Aurore!  The Mystery of the Martyred Child

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Translated document

Le drame d'Aurore

Chapter 4, p. 61 to 63.

Odilon […] knew nothing of the wretched woman’s diabolical plans. He had no idea that beneath the soft surface lurked a criminal heart, whose cruelty was equalled only by its greed and jealousy.
Two feelings, one as sordid as the other, drove Mélanie to commit her odious actions.
For one, she was secretly jealous of Aurore.
A picture of Rosa, Odilon’s first wife, still held a prominent place in the living-room. And Aurore, in spite of her frailty, in spite of her drawn looks, was nevertheless the spitting image of her mother.
And Mélanie, who planned to be the sole mistress of the house, knew that as the child grew up, this resemblance in her husband’s child would only increase.
One day, Odilon would find himself staring at his wife, so to speak. The wife that he had loved in his youth, that he had wed. With whom, Mélanie knew, he had been deeply happy. What if, forced to compare, he began to hate her, Mélanie?
Not that she lent much importance to any sentiment.
For her, reason prevailed over love. In fact, with her amazon proportions and lack of soft sentiment, the sensual dimensions of love were foreign to her. Any attachment she felt was to material possessions only.
Of course, Odilon was not wealthy. But his current piece of land was paid for and as such was a firm asset. He also had some savings in the bank. And as he was a hard worker and was never out of work, in a few years his savings would prove worthwhile. When she married, Mélanie brought with her five thousand dollars, the insurance benefit she was paid upon her first husband’s death.
Basic calculations led her to hope that, in fifteen years, their wealth would reach approximately twenty thousand dollars.
Of this amount she planned to be the sole beneficiary.
Aurore, once old enough, would be entitled to her share. And the more she looked like her mother, the more difficult it would be for Mélanie to have her disinherited by her Odilon.
That night, following a long discussion with her husband, Mélanie’s plan began to take shape.
She had kept Aurore from saying anything so far. This method could not go on for very long, and soon she would have to resort to another. As she got older, the little girl would become more perceptive and it would be difficult, if not impossible, to keep her game plan hidden any longer.
There was but one solution left. Aurore would have to die.
With a smile of wild joy, which Odilon, who was sound asleep, could not see, Mélanie considered that the little girl’s debilitating condition, her increasing weakness from day to day, could prove to be fatal.
She would push her so hard that the child, physically as well as mentally downtrodden, would perish either from anaemia or weakness.
The house would be rid of this obstacle and this danger.

Source: Yves Thériault (Benoît Tessier), Le drame d\'Aurore, chapitre 4 (Québec: Diffusion du livre, 1952), 61-63.

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Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History