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instead of me giving him money. He took a hand full of money in his pocket and place it on the table. And one time Emile went to mass and he give him a big box of clothing, sheets and pillow cases and towels. All kinds of nice clothing. He also gave Emile 100 pounds of flour and a door to put at the place of the door with the big hole in it. Cicilia was 2 years and 3 months when I give birth to a little boy. I named him Paul Emile. Emile like his father and Paul like St. Paul. A year before Paul Emile was born, Emile and the children had made a good potato harvest money. $1000.00 So he bought an old house on 2 Highland Avenue. And we pass the winter in this small house. It was full of bed bugs. In the Spring, Emile took some carpenter and painter and plumber and electrician. And when we came back from the farm, the house was one times larger and all was finished. Down stairs hot water and bath room and every thing. Emile borrowed money to do this, but now we had a good home at last. That’s when Paul Emile was born, in November in our new house. And when Paul Emile was born, I almost died. I almost lost all my blood. The doctor Albert was sure I was dying. I was so weak. A month after Paul Emile was born, I look the other side of the house

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and it seemed so far away. I was glad to have Lauette to help me. And in 1946 she got married. I was so sorry to loose her, but I know she was old enough to get married and she married a good husband. I was 3 months pregnant a the time. So in June I give birth to a little girl that I named Rose Marie. Rose, like St. Rose de Lema, and Marie like the Virgin Mary. She big and beautiful and a good baby. Two years before I started to keep old people. But when Rose was born I had none at that time. But when she was a couple of weeks old I took some old folks again. Emile and the boys Lew and Clarence work all the time, but Emile kept playing poker and drink and he lost more than he won. He also played most of Lewellyn and Clarence’s money. He made believe that they were giving extra work at night and he took the boys with him and went to play poker. Lew was 19 years old. He wanted his father to buy a new car. He and Clarence would make the payments. So Emile bought a new Chevrolet. Oh Lew and Clarence were so glad. Emile’s father was sick with cancer. Very sick. So Emile went to see him. He was living near us now. He’d lost his farm a couple of years before so they were living with his son Clarence and his wife near us. Emile told his father, I bought a new car and his father said, I would like

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to see you car. So Emile took him in his arms and took him in the door so he could see Emile’s new car. Oh, he said, you got a nice car. I am glad for you. A week later he passed away. He was a good man. He didn’t talk too good some times, but I didn’t hate him. He was a good hearted man. One time when we were living near them in the Ozime little house, I had no wood and one morning very early I was still in bed. He came in. Emile was gone to work on the WPA. the door wasn’t locked, so he came to my bed and said, look I am leaving you a little sled of wood. But I didn’t say nothing to Vina and didn’t tell Emile because he might talk to his mother and you know how Vina and Emile believed in each other. So I didn’t say nothing. I said thank you. I won’t talk and I never said nothing to Emile about his father bringing me wood.

As for my mother, she passed away when Cicilia was 14 months old from cancer also and how she suffered. In a way, I thanked God to take her away because she had suffered for 2 years terrible. She used to weigh 180 pounds and when she died she weighed 25 pounds. The funeral man said that he never took care of a woman so thin in his life at [embalbing]. But it was very sad for me because she was so good. And she always helped me all she

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could. My God rest her soul. Emile’s father passed away in 1948. After Emile had the car for awhile, Clarence and Lew were doing the payments, but in the next Spring, Lew starts talking about getting married and in April Lew got married leaving Clarence alone with the payment. And Clarence he only worked once in a while. He had no steady job. He shoveled snow on the rail road tracks to make the payment and couldn’t keep the payments in time so he enlisted in the regular Army and left Emile alone for the car payments. So Emile had to sell the car to finish paying for it. So we had no more car. Lew was living at home with his wife and his first son was born at home. Brian was his name. And Lilianne got married too and was living with us too for a while. Her first little girl was born with us too. Her name is Lewella. She was home when Clarence left for the Army. What a sad day that was to see Clarence board the train for the Army. It was during the Korean wars. I cried and cried. I was so lonesome without Clarence, and I was so worried. I cried when my Amie died, but I cried more for Clarence, because my tears lasted for 3 years. After a year in the Army, he came on furlough for a month. And after he went back he was

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transferred to Korea. And he was right on the battle field. Every night I went to bed and cried. When I fell asleep I had nightmares. I saw him on the battle field wounded or dead. Sometimes I dreamt that I saw him passing with a plane over the house. Oh it was terrible. If I could have gathered my tears I shed for those three years, it would have made a brook. Before going over seas on Seattle Washington Base, he’d been there a year before crossing over seas he had an accident with some other men and his nose was almost cut off his face. He also had a bad cut to his face. He spent over three weeks in the Army hospital. They fixed his nose and it doesn’t show too much today. After being over seas, I asked the Lord and the Virgin Mary to protect him from harm. I wrote to Father Emile Rabetaille. He was at Lille, Maine now, and I asked him to pry for Clarence too. He wrote back to me and I still have that letter. The first letter Clarence wrote me from Fort Daven Base in Massachusetts. I still have this letter too. So this time God answered my prayers. Clarence came back without a scratch from the battle field from Korea and the battle was over. God’s mercy.

Now let’s go a little bit backward. I was pregnant when Lew go married and this was 1950. I gave birth to a little boy. I named him Norman Patrick.

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Norman like Emily’s husband’s name and Patrick like my oldest brother Patrick that we stayed so many times with him. He was also dead today. He died at 70 years old. So Pat was one month old. I made a nervous breakdown. I was again at the end of the rope. I saw all the doctors in Fort Kent and they couldn’t do nothing for me. I was so thin and discouraged. I thought, my God, I will die and my baby is only a month old. I prayed, Dear Lord, please help me. I don’t want to leave my children alone. Give me the strength to live again. And I promise you, Lord, if you let me live to finish raising the rest of my family, I will take care of my children who need help too. And I will take care of old persons. Please, Lord, help me. So one day I was going to Edmundston Hospital to stay a while, but when we arrived there, Laura’s oldest son had just passed away in that hospital. He was married and had 2 kids. Poor Camille. So I didn’t want to stay a minute in that hospital. And there was an old priest, Father Burk. We called that priest. He was retired and lived in a house with his servant. So I asked to go see this priest. I had heard about him, but I never saw him before. I went in alone and I started crying and I kneeled down before him and asked him to keep me. I said, I can’t live no more. Please help me. He look at me and he seem

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surprised. He said, ho la la. Sit in this chair and tell me your problem. So I told him the best way I could my reason of being there to see him. He asked me what is bothering you the most. So I said my worst problem is to see my children going to church alone not being able to go with them. He looked at me and said, is the Lord not in your house? I said, I hope so. Well he said you don’t need to go to church. Stay home and pray. It is just as well. I see, he said, that you are stubborn. You want to win, and you won’t win because God is stronger than you are. All that crying you are doing, stop it and sing instead, and eat. All the doctors you said you saw, putting you on a diet you said it’s no good. To raise a family you got to eat. Go home and cook some nice salted pig [gigot] and fill that stomach of yours. You are living backwards now and its forward you go to live, not backward. Now he blessed me and said, go to your family and remember what I told you. So I came home and I tell you I never forget the sassing this Father Burk gave me. Instead of crying, I tried to sing. it was hard at first, but after a week or two I sang, and I cooked some salt pork [gigot] as he said and start to eat. And in a short while I was well again. I will never forget this good priest.

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Years was passing fast. Clarence was back from the Army and went to Connecticut and he got married not long after. And Richard went in the Army too. He was transfered to Germany, but there was no war at the time. So I was a little less worried, but I was anxious for him to be home again. He’d been 3 years in the National Guard before going in the Army. After his 2 years of Army was done, he came back. I was so glad for him to be home too. But while in the Army he took to drinking and he drank. He was a good worker and a good man. He never said a word at home on foods or clothing. He was a good boy, but he drank. He enlisted back in the Guard. I had [stopped] keeping old people because it was too hard for me to cook for them. One couldn’t eat this and the other couldn’t eat that. I kept them for 6 years and I quit. And I began keeping foster children instead. I was easier to feed and I liked this much better. And as I have promised the Lord I would help children in need. I thought I would fill my promise. It wasn’t paying too much, 38 dollars a month, but even if I could have kept them for nothing I would have done so. Years before when I kept [Preston Airois] and Rudolf, we never were paid and I kept them a long time just the same. And later on when we [bought] our house a little boy was out

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doors. A nice little 11 year old child that the foster parents put him outdoors to go take a vacation in the city. Poor boy, he was out doors alone. So I took him in. His name was Roland Duchaine. He had nice blue eyes and blond hair. He was real charming, but he wet the bed. I kept him all winter and in the spring his father came up from the city and he took him with him. But he paid me for all the time I took care of him. And how he was mad about his foster parents for putting him outdoors. When Pat was 10 years old, I had 5 foster kids at the time and still 4 of my children. The rest was all married except Richard. He was drinking to much to have time to look for a bride. I made another nervous break down. I was at the end of my rope again. Emile was drinking and lost his money playing cards. I was so tired of this game. One winter he said, if you want to let us play cards at home I will be home not else where. So I said, okay you might as well play here. That was before Cicilia was born. So every night the house was full of tramps playing poker and drinking. I let the be for a while, but Emile was working in the day times and those tramps came to play in the day time. I was mad and I told Emile, you better tell them to stay home in the day times. I don’t like this at all. Oh, he said, let them play. They are not

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bothering you. So one day there were 8 at the house playing cards. And they started a fight. So I threw them out. That night Emile was surprised his chums didn’t come. So I told him they won’t be back, I threw them out this afternoon. He was mad. He said, ah yes you thow them out because they are my friends. If it would have been your friends you would have said nothing. The next day those men came back and said they were sorry. This won’t happen no more. We will be as quiet as possible. So they start their playing back. I was pregnant for Cicilia and one week I miscarrage I almost lost my baby. I had been 3 days in bed in the spring. The days were longer. It was Saturday and they played poker all afternoon. And I went to bed at night and in the morning I hear voices. It was 7 o’clock. Emile wasn’t in bed. I got up. They were all around the table playing. Coffee cups all over the place, tobacco spit cans even on the floor. Cigarette stubs in this. I threw them all out doors and I said, what the neighbors will think if they see you in the morning going out this house and all the peoples going to church seeing you too. Ship out and don’t ever come back here again. Emile was mad, but I didn’t care if he left with them too. I was so tired of washing their mess. Emile went to play some where else, but I didn’t mind. No more gambling


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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


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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 61 – 70

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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and I cannot do the impossible. And as I only have my trunk to put some clothes, I ask Emile, won’t you bring me some carton box so I can put my baby clothes. So he bring me boxes. But after I took them upstairs, I lost them and I couldn’t find out where they disappeared to. And Emile keep bringing me boxes everytime he went down town. He said are you eating all those boxes. i said I couldn’t use one. Some body took them. Years after Emile’s sister Clarice told me where those boxes disappeared to. She said if you go look in the atic, Aurare throw your boxes there so you wouldn’t use them. One day mom-in-law give us each one new sheet and a pair of pillow cases. Me and Emily and Clarice and Aurare. I was glad it was the first thing that she gave to me. I place them in my trunk. And I thought I will use this when my baby come. but when my baby come my sheet and pillow cases was gone. I didn’t have them no more. And I knew darn well where they went to, but I didn’t mention this to mom-in-law or Emile. Three days before my baby was born I didn’t feel well, but I thought this must be the food I ate. I went with Aurare to pick Hazel nuts to sell. Mom-in-law pick some and we had to pick some too. So I feel bad all day. And the next day we went again.

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But the third day we were picking on farms below and I had so much pain, I said to Aurare, I can’t pick nuts no more. I am going to home. So she came home with me. I went to bed and Joe’s wife she just had a baby five weeks before. She was there and came upstairs. I was crying. She ran to mom-in-law and said, Estelle is sick. And as soon as she saw me she said, it’s your baby coming. Father-in-law ask me where is Emile. I said, I don’t know. To find him our uncle Hubald and he was mad. He sent him to call the doctor. And when he came back home his father said, what kind of man are you. Your wife is having your baby. And all you care for is run around with Ramio. Why don’t you stay home once in a while. The doctor Archanbeault came and not very long after my baby came into the world. All rosy and nice. A sweet little girl. I named her Laurette like one of my cousins. I was so happy. I thanked the Lord for my baby girl and said, Dear Lord give me all the babies you want. I will love them and take good care of them. I promise you I will give my life for all the children you can give me. My mom-in-law said, you will nurse your little girl. Bottle is no good for a baby. But I was so weak. It was awful in those days. We had to pass at least 9 days in bed. And we

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couldn’t change the bed. She said it’s not good to change your bed. The sheets are cold and you might take some fresh air. At seven days in bed, I couldn’t stand no more. I said I got to change my bed. So mom-in-law took a sheet and pillow cases and said to Emile, sleep on this tonight so this will be warm to change the bed tomorrow. And the next morning all was wet. Me and him and the bed. Oh she was mad. I heard her swears in the kitchen. So now we had to change the bed. We pass the winter there, but after Laurette was born she was crying all the time. Starting at three in the afternoon up to three in the morning. I could not stop her from crying. She was thin and crying. I didn’t have enough milk for her and I couldn’t give her a bottle. And father-in-law couldn’t stand to hear a baby cry. So I pass all night with Laurette to try to stop her from crying. I became so tired, I thought I would die. All I weighed was 92 pounds, and I was not 16 years old yet. It was horrible. One night I fell asleep with her in my arms and she rolled to the floor. Aurare came to pick her up. She woke me and said, your baby fell to the floor. The next morning both my baby’s knees were black. At three months I started her on food, and she stopped crying and gained weight and she was a good baby.

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In the spring, we moved into an old house belonging to Alduie Lagasse. It was near Black Lake about 1/4 mile from the in-laws. I was glad to move there because Hilaire didn’t leave my baby alone. One day I saw spitting in Laurette’s face. And when I told him why are you doing this, he said, I hate her and he start crying as if I had slapped him. He rand to his mother and said Estelle won’t leave me alone. So she was mad at me. Calling me names and a good-for-nothing. Hilaire was the baby and nobody could say nothing to him. He would fall on the floor in a fit, so nobody dared to say nothing to him. He was so spoiled he was like a little devil. So when we moved near the lake I was glad. Emile’s father let us have an old stove and he and Emile made us a rough table. And Laurette’s crib that I bought for her with my money I made from crochetting for the company. I paid [$10.00] for it. It was a nice little crib and our bed. Two old chairs and Laura let me have an old rocking chair to rock my baby. I kept this old house clean. I was always alone as ever. Emile work one day or two sometimes from salted pork and buckwheat flour. When Laurette slept sometimes I went fishing a the lake. I liked to fish. And in the fall we moved with Laura, for this old house was too cold to pass the winter in. Laurette was one year old, but she eat a lot too.

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Emile hunted rabbits and he took them down town to sell them. All he could work was one day or two a week for his uncle Hubald. To buy some salt pork and buckwheat flour, uncle Hubald give him his potatoes. And this little house that Laura lived in was so cold we couldn’t wash the floor. The water would freeze as soon as she touches the floor. And When Laurette wet here bed it freeze under her. So I put her in bed with me and Emile too when he wets the bed, the border of the bed was frozen. In the morning we had to put the wash on a line out doors. And my God it was cold. Behind the stove there was a window and it was broken, so Azime put 2 burlap bags at the place of the window glass. And we had to keep the potatoes in the stable to keep them from freezing. One day Azime bring home one day’s eggs and they put them in a box in their bed at night so she could use them the next day. Poor Laura she had suffer a lot too. Azime was rough with her. I saw him many many time throwing all he had in his hand in Laura’s face pieces of potatoes, pieces of pancake, forks and dishes, anything. She didn’t have much to eat too. Azime was not working too. At first Emile try to be rough with me too. One day he squeezed my neck so hard, it made

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me to big [scabs] behind the ears. The marks of his nails. Laura combed me one day because she was always combing me. She loved to play with my curly hair and she saw those scabs. She said what kind of scabs have you behind the ears. So I said Emile squeeze my neck to hard. She was mad. She said let me put my hands on Emile. I will squeeze him too. I said, don’t Laura. This will be worse. So she didn’t say nothing, but he never throw me anything. He was good to give me names and all sorts of things, but I said, hit me once and you will stay alone. It will be the only reason that I couldn’t have stand him because every time he got mad, he sit and sharpen his razor or hunting knife. And he always look at me at the corner of his eyes. And it was scaring me so much. I always been scared of knives and he always look at me at the corners of his eyes. And it was scaring me so much. I always been scared of knives after this. I was pregnant again that winter. I was sick a lot and Laura took good care of me. She was good for Laurette too. In the spring I tell you I was glad that summer was coming to warm myself i the sun. Emile fix a little hanger behind his father’s house. There was no more grain in this little hanger, he put some red paper around inside and we move in. Laurette

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was a very smart child. She was 18 months old and she talk a lot and she was potty trained. So in this summer as you remember I had not been confirmed and the Bishop was coming to Daigle Church. I went to see Father Wilfred Ouilette, the same priest who married us. Well he said yes, but you will have to walk to church for three weeks with the other kids to be confirmed. Well I said, Father it’s impossible. I will have a child soon. Well he said, it’s not my fault. I cam home and mad. But in about two weeks Father Ouilette was transfered to another place. And Father Emile Robertaille too his place at Daigle. i went back to see Father Robertaille and told him about Father Ouilette wanting me to walk for three weeks with the other kids. Oh no, he said, come the Sunday morning that the Bishop will be here. I came to confession and communion and in the afternoon you will be confirmed. So I was glad. The day I was confirmed after the ceremonies, Father Robertaille comes to me and said, you will have a baby soon. I said yes Father. He said in case you cannot have this baby confirmed, he is confirmed in you today. So I said, thank you Father. I cam home happy. It was July 29 and my baby was born August 6th, my first little boy. I named him after my brother

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Lewis. He was big baby and a good baby. but my [battle, body?] was ready to give to him when he was born. The next day that I was in bed, we had a thunder storm and they had to put 5 or 6 pans on my bed. It was raining inside like a basket. The third day they leave me there alone to go pick blueberries in St. John. Laura and Azime went too. I ask Emile to stay with me that day. But talking to him was like talking to an object, so he went. I had no wood inside. It was a very cold day. Laurette was cold and me too. For my little baby, he was in my bed so he was okay. So I had to do something, Laurette was hungry too. So I get out of bed and put a coat on me and I went out door to get some wood. To light the stove to warm Laurette and I cook her some oat meal to eat. And I eat some too. And late in the afternoon when they come home I was up and it was warm inside. Mom-in-law was mad. You go back to bed. You are going to be sick, but I didn’t go back to bed. I was nursing Lew, but he had a bottle too and he grew like a weed. He as a very big baby. And today at the age of 53 he weighs around 230. He always was big. When Lew was one month old, Emile said, if you write your sister Anna and ask her if we could go live with her for a few weeks, I’ll go pick

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potatoes this fall. And as Anna and her husband were also going potato picking, she answer right back and said, we’ll be glad to have you. So September 15 we moved with my sister and Emile with them to pick. And he was a very good picker. Over a hundred barrels every day at 10 cents a barrel. And i was doing the house chores and one day I was washing the clothes and after I was done I took my brother on on the stove half full of [caustic] water that I used to boil the clothes. I wanted to put some water in a bucket to wash my floor. I put the end of the boilder on the side of the bucket and that bucket of boiling water upset on my right leg. I was burned so bad. I took my stocking off and all the flesh came off with it. For a month I suffer so bad. Now I know what my poor brother Leonard had suffered the two times he was burned. i passed the nights swinging my leg beside the bed. It was in pain so much. One day mother came home. She was living near us. And she said, get ready, I am taking you to the doctor. So I let Anna keep the two kids and the doctor took something like a wax paper and she scrub all burned flesh. I was crying. Mom was crying too. And after having finished scrubbing the bad flesh, he put some [inguantine] salve and gauze and wrap on my leg. I felt better after this. My leg start to heal and soon after

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I was okay again. One day Emile came home with a nice big phonograph with 10 records. He paid 50 dollars for it. It was second hand, but look like new. He knew I liked music, so he bought me this phonograph. I was so glad he was working at the fertilizer factory now. And after the [drying] was over, he didn’t say nothing about going back to Black Lake. I was so glad. My mother was near, and Anna and [Honory] move on a farmers jobs that Honory took year round. So we was along now, but later on Emile start gambling with his friends at the [federation plants]. He came home very late at night and January 1st he said, I got to go work. I know it was not time  because the federtation plant was closed that day. Anyway, he left in the morning as usual and I had no wood, not inside or outside. No wood at all. And it was so cold in the house. Mom came in the afternoon to wish me Happy New Year. I told her that it was cold inside, I have no more wood. She went home and not long after, my step father came with his horse and sled and with a small load of wood. And he was mad about Emile. The next day it was Sunday. My step father came back. Emile was just getting up. He arrived at 11 o’clock. The night before, no more money. He lost

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pages 21 – 30

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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