Pages 122 – 131

When he [asks] change for a new Chevrolet in 1969. We went back to see the children in Connecticut. It was Christmas. So we came back with our car full of gifts. I bought me a little dog in Hartford at a pet shop. A five week old little female pug. She was so cute. I had another dog that I ordered in Spegel’s Catalog, a little peekenees. His name was Bruce. I paid $100 for him. I also paid $100 for my little pug. I bought Bruce for Pat’s 10th birthday. He always wanted a little dog. So this dog was for Pat. Two years after Pat got married, Bruce was 13 years old. He became so sick, so I had to have him put away. Now Richard likes to fish too, so he came with us to fish and he was lucky catching trouts. Emile also started back collecting old copper and old batteries. He couldn’t stop for a minute. He help Elmer Dubois build his camp and he also help Edward Plourde our son-in-law too to build a house at Black Lake. He also help Leon to make a gallery. He also help our son-in-law to find furniture to fit their bedrooms upstairs. But one day he had worked hard all day. He was very tired and he felt sick and he said let’s go home. As soon as we got home he was so sick I call the ambulance and we took him to the hospital. He had a severe heart attack. I prayed, Oh Lord, don’t

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don’t take him now. Our bad years was over and everything was fine now. I love him more than I have hated him. Lord let me have him for a few more years. You cannot take him away now. All the family were so afraid to loose their dad too. For a week he was between life and death. And after he began to feel better, he passed 21 days in the hospital, but this didn’t stop him from working. Clarence was home. He had come down to see his father. Lew came down too. So I went with Clarence to discharge him from the hospital and this same afternoon he said to Clarence, take me to see my garden at Black Lake. His potatoes was ready to dig. So the next day he dug potatoes to sell. The children and me do all we could to stop him from working but in vain. He said, you children don’t try to stop me from working and you too Estelle, mind your own business. He said only one can stop me, and when he stop me I ask him to be fast. So nothing to do. He keeps all his days working and I was worried about him all the time. I was always afraid for him to have another heart attack all along some where in the road or hunting alone in the field. I thought, oh my God, take me those thoughts out of my head because I’ll turn crazy. I cannot bear those thoughts I had in

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my mind all the time. And in bed I was always afraid to feel asleep. After a few years passed I was  little better, but I know he wasn’t feeling well. He had some small attacks sometimes, but one day another thing happened. Richard came home drunk one night. He had worked all day and he didn’t come home until late at night. The next morning Emil went to work at the camp. At noon I hear Richard calling me from the top of the stairs, mom can you come here. I started running. I knew some thing was wrong. I looked on the top of the stairs and Richard was there and couldn’t come down. I help him down and I put him in my bed. And I call Emile and he took him with the ambulance to the hospital. And he couldn’t have a doctor because it was Thanksgiving day and all the doctors were off the job. At 9:30 at night when the doctor finally came to see and check him, Richard was paralyzed from head to toe on his right side. They put him in intensive care for six days. Ad after 2 weeks in the Fort Kent Hospital, the sent him to Fort Fair Field care unit for therapy. Poor Richard, he was like a little baby. No balance at all. He couldn’t sit or nothing. They had to tie him in his chair. We went to see him as often as we could and give him all he needed.

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He stayed there two months and the doctor told us that he couldn’t do nothing for Richard. He will stay the same as he was. So I said I will bring him home and care for him at home. The children said it’s not a house case. You won’t be able to care for him at home. Well I thought I’ll try. And after if I can’t take care of him, I tried so I won’t have no regret. And that’s what I did. I tried, but it was a 25 hour job. I thought I was strong enough, but I made another breakdown. I kept Richard for two months, and the doctor said you will have to place Richard in a home. So we find him a place in Eagle Lake home. And what a day it was to know that Richard will go and never be able to live with us again. I would rather see him dead than to see him go out that door. He never said nothing because he never complained. And he knew I was sick and he couldn’t stay home. But I might have thought the same things as me. He was going out for the last time. He have always stayed with us. He was 44 years old. When Lilianne and Leon took hime to Eagle Lake I was crying and Emile too was crying. And Richard was crying too. And I am sure if I have seen Lilianne and Leon’s eyes I would have seen tears too. Today he is in the

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Fort Kent Rest Home. It’s not to far from here. When I became 62 years old I quit keeping foster children. Emile was tired and me I was tired of taking care of kids too. And I thought young children belong to younger parents. So I called the social worker to find them a place with younger parents. I had four and three were Roland’s children and I had a 17 year old boy. I have tried to move them before but they start crying and I cried too. So this time I told the social worker to come and get their clothing and to go get them at school. So that way they won’t see me cry when leave. So that’s what the social worker did. So they were moved without too much tears. But after when I saw the school bus pass I couldn’t help crying. I was so lonesome the house was so empty. All we had left was my little female dog named [P]uchie and she was so spoiled she was just like a child. We love her a lot. I always put her to sleep on her little blanket at the foot of my bed. On my feet as to say. Every night Emile took me for a ride around the town and in the country where I was born in St Agatha. Every where he go he took me with him except when he go buy some old copper. Sometimes I didn’t feel too much like going at the camp, but he always said, oh come with me.

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I was lonesome in the camp alone. So to please him I went. And he said let’s go on the lake for a little while and if the fish don’t bite, we’ll come back at camp and you sit on the porch while I work. So it was so nice on the camp porch. And at night coming home and when we went for a ride we always sing in the car. Some times it was me who start singing and some times he start singing. And we both sing together. And at the camp he walk through his trees that he transplanted and he find it so nice he loved the birds, the water, the woods and everything of the nature. And he always said, it’s so nice to be alive. And the food he always said how good it tastes. And he always repeats how nice it was to be alive and have good times. We were so happy. God changed our lives in 5 minutes. Emile haven’t slept well all night. He couldn’t eat all day. He said I eat too much yesterday. My stomach is full, but in the afternoon he was feeling better. We eat for supper and all he ate was 2 toasts. And he asked me, do you think my wife that I eat too much? I eat 2 toasts and I drank 2 cup of tea. I said, no. You didn’t eat too much. So he went and he sit in our old rocking chair we had near the window. All of a sudden he made a jump on his chair. I was sitting

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in front of him. I said, my God, won’t you tell me what you are doing. He was all stretched on his chair and his feet hit the floor so hard. He look at me and said, I became so dizzy. I didn’t know where I was. And he continue looking at the T.V. I said don’t look at the T.V. Maybe that’s what made you dizzy. There was some bowlers on T.V. and he like to look at the bowlers. And the phone rang. It was Lilianne. She had somethings to say to me. I just said 2 or 3 words that I heard. The same noise behind me. I turn and Emile’s eye glasses were on the floor, and he was falling sideways on his chair. His eyes closed also his mouth. I shout in the phone, my God, Lilianne. I think your father is dying. And I ran to put a little pill under his tongue. He had to take some of those little pills very often under his tongue for his heart. But his teeth was closed so tight together. I call Ceiclia. She was the nearest one and all I could do was hold him in my arms, his head on my chest so he wouldn’t fall to the floor. And I could feel his breath fading away. He passed away in my arms. The ambulance came and the men tried to revive him at home, but I know he was gone. At the hospital they try and try but when I saw

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Dr. Tao come to us shaking his head, I knew it was all over.

I have lost the companion of my life. All those bad years and all the hardship we passed through. All the poverty and the sorrow. We both had when we lost our dear little Aime. The sorrow we had when Clarence went to Korean battle field. And Richard leaving our home to go pass the rest of his days in a home for the sick. And the few good years and moments we had together. This man I learned to love. I had given my life, my last blood drops for him. This man I learned to appreciate so much, to depend my self on him. Those last years I find a quality in this man that I haven’t seen before. This man had loved me all those years. His children he loved so much. He was always worried about them and his grand children too. His camp, his trees that he loved so much, his flowers he find so lovely, the water he said was smelling so good and the wood. Was this possible? That this good man was no more. I couldn’t believe it some times even after 3 years. I can’t believe it’s happened. Our good years were so few. My children in their sorrow was my support. They have

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always been the pearl of my eyes. But now they were more I was so glad to have my big family around me. I don’t know what I have done without them. And parents and friends, I didn’t know we had so many friends. It was from the bottom of my heart that I said thank you to all. We couldn’t say that he was drinking. He hadn’t touch a drop since his big heart attack and about 8 years before he stop smoking. He had smoked for 54 years and one day he quit and never took smoking again. So we say that no one is perfect. Yes it’s true. Only one man was perfect and they killed him. But he was nearly perfect. I gave him a nice funeral. The church was full of friends and his best friend that he had, had passed away too. And it was Mr. Leo Dubois, Ceiclia’s father-in-law. They both get along so well together. Loving the same things, the water and the woods, the fishing and hunting. Now I was alone. Only my little pug dog Fuchie to be with me. She seems sad too. Some thing was missing in the house for her. She look all over the house at night to go to the bed because he always too her to bed with him. And she was looking

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all over for him. And she was just a dog. Today he is with our little Aime. Maybe watching over us the family. You see when I asked God years before for the grace of raising my family and after he could come and get me. No, God had something else for me to do. I see it clearly today why he keeps me living. He could have taken me instead of him because me, I didn’t know what to do. To arrange the things me and him. I know he could have done much better. I did the best I could. I had to bear my cross which was heavy at times. And I hope and pray when my time comes to go, that I will be good enough to meet my love one’s father and little son Aime. My life was a hard one but God could have give me worse he gave me all though those years. And today I an say it’s over.

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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