Port Hope Simpson wild bay

historical fiction based on year as vso volunteer in Port Hope Simpson, Labrador, Newfoundland, Canada 1969-70 and coming back out to The Town of Port Hope Simpson's Coming Home Celebrations in July 2002; also based on holiday travels; Richard ap Meurig's sense of purpose, peace, quietness,returning to awe-inspiring wilderness of The Labrador, spiritual retreat & renewal...http://porthopesimpson.blogspot.com/

Monday, March 20, 2006

Compartiment sauvage de Simpson d'espoir gauche

Human Figure represents the spirit of Port Hope Simpson and its enthusiastic fire;
Labrador Flag represents our heritage;
House represents the importance of home and family that exists in our community;
Port Hope Simpson banner represents our towns pride and teamwork.
Stacy Russell
Compartiment sauvage de Simpson d'espoir gauche

Залив Simpson port упования одичалый

Залив Simpson port упования одичалый

De wilde baai van Port Hope Simpson (Dutch)

De wilde baai van Port Hope Simpson

Αγριος κόλπος Simpson ελπίδας λιμένων

Αγριος κόλπος Simpson ελπίδας λιμένων

港希望Simpson 狂放的海灣

港希望Simpson 狂放的海灣

港希望Simpson 狂放的海灣

港希望Simpson 狂放的海灣

港希望Simpson 狂放的海湾

港希望Simpson 狂放的海湾

운반 희망Simpson강포한 만

운반 희망Simpson강포한 만

左舷希望のSimpson の野生湾

左舷希望のSimpson の野生湾

Bah�a salvaje de Simpson de la esperanza portuaria

Bah�a salvaje de Simpson de la esperanza portuaria

Ba�a selvagem de Simpson da esperan�a portu�ria

Ba�a selvagem de Simpson da esperan�a portu�ria

Baia selvaggia di Simpson di speranza port

Baia selvaggia di Simpson di speranza port

Porthoffnung Simpson wilde Bucht

Porthoffnung Simpson wilde Bucht

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

This story is dedicated to obtaining justice for Erica Anitoff Williams,three 1/2 years and her young father Arthur Eric Williams,

who died in their Labrador Development Company home, Port Hope Simpson in acrimonious, suspicious circumstances in the early hours of 3 February 1940. The R.C.M.P (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Serious Crimes Unit, Gander, Newfoundland have recently in 2002, opened up their own investigation about the deaths. If you know anything at all about what happened please do not hesitate in contacting your local RCMP detachment or the police force of jurisdiction in your area. If you live outside Canada, please contact your local police service and ask them to make a request for assistance from the appropriate Canadian law enforcement agency. The main RCMP website address is http://www.rcmp.ca or
Email me!

The Characters in the Story

Marcus Alexander, Newfoundlander Commissioner of Justice;
Brodney, responsible for report on loggers' working conditions in the woods;
Carruthers, a Government Director of the L.D.W.C. Ltd.;
Clutterbuck of Walker, an Official, Dominions Office, London;
Cpl. Ian Dawson, The RCMP investigating officer;
Leon Dawson, a Wild Bay man;
Liam and Grace Dawson, a Wild Bay family;
Luke Dawson, a Hermit and The Supreme Woodsman;
Ysuf Boltrum Eclaud, a student Moravian missionary from Germany;
Samuel Gray and Lizzie, his Missus; a Wild Bay family;
Winston James, a Wild Bay man;
Emily Jeffrey, deceased;
James Owen(JO)Jeffrey, owner of the Labrador Development Woods Company Limited;
James Jones Jeffrey, deceased;
Mrs Loga Chenobog Jeffrey, wife of the deceased;
Ben and Abbie Lovell, a Wild Bay family;
Sir Justin MapStone, a Government Director of the L.D.W.C. Ltd.;
Governor Marshall, of Newfoundland;
Chantelle McCarthy, Shanolla’s Grandmother;
Roseanne McCarthy, Shanolla's Mother;
Shanolla McCarthy, a Wild Bay woman;
McDades, a Wild Bay family;
Lamiiwl MePkroy, The Senator of Labrador and Oclinear his good wife;
Merrick-Chadwick, Under Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, Downing Street, London;
Richard ap Meurig, ex-vso teacher in Wild Bay 1969-70;
Sergei Naumov, father of Loga Anitoff Chenobog Jeffrey;
Kristian Orlowski, assistant, Company Store, Wild Bay;
Leinaryma Llufeac Pauron, Yugoslavian dancer, Port Aux Basques;
Plackets, a hunting, fishing and trapping family, Wild Bay;
Commissioner Pomeroy,of Public Utilities from England;
George Ponting, assistant, Company Store, Wild Bay;
Toscott Jacob Shoic, a student Moravian missionary from Germany;
Ranger Spiller,stationed in Wild Bay;
Ellsie Staunton, Oscar's wife;
Mishka Staunton, Ellie and Oscar’s daughter;
Oscar Dridle Staunton, the Postmaster, Wild Bay;
Kevin Quigley, Company Manager, Wild Bay;
Luke Quigley, a Wild Bay man;
Jessica Ermgratt Shepherd, The Town Mayor, Wild Bay, Labrador, Newfoundland, Canada;
Supreme Court Judge Weaden, Head of The Public Enquiry into the Financial affairs of the L.D.W.C.Ltd.;
Wendell, assistant, Company Store, Wild Bay;
Claude Wolsey, Secretary to Sir James Wrigglesworth and Government Director of the L.D.W.C.Ltd;
Eric Wrigglesworth, grandson of Sir James Wrigglesworth;
Sir James Wrigglesworth, English Commissioner for Natural Resources;

3. The peace and quietness of Wild Bay in the early morning as the water lapped and sparkled against the shoreline was truly a medicine for Richard

ap Meurig.
The total ambience of the surroundings had a stillness that spread over him as his thoughts wondered from the past to the present. He mused to himself. Is all this really happening? Am I actually walking the same shoreline after a 33-year absence from this community? So much of the physical aspect has improved and the warm-hearted, hospitable, sincere people still share their homes and lives with outsiders who visit.
Richard had come out all those years ago to work in Wild Bay as a young, 18 year-old Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) teacher. Unknowingly, his background in Wales had prepared him for an adventure from 1969 to 1970 that was to play such a captivating part in his future life.
Does life give us a destiny or do we make our own he pondered? Why do things happen as they do?
(An interesting fact is that Richard’s name is the same as that of a Welsh merchant in Bristol, England who had appeared in a Customs roll a very long time ago as an "ap Meryke." He was supposed to have been the heaviest investor in John Cabot's expedition to America in 1498. It is, therefore, very probable that America had its name from the Bristolian version of this man's name, Richard Ameryk.)

4. This early walk was his routine and each day brought a new awakening in his soul and sense of purpose for his return.

He felt so privileged to have been specially flown out to the Town’s Coming Home Celebrations.
Today, as his mind was revisiting thoughts of the past, he found himself by the old tombstone that as a young lad he had been curious about. But unbeknown to him, another’s eyes were watching his every move from behind a nearby lace-covered window. Shanolla was thinking about her Grandmother’s secret. Not to be shared with anyone she had made her promise before she left. Not even with her own mother and father. For Shanolla it had now become a secret she wanted to avenge. She had heard her friend Gail Richards say that Richard was asking questions about the tombstone. Maybe he could be brought to help her on her own mission. Maybe they could do more for each other than they realised?
Richard’s sense of peace, as if there was another guiding, benign presence within him had been disturbed however, by the suddenness of coming upon this ground. He was thrown for a few seconds. Then he started to take a good look at the old tombstone and surrounding area. In 1940, he recalled that a man had died apparently trying to save his wife and 18 month old baby girl. Only the wife survived.
As Richard was looking around, loving thoughts of his own daughter came to mind, and the anguish that the wife and mother must have lived with all her life. What ever became of her? Did she ever remarry and have more children? What’s it doing there? It still looked as incongruous now as it did all those years ago. It simply shouldn’t be there. Why weren’t they buried in Wales instead?”

5. Richard ap Meurig was now once again admiring the magnificent setting of Wild Bay in the awe-inspiring wilderness of Labrador, Newfoundland, Canada

at the invitation of Jessica Ermgratt Shepherd, Town Mayor. He felt the shiny, smooth, cold to the touch, blue granite tombstone cut from The Preselli Hills in West Wales and knew it had played its own compelling role in bringing him back out from his home in Bryntoch, South Wales. He had left behind his beloved Black Mountain, his wife and family of three sons, one daughter and his favourite hunting rifle with which he had killed many lion, water buffalo and elephant far-away on the huge African plains. A carefully oiled, well-cared-for gun proudly displayed alongside his other trophies above the curved mirror over the fireplace. Its killing range was one mile and he could still hit three coins before they hit the ground from 50 metres away. He was an extraordinary marksman who still retained his 20:20 vision at 51 years of age. But on this occasion he was only really intent on finding out the answer to a few questions. That’s why on 17 July 2002 he was once more standing in front of that eerie, deathly puzzle to a fellow Welshman and his infant daughter.
Then, as he leant over the white wooden railing to read its inscription he noticed a broken, smaller, piece of concrete headstone leaning up against its side. He stretched out and turned it over for a closer look. It too had an inscription that became visible as Richard rubbed away the grime of the years with his right hand:
BORN JULY 29th 1912

6. Then Richard’s grey-blue eyes scanned the Braille-like inscription on the tombstone and glinted at what he saw,

Suddenly, an avalanche of questions came into his head. The wording was different. That was strange. Why had it been changed? Why were the words, “Having saved his wife he died in the flames” missing from the tombstone’s final inscription? What had happened to cause the wording to be altered and Emily’s name highlighted? Was somebody trying to tell him something? Were the differences significant at all? Richard felt a greater unease than ever before. He knew there was something terribly wrong but he couldn’t put his finger on it. He remembered a great deal what he had heard tell of by the older folk in the place.
Now he was asking his own questions.
A gentle tap on his shoulder snapped him out of his thoughts. “Do you know the story behind this grave?”
Startled, Richard turned to see a 6’8” man with a sharp-looking face and tousled black hair towering over him kneeling on the ground.
“All I can make out is what’s here on the inscriptions.”
“Then I think you had better come back to the house with me and listen to what I have to say. Things are not what they seem.”
The big athletic man helped Richard to his feet and together they set off. Richard felt that buzz again as he walked back along the dusty

7. road to the postmaster’s house. Richard wondered would Oscar’s story tell him anything more

than he already knew from his discovery at The Public Record Office of England, Wales and the U.K. earlier this year?
Back in Bryntoch in January 2002, he had searched The Public Record Office Archives, near Kew Gardens in West London to find out what he could about the history of Wild Bay. It was his way of saying thank you to the Wild Bay folk - whose hospitality he had shared in the past. Whose hospitality he was about to share again.
He had already tried Canadian National Archives and Newfoundland & Labrador Provincial Archives for historical information about Wild Bay without any real success. Then all of a sudden, as if jumping off the screen was the reference to Original Correspondence about the Labrador Development Woods Company Limited.(L.D.W.C. Ltd.) Primary evidence that had been classified Closed Papers until 1996 – 1998. Consequently, he made three visits on consecutive Saturdays into London searching for the answers to two questions for his friends in Wild Bay:
Why were insufficient houses built for the earliest settlers in 1934 and
Could “Jayo” Jeffrey have afforded to pay his workers a decent living wage?
He found that J. O. Jeffrey had in fact applied in writing to the Colonial Development Office in London for a Government loan to build 400 houses at Wild Bay in 1934. The loan had been approved on the recommendation of the English Commissioner for Natural Resources, none other than Sir James Wrigglesworth himself. Already well known for his work in China with refugees and later with the Civil Service in India, a formidable personality but now getting on in years and saddled with debts.

8. Richard found that only 26 houses had been built,

that Jeffrey soon fell behind with his loan repayments and that his application had been dishonourable. Jeffrey had taken advantage of loose wording in the terms of the loan that did not make it a legal obligation to build 400 houses in the first place for the Company's loggers and their families.
J. O. Jeffrey was not a man of his word.
In terms of managing the finances of the L.D.W.C. Ltd he also knew that Jeffrey had been duping the people of Wild Bay, the Newfoundland Commission and the British Government. By selling his pitwood timber to his other Ebbw Vale based Company, “J. O. Jeffrey Ltd” and then on to the coal trade merchants “Iestyn and Morgan Sons” he was able to conceal the true scale of the profits he was rapidly accumulating.
He discovered that the L. D.W. C. Ltd was the subject of a Public Enquiry about its financial affairs in 1944 but even Supreme Court Judge Weaden had been unable to find out why it had been necessary to make so many share transfers between Jeffrey’s two companies. Richard was convinced that it was yet another way for Jeffrey to pocket the cash. Another way of hiding his profits.
Similarly, through the Company Store in Wild Bay, Kevin Quigley Company Manager was able to fiddle the books as he charged whatever was needed to keep his workers and their families continually in debt. Whilst simultaneously, all the Company staff were under strict orders from JO himself to do everything and anything they could to keep the locals sweet. The owner was fleecing everybody outside Wild Bay whilst his Manager was fleecing everybody inside. What a racket!

9. Wild Bay was a Company Town All Right!

The papers had told Richard a great deal about the early history of Wild Bay but very little about the mysterious circumstances surrounding the deaths of John Jones and Emily Jeffrey.
He already knew that The Labrador Development Woods Company had driven through the road they were walking along sometime between 1934–1936.The road marked the north – west boundary of “Dog’s Town” as that area between the shoreline and the road had became known in its earliest days. All families had their own dog teams as their main form of transport as well as the boats they built for themselves.
One week after the arrival of James Owen Jeffrey and Kevin Quigley on August 4th 1934 a huge party was thrown aboard their ship the “SS Kellisle” to celebrate the start of operations and the naming of the site. It turned out to be the mother of all parties and quickly spilled over onto the shore. As well as the hundred or so men they had taken on in St.John’s, folk came in from far and wide. They were attracted by the possibility of permanent jobs. They came in their party clothes, young and old, men and women, boys and girls. Boxes and boxes of Magnetlite Ale were stacked up twenty feet high on the jetties. Canteen tents were erected; mountains of food laid out on trestle tables, buntings flapped noisily strung up on wires from poles and trees in the strong onshore breeze . Accordion players, mouth organists and percussion drums provided the Country & Western, Foot–Stomping music that carried far across The Bay. The swinging, swirling and tooing and froing of dancers all added to the wild-west pioneering atmosphere of the celebration. Whilst over at the far end of the ship the marvellously nimble male tap dancers from Harry’s Cove were concentrating on putting on their best ever show.

10. Crowds gathered to watch them and they rose to the occasion.

Seeming to move faster and faster all of the time. Elsewhere, smaller groups of dancers were jigging and jiving away, moving rhythmically to the music.
The dream-like Yugoslavian dancer who travelled from Port Aux Basques, Leinaryma Llufeac Pauron, (some say she was brought up by nuns in a convent and denied all the pleasures of youth,) was making the most of it all. She spent all her time going round and round grabbing whichever male took her fancy and either careering off with him into the woods or on to the dance floor. She had never had so much fun in all her life.
So it went on and on. It lasted five days and five nights in all.
Jeffrey, Quigley, Commissioner Wrigglesworth, Commissioner Pomeroy of Public Utilities (a family friend of Wrigglesworth), and Governor Marshall, all seen with assorted women throughout the festivities, easily threw away all their inhibitions of office as they bedded, traded and swapped hoary jokes between themselves and their innumerable women. Wrigglesworth went along with a local tradition that whichever family had a first born child after the festivities had ended would add his name to their own and be financially rewarded with 100 golden guineas for throwing themselves so wholeheartedly into the festivities so to speak.
And so it came about that the McDade family had five children who took the name of Wrigglesworth - McDade to this very day. But the gift of money that was promised by Wrigglesworth for the first child who took his name was conveniently forgotten about by the great man himself. To this day there is still a grievance amongst the McDades that Wrigglesworth was not a man of his word.

11. The idea that the name “Wrigglesworth” should also be given to the place never materialised.

To say the least it would have looked completely ridiculous amongst the other Labradorian names. For instance would, “Light Tickle, Mary’s Harbour and William’s Cove” sit comfortably alongside “Port James Wrigglesworth?” Richard had to chuckle to himself.
He had already found out, that very soon after he took office Wrigglesworth commissioned a survey by Brodney into Loggers’ Conditions in the Woods. He knew that two of the findings were that the wages were doing no more than keeping the loggers and their families in poverty and that no pit props should be cut without pulpwood being sold along with it. Brodney’s view was that the amount of wood wasted from cutting pit props meant that the Commission of Government should disallow it altogether unless pulpwood became its associated end product for sale as well.
But shamefully, Wrigglesworth made sure Brodney’s report never saw the light of day in 1934. Wrigglesworth and Pomeroy had already met up with Jeffrey and Quigley by this time and it would not have helped Wrigglesworth’s mission to make a name for himself if his baby had been unable to proceed any further due to his own legislation. Therefore, Jeffrey was granted an unregulated export licence for his timber products and The Ranger Detachment of one 19 year old lad at Wild Bay was told to ignore whether or not Bills of Lading were being handed in to Jeffrey’s ship Captains. In that way, Jeffrey was effectively allowed to smuggle out as much wood as he wanted to without paying for it. Without strict control and regulation by the English- dominated Commission of Government in 1934 he was allowed to get away with taking out as much wood as he could cram into his ship’s holds and onto the decks.

12. He was making a fortune.

“Was Marshall also being paid off by Jeffrey?” asked Richard.
“I doubt that; but nobody knows for sure,” went on Oscar. “He was most probably only brought along by Wrigglesworth and Pomeroy to add credibility to the whole sordid affair. In the wilderness, far away from Government, they thought they could do whatever they wanted and justice would never catch up with them I guess.”
Richard remembered his many cruises to people’s homes when he was last out here. How well he had been treated and how much at home he had been made to feel. Something he had never forgotten ever since.
It was payback time.
His own search for the truth had arrived in Wild Bay.
The people had been kept in the dark for far too long. They had been unable to find out what had been going on behind the scenes as Quigley supervised operations, ruthlessly making fast bucks as quickly as possible. Many over-laden Company Ships, full of thousands of cords of top-grade timber destined for Jeffrey’s other company left the wharf without proper checks. The Company Men treated the first settlers with disregard and disdain. The Plackets, a hunting, fishing and trapping family had their traps destroyed as the Company cut right-up close to their lines. The Company had no respect for the land or its people.
They were The Men from England.
“Didn’t the men-folk of Wild Bay do anything to stop them or at the very least slow them down?
“What could they do? There was great excitement, hope and belief that permanent, reliable full–time work was now at long last available on The Labrador. You have to give Jeffrey his dues. He had gumption and a vision but he didn’t have the character to make it all happen.”
Richard reflected about Oscar’s last words.

13. There is certainly a world of difference about achievement between an idea that happens in the blink of an eye and its realisation over time.

“Jeffrey went back to Wales soon after operations started in The Fall of 1934 and he wasn’t seen again until 1947 when drastically changed circumstances forced him to come out. Why he never even came out for the burial of his own son James Jones and Emily his grand-daughter – shocking I call it. What kind of man is that? We despised him. None of us could work out why he didn’t come out.”
Richard had found a notice that went round in St. John’s when the Company was first looking for workers. It stated that wages would be paid 50 cents per hour for a 10-hour day with board found. As soon as word got round there was work in the woods there was a rush of applications; without much thought about vetting their quality. There was desperate poverty on The Rock in the 1930s. Folk would do almost anything for work.
But nobody liked dole payments.
They hit self-dignity like a sledgehammer.
When they had arrived in Wild Bay they soon felt the full effects of Jeffrey’s attitude about providing decent houses for his workers. In a confidential letter to Kevin Quigley the Company Manager, he called it “dead capital expenditure.” Only 26 out of 400 houses were ever built and they were kept for the sole use of the Company staff and their visitors. Some were left without a roof, only with cut-off slabs for walls. Wages were about half the advertised rate, on top of which the men had to pay 60 cents per day for their meals and 10 cents a month for their straw mattress.
For now; Richard was enjoying taking in the wonderful family clutter of Oscar’s living room. A lifetime collection of valuables. Elsie his wife, was very proud of her Great Great Grandmother’s collection of Wedgwood pottery. Blue willow plates, cups, saucers and one brightly coloured yellow Lisbon bowl, all neatly displayed in her tallboy next to the serving hatch into the kitchen. A clutch of framed certificates about

14. his Postmaster’s Training, Sporting Achievements and

his children’s school successes hung on the wall. His antique pine furniture contrasted in fine Canadian style with the light green flattened pile of his carpet. The house was a well–lived in home.
A special place.
With a wonderful view over The Bay.
It was no wonder that Jeffrey had chosen this site for his operations: deep water access, south-facing aspect, shelter and on the doorstep thousands and thousands of acres of mighty spruce trees some as straight as a die, rising to about 80 feet waiting to be turned into cash.
Oscar offered Richard a bottle of his potent home brew. Richard politely accepted and sipped away thinking about his favourite bottle of Scotch and Waterson glass tumbler that he used to gently warm with hot water before making his toddy. Oscar poured himself a large brandy, sitting on the edge of his armchair he leant towards Richard.
“Jeffrey and Quigley that was here first came out in July 1934. I heard tell they had big support from The Newfoundland Government. The Company was dead strict in only allowing their own people to purchase from their store and nowhere else. But my Pappy found a way round them he did. One night he brought a boatload of stores down from Lansing’s Cove but they wouldn’t allow him to tie–up. So instead he rowed out into Wild Bay, dropped anchor, in like International Waters and the folk came out to him instead!
Richard smiled ruefully and continued to encourage Oscar by listening intently to every word.
“The exorbitant price of the goods at the store meant that families were forced to buy and live on credit. They were forced to live like slaves to The Company. Prices for goods were changed on a daily basis to keep them on credit. When families did have a little bit of spare

15. money it always went on paying off that credit

they had already been charged. On top of which it never seemed as if The Company had enough money to pay the men their wages. Lots of us thought that Quigley was ripping off The Company. But all Quigley would ever say, was that he was still waiting for their money to arrive or that the ship had been delayed by bad weather out of St. John’s Narrows. We all knew that his bad management was the cause of The Company’s difficulties. They was alright when the Government was supporting them.”
“Where was Jeffrey whilst all this was going on. I thought he was the owner of the L.D.W.C. Ltd.?”
“We never saw him again from straight after The Party until about 1947 I think it was. Nobody knew where he was or what he was doing. He was a wily old fox. Some thought he had gone back to his other pit prop cutting operation in Finland and The Baltic. Others said he was holed up in his offices in Cardiff or visiting New York and all sorts of places with the money he had pocketed. Nobody really knew what was going on behind the scenes to this day. Eventually in 1935, the men went on strike because it just wasn’t worth carrying on anymore on the money they was getting. The Company Manager always expected too much. None of The Englishman as we called them ever considered those terrible conditions in the woods the men were working under. The black fly infestation got so bad some days whilst they were working that they would tell how they’d crunched up and swallowed mouthfuls so they’se could breath. Them flies were so thick in the woods the air was black all around them. Even the bears wouldn’t stay in there in those conditions. They would get themselves off down to the water’s edge somewhere or into the water.
The men were expected to cut three cords of wood each and every day

16. which was impossible. Even with their razor sharp bucksaw

and good wood they couldn’t keep up that rate of working. When the wood was twisted and knotted which it often was, giving it great strength for construction work, of course it slowed them down. Chain saws hadn’t been heard of. They were expected to work throughout the winter in the woods in the unbelievable cold. It was more than any mortal man could endure. They wanted them to work until they dropped and for quite a few that’s what happened. There was an awful lot of illness in the place with some people dying from pneumonia and T.B. As well as V.D. brought in from other places.”
“Did they go back to work at all?”
“Yes, but only after they was offered 50 cents extra each day and then only to peel them cut logs they had already brought out in The Fall.”
By now, Richard’s patience was wearing thin because he couldn’t see what all this had to do with the deaths of John Jones and Emily Jeffrey. So he said, “I thought you were going to tell me the story about the grave?”
That part comes about five years after The Company started up here. Then rather too abruptly to be polite, Richard thanked Oscar for his time and they agreed to meet again so that Richard could hear the rest of his story.
Nothing much new there Richard thought to himself as he moved towards the door. I’ll go and speak with old Samuel Gray and his Missus to listen to what they have to say. At the same instant as he stepped outside, the unmistakable whine of a high velocity bullet crashed though the edge of the doorpost and thudded deep into the long wall of Oscar’s living room behind him. Richard dived to one side rolling over into the cover of Oscar’s

17. woodpile.He could instinctively tell where the shot had come from

but he couldn’t see any movement.
Damn it!
He was unarmed.
He could do nothing else but stay low. He noticed that Oscar was carefully peering out of one of his side windows too. He had heard the shot and immediately feared for Richard’s life. There was much local rumour that was still alive in Wild Bay about the two deceased. Ugly rumours that he hadn’t wished to tell Richard about. Of course; he wished now that maybe he had. Richard could never have guessed that he had in fact given his attacker completely the wrong impression about himself by his questioning at The Community Centre earlier in the day.
He wanted Richard to leave things alone. His shot was meant to be a warning to stay away from what was none of his business. In a sense he was right. Richard had no family ties to either of the deceased and he had no personal grudge to settle of any kind. His attacker didn’t realise that Richard was driven by a higher power. He had to know the truth.
After about 20 minutes Richard crawled out from his hiding place and he was away. He was shaken but now fiercely determined to pursue this matter. Nobody had ever taken a shot at Richard Ap Meurig and lived to tell the tale. He believed that whoever had fired that shot was already a dead man.
Richard composed himself as he walked up the wooden flight of 15 steps to Sam and Lizzie’s home.
He knocked on the door and waited.
He hadn’t seen them for 33 years. After a short delay Lizzie opened the door to greet him with open arms. “Richard, really you? You’re back. I heard tell that you were out here again visiting us but I couldn’t believe it.

18. C’mon, sit yourself down and I’ll git ya a drink and a piece of ginger cake.”

Richard noticed the two pretty Portuguese dolls sewed into the sides of his dark red cushioned armchair.
“Is Sam in?”
“I’ll go and get him for you. He’s very deaf now you know. I’ll translate for you. He’ll understand me alright.”
When Sam appeared from his bedroom, Richard could see that he was a dignified sort of man. Richard knew full well that his spirit was still as strong as ever.
“You’re another one of Them Englishman?” he said with a twinkle in his eye.
“No I’m not. Just because I speak English doesn’t mean I am English. I’m from Wales. I’m Richard Ap Meurig Sam. Remember me?”
Sam appeared to be at a loss. Then Lizzie appeared with the drink and cake and he shouted at her, “What did he say?”
“You’ll have to excuse him he’s nearly completely deaf. Tell me what you want so I can explain things to him,” said Lizzie.
Richard started off by asking Sam whether or not he knew anything about the deaths of James Jones and Emily Jeffrey who were buried under the tombstone.
“My yes. I know a lot about that 'coz I was there. We wuz the first people to reach the fire. We’d been told by the Manager to make sure there were fire axes in all the rooms as a safety precaution. We’d clove up so many junks the basement was full to the ceiling. When we got there it looked like all the doors and windows had been barred up with planks of wood. We ripped them down off one window and pulled her through. All covered in blood she was from head to foot. I’ve never seen so much blood in all my life but the strange thing was that after they had

19. cleaned her off here at the house there wasn’t a mark on her.

It was the rummest thing in all my life.”
Lizzie chipped in. ”When they went back to search through the ashes in the morning they found him without his head. It had been chopped right off. They found him lying there with the dead baby girl in his arms.”
“Yea, we found her too. Only her feet were all burnt off. That was strange too.”
“We found the head about 50 metres from the house the next day after the ashes from the boiler house down the road wuz emptied out. It must have rolled down the shore.” Sam grinned toothlessly.
“There was a maid at the house on the night of the fire too. I don’t know how she got out. It must have been through the back door. She soon left the place to live elsewhere but nobody could find her. Some say she is still alive today.”
“So, what you are telling me is that James Jones and his daughter were both murdered and he had his head chopped off. Is that right?”
“Well I’m not altogether sure who murdered them but everybody at the time seemed to think that it was his Russian wife who did it. Mrs. Jeffrey everybody always called her. She was having an affair with Quigley who was the Company Manager at the time. We always thought that John Jeffrey and he were the best of friends too. They always seemed to be getting along so well together. It was a right shock. Then she went and married Quigley in that Anglican School over there–in The Fall of the same year that she had murdered them both. What I’ve never been able to figure out,” said Sam in a rather hoarse voice, “is why the police never followed it up. They just did nothing about it at all .”
Richard cast his mind back to the original correspondence he had

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

20. read. At that time the British Government was trying to collect as much damning evidence against

J. O. Jeffrey as they could find. Ready for it to be brought out at The Public Enquiry held in 1944 they had cunningly deceived Jeffrey into believing had been his idea all along. Jeffrey would have been desperate with the Public Enquiry looming about avoiding any sort of scandal about how his son and grand-daughter had died. He would have cabled Quigley at Wild Bay to make sure they were buried as quickly as possible to try and make sure that nobody else knew what he was convinced had really happened. Or Quigley more likely acted on his own initiative without contacting Jeffrey at the time.
“God bless you! That would explain why we had to bury them in a concrete grave first of all and then later the tombstone was built on top,” said Sam.
“You mean they were buried twice?” said Richard.
“No. We were told to build on top as soon as the marble stone arrived from Wales.”
This was all news to Richard who was busy comparing the changed inscription that he had seen with what he had just heard. Richard had discovered however, that Jeffrey had been frustrated by the lack of news from Wild Bay about John and Emily’s tombstone. Jeffrey was appalled that Quigley had said he would be planting a rock garden around their graves because that is what he thought Jeffrey would have wanted. He complained that he hadn’t even been told what the dimensions of the tomb would be. Jeffrey had written that was the type of people they were, whatever that meant. He said he had learned about the true nature about Loga. Again without being more specific.
He had been responsible for sending John out to oversee the Company’s operations assuming that John and Kevin would work well together as they had before in Finland. In his worst imaginings he

21. could never have dreamed of the fatal Love Triangle which developed.

When Jeffrey first heard about the deaths he broke down. His mental breakdown lasted throughout the build-up to the Public Enquiry into the financial affairs of his company. Indeed, his solicitors advized that he should seek compensation from the British Government for their incompetent handling of his business from 1940 onwards when they were seen to have taken over control of it for themselves. Jeffrey always believed that he had initiated proceedings leading to The Public Enquiry but Richard’s research told a different story.
In fact the idea came from Merrick-Chadwick, the Under Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs in Downing Street. By means of a written reply to a posted question in the House of Commons he had managed to pass legislation through unnoticed. It was Merrick-Chadwick’s suggestion to the Newfoundland Government that they should offer Jeffrey the chance of taking his case to Public Enquiry in order to exonerate himself. In the hope that the results of the independent Public Enquiry would prove that Jeffrey was of unsound character and could no longer be trusted with running his Labrador operation let alone be granted any further loans from the Colonial Office Development Fund. That would give the Dominions Office in London the ammunition they needed to get rid of him.
However, the results of the Public Enquiry, from the Dominion Office’s point of view exonerated Jeffrey. Merrick- Chadwick’s plan had back–fired as blame was also attached by Judge Weaden to the British Government itself. Weaden knew of the dirty trick and to his credit wouldn’t play any part in it.
But the Enquiry’s outcome in Newfoundland was that his findings were generally considered unsound because they failed to find out the truth

22. about the Company’s financial mis-management.

Weaden had gone over the top in his sympathetic treatment of Jeffrey and Richard firmly believed that his Report was biased in Jeffrey’s favour.
At another place, Luke Dawson wrapped his still hot Lee Enfield in its cloth and slipped it back into its guncase. That should do the trick he thought. He should stay right away from other people’s family matters that don’t concern him. He’s been poking his nose in where it don’t belong. Just who does he think he is anyway? Coming over from England and all that and asking lots of questions about dead people. Why can’t he just go away and leave it alone? Let them rest in peace.
Luke was a hermit. He had never married and lived deep in the woods far up from Camp V Pond. Even when the fly were at their thickest he still chose to ignore them and cut himself off from other people. He had lived like this for 43 years and didn’t know any other way. Folk in Wild Bay might see Luke about once or twice a year if they were lucky. He was a curiosity to them and to the visitors who had started to come, now that The Trans-Labrador Highway was touching the edge of their small town. He came in to collect his winter stores in about early October. He would bring his furs and skins in to exchange whenever he wanted to. On other occasions nobody really knew why or when he would come. He would just turn up unannounced. It was strange because somehow or other, he always seemed to know all the local gossip.
Luke was the bastard son of Olga and Kevin Quigley. Conceived on the same night that James and Emily had died, he never knew them. Apparently they had just up and left him in the middle of one night on the doorstep of the Dawson’s house. They disappeared and nobody had the slightest idea where they had gone.

23. He never did feel part of them.

They weren’t his family.
They told him he was adopted and that’s how he felt.
Not the same.
He lasted out until he was 12 years of age and then he took off. He had planned his escape as he called it for about two years. As a child conceived in the woods, it was to the woods that he returned to spend the rest of his life. He had built a base for himself near Canyon Falls.
That over the years had become his home.
He would delight in spending hours there doing whatever he wanted. It was odd that Luke never felt lonely. The woods and the wild animals and the running water were his comfort and his delight. He collected all sorts of stuff and stowed them away inside what gradually became his cabin. He hung fishing nets from the ceiling and walls and crammed in all sorts of things. For example, The Union Jack Flag, a Welcome sign, framed photographs, Christmas decorations, sword, skates, traps, food, traps, ammunition, matches and food. His scraped furs and dried fish were also hung up as high as possible. Out of reach of spoilt bears he always hoped. His simple furniture was beautifully crafted and put together using only wooden plugs. The Rochester Wood Stove he had bought from the store had served him so well over the years that he saw no reason to change it. Well-blackened pots and pans and his clothes were all purchased from the sale of his furs and fish. The rivers around his home were teeming with fish and he never went hungry nor thirsty from the freshest, cleanest water you could imagine from the Canyon River nearby. His dried fish and potted bake-apple, partridge berry and blueberry jams lasted him right throughout the year. And he baked his own bread from the flour he had bought at the store. Luke found the best places to cut his firewood and haul it out with his dog

24. team standing the sticks on end in a tall conical pile

ready for sawing and splitting into junks for the stove.
He built his own dory and earned enough to buy a Yamaha 125 outboard motor to travel long distances up Wild River on his hunting and fishing trips. Often away from the cabin for weeks on end, Luke gradually had become as one with the land. He had been an outcast child who had found his home in the woods. He knew the trees and the lie-of-the-land as if they were his friends. It was his backyard. He had found that elusive peace and goodness inside himself that others spent a lifetime searching for without success. He woke at dawn and slept at dusk. He fed wild bears from his hand although he was wise enough to stay away from the temperamental grizzlies that could decapitate him with one swing of their mighty paws. He was strong, fit and hardened to the life of a true backwoodsman. His tracking skills become legendary amongst the Beothuck descendants, the native Indians of southern Labrador. Innu, Innuit and the more local Metis people had heard tell of a legendary tracker who lived outside Wild Bay. They had travelled on their teams to meet with him. He was The Supreme Woodsman. His hunting rifle had been given to him by a friendly Mick-Mack he had befriended whilst away one year on one of his hunting trips. When he went on the Outside for seal and ducks he always easily bagged as much as he could carry on his komatik. He had lost any desire to socialise with others; if it had ever been there in the first place. Although happy and contented in his world there was one thing that still occupied his thoughts and troubled him.
People in Wild Bay had told him bad things about his mother and father whom he had never known. So many wickedly bad things that he had started defending them for himself. He was always trying to protect that part of him that he had lost as a small child.

25. He hadn’t known them

but he knew they could not have been all bad. He loved the sound of the names “Loga” and “Quigley.” When he had overheard words that an Englishman was going round the place asking all sorts of questions about them he didn’t like it. Luke Dawson was an uncomplicated soul.
He decided that he would simply frighten him away.
From watching him at the tombstone he had followed him to outside Oscar’s house and fired off his warning shot.
Luke didn’t have the faintest idea how or why the tombstone might be connected with the lives of his mother and father. He, like so many other people in Wild Bay had heard whispers about some terrible secret that maybe had gone to their graves with them.
But that was all.
He would continue to keep a close watch on this interfering stranger.
Many thousands of miles away at that point in time, on the banks of the rushing River River of Gold running through the precipitous gorge of Opporto in northern Portugal, was Shanolla’s mother. She was sitting down on the very steep, worn, red sandstone steps outside her small fifth floor apartment in Old Porto. Amongst its closely packed, atmospheric whispering streets and five and six storey blocks she was again trying for the umpteenth time; trying to make arrangements to see her daughter again.
Roseanne McCarthy was writing another letter. She hadn’t seen Shanolla for six years and they hadn’t spoken to each other in all that time.
Shanolla hadn’t understood why her mother decided to leave Wild Bay in such a hurry. As a 14-year-old girl it was if her whole world had just caved in. She had not been told why and she had held it against her. But the arrival of Richard had completely changed everything. With his help they should be able to get together again. There was

26. nothing that she wanted more.

The Portuguese postmark told her who the letter was from. As usual, the tone was apologetic and once again offered to pay her fare out to Faro. This time she didn’t just tear it up and throw it away like all the others. She kept it to show Richard. Whereas before there had only been a little self-doubt about what she had to do, because she had kept her Grandmother’s secret for so long, now there was none. She was going to tell Richard what she had been told.
After his brush with death and his excitement about what Sam and Lizzie had told him, Richard went back to Wilderness Hotel, run by kind Jessica Shepherd. He showered and gratefully sank into his comfortable bed. He slept a deep peaceful sleep.
Before breakfast the next morning, he went on his walk down the shoreline towards Light Tickle. Shanolla met him as he came round the corner past Renney’s Store opposite the fire station. They exchanged pleasantries, then she said and her hands were shaking, ”You’ve been asking questions about the tombstone haven’t you? What did you find out?”
“Not very much, only that according to the inscription a James Jones Jeffrey and his baby daughter Emily died at that exact spot in an accidental fire.”
Shanolla tight-lipped, thought about her Grandmother’s wish and then in a measured voice said, ”It wasn’t an accident.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean there was someone else in the house on the night they died.”
The maid, Richard thought to himself.
“Who was it?”

27. “She managed to open the back door of the house,

next to James Jones’s bedroom and escape before the fire took hold. The screaming woke her up and the sickening repeated thuds of the fire axe chopping down through flesh and bone. She had gone to wake them up first of all but when she realised all the noise was coming from the bedroom and then when she saw what she was doing to him; when she looked in there she very nearly passed out. Blood was spurting out from what was left of his neck, covering her, the bedclothes and hitting the walls. And she kept on chopping down on him. It was a scene from Hell as if the very Devil was at work within her.”
“Who was there; I don’t understand?”
“It was my Grandma, Chantelle McCarthy, she was there in that terrible house that night. She did the housework and looked after the baby for Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey. She was their housemaid. She witnessed the murder but she was so frightened that she got herself out of there as fast as she could.”
“Where is she now?”
At that point Shanolla paused and whispered, ”That’s why I need to speak with you some more. Come with me.” She grabbed Richard by his arm.
Richard’s mind felt chaotic. How much of what he had just been told was true? How much of it was made up to impress? He didn’t know and right now he didn’t particularly care. He allowed himself to be led by her to a small rocky cove, where a small stream entered Wild River. As they both sat down, as if accidentally, Richard brushed his hand along her thigh and felt her respond. She moved closer until her body was resting against his own. All other thoughts had already started to disappear from Richard’s mind as they enjoyed their intimacy.

28. “I need you to take me to Portugal

and you can speak with mother yourself.” He quickly agreed. He would make all the necessary arrangements and this Saturday in three days from now he said, they would fly out together to St. John’s for a scheduled air service to Faro. He was excited at the prospect and she smiled playfully now that all her instincts told her that things were moving in the direction she wanted.
They walked part of the way back together until about a mile or so away from the Town they went in on separate paths. They had arranged to meet and finalise their joint plan tomorrow.
Richard returned for breakfast of ham, eggs and hash browns with toast and tea. He reflected about what must have been a warning shot from somebody who knew how to move around unseen and about what Shanolla and his research work had told him. He felt convinced that there was more to the tombstone than met the eye. He spent the next thirty minutes or so in his hotel bedroom on his training exercises. It helped him stay focussed. He showered, rubbed himself down and crossed the dusty, gravelled, graded car park to Oscar’s. His daughter Mishka opened the door and showed him in with the traditional “You’re most welcome!”
Oscar Dridle Staunton was sitting bolt upright at the table reading the weekly “Labradorian” that made him feel in touch with elsewhere on the coast at least. “Come in, sit down. I’m sorry that I can’t get up but both my hips are playing me up. I’m due to go in to Corner Brook next week to have them both replaced. I am so sorry about what happened. It’s not a regular occurrence around here you know.”
“Would you like a drink?” said Mishka.
“Tea will be fine, thank you.”
“Did you find out who took a shot at you?” said Oscar.

29. “No chance. Impossible.

I didn’t have my rifle with me or the son– of–a-bitch would be in the graveyard by now. I could tell where it came from but I wasn’t in any sort of a position to do anything about it.
It was a warning shot.
Keep out or else!
I assume he was concerned about the sort of questions I have been asking.”
“What makes you say that?”
“Gut reaction that’s all. I know that if he had wanted to kill me he would have done so. I was out there in the open for a few moments with no protection. No, it was a warning shot alright. Anyway Oscar, enough of my problems, let’s hear the rest of your story.”
Oscar pushed back his chair, attempted to stretch out his legs but failed. Pulling in his chair again feeling slightly embarrassed, he again looked closely at Richard’s face. Wondering why he was really here after all those years. What did he stand to gain from all this? Why was he so interested in the tombstone? He sensed that Richard was still as straight as a die as when he first met him in 1969. Remorseless in the pursuit of truth and understanding in his job; the same qualities were now been brought to bear about the tombstone. Nothing had changed his first impressions of the man. What you see is what you get thought Oscar to himself. He’s a timber wolf.
Richard didn’t like it at all that a fellow Welshman had come out with his son and Manager in July 1934 and ruthlessly set about making fast bucks at the expense of the local people. People who were Richard’s friends. J.O.J. was a greedy, money person who would go to any lengths to get what he wanted and God help anybody who stood in his way. He borrowed to cover his expenses and then

30. borrowed and borrowed again as the need arose.

All the time filtering off cash here and there into his own pocket. Of course, it was his business so he could do what he wanted with the money. But Richard knew that money had been loaned to him under false pretences. That he would build 400 houses for the folk of Wild Bay to enable the men to properly look after their families at a decent standard of living never materialised.
Whilst Quigley Richard believed, also learned to make his money through the credit-based system of the Company store and by any other deal he could fix-up. It was not surprising because Jeffrey failed to honour his agreement to send out $10,000 wages each month from 1935–40 and often did not pay his local manager at all. Quigley probably became a hard-hearted, ruthless man who would stop at nothing to achieve his ambition of making his personal fortune from the Wild Bay operations as well as from his other interests elsewhere. From Hawkes Bay timber for instance.
Before they had even set-up their first loggers' camp back in 1934, Jeffrey and Quigley had a real stroke of luck .They happened to be on the same diverted ship as Commissioners Wrigglesworth and Pomeroy coming out of Halifax for St. John’s. The Commissioners were new to their official duties and were looking to make a name for themselves. They were both taken in by Jeffrey’s infectious enthusiasm and optimism about the Labrador as a site for a large-scale wood cutting operation with a permanent settlement thrown in for good measure. The L.D.W.C. Ltd. was incorporated and in its earliest years was allowed to avoid paying any royalties on the wood it exported. They were allowed to get away with pretty much anything they wanted.
Richard knew the character of the people where Jeffrey came from because he came from Richard’s own hometown of Merthyr Tydfill in the South Wales valleys. One of the towns at the heads of the valley

31. with a great pride and feeling of camaraderie amongst its people

as the menfolk were bonded like no other from working together deep underground. Cutting out best Welsh anthracite to help keep the country’s energy supplies moving. Depending upon each other for their very lives. They had no respect for parasites like Jeffrey. In the same vein, what Richard felt about Jeffrey was confirmed by his research findings. He had grown to despise his merchant’s mentality the more he had learned about him. Money was his God and protector. Why, he had even sent out his own son to Wild Bay in the Fall of 1939 instead of going out himself to deal with Quigley’s bad management. He was a coward at heart. Unable to face up to the reality that he was a crook and a liar he always sought to lay the blame at the door of other people whenever something started to go wrong; which they frequently did. The British Government found Jeffrey a thorough nuisance and they had a great deal of trouble in getting rid of him mainly due to their own mis-handling of the whole affair from the days of Sir James Wrigglesworth’s through to Claude Wolsey as Government Director of the Company.
“Quigley had personal assistants you know,” said Oscar. “There were about two or three men who worked directly for him. But they never trusted him and often shared what they knew about him with other folk. For instance, George Ponting ran the Company store. To his credit it was George who secretly organised the first Lumber Strike in 1934. He knew what Quigley was up to in regards to pocketing profits from the Store and wages not being paid on time or not at all to the loggers and their families. All on top of no proper houses been built. They, The Englishmen, thought themselves so clever being so nice to everybody. George really had enough when he found that some of the families who came to the store were starving to death and without proper shelter. Then there was smart Ben Lovell who loved his gardening, could cut wood with the best of them, loved to fish when the fancy took him and was an expert self-taught boat builder. I think he built about 100

32. boats of different sizes in his time.

Quite a few of them are still in use in Mary’s Harbour to this day. Ben organised the men in the woods without the Company ever finding out'bout him. He was some smart operator. He always acted a bit dumb so as not to draw attention to himself. So they wouldn’t suspect him of organising the labour against them. Ben and Abbie live in that lovely home just up past the Hotel from where you’re staying.”
Richard knew where they lived. He had enjoyed their fantastic hospitality on many an occasion, with meals of fresh salmon and potatoes been out for him with delicious cakes to follow. He dearly wanted to just call in and see them again. He thought about all his other friends whom he hadn’t seen for so long.
“What about Winston James? How did he manage to stay here through the bad times?”
“Winston’s dogs were the best here. What he didn’t know about keeping them in tip-top condition wasn’t worth knowing. Prince, Busker, Flurt. They were some powerful animals. Wince was like a leader to all the other men when time came round for hauling out. He knew just how much to haul out for what the Company was going to pay them. He was like a measuring stick, a scaler for the others. However much he was bringing out, the other men would bring out the same. Wince showed them the best mix of feed for the dogs when they were working, the best roads to take coming out and how to keep them lean and hungry. His dogs would pull until they dropped dead for him. Quigley sensed that he had to keep Wince happy but he didn’t know why. He sensed that if Wince turned against him then all hell would break loose with his operations. Wince liked it that way. The boss and not the boss. It suited him just fine. Wince was a good man. He would always keep an eye on how the

33. other dogs were doing.

Because he was their friend the men would listen to him. Shift those two dogs out from there. Try this one in the lead and so on. I’m not sure if he knows anything about the tombstone though. You need to try and speak with Luke Dawson if you can find him. I think he knows quite a lot about what happened.”
“Who is he?” said Richard. “Where is he? Where can I find him?”
“Your last two questions are going to be as hard to answer as your first one,” laughed Oscar, rising to the effect that his version of events was having upon Richard. “That’s just the trouble, nobody seems to know who he really is. I doubt if he knows himself. Liam and Grace Dawson took him in as a baby but as he grew older he couldn’t settle down with them. I believe he was found on their doorstep in the middle of the night. It was the same night, three days after bonfire night, 8th November 1940 when Loga, John Jones’ widow, (The White Russian we used to call her because she came from that part of the world, Belarus I think it is now) took off with Quigley and their baby son Leon.”
“So where does he live?”
“It’s a good day on the skidoo from here. He lives at a place called Canyon Falls. His cabin if it’s still there, is next to the river. We only get to see him a scattered time each year. In fact, it’s about now, October time when he usually comes in for his winter stores. If you’re lucky you might find him around. You see Richard; Luke’s a hermit. I think he doesn’t much like people and I daresay they don’t much like him. But if the truth were known I don’t think there’s anybody here now who would say they knew him as a man. He’s lived away from people for so long now he’s maybe forgotten how to speak.” Oscar laughed out loud.
At last, thought Richard, a lead pointing in the right direction. But a

34. possible meeting with Luke would have to wait.

He had much more enjoyable travel arrangements to make. Richard thanked Oscar for his time and left feeling considerably better than he had done on the last occasion. “Mind ya get those hips properly fixed up do ya hear? I want to see you running about on them like a headless chicken the next time I see you.” Richard heard Oscar chuckle as he left.
He went back to his hotel room and made a call through to Air Canada about availability for this coming Saturday. In two days time. He was fortunate to obtain two bookings at such late notice on flight AC745 departing 0645 hrs for Faro International, Portugal. His luck also held when he called Air Labrador. After one change at St. Anthony and about an hour’s wait their flight would land at St. John’s about 1800 hrs, Friday night. That night whilst he was waiting for Shanolla he reflected about what had happened. It was then that he started to formulate the questions that might ultimately put his own life in grave danger. His hunter’s instinct told him that he was on the right track. Why had somebody tried to warn him off? Why had Shanolla convinced him to take her to Portugal?
But Shanolla seemed to be rushed and flustered. As if she was confused about what she was doing. She was probably still trying to come to terms with breaking her Grandmother’s wish thought Richard. She knew that it had to be done. If not for herself then for her mother’s sake. After a comfortable uneventful flight to Faro, they booked into a spacious hotel in the modernised pedestrianised city centre. After drinks and dinner they returned to their room.
Early next morning they started off on the famous Portuguese train journey that took them the length of the country. Leaving the hot, dry Mediterranean lands of virtually continuous sun, they travelled past fields of bright

35. yellow sunflower, olive and orange groves

until they reached their destination.
Porto is a beautiful city located in a gorge a few miles before the River of Gold, the River Douro, enters the Atlantic Ocean. They watched three Portuguese workmen painstakenly laying granite cobbles in beds of sand on the promenade that was being re-furbished. They looked down at the shoals of small black fish crowding around a hot water outlet into the river. They looked high up through the early morning river mist to see one of the famous award–winning bridges spanning the river, seeming to float in the air without any attachment to the river banks as the mist swirled around it. They went into bars during the day and club at night. It was good to be alive. They took full advantage of their visit to cross over the river in one of the many wine company sailing barges, resplendent in its bright colourful attire of red, blue, yellow and orange flags and drapes. They walked up the steep steps of the other side to sample the port wines in their cold storage caves. Then they returned to the northerly bank to meet Shanolla’s mother.
They climbed up the maze of very steep, narrow cobbled streets of the Old Town until they reached her block of apartments. She had been looking out for them from her street terrace high above their heads. At the first pull of the doorbell the door opened. In front of them stood an olive-skinned, raven-haired old lady dressed in homely Portuguese clothes and leather sandals. For a moment Shenolla and her mother just stood there; staring at each other. Transfixed. Then as recognition took over they hugged and kissed each other over and over again. Richard felt it had been worth coming just to see that reunion alone. By the time they had climbed up all the stairs and

36. settled themselves down in comfy wickerwork chairs,

draped with the bright yellow and blue Portuguese cloths it was if they had never been apart. They were already joking and laughing together. Richard never felt left out. He was made to feel most welcome.
As Richard listened, Shanolla without hesitation just came out with it and told her mother all about her Grandmother’s wish. Her mother only nodded.
On the night of James and Emily’s deaths, Roseanne remembered her mother leaving their house for the 15-minute walk to the bungalow. A walk she had done countless times before. However on that particular night, she came running back to the house in a terrible state. As if something had frightened her out of her wits. She then told Shanolla and Richard the story almost exactly as he had already heard it. When she had finished, Richard quietly asked, “Would you mind if I asked a few questions?”
Roseanne agreed.
“Who decapitated him?”
“She did - his wife. My mother said that she saw her do it. She said there was blood everywhere.”
“Was there anybody else in the house apart from Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey and their baby daughter, Emily?”
“No. Except Kristian Orlowski, one of Quigley’s assistants who was there earlier in the evening. He was there talking with Mr. Jeffery about something or other Mother said. She just naturally assumed that he left. Although she didn’t see him leave.”
“Where was the baby?”
“Where she always was, in the other room. Mother put her in there about two weeks earlier so’s Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey could sleep better.”
“That’s about all I can remember what mother told me,” said

37. Roseanne. “Oh, there was one other thing.

I can remember her saying that the young lad Ranger Spiller called round. He asked her questions and took notes about what she had said but she thought he was too young to be doing that important job. I don’t think he was even 18 years old. I doubt if he’d ever had a girl in his life. But he did say that he thought it strange that Orlowski was round earlier on instead of Quigley going over himself. Jeffrey and Quigley had set up some sort of contract between themselves so that Quigley would be the Company’s contractor whilst still the Manager. Mother didn’t understand what it was all about. But it did give work to the menfolk in the place. Many of them and their families were in a bad way.”
Richard got up, walked slowly over to the upper floor window with his hands in his pockets and looked out across the colourful orange tiles with their jumbled up rooftops and array of different chimney pots. It doesn’t fit. There was something that wasn’t right about what Roseanne had told them.
Early next morning out on his walk, Richard thought it was odd that Chantelle, the Grandmother, had chosen to tell Shanolla that she should tell no-one when in fact she had also told her own daughter, Roseanne. He put it down to Chantelle’s confusion and thought no more about it. Walking along the bank of the Douro and up into the city he marvelled at the architecture. The wonderful displays of fresh, colourful flowers, vegetables and fish already laid out on the market stalls and the small groups of morning people already engrossed in their conversation around their coffees and croissants sitting at their small round tables. Maybe Chantelle had wanted to blame Loga for her own reasons? Richard was just guessing. There were too many unanswered questions.
Richard and Shanolla both returned to St. John’s two days after

38. meeting with her mother.

He was pleased they were in communication again but he was far from pleased that he still had no definite evidence about how James and Emily had died. It was all hearsay. He felt like the ball in the middle of a non– stop game of pinball.
On the return flight from his window seat at 30,000 feet he hardly noticed the amazing cloud formations below him resembling mountains, valleys, sand dunes and one regular formation resembling a huge slab of crissed – crossed broken toffee on its tray. More and more questions were occupying his mind.
If Loga had really decapitated her husband then wasn’t it just too far-fetched to believe that she had also killed her only daughter? Why had the infant’s dead body been found with her feet burnt away? At 18 months she would most likely have been walking. Did she walk over to her dead headless father to lie with him? It all seemed too absurd to be true.
Richard had believed what Sam and Lizzie had told him – that Loga was pulled out covered in blood yet without a mark on her. Richard knew that a Doctor from Mary’s Harbour had attended to Loga. Where was the medical report? What were the clinical facts? Where was the murder weapon? Were local people more involved in the murders than anybody had let on? What did they really know? What had the deceased family done about it? Again too many unanswered questions. 64 years later on was it all still worthwhile? Who was still alive? Did it all matter? What if they really had died in an accidental fire? Where was the evidence? What were the facts?
Richard was convinced that it did matter. Nobody closes the book on unsolved murders he thought to himself. He owed it to their memories

39. to find out how and why they had died.

He was certain that he had to pursue this to the end.
So Richard walked through the revolving doors of R.C.M.P. Headquarters at St. Anthony with his story to tell. He explained to the Commissionaire an ex- policeman on reception, that he wanted to tell them about his research because he was convinced there were two unsolved murders in Wild Bay. An officer from the Serious Crimes Unit was called down and Richard followed him upstairs to his office. He was asked to tell him anything he wanted to. Richard did so and about two hours later he had finished dictating his story for transcription. The officer-in-charge, Cpl. Ian Dawson thanked him for coming and explained that a decision would be made as to whether or not the Mounties would pursue the matter. He said that he would definitely get back to him and told Richard to send him anything he wanted to. They shook hands and Richard left the building feeling that his visit had been worthwhile.
Shanolla was troubled in St. Anthony. She hadn’t told Richard everything she knew. On the flight back from St. Anthony Richard said to her, “You mean to say that you and your Mum are both illegitimate?”
“Yes, that’s true.”
“I am the granddaughter of Quigley’s assistant who visited the house on the evening of the murders. Kris Orlowski, a Pole, was my father. He’d come from St. John’s to find work in 1935 and stayed on. There’s something else too.”
“What is it?” said Richard.
“Well, Mother was born outside marriage too. She told me she was the daughter of John Jones Jeffrey himself but Grandmother told me

40. otherwise, Orlowski was my

Mother’s father.”
“So you and Emily might have been like Auntie and niece?”
“I suppose we might have been, although I never really thought of her like that. ”Shanolla sounded dismissive. ”It was such a terrible thing that happened. So strange that the only fire in the town since I’ve been here was in that house.”
“When was your mother born?”
“1941; Grandma was in her late teens or early twenties when she was the domestic for the Jeffreys.”
“That means she would have been pregnant with your Mother at the time of the murders.”
“Why is that important? What could that have to do with their deaths?”
“Maybe your Grandma felt she needed to hide her pregnancy from Jeffrey’s wife. Wouldn’t you? What better opportunity could there have been to divert attention away from herself and towards Loga than by accusing her of the murders?”
“But Grandmother didn’t accuse anybody at the time she ran away. She didn’t tell anybody where she was going.”
Richard paused then said,”Yes she did.”
"Whom did she tell, she certainly didn't tell my mother who never knew where she went to.
"She left two very pretty Portuguese dolls behind her as if they were meant to point the way. Maybe they belonged to her and were played with by Emily Jeffrey.”
"They were stitched to the sides of an armchair in Sam and Lizzie's front room."