12 December 2006

The Flight of Jim Charles -- Part 4


Now, the story get's interesting, as Jim Charles
takes flight into the wild back country of south-
western Nova Scotia!

Part 4

Louis tapped on his pipe to loosen the tobacco,
before placing the pipe stem back into his mouth.
He puffed away on his pipe, as if considering his
next words.

"Jim was plenty scared. He jumped into his buggy
and drove home like a mad man. He was afraid the
authorities would hang him, but his wife tried to
convince him otherwise. ‘No, that other fella started
the fight,' she said.

"But, pretty soon Jim started hearing things – he
thought he heard the white men coming up the hill to
get him. So, he left his wife and little boy, and ran
away into the forest.

"Now, Jim Charles was the best hunter that ever lived
in these parts; he knew all the woods between
Kejimkujik, Rossignol, Little Tobeatic, Big Tobeatic,
and Bear River. He figured he'd hide in those woods,
and after a while he'd move far away, change his
name, then send for his wife and little boy.

"When he left that night, he took a fish line and
hook – he knew that he could easily build a trap,
and he even left his gun for fear the white man would
hear him shoot. Jim wanted to vanish into those
woods, and never be heard from again.

"So, he left home, wife, and family, going deep into
the woods where nobody could find him. Then, one
night, for some reason, Jim began to get very scared.
He kept thinking about that man he'd killed, and how
he looked lying there, dead. So, he quickly tramped
out the fire, and sat there in the dark, listening.

Pretty soon, he thought he heard blood hounds
barking, and was certain the white man was coming
for him. In Jim's mind, even the frogs in the swamp
were mocking, and calling at him. 'Shut up, you frogs,'
Jim called, but that only made them call louder!

"Jim jumped up and began running, falling over logs
and rocks, wading and swimming in the stream
where he caught that trout. He knew the hounds
couldn't track him in water. Soon, he got very tired,
and came on shore to rest – but he heard those blood
hounds again, so he ran back into the water, and
made his way upstream. After a while he left that
stream, and ran through brush and swamp, half tearing
his clothing from his body. And, the frogs, they were
still calling after him.

to be continued . . . .