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Old Man Savarin and Other Stories   By: (1849-1924)

Book cover

First Page:

OFF HAND STORIES

OLD MAN SAVARIN

And Other Stories

BY

EDWARD WILLIAM THOMSON

TORONTO:

WILLIAM BRIGGS, WESLEY BUILDINGS.

C. W. COATES, MONTREAL, QUE. S. F. HUESTIS, HALIFAX, N.S.

1895.

Entered, according to the Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year one thousand eight hundred and ninety five, by WILLIAM BRIGGS, Toronto, in the Office of the Minister of Agriculture, at Ottawa.

CONTENTS.

PAGE

I. OLD MAN SAVARIN 7

II. THE PRIVILEGE OF THE LIMITS 29

III. MCGRATH'S BAD NIGHT 45

IV. GREAT GODFREY'S LAMENT 67

V. THE RED HEADED WINDEGO 89

VI. THE SHINING CROSS OF RIGAUD 109

VII. LITTLE BAPTISTE 125

VIII. THE RIDE BY NIGHT 152

IX. DRAFTED 174

X. A TURKEY APIECE 199

XI. GRANDPAPA'S WOLF STORY 219

XII. THE WATERLOO VETERAN 239

XIII. JOHN BEDELL 251

XIV. VERBITZSKY'S STRATAGEM 271

For liberty to issue these stories in present form the author has to thank THE YOUTHS' COMPANION, Boston; the proprietors of "Two Tales," in which "Old Man Savarin" and "Great Godfrey's Lament" first appeared; and "Harper's Weekly" and Mr. S. S. McClure's syndicate of newspapers, which, respectively, first published "The Privilege of the Limits" and "John Bedell" .

OLD MAN SAVARIN.

Old Ma'ame Paradis had caught seventeen small doré, four suckers, and eleven channel catfish before she used up all the worms in her tomato can. Therefore she was in a cheerful and loquacious humor when I came along and offered her some of my bait.

"Merci; non, M'sieu. Dat's 'nuff fishin' for me. I got too old now for fish too much. You like me make you present of six or seven doré? Yes? All right. Then you make me present of one quarter dollar."

When this transaction was completed, the old lady got out her short black clay pipe, and filled it with tabac blanc .

"Ver' good smell for scare mosquitoes," said she. "Sit down, M'sieu. For sure I like to be here, me, for see the river when she's like this."

Indeed the scene was more than picturesque. Her fishing platform extended twenty feet from the rocky shore of the great Rataplan Rapid of the Ottawa, which, beginning to tumble a mile to the westward, poured a roaring torrent half a mile wide into the broader, calm brown reach below. Noble elms towered on the shores. Between their trunks we could see many whitewashed cabins, whose doors of blue or green or red scarcely disclosed their colors in that light.

The sinking sun, which already touched the river, seemed somehow the source of the vast stream that flowed radiantly from its blaze. Through the glamour of the evening mist and the maze of June flies we could see a dozen men scooping for fish from platforms like that of Ma'ame Paradis.

Each scooper lifted a great hoop net set on a handle some fifteen feet long, threw it easily up stream, and swept it on edge with the current to the full length of his reach. Then it was drawn out and at once thrown upward again, if no capture had been made. In case he had taken fish, he came to the inshore edge of his platform, and upset the net's contents into a pool separated from the main rapid by an improvised wall of stones.

"I'm too old for scoop some now," said Ma'ame Paradis, with a sigh.

"You were never strong enough to scoop, surely," said I.

"No, eh? All right, M'sieu. Then you hain't nev' hear 'bout the time Old Man Savarin was catched up with. No, eh? Well, I'll tol' you 'bout that." And this was her story as she told it to me.

"Der was fun dose time. Nobody ain't nev' catch up with dat old rascal ony other time since I'll know him first. Me, I'll be only fifteen den. Dat's long time 'go, eh? Well, for sure, I ain't so old like what I'll look. But Old Man Savarin was old already... Continue reading book >>




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