The black and red plaid shawl was wound round and round the body from head to feet, no part being visible but the face. Margaret had fastened the shawl at the throat with a silver brooch. Old Mag, as she lay upon the camp bed, resembled a dead Highlander. Arrangements were made for the funeral, and Paul paddled Mrs. Godfrey and children to the sloop and then returned to dig his mother’s grave. Next morning Paul came down to the sloop looking very sad. He said that he had not closed his eyes during the night. He sat watching through the long night at the side of his dead parent.
Many of us have heard and read accounts of lonely scenes and lonely spots, but what place could be more lonely and what scene more solemn than that of a lone Indian sitting beside the corpse of his mother in a Nova Scotian forest a hundred and twenty years ago, through the dread hours of a whole night?
What thoughts passed through the brain of Paul Guidon during the weird hours of that night, it may be, will be revealed in eternity.
Mrs. Godfrey and her children again went with Paul to the abode of death. After landing, Margaret accompanied the Indian to inspect the place of burial. It was situated on the bank of a small stream running down to the river, and about two hundred yards from the camp. The grave looked like the newly made nest of some huge bird. It was cleanly dug and neatly lined with evergreens. In this grave the body of old Mag was placed as the sun was sinking below the horizon. It was conveyed to its last resting place by Paul, Margaret and her son Charlie; the four younger children forming the procession.
None of the Indians of the tribes of the St. John were present at the burial, as Paul had not circulated the news of his mother’s death.
Mrs. Godfrey read, from the old service book, the Church of England burial service, the most beautiful of all burial services, that of the Masonic brethren perhaps excepted.
Mrs. Godfrey and Charlie filled in the grave. When they returned to the wigwam all within was darkness and gloom. Margaret and her children were paddled to the sloop by Paul. He was invited to spend the night on board the little vessel, but declined to do so. Margaret then took him by the hand, and, as she drew him toward her, he placed his hand upon her shoulders and cried aloud, “Mother!” “Mother!” She led him to the canoe, he got into his little bark and was soon sailing away towards his lonely dwelling-place, where it may have been the spirit of old Mag kept watch that night over the wigwam and her boy.
Terrible experience at sea.
Captain Godfrey arrived safely at Passmaquaddy and was warmly welcomed.
He was supplied with sails, rigging and a general outfit for his family, and he was sent back to the mouth of the St. John in a much larger and more convenient boat, bringing the smaller boat in tow. He was absent twelve days.