The poet Andrew Shiels,
writing a generation later, has a telling anecdote about the dispossession
of the indigenous people of this area, involving a Micmac named
Paul. As the latter was very old at the time of the incident (likely
in 1843), he would have been very much alive in Louisa's day. Shiels lived
on the Cole Harbour Road, on the ridge immediately above Maynard Lake
(which lake he called Lake Manor)--just a few hundred yards west
of the spot where Louisa and Eliza are thought to have parted company on
13 September. (See S13n3 ). The chief claimed to
have hunted here long before Shiels and others had taken over the land.
"A few years ago, one of the Micmacs, by the name of Paul,
apparently of great age, remarkably strong built for an Indian, and well
proportioned (though not so tall and prepossessing as some of them), called
upon me in the fields one day, and requested permission to set his camp
on the edge of Lake Manor, as (he said) he believed 'death was near.' Under
such circumstances, the favour could not be refused; but I discovered that
he built the wigwam first, and came to seek 'a local habitation' afterwards.
--Andrew Shiels ["Albyn"], Notes, Note 3 (p. 32).
"In the latter end of harvest, I understood he was sick, and sought
a way through the woods to visit him; it was a dark evening, and after
some difficulty I found him, sitting upon his legs by the fire in the middle
of the camp, completely naked from the waist upwards, and according to
my ideas suffering great pain, but he made no complaint; upon asking how
he did, he replied--'I am waiting till death come.' Although half suffocated
with smoke, it was sometime before I could drag myself away from a scene
so original. This was our last interview, as in a few days subsequently
the 'arrow' found him."
The incident is recounted poetically on pp. 20-21.
Here comes the chief--a man of many years
Beyond the scripture term his age appears--
Firm and erect he treads the new-mown field--
But in his eye, a tear is ill conceal'd;
In courteous bearing his advance is made
To pray a favour not to be gainsay'd,
Brief is the parlance Indian audience needs,
And thus at once the embassage proceeds:
"I say, goodman--this land that now is yours,
When Paul was young was woods, and it was ours,
This naked hill was then a hunting ground,
Where caraboo the Indians always found,
Here too the moose--but moose do never roam
Where the white man destroys their shady home;
Nor are the nurs'lings of the forest seen
Where corn is planted, or the scythe has been.
Our game are gone--but I remember when
Beside this spring the bear did make his den,
And on that lake (the only thing I see
That shows a friendly countenance to me,)
Upon that lake in numbers without name,
Prey'd ducks and otters, or a prey became.
On that lean barren where no bush now grows,
The pines and hemlocks in their might arose,
And on their branches basking in the sun,
The eagles rested when their flight was done.
Here on this spot--can Paul this spot forget,
Where the first wigwam that he made was set?
Can Paul forget when Aa-pa-tes became
The children's mother who have borne his name?
No--here each summer since she went away,
I come for lilies on her grave to lay;
And here goodman, I come to ask of thee,
That my last wigwam on this spot may be."
"I know the winter is approaching nigh
When the red leaves drop from the boughs and die;
I know the tempest will be talking soon,
When the broad belt is gather'd round the moon,
And when my people and my home are gone,
(Ev'n to a dog companion, I have none)
I know the arrow must have left the bow,
That the Great Spirit shoots to bid me go,
And in the shade of these remaining trees,
That look defiance at the northern breeze,
With bush--and lake--and lilies in my view,
Goodman--I long to bid this world adieu."
--The Water Lily, Halifax, 1851