HomeQuebecLa Quete de L’Enfant Jesus: From Honore Beaugrand’s ‘La Chasse Galerie and Other Canadian Stories’ (1900)

La Quete de L’Enfant Jesus: From Honore Beaugrand’s ‘La Chasse Galerie and Other Canadian Stories’ (1900)

La Quete de L’Enfant Jesus

From Honore Beaugrand’s ‘La Chasse Galerie and Other Canadian Stories’  (1900); With Annotations by Hammerson Peters

Back to Honore Beaugrand’s Classic French-Canadian Folktales.

I

WHEN FANFAN Dalcour received a message from M’sieu le Cure [1] of Lanoraie, asking him to call at the presbytere [2] on the following Sunday, after Vespers [3], he hardly knew what to say, and hesitated for a moment or two before lifting his eyes towards the beadle [4], who stood waiting for an answer:

“Well, tell M’sieu le Cure that I will go;” and after another pause: “that’s all.”

            “Bonjour, M’sieu Fanfan.”  [5]

            “Au revior, pere Landry!”  [6]

Fanfan Dalcour was a robust and handsome young farmer, who had lately returned from the North-west country, where he had been hunting and trapping among the Indians and Half-breeds [7] on the head waters of the Saskatchewan River.

His sudden departure from home, some two years before, had been connected with a scandal in the rural parish of Lanoraie, and since his return he had not yet been to pay his respects to the venerable old priest who had baptized him twenty years before.

Fanfan was sulking, and even appeared inclined to forego his allegiance to his old parish church. Instead of accompanying his father and mother to the church at Lanoraie, as he was wont to do with pride in the days of his boyhood, he had always, since his return, started alone before the others to go to the neighbouring village of Lavaltrie to perform his Sunday devotions. And that, much to the chagrin and disappointment of the old cure [8], who had always taken great interest in him, and who, probably, wanted to give him a bit of pastoral advice.

There was no way of avoiding the meeting since he had formally promised to go, and Fanfan began at once to build up a defensive argument against the reproaches that he thought would surely fall upon his guilty head.

 

II

Fanfan Dalcour, from his earliest boyhood, had always been considered as a protégé of M’sieu le Cure, and specially so, when at the age of ten he became an enfant de choeur [9], with a black soutanelle [10] and a little daintily plaited white muslin surplice that M’amselle Marguerite, the cure’s housekeeper, had made expressly for him. He had then learned his catechism and made his first communion, and had soon become noted as the favorite altar boy who could most prettily make a bow and a genuflexion, and most carefully pour the wine out of the burettes [11] for the holy sacrifice of the mass.

His father, Pierriche Dalcour, who was a well-to-do habitant [12], took great pride in the accomplishments of his son, and his heart fairly thumped with delight when, one evening at the service of the Mois de Marie [13], he recognized the voice of Fanfan leading the first verse of a sacred song to the Virgin:

Salut! O Vierge immaculee!

Brilliante etoile du matin. [14]

And Fanfan had also become the smartest pupil of the old village schoolmaster, and it had even been rumoured that he had begun to study Latin with the intention of going to college to become a priest, a lawyer, a doctor or a notary. But that was only idle talk, and old Pierriche Dalcour declared that he wanted his firstborn to stay at home to till the farm as he and his father and his forefathers had done for two hundred years before him, on the banks of the St. Lawrence. And that suited Fanfan’s inclinations. He loved to rise with the lark in summer, and to work in the broad fields with the farm hands. In the evening he enjoyed boating and swimming in the waters of the big river that flowed lazily and majestically past his father’s old homestead. He would shoot ducks and wild geese as they passed every spring and autumn in their regular migrations, and in winter time he loved to speed his horse on the polished surface of the ice-bound river. Fanfan had grown to be a strong, active lad who took the lead in all the sports of the parish, but as he reached manhood he remained faithful in his attendance at church, and in his gratitude for the unbounded kindness of M’sieu le Cure.

He had also become the leading singer in the church choir, and the whole congregation was proud of his deep, powerful voice when he led the Kyrie Eleison, the Gloria in excelsis, the Credo or the Sanctus.

 

III

The old secular parish church of Lanoraie had ever been without an organ, and it was an eventful Sunday when M’sieu le Cure announced from the pulpit that, after due consultation with ces messieurs du banc-d’oeuvre [15], he had come to the conclusion of purchasing an instrument in Montreal, and that it would be put up in the jube [16], during the following week, in time for the approaching Christmas celebration.

The daughter of the village trader, Juliette Leblanc, who had just completed her studies at the convent of Berthier, had volunteered her services as organist gratuitously, for the first year.

This naturally brought Fanfan Dalcour in contact with Juliette Leblanc, who was a pretty girl just budding into womanhood. And the usual result followed. La vieille, vieille histoire [17] was repeated.

A few rehearsals became necessary before the inauguration of the organ, which would take place on the occasion of the midnight mass on Christmas Eve, and Fanfan and Juliette, who had merely known each other by sight from childhood, were now brought together almost every day for the purpose of choral practice and service organization.

Juliette Leblanc, who was naturally endowed with musical talents, had received a fairly good training from her teachers at school, and with much patience and a few days’ hard work, she succeeded in preparing a Messe Bordelaise [18] that was sure to create a sensation among the music-loving population of a French-Canadian parish.

Fanfan now assumed the duties of maître-chantre [19] in the choir, and naturally took great pride in his new position.

Every thing was in readiness for la messe de minuit [20], and the church had been elaborately decorated and illuminated for the occasion. When the last stroke of the bell had finished tolling the midnight hour, every pew was filled with a pious and expectant congregation. A soft prelude was heard, and every one instinctively held breath to listen to Fanfan’s voice, accompanied by the swelling chords of the organ, in the ancient canticle announcing the coming of the Messiah:

Ca, bergers, assemblons-nous;

Allons voir le Messie.

Cherchons cet enfant si doux

Dans les bras de Marie.

Je l’entends, il nous appellee tous,

O sort digne d’envie! [22]

M’sieu le Cure, who was putting on his sacred vestments in the sacristie, [20] stopped and wept like a child and declared that his musique [23] was sweeter than any thing he had ever heard in the cathedral of Notre-Dame, in Montreal.

The whole choral service was indeed a success, as well as the rendering of the ancient Noels, sacred echoes of distant France, that had, from time immemorial, been sung in the old church during the Christmas festivities.

And when the service was over, the old priest in a simple allocation related the incidents of the birth of the Infant Saviour, and the whole congregation joined with him in a sacred song of exaltation:

Nouvelle agreable!

Un Sauveur enfant nous est ne.

C’est davs une etable,

Qu’il nous est donne. [24]

At the reveillon [25] that followed the midnight mass, at the residence of Jean-Jean Leblanc, Juliette and Fanfan were congratulated and toasted on the success that they had achieved in so short a time of practice.

And the old people, in returning home that night, declared that such a talented young man and such a pretty girl who could so well sing and play together, would naturally fall in love with each other and that there certainly was a new mariage a l’horizon. [26]

The prediction was soon realized, for at the New Years’ gatherings, it became a matter of public gossip that Fanfan and Juliette were fiances and that they were to be married aux jours gras [27], at carnival time. Both families were respectable and well to do, and it was universally acknowledged that it was a mariage de bon sens [28] as well as a mariage d’amour. [29]

The old priest was all smiles when he heard the news, and he sent for Fanfan and Juliette to tell them of the gladness of his heart and to give them his blessing in anticipation of the marriage ceremony.

His protégé and master-singer wedded to his organist! – what a boon for the church and what a happy realization of his own dreams!

But “he that reckons without his host must reckon twice,” says an old French proverb, and M’sieu le Cure had not reckoned with “politics,” when he had considered the future organization of his choir as settled beyond peradventure by the marriage of Fanfan and Juliette.

 

IV

Early in January, the news came that an election to choose a member of Parliament for the country of Berthier would take place on the first day of the following month, to replace the old member who had been called to the Senate.

And with the new election came a host of stump speakers and district canvassers from Montreal, with the usual accompaniment of committee-meetings and other evils inseparable from the free and untrammeled judgement of the people on such occasions.

The parish soon became invested with a spirit of acrimonious discussion that oftentimes degenerated into enmity and quarrels among the younger voters.

Old Pierriche Dalcour was an outspoken liberal, un rouge [30], and Jean-Jean Leblanc always voted with les bleus [31], the conservatives. Fanfan, as a matter of course, followed his father’s political proclivities, but on the other hand, it is hardly necessary to state that Juliette knew nothing of party preference and intrigues, and that she was absolutely indifferent to the burning topics that were discussed around her. She was all wrapped up in Fanfan’s love, and was awaiting with delight the hour when she would become his wife.

Not so with the old folks, who generally become quite excited when, once in four years, they were called to vote against each other’s favorite candidate.

Pierriche Dalcour had said to Fanfan:

“Until after election, you had better be on your guard, when you go to see Juliette. You know that her father’s house is looked upon as the headquarters of the conservatives, and that it is always filled with canvassers and speakers from the city. They might think it to their advantage to say that you have joined the bleus and use your name in connection with their party. My father fought at St. Denis [32], under Papineau [33,34], and I would not have it said for all the world that one of us has gone back on the party.”

“Never fear, father,” answered Fanfan, smiling. “Juliette and I never talk ‘politics’ and I shall be very careful with the others.”

 

V

There was to be a grand rally of the voters on the following Sunday afternoon, after Vespers, when speakers of both parties were to meet at the church door to discuss public matters.

Two young advocates from Montreal had already arrived and were the guests of Jean-Jean Leblanc. One of them had even offered to join the church choir for the occasion. As he was known as a singer of considerable repute in the great city, the offer was thankfully accepted by Fanfan, and at High Mass, the congregation were delighted to hear a stranger sing an Ave Maria in a clear, cultivated tenor voice. It was even acknowledged, after the service, that the young man from the city could sing almost as well as Fanfan Dalcour.

Fanfan himself had been the first to offer his congratulations as he was leaving the church to go and take his dinner with M’sieu le Cure, as he had been in the habit of doing, every Sunday, for many years past.

The repast over, and after a few moments’ conversation with the priest, Fanfan lighted his pipe and walked leisurely towards Jean-Jean Leblanc’s, to have a chat with his comrades, before Vespers. The house was full of people and when he entered it he heard the voice of his new acquaintance, the tenor, rehearsing a Magnificat, with piano accompaniment, in the sitting-room, up stairs. The men down stairs were discussing the political situation, and one of them, at the sight of Fanfan, said tauntingly:

“Look out, Fanfan, mon garcon! [35] The Conservatives are going to defeat you in this election, and if you are not very careful the young advocate, up there, after disputing your laurels as a singer, will also beat you out of your sweetheart. Don’t you hear them warble together?”

A peal of laughter greeted these remarks, because, politically, Fanfan found himself alone among his opponents, at this particular moment. He felt somewhat embarrassed, and he hardly knew whether to laugh or to be vexed, but he passed on without answering. With his accustomed familiarity he walked up stairs, where the women had been listening to the music that had just stopped.

Juliette Leblanc was sitting at the piano with her back turned to the door, and the young advocate, with the assumed freedom of an old acquaintance, was just bending over her and whispering in hear ears words that made the young girl laugh and blush at the same time. And then, raising his voice so that he could be heard by every one in the room:

“I have been told, Mademoiselle Juliette, that you are engaged to be married to the maître-chantre of your choir, an obstinate liberal who surely does not deserve such a prize, the prettiest girl of conservative parentage in the parish.”

“But Monsieur!” pleaded the girl.

“Well, Mademoiselle, I am sorry to see it, and were it not for the fact that I am probably too late, I would myself—!”

“What would you do yourself Monsieur le godelureau?”  [36] interrupted Fanfan, taking a step forward toward the speaker, who was somewhat nonplussed at his appearance, but who prided himself, as a politician, in never being taken by surprise.

“I would enter the field against you, Monsieur Fanfan, and with a little patience, I think I would be as sure of winning the contest against you as we are of beating you and your friends in the coming election.”

This was said with an air of conceit and sarcasm that put Fanfan fairly beside himself.

Poor Juliette saw that a quarrel was imminent, and she got up pale and trembling, and attempted to interpose herself between the two men. But before she had time to act, Fanfan had stepped up to the young politician and with glaring eyes and clenched fists:

“You are both a braggart and a malappris, M’sieu l’avocat! to act and speak as you have done. And if it were not for the respect I have for the ladies here present, and for the house of Mr. Leblanc, I would give you a thrashing that would take the conceit out of you before you return to Montreal.

The advocate turned pale, but did not lose his self-control. With a constrained smile:

“Oh, you are also a village bully, Monsieur Fanfan, but need I tell you that such as I are not afraid of such as you.”

The words were hardly out of his mouth before Fanfan had caught him by the throat, and heedless of the shrieks of the women present, and before any one could interfere, he lifted him from his feet, carried him towards the door at the dead of the stairs and flung him down among the crowd below.

All this had happened so quickly that Fanfan had time to run down stairs himself and to make his way out of the house before the people know what it was all about.

Juliette had fainted upstairs and could not answer the inquiries of her father, who had come to see what was the trouble, and it took fully ten minutes before the circumstances were explained.

The lawyer was not seriously hurt, although badly shaken up, but the scandal was great. The news spread like wildfire among the crowd that were now wending their way toward the church to attend the afternoon service.

The psalms and the hymns, at Vespers, that afternoon, were chanted without the organ accompaniment, and the old cure who inquired the cause, was told that Mam’selle Juliette had suddenly been taken sick and that there was no one to replace her.

“But where is Fanfan Dalcour?” continued the pastor.

No one seemed to know, or cared to tell him the news.

Fanfan, on coming out of the house of Jean-Jean Leblanc, had driven home at full speed, and had told his father about what had just taken place.

“Oh, les bleus! les bleus! [37] the rascals! Did I not tell you to look out for them! You did right, Fanfan, to resent the insult of that young coxcomb. But what are you going to do now?”

“Do? I don’t know, but I suppose that the best thing that the lawyer can do himself is to have me arrested for assault, and put in jail, but I won’t give him the chance to do that. I will keep away from home for some time to let the thing blow over. Anyhow, my engagement with Juliette is at an end, and I don’t care what I do now. What, if I go to Manitoba to see uncle Thomas, who lives at St. Boniface? He has often written to us inviting me to go. Now is the time; I can leave for Montreal by the next train and escape the vengeance which that pettifogger of a lawyer will surely try to take on me.”

“Well, I suppose it is the best thing that you can do under the circumstances. Get your things ready, and I will drive you to the station. I will write soon to let you know the effects of your escapade.”

And Fanfan had disappeared from Lanoraie without giving any explanations to the cure or to his fiancée.

Poor Juliette Leblanc had been ill for some time after Fanfan’s departure, and it had been fully three months before she had resumed her place at the organ.

She had never spoken about Fanfan, had never even pronounced his name, but she was known to have said that “politics” were not only delusive, but they were also mendacious and pitiless. She never would permit any one to allude to the trouble between her lover and the Montreal politician, and when the young man had called to say good-bye before leaving Lanoraie, she had refused to see him.

The old cure had called to comfort her, and she had resigned herself to a state of apparent indifference that puzzled her father. Fully half-a-dozen offers of marriage had since been made to her, but she had refused very one, declaring that she would not marry. That was all.

 

VI

Such were the causes of Fanfan Dalcour’s trip to the North-West country, whence he had lately returned after a two years’ absence, when the Cure of Laoraie had sent him that message, to ask his presence at the presbytere on the following Sunday, after Vespers.

Fanfan kept his own counsel until the appointed hour, when he simply said to his old mother:

“I am going to harness up to pay a visit to M’sieu le Cure. I will return for supper.”

And he went, wondering what reception the good old cure would give him; because, apart from the scandal his departure had caused, the church choir had been very badly disorganized by his absence.

When Fanfan drove up to the presbytere, he found the old priest awaiting him alone in his reception room. He embraced him affectionately, asked him about the most important events that had taken place during his journey, but never alluded to the cause of his sudden departure for the North-West.

“Now that you are back among your friends, I hope to see you take your place in the parish among your old comrades. Meanwhile, I desire you to accompany me next week for la quete de l’Enfant Jesus.

Fanfan was deeply moved by the kindness of his old pastor, and could not refuse his request, although he dreaded the ordeal of facing every household in the parish.

La quete de l’Enfant Jesus– “the collection for the Infant Jesus”- is an annual visit made in every French parish in Canada, for the purpose of gathering candles for the illumination of the church at the Christmas midnight mass. The women also contribute bits of lace, and ribbons, and artificial flowers, for the decoration of the holy manger, where a scene representing the birth of the infant Savior is exposed for the veneration of the faithful.

The parish priest makes that his annual call, and is usually accompanied by the marguiller en charge [38], the oldest among the church wardens. M’sieu le Cure, in his fatherly affection for Fanfan, had selected him this year, for the purpose of facilitating his first meeting, since his return, with all the parishioners, who would be sure to welcome him cordially on such an errand, and especially in such company.

The following Monday, Fanfan harnessed his favorite horse to his best sleigh, and at the hour appointed, 9 o’clock in the morning, knocked at the door of the presbytere, where M’sieu le Cure was already waiting for him. The collection having been announced in the pulpit the day before, every one was on the alert to welcome the visitors, who stopped at every house as they proceeded on their way. Fanfan was thus brought in contact with every family, until he stopped his horse at the door of the residence of Jean-Jean Leblanc. Here, he hesitated a moment before following his old friend, who led the way. The cure, who had expected as much, came to the rescue:

“Come Fanfan, you can’t stop now that you have come so far. Courage, mon ami!”  [39]

And, while speaking, the priest had already knocked at the door, and before Fanfan had time to reply, Jean-Jean Leblanc stood on the threshold:

“Welcome, M’sieu le Cure; do me the honor to walk in.”

And perceiving Fanfan, who held back, pretending to be busy with his horse:

Bonjour, Fanfan! Come in, mon ami. Happy to see you. Come in, come in!”

And he walked down the steps, and extended his hand in such a cordial manner that Fanfan could not help accepting it as heartily as it was offered.

The visit was necessarily a short one, but the ice was broken, and when Jean-Jean Leblanc had contributed his donation:

“My wife and Juliette are away at Berthier, but they will return to-morrow, to be on hand to help in decorating the church for the midnight mass. Come and see us, Fanfan. I know the ladies will be happy to meet you. Bonjour, M’sieu le Cure! Bonjour, Fanfan! give my regards to your father and mother, and bring them along with you when you return this way.”

And late in the evening, after the visits had all been made, and when the priest had insisted that Fanfan should take his supper with him before returning home:

“We have done a good day’s work, have we not, Fanfan? The collection has been a large one, and our old church will look beautiful at the midnight mass. What kind, generous souls we have in our parish! And then the day has not been a bad one for you, Fanfan. You have met all your old friends and acquaintances after a prolonged absence, and I only need your promise that you will take your place in the choir, now. The people will be so happy to hear you.”

“I will, M’sieu le Cure, and I hardly know how to express my thanks for your kind offices in arranging my reconciliation with so many persons that I had offended by my childish display of anger two years ago. It will be a lesson to me, and you can rest assured that I will watch over my temper in the future.”

“Well, well!” interrupted the old priest, “let bygones be bygones, and let us see that we take good care of the present.”

When Fanfan went home that night it had been arranged that he would bring a load of pine boughs and evergreens sometime during the week, and that he would help the beadle to put up and decorate the old-fashioned branch chandeliers that were always used to light up the church during the Christmas festivities.

Old Pierriche Dalcour, when he was told of what had happened, was delighted to hear the good news. The absence of his son, for two long years, had appeased his resentment, and he declared that, for his part, he would be the first, under the circumstances, to go and offer his hand to Jean-Jean Leblanc, and that no later than the following Sunday, when he went to church.

Christmas was now fast approaching, and the young girls were busy with the church decorations. One of the lateral chapels had been converted into a bower of verdure, where could be seen a representation of the interior of a stable. According to custom, a dainty wax figure of the Infant Saviour would be laid upon the straw of the holy manger, during the celebration of the midnight Mass.

Fanfan Dalcour, in fulfilment of his promise, had brought a load of green boughs and had unloaded them at the church door. Taking an armful of the fragrant greens, he walked into the temple, looking for a place where he could deposit them, when he suddenly found himself face to face with Juliette Leblanc, who was perched upon a step ladder, arranging some draperies above the crèche. [40]

They had both been looking forward to an early meeting, but neither of them had dreamed that it would be brought about in such an embarrassing manner. They stood at a moment staring at each other, being quite incapable of making a move, or saying a word that would relieve the awkwardness of the situation.

Happily for them, M’sieu le Cure was in the chancel at the same time supervising the ornamentation of the great altar, and the noise made by Fanfan in entering the church had attracted his attention.

The good old pastor took in the situation at a glance, and came to the rescue.

“That’s right, Fanfan, drop those branches just where you are. Mademoiselle Juliette needs them to complete her decorations.”

And with a twinkle, full of engaging kindness, in his merry eye:

“Come down, Juliette, from the ladder, and let Fanfan help you to do that part of the work, while I return to my altar. And do not forget that the members of your choir will soon be here for practice.”

And M’sieu le Cure went away, leaving the young couple together to heal the breach that had caused a separation of two long years.

Few words were spoken, and scarcely any allusions were made to the misunderstanding that had estranged them from one another.

“Will you forgive me, Juliette?” said Fanfan, simply, in taking a hand that she did not attempt to withdraw.

“I was probably as indiscreet as you were hasty. Let us forget the past,” ingenuously answered the girl.

And the conversation turned on the incidents of Fanfan’s journey and his life among the Indians and Halfbreeds. When the priest returned, half an hour later, he found his young friends quietly conversing together.

“Now, Fanfan, with the permission of Mademoiselle Juliette, I expect you to take your old place as leader of our choir for the coming midnight Mass, and I think that you might take this occasion to have a little practice together. What say you, Juliette?”

A votre service [41], M’sieu le Cure. I am entirely at your disposal.”

And the reconciliation was sealed by Fanfan and Juliette going to the organ and singing together the old Christmas song of joy and praise:

Le anges dans nos campagnes,

Ont entonne l’hymme des cieux;

Et l’echo de nos montagnes

Redit ce chant melodieux-

Gloria in excelsis Deo. [42]

 

VII

Among the public announcements that were made from the pulpit by the pastor at the Christmas midnight service, was the following:

“I call the banns [43] of marriage between Francois Dalcour, minor son, born of the sacred wedlock of Pierre Dalcour and Madeleine Hervieu, of the first part; and Juliette Leblanc, minor daughter, born of the sacred wedlock of Jean-Jean Leblanc and Angelique Lafontaine, of the second part. First and last bann. The marriage bill will be celebrated on the second day of January next, at the parish church of Lanoraie, at 9 o’clock in the morning.”

And again at the reveillon that followed the Mass, the fiances were toasted and congratulated by their friends, and Jean-Jean Leblanc and Pierriche Dalcour united their voices in the solemn declaration that no “politics” could interfere this time with the happiness of their children.

 

Footnotes

[1] Mister Priest.

[2] A presbytery, or rectory.

[3] Evening prayers.

[4] A minor church official.

[5] Good day, Mr. Fanfan

[6] Goodbye, father Landry!

[7] Metis; people of First Nations and French of Scottish extraction.

[8] Priest.

[9] Choir boy.

[10] Cassock.

[11] Cruets.

[12] Farmer.

[13] Literally “Month of Mary”; a special Roman Catholic devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, held every evening throughout the month of May.

[14] Hail! O immaculate Virgin. Brilliant start of the morning.

[15] Literally “those gentlemen of the work bench.” The expression is popularly used in French Canadian churches to designate the Board of Churchwardens. (original footnote)

[16] An ornamental wooden or stone screen separating the chancel, or space around the altar, from the nave, or main area, of the church.

[17] The old, old story.

[18] Literally “Bordeaux Mass”; an 18th Century French plainchant Mass.

[19] Master cantor

[20] Midnight Mass.

[21] Shepherds, let us go; Let us go to see the Messiah. Let us look for this sweet child In the arms of Mary. I hear him, he calls us all, O fate worthy of envy!

[22] Sacristy; the room in a church where the priest prepares for Mass.

[23] Music.

[24] New pleasant! A child Savior is born to us. In a stable, that it is given to us.

[25] In this context, a dinner held on Christmas Eve.

[26] Wedding on the horizon.

[27] Literally “on fat days”; in the carnival week before Lent.

[28] Marriage of good sense.

[29] Marriage of love.

[30] A red.

[31] The blues.

[32] The 1837 Battle of Saint-Denis, the first engagement of the Lower Canada Rebellion, fought between the British Royal Army and members of the Patriote movement. The Patriotes were French-Canadian nationalists and republicans who fought for representative government in Lower Canada, a British province surrounding the St. Lawrence River.

[33] Louis-Joseph Papineau was a Quebec-born politician and a leader of the Patriote movement- a French-Canadian nationalist and republican movement which hoped to replace Lower Canada’s (i.e. Quebec’s) Legislative Assembly, whose members were appointed by Lower Canada’s British governor, with a similar body whose members were elected by the citizens of Lower Canada. From 1837-1838, the Patriotes clashed with the Canadian militia and the British Royal Army in what is known as the Lower Canada Rebellion. After the Patriots were defeated, Papineau fled with other rebel leaders to the United States. He returned to Canada in 1845, after he was granted amnesty by the new Province of Canada, an amalgamation of Lower and Upper Canada created as a result of the Lower Canada Rebellion and its contemporaneous Upper Canadian counterpart.

[34] In fact, Louis-Joseph Papineau did not fight in the Battle of Saint-Denis. Although he was in the town of Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu at the start of the battle, he fled to the nearby down of Saint-Charles shortly after the first shots were fired for reasons unknown.

[35] My boy.

[36] Mister Swain.

[37] Literally “the blues”; an expression of distress.

[38] Warden in charge.

[39] Courage, my friend.

[40] A representation of the Nativity of Christ.

[41] At your service.

[42] (In French) The angels in our countrysides, hear the hymn of heaven; And the echo of our mountains Repeat this melodious song- (In Latin) Glory to God in the highest

[43] A public announcement of an intended marriage.

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I'm a Western Canadian writer, carver, and fiddler who has a special place in his heart for history and the unexplained.

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