18 December 2006

The Flight of Jim Charles -- Part 6


Below is the final part of the short story about
the legendary Jim Charles. I've enjoyed the process
of giving it in a series of posts.

I'll be back with a new post later in the week!

All the best,

Part 6

"Now, soon afterwards, Jim's wife went home, and was
visited by a lawyer who told her that he didn't think Jim
would hang for killing the man. When Jim heard this news,
he quickly returned home; besides, after all he had been
through, he really didn't care what they did to him.

"Well, Jim and this lawyer went to Annapolis, where
Jim had to stay in jail until the court date. At the trial,
Jim was found 'not guilty,' and released. He was a free

"In the meantime, Jim's wife had gotten quite ill. She
had been sick, even before Jim went to jail. She had
wanted Jim to get gold from his mine, to pay for her
medicine. But, he was afraid to visit the mine – afraid
of the dead man's ghost!

"So, when Jim got home, he found his wife on her dead
bed. She passed away that night." Here, Louis paused
again, as if thinking back to that horrible night, years

"Well, Jim pretty much lost his mind over her death. He
burned the house and barn. His little boy never forgot
that fire. He helped his father burn everything to the

"So Jim took his little boy to Bear River, and left him
with the Mi'kmaq people, there. That's where the little
boy grew up to be a man. It was also the last time that
anyone ever saw Jim Charles.

"Some folks say that he drowned in Rossignol. Other
people claim that the dead man's ghost still chases Jim –
that they've heard him. Another story says that he went
back to the gold mine, and that the dead man keeps
him there. Me, I don't know? Maybe one day someone
will find that gold mine – it's hard to say for sure.
I don't know."

Louis sat quiet, plucking the grass at his feet. I was
silent, also, as I pondered the flight of Jim Charles. I
looked around at the beauty of the place. The tall pine
and hemlock, the beautiful field slopping to Kejimkujik
lake, with its islands and sparkling water.

Then it dawned on me. I looked at Louis and said, "Your
last name's Charles! You must be that little boy! Are
you Jim Charles' son?"

Louis lit his pipe again, and took a few puffs. He looked
at me and grinned. "I think maybe you make a pretty
good guess," he said.

-- The End --


LadyTrapper said...

Thanks for taking the time to share with us this legend. It is a version of Jim Charles that I had not yet heard. There is local legend in the Bear River area that Jim Charles while in the Tobeatic wilderness hiding from the law, lived under a large rock for a winter, being brought supplies by canoe from his brother.
Thanks for this rich historic retell of Jim.
In Paines version also, it is said that his body was never found, but actually he is buried beside his brother in a cemetary in Bear River.
Thanks again.

Laurie said...

Thanks for stopping by to read the story! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I had no idea that Jim was buried beside his brother in Bear River. Is there a grave marker? I would love to see the place some time!

I haven't been to Bear River for several years. I used to visit there with my friend, Peggi, who knows a number of people in Bear River.

All the best!

lady bear said...

As one knows there are many, many stories about Jim. I have through the years done research and interviews with family descendants of Jim Charles...He is indeed a legend... My final analysis of where Jim was buried is in Milton, Nova Scotia, and not in Bear River. This is basically based on the interview I did with Clark Charles (descendant) and info from various sources I have come across. However, the Bear River story of JC is a nice read!

ladytrapper said...

Apparently now the "accepted" burial site for Jim is at an unmarked grave in St Gregory's Catholic Church Cememtary in Liverpool. Go figure?

Laurie said...

Thanks for the update! Jim sure does get around! :)

VLB said...

Hi, I read your story about Jim Charles with great interest. Does anyone know who the man was that he was accused of killing. I know someone who thinks that his g-g-g-uncle may be that person.

Laurie said...


Thanks for the comment.

I'm afraid I can't help you out, there. I've never heard who Jim Charles was supposed to have killed. That's a good question?

The speculation that it may have been that person's g-g-g uncle, is interesting, indeed!

All the best,

Anonymous said...


Laurie said...

Thanks for the link!