Chapter 1

The Rendez-vous

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The Rendez-Vous
Le Rendez-vous
Phew! There’s a lot of people here tonight. I see Ti-Jos and Pierre beside the canoes.
They are best friends since their trip last year. Surviving danger together creates strong friendships.
And this was one of the worst trips ever.
They lost two: one drowned, the other broke his neck during a portage.
I don’t know how they got here in one piece. I was sure that Ti-Jos would stop after this trip.
He could quit; his contract is up.
But he won’t, there are some who like the adventure of being a Voyageur.
My Jacques is like that. I would like him to stay at home, my little one.
Not so little now, my youngest.
I was told that he came back today but I don’t see him anywhere.
Oh, is that him by the fire?
Ah, he’s talking to the Cree girl who came with her family to sell pemmican at the fort.
She is quite beautiful. They would make me beautiful grandchildren, those two.
I wonder if having a beautiful young woman waiting for him would encourage my Jacques, to stay at home…
I know it pays well but it’s not worth his life, anyway!
Oh yes! Let’s get out the instruments! Stop jabbering, you people. It’s time to dance and sing. Yup, yup.
I know you’ve got a lot to talk about and it’s been a long time since you haven’t seen each other but there are some here who have been waiting
a long time for good partners to dance with.
And, as you’ve noticed, there are people from all over come to trade.
But soon, we’ll be going on the fall hunt, and there won’t be any gaps for a while.
I really like it when everyone meets at the fort. It’s like celebrating new year’s day more than once a year!
Wôô! Yâ dju mond isitte aswerre. J’wè Ti-Jos pi Pierre a kôti di kanou.
Depwi leu darnyé wéyaj l’anni pâssi, sonta di bein bon z’ami. Kan sa survi di danji ansanb, sa fa di z’amichyé bein forte.
Pi sâ, sta ein di pire wéyaj, sâ. Y n’ava pardju deu : ein, yé morre nwèyé, l’ôt, y si kâssi l’kou pandan ein portaj.
Shé pâ koman ksa lâ fette pour arrivi isitte dan ein morsô. Sh’ta sur ke Ti-Jos l’ita pour arrêti apra s’wéyaj-lâ.
Mé non. Y nâ ksa l’emme sâ l’avanchur di wéyaji.
Mon Jacques li parèye. Bonyenne, j’emmera ke mon pchi resse a mizon.
Mé mon pluss jenne li pu si pchi ksâ. Sa ma dji ki l’ita r’v’nu back ojordjwi mé j’lâ pâ vu nulparre. Oh!
Si tchu lwi a kôti dju feu? Ah! Y parl a la jenne Crie ke lâ v’nu avek sa faméye pour vand dju pemmikan ô forre.
A li pâ mal belle. Sa f’ra di bô pchi-zanfan, si deu-lâ.
J’ma d’mand si mon Jacques, sa l’ankourajra a resti a mizon si y’arra enne belle jenne famme ke l’attan.
J’sé ksa pèye bein mé, sa vô kan mêm pâ sa vi.
A wè. Sa sor la muzik. Arrêti d’parli vouzôt. Si l’tan d’dansi pi shanti. Wè,wè.
J’sé ksa bein di z’aferre a djirre, pi sa fa lontan ksa sé pâ vu, mé y nâ isitte ksa l’attan depwi lontan pour trouvi dju mond avek ki dansi.
Pi, sa lâ tedbein vu, ke lâ dju mond k’ita v’nu di toupartou, pour ferre la trette.
Pi didan-lâ, mé, dan pâ gran tan, sa vâ parchir pour la shasse ô boflô de l’automne, pi y’aura pu d’senne pour enne bonne secousse.
J’emme bein sâ kan toul’mond y s’rankont ô forre. S’kom la fêt d’la fête du jour de l’an, pluss k’enne fwè par anni.