for awhile I will sing my songs till the end.  And if I can’t see, I can hear them on my tapes. I also read hundreds of nice old fashioned romance and mystery books. I also gave them to my daughter Laurette. I hope she won’t throw them away because there is so many old peoples who would like to read them.

I can’t sing too much now but I can still sing to myself.

Dear Reader,

Before ending I would like to ask you to forgive my bad writing, the bad spelling and words misplaced as you read. I never went to English school. What I know today I learn this by myself.  And it’s very poor. Maybe one day I will have My Valley Of Tears tape with a typewriter. And by

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someone who can spell and put my words at their place.  So thank you if you had the patience to read it through. You will have my benediction and I love you all.

The End

by Estelle Bourgoin Hebert

 

“Poem”

I’d rather have one little rose

And kindness says to me

Then flattery when my ears is still

I would rather have a lovely smile

From a friend I know is true

Then to be around my casket

When this world I bid adieu

Bring me all flowers today

Whether pink or white or red

I’d rather have a blossom now

Then a truckload when I’m dead.

Would you feel the same that I know what’s in my mind? I say have yourself a nice weekend, a laugh and a smile.

Adieu je vous, Aimie  (graphic heart)

 

Pages 111-121

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

 

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and burn those damn letters.

That night step father took his son in law Eddie Hebert with him and took me home. He pass the night home.  We wanted to give him our bed to sleep in but he didn’t want to. They sleep on blankets on the floor.  Emile was very surprised to see me back. I told him about mother being too sick she couldn’t help me.  The next morning step father instead of going home he went to Fort Kent town office to talk to the town manager to come to see me.  I needed help he said. Earl Roberts was the town manager at the time. In the afternoon I saw a car coming at the house. He came in with a social worker or his secretary. It was the Aunt at Llewellyn Point. He talk to me for a while asking about Emile. I said he works one day once in a while for T.S. St John on the farm at Black Lake. He was working that day  He looked all around the house. My broom of branches and the pail cover we were eating in. Nothing in the house kids.  He shake his head and said to the women I  saw poor but never that bad.  He ask me about milk. I said there is some at Emile’s house but no money no milk. He said you cannot find a women to help you. and I said again there are 3 women over my in-laws but no money no help.

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He look at the stove pipe. It was all rusted ready to fall down. So he said tell your husband to come to see me at the town office tomorrow. I want to talk to him.

He left and stop at my in-laws and he was mad. One, at you women couldn’t go help this poor wife and let her have some milk for her children. He said what kind of people are you here. My mother was so mad. She said to him you don’t work for nothing and we don’t work for nothing too. And my milk is to sell not give away. Well, he said, if one of you can go work to help her. I’ll pay you $3 a week and let her have all the milk she can use and  I pay you $.20 a quart.  So Emily said I can go and I have a cow. I will let her have some milk. Mr. Robert said mark all  your milk and every washing you will make and I will give you $1 each wash.

When he leave there he met Emile coming when he leave from work and Mr. Robert told me what kind of man are you. Your wife is sick alone and you  didn’t have the heart of come see me yourself. People from Caribou had to come at your place. He said come see me tomorrow. I want to talk to you.

Emile was so mad when he get home He said that’s why you went to Caribou to lament your self to your step father

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and mother to talk about me but I didn;t know this that my step father had gone to the town office.  That night Emily came with her cow and the next morning Emile went to see Mr Robets an dhe give him stove pipes and dishes and broom and canned foods and stuff besides.  And when he got home he was not as mad.

A few days after a social worker came in too and she ask me questions and she look all the children over but they were all in good health.  So she said you need medical care. I will see to it that you get it.  And she said tell Emile to come to see me tomorrow. I want to see him.

So next morning he went where she said to meet her at the Fort Kent drug store. She had a job for him at the WPA working on the road. It was on Market St. She also give hi a big box of clothing and garden stuff and needles and bread. So the next morning he went to work bringing for his lunch pancake and slice of salt pork. That’s all we had.

He walks morning and night to go work. I begin to sew some clothing for the kids by hand and I made Laurette dresses and shirts for my little boys.

But that social worker she was transfer some place else so she couldn’t give me the medical help I need. One day I went to see a

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doctor, an old doctor Cote in Edmonton. He find my heart very weak. He told me not to lift nothing heavy and not to sit down fast and not to get up fast because you can drop. But try to walk slow but try to walk a little longer every day. And he give me drops of Digitalis to take 5 drops a day.

So every day I try to walk out door and every day a little farther. One day I went to walk and my walk was not about 50 feet at the house. When I heard Aurare screaming out door. Emily was there. When she came back I  ask her won’t you tell me what Aurare was screaming about. OK she said she’s crazy. She thought that you went down the hill to see Alsime her husband. I said Oh Lord. Yes she said Estelle is not sick she just making believe. She is going down the the hill to see Alsime. So when Alsime came he she jump on him with a piece of wood and hit him and hit him. So alsime said I will go away. He came home and he was crying and ask Emile to buy his gun. Emile said no Alsime it’s your father’s gun and he give it to  you and I don’t want your gun. He said I can keep it for you for awile but I can’t buy it, it’s yours. So he left his gun with Emile and went at the barn. And Emile’s father went

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to talk to him at the barn and said come back home and I will see that Aurare won’t do such a foolish thing like this again.  So Alsime went back home. After a few days he came back to get his gun back.

The next spring I miscarriage. I was 4 months pregnant and I lost it. Not long after they transfer Emile to work near the house to put branches near the road. And after 2 or 3 weeks Mr. T. A St John ask Emile to work on his farm at Black Lake.  So he quit the WPA. President Roosevelt had started giving reliefs to the poor so every month Emile went to get his part. Emily was still working for me and she spoil Clarence so bad. He was her god child and in her eyes Clarence never do anything wrong. She was good for me and my kids.

In the fall Mr St John had his crew for potatoes digging and picking. Emile went to pick for Wilfred Hebert for 4 cent a barrel.  Laurette was 9 years old and Lewellyn 7 and poor Clarence he was 6 only.  They start picking at dawn in the morning to the darkness at night and the children was so tired at night some time Clarence fell asleep while eating.

We were move in T.A. St john old house on the farm and this small old house had 2 doors. One to the north and one to the south.

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and the one to the north, the people who live there before us had a big dog and this dog scratch the door and made a hole about 10 inches around. And behind that house there was a hole in the wall and one day we find a porcupine upstairs. When he saw us he was scared. I don’t really know if we took his rent or he want to take our place. Anyway he went back to between the wall and took the hill running. Emile put a board on that hole and for the winter Emile block the door in the north with straw and board too.  But it was so cold in this house.  Again no storm windows nothing. Air came from all over. I keep the stove going until 12 to 1 o’clock at night and the next morning the water is frozen in the kettle and the stove.

Emily had to leave us. He husband was back from Presque Isle sanitorium. So we took one of my cousins to work for me. Mr. Roberts was still paying for her. Emily was crying whe she leaves and the children too especially Clarence. For me after my little boy wa dead I promise pyself that I won’t spoil my Aimee. He was spoiled  no Emily have spoiled Clarence too.

I was still working for the company. Laurette help me to do the booties. I was getting stronger with

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drops that doctor Cote give me for my heart.

The next summer Emile works on the farm for T.A. St John and they pick the potatoes there that fall. Potatoes were near home. I could dress the kids for winter.

After potato picking Emile start fur trapping again. One day he came home with 10 skunks. It was smelling so bad it was just awful. He skin them and put them on his [fat mold??] and he hang them upstairs. They were nice. No one was alike but how they smell. Every time I went upstairs to get some flour I throw up every time. He put them in a steel container and ship them to George in New York. When his check came he didn’t stink.

In the spring Emile and his brother in law Fortuna Bourgoin went hunting deer. It was close season. It was March and when they met in the wood, the warden Cash Austin. And he took them to Houlton jail, no hearing or nothin. Bail is $200 each. As they had no money to pay it was for 60 days each.

Late at night I heard walking outdoor. I though it was Emile coming but it was a man to tell me that Emile was in jail for 60 days. Me pregnant again and the stable full of animals.  We had a cow now and a calf and 2 pigs and Joe Hebert Emile’s

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brother had moved to town and he put his animals in our stable so Emile could care for them and now I was alone with a stable full of animals.  Lew and Clarence help me to go get the water from the brook to give them drinks. After a while I didn’t have no more hay for Joe’s animals. So I wrote to him to bring me some hay but I get no answer again. So I went to father in law. he went to see Joe about his animals but Joe never came. I give them our hay so they won’t starve. Now I had no more hay for our animals too. So I bought a few bales of hay from Wilfred Hebert.

After a month have pass, Emily and Emile’s father went to Houlton and Emily pay the rest of their fine. He went down to see Joe and said come take your animals out my stable or I’m putting them out.  So spring was hot enough. Joe came and took his animals to his barn.

Emile works for T.A. St John again that summer but in July he took sick, very sick. Joe took him at Eagle Lake Hospital and he was operated for a ruptured appendix. He was in the hospital for 25 days.

In October I give birth to Roland, another little

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boy and 6 months after I lost another baby at 4 months. And one year after in July I give birth to a little girl –  I name her Geneva.

Emile quit working for T.A. St John and when Geneva was one year old or 14 months instead, we moved to pick potatoes for Joseph Theriault at Soldier Pond.  And after potatoes over, Emile at last find a rent at Fort Kent. And we move there and Emile work in the potato house for T.A. St John.

And I took to [to ?] to take care as their mother was dead and their father was supposed to pay for them but he never did. For 3 falls we moved to pick potatoes for Phil Theriault and in winter he works in the potatoes house but he start his gambling again on weekend. Some time he came home next morning no more money. He lost everything and he was drinking beside.

Mr. St John ask him to work steady for him the summer on the farm in Daigle and in the winter in the potatoes house. So he took the job for $18 a week on the farm.

So in the spring we move on the farm and when Geneva was 5 years old one day were were on the proch . It was a  very hot day. A  man came and ask us for a drink of cold water. So we give him water and he look at me and said you give birth to 10 kids

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and I was very surprised because I lost 2 babies my miscarriage and one was dead. He said you will have 4 more. He was an Indian. I said no my baby is now 5 years old. Oh yes he said you will have 4 more and he laughed. I was mad at this man.  A couple months later I was pregnant again and next August I give birth to a little girl. I name her Cecilia after St. Cecilia. She play music and I always pray at St. Cecilia’s.

Every winter we move in town and summer we move on the farm. Lew and Clarence began working on the farm for $3 a week each. They were smart boys and they were good workers. For Laurette, she help me a a lot in the house but some times I was so sick I was feeling to lay down and died. I kneel down and pray Dear Lord I pray if you don’t helpm e with your mother the virgin Mary, I can’t go on no more. The drops for my heart didn’t help me too much now. I was so tired I said Lord put your little finger on my hand and this way I will be able to go on again. And after praying I feel better. I could work again. I had the Lord on my side and with the Lord sometimes we can move a mountain. This was my support in my life. I pray and pray.

And Father Emile Robitbille is one who help me alot in my life too. He came to see me one day and

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[pages 71-73 to come]

Pages 71-80

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Remember mother when I came home and you are saying today that I am not helping you to milk the cows.  Yes, it’s true.  I don’t help you because you told me not to bother with the cows – to help aurare in the house and I am doing all I can to do my share .  It’s true I said I am now pregnant again but my children are not bastard and I almost said it’s your dirty sons fault, he is the one who do the children. I would never have one on my part but I didn’t say it to shut my mouth.  Mother said I hate you so much.  You can never be sick enough to please [him] and you never can starve enough to suite me and run if [… ] I won’t give you my worst breadcrumbs.  As for my love, I didn’t want you to help me because I did;t want you to dirty the name[…] that’s how much they find me dirty[…]but what hurts me the most that day was to see them insult my Poor Mother who was so good I couldn’t listen no more.  I took my little Clarence and I went over Uncle Hubald Hebert and I thought when Emile came home I [would] come back. I didn’t know Uncle Hubald and his wife too much but I couldn’t stay in the house another minute.  My uncle Hubald was

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In the house when I came in and he said , well you’re crying

PAGES 71-73 NEED TO BE TRANSCRIBED. I COULDN’T READ THE LIGHT COPY ON THOSE PAGES.

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in the next summer my father in law and his wife. They went to pass the day in St. Agatha with Clarise so we were alone all day with Aurare.  And at night they came home and I took my children to bed and it was early but as Aurare was [roughing] them I put them to bed early. And on the floor upstairs there was a grill so the heat could come upstairs. So I sit near this grill on the floor and mom and father in law was sitted downstairs but under that grill so I thought I will listen to them talk.  The talk for awhile and father said, Estelle didn’t [dump] in the bean pot, mom said no but Aurare said that she cook a big frying pan of meat and eggs. And they eat all they could eat and she throw the rest in the hogs barrels. This was not true at all. And she said I told Emile not to buy her anything because it will be spoiling his money. I don’t know where Emile had money to spoil because we had been working there for nothing, not a penny. We work there for 3 years and he bought me a pair of shoes once for $2.50 and he keeps repeating those shoes that he bought me to the end of his life. Never a piece of clothing for the kid, nothing.

Emile was almost [naked] so one day he ask his father can I go work for a week or 2 for Edmond Gangnon to cut

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some wood. His father said yes you can go. The spring planting was done and nothing much to do on the farm.  So Emile work for 2 weeks but Lew took sick from cholera.  And we have to get the doctor for him and after the doctor was paid, Emile didn’t have much money to buy clothes. And one day, Lew, had no more nipple and he was crying. Father in law was going down town so I give 5 cent to mom in law again to give to him to buy a nipple.  I heard them say I don’t sucks one.  If she wants to suck let her buy her own nipple.  He keeps the 5 cents but didn’t buy any. Emile had to go downtown himself to get a nipple for Lew. So that night when I listen to them talk near the grill upstairs I went to bed crying,  Emile and Aurare and [Alsime} and friend were playing cards in the kitchen. He came to bed. I was still crying. He ask me what’s the matter, I said nothing, He said are you sick I said no I’m not sick. Well, he said you don’t cry for nothing and I want to know why you are crying. So I told him what I hear from his father and mother.  The next morning he was mad about Aurare and his mother. He said to them often time I saw that Estelle cried. And I want this to be the last time leave her alone and what you said was Aurare lies. Aurare was so mad

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and his mother too. She said if you are not satisfied get your bitch and bastard out of here. It was pure hell.

Ozime came that day and he took my part so his mother throw him out. Ozime and Laura always took my part that’s why Emile and his mother hated him and Laura. So I told Emile that night you can stay but me I can’t stand it no more. I’m going away. I didn’t know where to go but I couldn’t stay there with my dear children no more.

So we moved in the same old house near the lake belonging to Alderie Langasse where we stay for awhile when Laurettte was small. But I had no more things – mother in law had given everything to Clarice when she got married. All I have was my bed and cribs and Lew and Laurette had a bed for the 2 of them. The same old stove father let us have again and Emile made a big old fashioned table again and to eat, salt pork and pancake and Uncle Hubald told Emile come get the potatoes you need. I give them to you.

Emile keeps on working for his father for nothing just fat salt pork and buckwheat flour. I had to cut some branches, spruce branches to scrub the floor and cedar branches to sweep the floor. Laura let me have a big black pan to cook in and a frying pan, a few old forks and that’s it. We eat in pail cover, no clock or mirror, nothing. I took an old fork to comb

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Laurette and Lew and Clarence and myself. Nothing to wash the cloths in. I had to wash clothes by hand in an old pan. And as Emile was never home after working all day for his father, he eat there and came home around 11 o’clock at night. He had to go feed the horses for the night before coming home. That’s what he said anyways.

So I had to get my wood myself, to cook and warm the house. There was an old fence. I burn every piece of it and I cut some from the woods near the lake. I kept the house clean and the children.

After potato digging was over, Emile and his father hauls potatoes in town with the 2 teams of horses, each a load but when Emile pass our house he never stop to see if were were alright, He didn’t care he was home so rarely. The children didn’t know their father. Clarence was a year old and when Emile was home on weekends and talk to him he cry he was scared of his father. One day he came home I was sick with birth pain and I sent him to call a doctor. And I give birth to a little boy 2 months premature. I name him Aime like my father, but we always called him T. Emile god mercy was in the good health and I didn’t have any hard time with him. When I was out of bed one night there was nothing to eat in the house

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Not even flour to make pancakes. I was hungry and the children too. Mama, Laurette said, I’m hungry. I put them to bed and said sleep for a little while and papa will come and bring some food. But Emile came as always at 11 o’clock with nothing to eat. Ok he said I forgot. So the next morning he went over Uncle Hubald and he bring a little pail of flour and potatoes, few pieces of salt pork. My poor children was so hungry – for my little baby I nurse him. Few days after nothing more to eat I went in the garden and there was some old string beans that stayed in the garden that Alderie Lagasse leave there. I pick them up and I took them off their shell and cook them with just no fat at all. And at night for supper me and the children eat those beans as it would have been raisin pies. When I think of that today I hardly believed this really happens. As it was too cold to live in that old house for the winter, we moved in Ozime’s  little house near the in laws again. Ozime and Laura was moved on a farm in Caribou to work by there. We moved in their little house. My little Aime was born Nov 12 and he was 12 days old when I more in Laura’s house. Emile keeps on working for his father and I start crocheting for the companies to earn

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a few dollars to try to buy clothes for the children and me. My mother give me some of her clothing and she made some clothes for the kids too. She often times bring some things to eat, vegetables and conserve. Everytime she come she always brings me something.  My stepfather often give me money and he give some to the children too. I couldn’t crochet much in the day time but I work at night. I had an old lamp but no lamp chimney so I took a quart jar and I took a string of wool yarn and Oh just enough to put around my jar. I soak this piece of wool in kerosene and tied it about an inch at the bottom of the jar. And when the string finish burning I soak the jar in cold water and the bottom of the jar fell off. So this make me a lamp chimney. And I work up to 12 or 1 hour at night.

I was pregnant again for the next baby in March. And in the winter I had to melt some snow to have water to wash the clothes because it was too far to go to the well to get my water. Besides I had no pail so I melt snow and for my soap I put some stove ashes in an old pan and pour hot water on it. After it calm down I took the water on top so this was my soap to

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Wash the clothes and scrub the floor. It was good to wash but I often burn my hand because this was very strong some times. When Emile went down town he went at the store and bring me beef and pork fats. And with caster and raisins I make myself some soap. I cook this in Emile’s father’s big black kettle outdoors. So I had enough soap for awhile and I had no soda for my pancake. I put a spoon of that stuff that I made with ashes and it made nice pancake but it taste like ashes a bit.

And this little house was so cold as I told you before it was terrible this little house. About 18 feet long and 12 feet large. 2 beds and a stove and a wood sink in one corner, a little cupboard on the top of th sink and the other corner was a little start to go upstairs butit was too cold to sleep upstairs. I couldn’t washt he floor too often the water was ffreezing on it.

March 16 I give birth to another little boy. I name him Haime Richard, like Doc Richard Savage. He was thin and small. I try to breast feed him but I had no milk at all. And mother in law came one day and said give him some rolled oates water, its good for an infant. So I boil oates and give him the water. He drink some for a little while but instead of growing he keep losing weight and cry all the time.  One day Mr. Octave Theriault came in

 

 

Pages 41 – 50

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for once but it was always the same – fish in the daytimes and run around at night but it made me  no difference at all.

June 29, Laura gave birth to a little girl and it was far from April like she told  my mother.  So as I have promised her that I would go take car of her and Emile, can I go and he said, yes well go.  So I went to take care of her.  Emile came to sleep there at night but I didn’t see him in the day times.  Laura named her little girl Priscilla;  it was her 4th child. I loved that baby as if it would been my own and I thought how it would be nice for me to have my very own little girl to take care of.  I always love babies so much.

Three weeks pass and one day Ozime and Emile ask if you want to come with us Sunday.  I will rent a car and we will go see Laura and Estelle’s mother.  Emile said yes, we’ll go.  So on Sunday we leave for Caribou.  Laura was anxious to show her little baby to mother.   I was so glad I will see my mother. When we arrived at mother’s home, my stepfather was outdoors and he had a lot of things to show them so I went in with Laura.  Mother was glad to see us. She kiss us and the baby. Not long after she let Laura have her and food. She said you lied to me.  you wrote me to send you  Estelle to care for you. You were having your baby in April so

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you just had your baby.  You lied to me.  You wanted Estelle to get her married to Ozime’s brother. She said I never knew that I have raised a daughter to be such a liar.  And she said Laura I won’t ever forgive you for that. Laura starts to cry and mother was crying too and I don’t have to tell you that I was the first to cry.  I went in the learning room and sit at the piano and try to make believe that I was playing but my tears was falling on the piano keys and I didn’t even see the piano keys. Then mom came in and step father came and sit beside me and he saw I was crying.  And he said dear little girl, if you are not happy then you can come home anytime.  This is your home anytime.  You want to come and I was crying so hard.   I would have given you a big gift and I would have been so glad to be your father at your wedding but we were not even invited at your wedding. I know it’s not your fault but pray darling he said and he took $40.00 from his pocket and give it to me.  And he also said your mother cry all day the day you got married and he kiss me on the head and I was crying so hard.  I could even say thank you father. He went back to the kitchen and after a while I went and wash my eyes and I went to see all our house

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in all the rooms upstairs even the action in the cellar.  The cellar was filled with nice wood [weed] piles it was smelling so good.  My mother she had everything. I went to see mother’s gardens too but later in the afternoon we had to go back so Ozime said alright get ready it’s time to go.  Laura started to get her baby ready and me I couldn’t think of leaving my  mother.  I went and hid behind the garage and I start crying again.  They looked for me all about the house at last they find me hiding there crying.  Emile said Come we have to go and Mother came and took me by the arms and said come Estelle I can’t keep you and she was crying too.  So I know I had to go. So I get in the car and we leave.

That night Emile said now Laura is well to go back home so I had to go back with him to his parent;s about a few weeks after my step father wrote a letter to Emile and he asks him if he wants to go work for him.  He needed a man on the construction and to my surprise Emile said yes, we’ll go m. OK, my mother-in-law was so mad about Emile to take me to live in Caribou.  She said if you want to lose your wife, go. But she was very mistaken. I was married in the name of the Lord and I promised myself to give my life instead of shaming my mother and brothers and sisters by leaving my

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husband.  I would hide my tears and sorrow to the end.  I thought to myself, Mother will never know what I am suffering.

So I was glad to go to Caribou so Emile could work because we needed money very badly.  We stayed for 3 weeks with my brother Patrick. he had moved to Caribou now. He was still a blacksmith.

So Emile starts working for step father and we pay our board for three weeks and after we moved in with my sister Anna and her husband Horace Marquis.  He too was working for step father so he had a car.  so Emile trained with him.  They wire buildings and the Caribou Dam.

Anna was working too so I was alone and in the morning after the house chores were done I went to pass the day with Mother.  She was canning vegetables and fruits for winter so I help her all day.  It was so nice for me to be there.  I said thank you Lord to be able to be with my mother today but every day about 4 o’clock I had to go back to prepare supper and I didn’t want Emile to know that I was passing my days with mother because I know he would be mad.  So at 4 o’clock I leave mother to go home and I pass a little short cut.  That short cut was between Spring at where mother lives and sweeden street and in this short cut there was a little brook and on the brook to cross there was 4 planks to step to cross over

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and every [day] when I went home I stop before crossing  at the side of the brook. There were trees and one was much bigger than the other ones so I put my head to this big tree and cried and cried for a big half an hour every day. I cry at this tree and when I thought I had to go home because I will be late, I wash my eyes in the brook and went home and I hurry to cook supper.  Emile and Horace arrived at about 15 mines passed 5 and Anna too and I kept my eyes and head down as much as I could so they won’t see my swollen eyes.

Poor Mother! She never knew the tears I shed leaving her every day.  Nobody knew beside myself until today.

One day Emile came home and found $50 dollars near the theater. Two $20 dollars and a $10 dollars folded.  No billfold or nothing just this $50 in the mud.  So we went to a furniture store and we bought a new bed for $25 dollars and a new trunk.  We were rich.  We had a trunk and a bed to ourselves and  we had a little money left  to buy sheets and pillow cases.  Every week we could buy something – towels and dishes and rugs and what we needed the most Emile was paid good wages.  And for me step father ask Emile to work for me just because he want me out of Black Lake because there was lots of men who was looking for jobs in Caribou.

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Anyway I was so glad to be out of Black Lake.  I thank the Lord every day for it. 

At the beginning of September Emile said we will go pick some potatoes at Washburn.  So when time came we moved to Washburn.  And Emile’s Uncle [ Maestoe] Pelletier was moved there for potato picking too.  So we stay with them. Emile took a small job for [Tent] Hale and a boy from St. John, Maine Laurent Talbert pick for Emile.  I pick too and I loved Laurent Talbert.

But one night I wake up in flood in the bed. I wake Emile up and said you wet the bed. Get up so I can change the bed. He didn’t say nothing. I made him change and I change too and lay down again.  The next day I had to stay home to wash the bed clothes. I was laughing to myself because Emile had wet the bed. I told my Aunt Madelaine Emile wet the bed so I couldn’t go pick today. I got to wash. Poor little girl she said is this the first time since you got married?  I said yes. Well she said you are not finished washing wet bed clothes because Emile had always wet the bed. She said Emile’s other told her that she tried everything and she couldn’t stop him from wetting the bed.

In the day time Emile heard that I have told Aunt Madelaine about this when he came home. He was so mad at me. He give me all sort of names

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and he said if you said anything about this again you will get it. And he came to hit me.  Matante Aunt Madeline just had time to put herself between us and she said Oh no, you won’t hit her while she is with me. Leave her alone. I was crying and I tell you that I learn my lesson. I never mention a word about his bed wetting to no one but this bed wetting last for years and years and years. And he was wearing long underwear since like winter and in winter he always sleep with underwear and shirts and sweater and he never get up for me to change the bed either. I change them in the morning. I get up and change because I wake up 2 or 3 times a week all wet. I change and put dry sheets under me and let him be. It was this way that he had been raised sleeping all dressed up and stay wet. He likes it this way so I just left him the way he like him to be. But sheets and blanket yes, I wash. God Almighty only knows about it. This had been another cross for me to bear.

One morning still at potato picking I faint. I couldn’t go to pick and Aunt Madelaine didn’t want Emile to bring me in the field no more. So I stay home and cook and wash. And I like her a lot. She sing – she was a very good singer and I like

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to hear her sing. I learn some very beautiful songs from her. And I sing for her too. She show me how to cook macaroni and she show me to bake apple pies. We were living right near our apple orchard so we made sauce and apple pies.

After potatoes finish, Emile said we will go pass the winter with Father and Mother so I had to go live there again before coming down.  We bought some clothing for the winter and after being dressed we bought a few more sheets and blankets. Emile’s mother was glad to have Emile back. For me, I didn’t count. For at home she rarely speak to me. I done all I could to please them so they would like me but in vain.  Emily and Clarise I have nothing to say. I get along well together. Emily show me to crochet. At first I discourage myself and stop trying to learn. But she said Estelle try again. I’ll show you so I try again and I did learn. I could work for the Crocheting Company after that and made myself a little money. It didn’t pay much $3.50 for a day’s set of sweaters and caps and booties and I was not used to this so it took me a long time to finish a day.

But Aurare she didn’t talk to me at all. And mom in law she was a good singer too. When she sit at her spinning wheel and sing, how beautiful it sound. But as soon as she sees me listening she stop.

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Emile was never home. He hunt rabbits and at night went to see cousin Romio again.  He was working for his Uncle Hubald Hebert. Romio’s father and Emile’s father and uncle Hubald Hebert they were all brothers but Romio’s father was living in Fort Kent since he was a small boy. So Emile as ever was never home.

In January I find out that I was to have a baby. I ran over to Laura – she was living about 100 feet from the in laws and Emile didn’t want me to go see her because he said Ozime and Laura all they for is fill you head with junk. So that day, want or not, I went to Laura to tell her that I thought I was pregnant and I said I wish I be so I can have a little girl too. She was glad for me. Well, she said next spring when Emile works, buy some flannelette and I will make you some diapers and little shirts for your baby. I was so happy. I pray dear Lord give me a healthy little baby. I will be so happy and I will have something to pass my time and I will be less lonesome.

I was weighting 125 when I got married but now all I weight was 92 pounds. I was weak and I faint a lot. I couldn’t do nothing to please my mom in law no matter how I try and Emile and me was like fire and water. Everything was black

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in front of my eyes. I had to stop crocheting. I was badly sick and mom in law said that I was lazy and Emile believe it too.  I did all I could so they would like me but nothing doing. I hate my husband. I pray God please help me love my husband or take us apart. We are too miserable. You put us together – you can take us apart no matter him or me, take one of us but nothing doing. Life had to go on.

We went to live with Laura in the spring and Emile went to work for his Uncle Hubald to plant the crops and as soon as he could he give me $10 dollars which I give to mom in law to buy me some flannelette for my baby’s clothing.  And Laura had a new sewing machine so she start sewing for me.  How nice it was to feel this baby clothes to my face. I thought how nice my baby will be in this flannelette gown and shirts and diapers. All I live for was to see my baby in my arms.  All mine and mine alone. I didn’t think about the father because he didn’t care. 

Before my baby was born, Emile said we will go back home so Mother can take care of you when the baby come. So we move back there and I did all I could to please mom in law.  But in vain. I saw she was hating me and Aurare too. And Emile believes all his mother and Aurare says but I didn’t mind no more. I thought I did all I could.

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but as soon as he pour a little bit in the stove, it must have been still some fire in the stove with other hot ashes.  This can of oil busted on Leonard and all around the house.  Leonard took the door all in flames and as  mother was sleeping near the stairs, she heard the noise.  The stairs were full of flames already and she couldn’t get down.  She wakes up Lily and Lewis and she stretch her arms down by the windows and drop them on the frozen ground.  And she stretches herself down too and fell on the ground too but thank God, all she had was little bruises.  Lily and Lewis were both safe too.  Now she met Leonard and she didn’t notice that he was burned.  She said go find our Baptist Thibeault the neighbor and tell him to come to help us and she was naked there.  For she always slept in the petticoat and her petticoat was not tied in the back.  And she didn’t have time to tie it so she took it off.  After Leonard left she ran in the barn with Lily and Lewis and she wraps herself with burlap bags.  When Leonard arrived at Thibeault place, Mr. Thibeault thought Leonard was singing. He said” Hey Leonard yours affairs goes well this morning –  you sing” and Leonard said “Come first the house is on

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fire and mother and the kids are burning!”  Poor Leonard! He didn’t remember having seen mother. That’s when Mr. Thibeault saw Leonard’s hands, the fat dropping to the floor and far from singing.  He didn’t know what he was saying.  All his hands and legs were burned – all he had left on him was his belt.  His shoes was burned in his feet.  He had a long jacket and brim of  his coat had protected his body And the bones I saw in the bottom of the cellar was the dog and the cat.  They burned inside.  And Leon Pelletier arrived too.  And all his nice clothing and nice things he had was gone too.  He was crying like a child too.  My mother didn’t come down from Stockholm. She stayed there and at night Pat came down to take us with him again for the winter.  Leonard was 5 weeks in the Presque Isle Hospital.  The doctors save his hands and legs but he pass all that winter his hand wraps an leg.   Poor Mom.  She was left with absolutely nothing at all.  The peoples in Stockholm had been good to her even the Boss at the Mills.  They made a collection for her and every worker gave to help her.  She started working at the mill and I also took a job at the mill.  I was only 13 years old but all they as us at the mill was what

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your names and how old are you and I said 16.  That was it.  They gave me a job on the dryer at night and my mother also worked on the dryers in the day times but it was very hard for me on the dryer.  I burned my hand on the hot [newmirs?] and no gloves to wear.  My hand became full of splinters after a while.  They put me on the staplers.  It was easier for me.  Works starts at 6:30 at night until 6:30 in the morning.  We had one hour at midnight to rest and eat.  Arriving home in the morning, Mother was ready to go to work too.  So when it was time for Lily and Lewis to go to school I helped them dress and wash and give them their lunch.  I straightened the house a bit.  We were in a rut more and after I went to bed for awhile until mother came to eat lunch.

And I went to bed again for a while in the afternoon but when it was time to do the clothes washing I didn’t have much time to sleep.  Mother was not feeling too well; she was weak and she was so tired.  Some times she had to sit before reaching home.  My sister Anne got married that summer.  She was not home with us.  She was boarding with Pat, 7 [lilist?] and Leonard was working in the woods more.  Mother couldn’t go back to the arm.  She rented it in July that summer, My mother met

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a man from Caribou.  There was a carnival in town and he was a part of this carnival with his son in law Eddie Hebert.  They came home and ask my mother for coffee.  This carnival was right behind the house so mom gives them coffee and while talking he find out that mother was a widow and he also was a widower.  So he came again.  His name was Baptist Labell.  He came the rest of the summer and in October he asks my mother if she want to be his wife.  She din’t know what to say.  So after some few days, she asks my brother Pat what he was thinking about this proposal.  Well, Pat said I will be very glad for you if you married a good man.  She had been a widow for 2-1/2 years and she was only 45 years old.  She had a good summer going out with this man.  He took her to dance every weekend.  I went with them too and some times I went with Pat and his wife.  They love going to dance too so we had a good time.  Mr. Labell was a carpenter making good money.  He took mother to see his house in Caribou.  He had a very nice house and as she was so tired of working in the mill, she said yes, I will marry you.  So she got married in October.  I didn’t want to go to Caribou with her. I wanted to stay in Stockholm to work but

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she said you are too young to stay behind.  There was all kinds of people working in Stockholm, and she was afraid for me.  So I had to quit my job and tag along as to say.

The day of Mom’s wedding, I cried all day thinking of my poor father. I couldn’t see another one in his place.  Mother came and tell me “Don’t cry, Estelle because I will cry too and I don’t want to cry on my wedding day.”  For Lily and Lewis they were younger so it was made no difference.  So we moved to Caribou and the day after the wedding, Mother took charge of the home.  This Mr. Labell had a family too but they were all married except Louise and Lilyanne and Lilyanne was mute and deaf and she was in school in Portland.

And Louise was my own age.  We got along very well together.  After we were there she didn’t want to go nowhere without me.  She took me everywhere she goes.  She took me to  the movies.  It was the first time I went to the movie.s  It was silent movies and it was a Charlie Chaplin show.  And I was glad because I went to the movies.

Louise was in high school and me, I turned 14  Nov. 8.  Lily and Lewis start school too. One day my step father ask me “Would you like to go to school too?  I will be so glad if you go to school with Louise” and I said ” no.”  I remember too well the

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time I went to English school in Stockholm so he never mentioned school to me again.

He was a good man.  He dressed Mother like a queen and Lily and Lewis were dressed like a prince and princess but I didn’t want my mother to buy me clothes with his money.  He was good to me.  He always called me his little girl.  But I never could call him nothing.  Lily and Lewis called him Father and this pleased him a lot but me, I could not say father or step father or nothing.  Whey my mother said some time go get father to come and eat, I went and all I said  was “Mother wanst you to come to eat.”  My mother didn’t seem to notice this but one day she came and sat with me.  And she was crying.  And she said if  your father came back today,  I know which one I would choose now.

Step father was very good to her and she was good to him too.  The house was spotless clean and she cooked good food.  And she was always well dressed and had curly hair.  And food.  Step father was always bringing home so much food.  She said to him, “You bring too much food.  I will lose some.”  She didn’t have any refrigerator.  Just an ice box that they put in each day to keep this fresh.  But he said, “I don’t want

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my family to starve.  Let them eat all they can.”

I didn’t want to go to school but when Louise took some comics and read, I laughed.  I talked to myself how nice it seems to be able to read.  When she puts the books away, I took them and looked at them.  And tried to spell some simple words.  I had learned my alphabets in English so I spell some words and after a while I find one word.  I was glad and I try and try again so I learn to read a little bit and I like it.

And my brother Patrick had shown me to play the violin so I bought a violin for $4.50, a nice one too.  I ordered it in the Montgomery catalog and I love to sing so I play the piano and sing and play my violin.  Later on I also bought an accordion and I also learn to play.

I read French which I learned in our little school in St Agatha and as often as I could, place my hand on a French book and read it through.   French was my specialty and I real a lot of French books.

One day a lady called my mother and asked  if she could let me work for her for $3 a week.  So my mother asked me “Do you want to go and I say “Yes, I’ll go.” This family had 8 kids, some were as old as me but they were in school.  She had a little baby and she couldn’t do nothing

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except take care of the baby.  I cooked and washed and sent the children to school.  Five were in school and 3 at home but the little baby, I didn’t bother with him.  Once in a while I went home to see Mother but not too often.  I didn’t have time.  I had been there almost 2 months when my brother Leonard came to see me and said, “Why are you working hard like this?”  It was my washing day so yes, I was working very hard then.  So I told Leonard. ” I got to work i f I want to dress myself for the summer.”  Well, he said, come home and this spring if you need money I’ll give you some.  So he went home and tell my mother how hard I was working there so that night my mother called me home.  She said she needed me.  So when I leave there to come home, Mrs. Midane she was crying. Also the childrens.  I went home for awhile.

Stepfather was glad to see me home.  He said ” I can buy you clothes because you are my little girl too.”  He always called me his little girl.  He was working on construction and it was downtown in Caribou so it was not far from home.  At noon my mother sent me to take his lunch to him.  How proud he seemed to show his little girl to every man on the job and said look she’s my little girl and he

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sit me on his lap for awhile.

Me and Louise, no sisters could have been so close. She let me wear her nice sweaters some time and all kinds of her dresses too.  It was so nice to be so close together but her sister, Lilyanne, the deaf and mute in Portland, when she heard that her father had remarried she didn’t want to come back home.  She wrote her father and she ask him for money to pass her Christmas in New York with some of her friends.  But stepfather wrote her telling her if she didn’t want to come home for a vacation she would get no money.  She  wrote back asking for money to come home.

It was the first time we saw her.  As soon as she step foot in the house, she moved all the furniture from their place and placed them where she like them to be.  And she ask mother is it nice this way?  Mother said Yes, it’s very nice. So she was pleased with mother and us.

She played piano very well.  She played piano and my mother listened and said it’s very nice.  She  had been home for 2 weeks and when she left to go back, she told mother you are very nice, I like you. I will come again. She kiss mom and Lily and Lewis and me and after she was gone, Mom put back her furniture in their place.

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Me and Louise, we like to play jokes on Mother and her father.  One night when they went shopping, we saw them coming so we sit under the light in the kitchen and when mother open the light, Lily, Lewis, Louise and me we shouted “Surprise!”  My mother was so surprised she almost fainted.  She said don’t ever do that again.  I thought it was some burglars so I tell you we never did that kind of joke again.

By the last of the month of March my sister Laura wrote my mother if she want to send me down.  She said she would have a baby soon and she was alone.  Mother said Poor Laura.  She was having another baby and she already had four.  She asked me do you want to go help her for 2-3 weeks  I said I’ll go.  So she wrote Laura to send Ozime to the Frenchville Depot.  I will be on the train April 6.

She came with me to the store and she dresses me for Easter and part of the summer with the money I have earned working.  She bougth me a nice coat and hat and a good pair of shoes and a beautiful purple dress for Sunday.  Also dresses for everyday wear.  I was so proud of my clothes.  I packed everything and as planned April 6, I was on the train to Frenchville Depot.  Ozime was not at the train to meet me but his brother Emile was there.  With a sled and straw in the bottom to sit on