Aurore!  The Mystery of the Martyred Child

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Fortierville, Co Lotb February 17, 1920.

Testimony of Oréus Mailhot, J, P,

In July 1919 Monsieur Thelesphore Gagnon as well as Madame Thelesphore Gagnon came to my home, to have their little daughter Aurore Gagnon appear before me being (the Justice of the Peace).

The father and mother told me, before the little girl appeared before me, that they beat her a great deal, giving as a reason that she had a very vicious character. The father and mother then stated that the injuries on her feet and on her side had been caused by little boys.–

So I told the little girl, while withdrawing away from the father and the mother. Come tell me about it? The little girl obeyed and so we went to withdraw into a room, that is to say the little girl and I, and all of a sudden the father and mother told her in a sharp tone. Listen You know.- Be careful what you say. I was far from pleased to hear those words. - At any rate I continued with the little girl who could barely walk on her two legs. Once we arrived in the room, I asked her. Listen to me.– Tell me the truth, be honest. The nervous child didn't wait for me, she told me it was the little Gagnon boys and the little Bédard boy, who threw a big rock rock on my foot and others on my leg, then they took a big stick and they stabbed me in the side. I wanted to ask her some questions, the little girl always kept repeating the above Then I took her back to her parents and I told them it was all right.

But I still had suspicions that this child was being mistreated by her parents.

Long after on February 9, 1920. Adjutor Gagnon called at my place, telling me that Thelesphore Gagnon's little girl that is to say Aurore Gagnon was being mistreated saying that he had seen the little


girl around January 18, 1920 and that she had head injuries the mother answered him that that had been caused by her having gone barefoot in the snow. That very morning. I was going down to Quebec City on business, and I made inquiries to find out how to go about getting definite proof.

After this trip I spoke of the affair with Monsieur le Curé our parish priest. He was very surprised.... That was February 11, and on February 12 Father Massé telephoned me. Hurry.– the little girl was dying. He asked me if I would be kind enough to drive him, my car being ready, within 15 minits we were at Thelesphore Gagnon's looking at the little girl. I was dummfounded by it all, seeing the poor little girl dying, with horrible wounds on all her limbs and her head. Crusified. I couldn't help crying she was covered up to her neck by a cover. Father Massé told us I wil administer the last rites as quickly as possible. The mother being with us, Father Massé asked her to turn the child over, she answered, I'm not able to. I O. Mailhot. I turned the child over and I took the covers off her, notising all the wounds on every two or three inches of her limbs, it was dreadful to see. After she had received the last rites. I asked Madame Thelesphore Gagnon. Where is your husband, she answered, he is in the woods. Does he come back every evening? Yes.– Do you know that the little girl is going to die in a moment. Would you like me to send for him. Very likely he'd like to see her. She answered, fine send for him. So I thought of going to get someone, so that she bee seen before she died, she actually died 5 hours later. I went to go get 3 men the neighbours telling them to examine the child well . These Messieurs were Adj Gagnon, Alp Chandonnet, and Arcade Lemay. Monsieur A Chandonnet told Madame Theles Gagnon. Is this the first time the Doctor has come? Yes if she had been my own child, I would have had him come quicker than that and before today but she said that Thelesphore didn't want that. I asked her a question. How long has she had these sores on her hand? Since this morning [addition] and her little brother died from the same illness.- Then one of the men Monsieur A Chandonnet went to go get thelesphore in the woods.

Source: ANQ, , TP9, S1, SS1, SSS999, 1960-01-357\69, 3B 023 03-05-002A-01, Cour du banc du roi, assises criminelles, district de Québec, Témoignage de Oréus Mailhot, juge de paix, February 17, 1920, 2.

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