The City and the World and Other Stories eBook

Francis Kelley
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 111 pages of information about The City and the World and Other Stories.

“The Grand Seigneur?  He never comes, for he died unrepentant and unpardoned.  The lost do not return to Earth and Hope.  He never comes.  Only the mother comes—­the mother who weeps and seeks, and hears the baby cry.”

FOOTNOTES: 

[1] Near the mouth of the St. Lawrence can be heard a sound like wailing whenever there is a great storm.  The people call it Le Braillard de la Magdeleine and countless tales are told concerning it.

THE LEGEND OF DESCHAMPS

From Tadousac to the far-off Lake of Saint John the rock-bound Saguenay rolls through a mystic country, sublime in natural beauty, and alive with traditions, legends and folk-lore tales.  Ghosts of the past people its shores, phantom canoes float down the river of mystery; and disembodied spirits troop back to earth at the dreamer’s call; traders, trappers, soldiers, women strong in love and valor, heroes in the long ago, and saintly missionaries offering up mortal life that savages may know the Christian’s God.

Beauty, mysticism and music—­music in all things, from the silver flow of the river to the soft notes of the native’s tongue, and dominating all, simple faith and deep-rooted, God-implanted patriotism.

Such was French Canada, the adopted country of Deschamps the trapper, a native of old France, who made his home in Tadousac while Quebec was yet a growing city; and, caring nothing for toil or hardship, gradually grew to be a grand monsieur in the estimation of the people about him.  He loved his country well and, when war came, sent forth three sturdy sons to help repel the British foe.  Many were the tears the patriot shed, because age forbade the privilege of shouldering musket and marching himself.

Weary months dragged by before tidings came.  Quebec had fallen.  The gallant Montcalm had passed through the Gate of Saint John to a hero’s rest, and two of the trapper’s sons lay dead on the Plains of Abraham.  They had died bravely, as Deschamps hoped they would, with their faces to the foe, and with a whispered message of love to the old father at Tadousac.

And Pascal, the best beloved?

Pascal was—­a traitor!

The blood of Deschamps in the veins of a traitor!  Wife, daughter and gallant sons had been riven from him by death and the Christian’s hope lightened the; mourner’s desolation.  But disgrace!  Neither earth nor heaven held consolation for such wrong as his.  Deschamps brooded on his woe; alone he endured his agony, giving utterance to his despair in the words:  “France!  Pascal!  Traitor!”

Years passed and the trapper lived on, a senile wreck, ever brooding on defeat, then breaking into fierce invective.  Misery had isolated him from his kind; the grand monsieur was the recluse of Tadousac.  One day he disappeared from his lonely cabin and no one knew whither he had gone.

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Project Gutenberg
The City and the World and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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