The night Ralph Hagadorn started out for Echo Bay he felt as if he were the only man in the world, so complete was the solitude through which he was passing. He was going over to attend the wedding of his best friend, and was, in fact, to act as the groomsman. Business had delayed him, and he was compelled to make his journey at night.
A man and his family were constantly on the move, hunting for beaver. They traveled from lake to lake, stream to stream, never staying any place long enough for it to become a home. The woman sometimes silently wished that they would find a village and settle down somewhere with their little baby, but her husband was restless, and so they kept moving.
Long ago, there were a number of lonely lumberjacks working in the center of a very large forest. They cut down mammoth trees and watched them crash into the thick snow in exactly the place where they said the trees would land. They would cut up the trees and haul them hither and thither. They worked hard, Mon Dieu, very hard indeed! But they were lonely for the women they had left behind.
Now there once was a man named Jean Dubroise who never did a lick of work, but his house and his barn and his crops were still the best in the whole land. This puzzled people, since Jean had no family and no hired men to help him. No one could figure out how he managed to have the best trapping lines in winter, and have fences and barns in perfect repair at all times with no one working his farm.
A fisherman from Newfoundland was having difficulty finding someone to assist him. Help was scarce, and he couldn't find a soul to hire. Then one day he saw a handsome fellow in fancy city clothes walking along the docks. This was obviously not a man looking for work, but the fisherman still called out, half in jest: "Are ye looking for some work?" To his surprise, the city-man nodded and jumped into the boat.
When the new priest came to the poor parish, there was no house or church for him. A farmer took him in, while the men built him a small shack in which to live. The priest, a true saint with no false pride, was happy in his new parish. But the people wanted more for their priest, so they decided to build a church. The priest was pleased with their noble idea, but troubled because the work of hauling stone was back-breaking without a horse.
His mind was full of dark thoughts and the demons spoke to him. His wild eyes and words frightened his people, and he became an outcast, shunned by all. One day in a fury of rage and pain, he attacked old Kan-He-Kan, a local wise man. The demon-possessed man killed the venerable sage on the shores of a beautiful lake near his home, and then ran away, afraid of what the people would do to him when they found out...
In the wee hours of Friday morning, October 7, 1859, when all the good residents of Charlottetown should still be sleeping in their beds, a deep bell tone was heard from the bell tower in St. James Church. The somber sound rang out over the rooftops, waking many with the unexpectedness of its doom-laden ring. Then a second toll rang slowly overhead, followed by a third...
Editor of WorldFolklore.net and AmericanFolklore.net, S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series by Globe Pequot Press. She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of "let's pretend" quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children's Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author.
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