Wednesday, January 01, 2014

"As mentioned in..."

To find out more about the book,
referencing Pembina & St. Vincent
The two rooms would be filled with fiddle music, he said, and sit-down dancers, when his St. Boniface relations came visiting in winter.  He vowed that he and Sara would cross the Red River to the French side to attend the winter carnivals, the snowshoe, horse and dog races a new priest in the parish of Ste. Agathe had taken to organizing.  Go from house to house on New Year's Eve, and celebrate the French way, as he used to do, firing his rifle into the wind, begging the favour of a drink and a kiss.  I have relations coming out of my ears up and down the river, he told her.  As far south as St. Joe and Pembina.  The Carons, Berthelets, Branconniers, Dubois, St. Germains, Delormes.  He recited the names, the syllables like a church bell tolling across the snowbound land.

Emilie would not have believed that at that moment Oliver was going farther away from them, the lit-up town of Emerson beckoning. There was a small hotel there, he knew, and a cafe where he would get something to eat.  Then he thought perhaps he would bypass the town and cross the border, go to Pembina, where he'd heard there was a tavern.  Leastways, there had been years ago, and a woman named Ma Shorts who rant it.  She had a room at the back, and for a price she would let people sleep off a drunk or have a quick romp, whether or not the couple was married.  The night air had chilled him through, and he was no longer inclined to sleep under the stars.

From: "Children of the Day", by Sandra Birdsell