Aurore!  The Mystery of the Martyred Child

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La petite Aurore l'enfant martyre

(Little Aurore the Child Martyr) (Film, 105 minutes)

Scene where Catherine visits the Andois family. She knocks at the door and enters.

Marie-Louise: Ah, it’s our new bride.

Catherine: Hello, Marie-Louise!

Marie-Louise: Hello! Come and sit down.

Catherine: Oh! Don’t get up. It’s been a long time since I came up to visit, eh! Well, you know before my wedding I was rushing here and there, and then, well, it took me a bit o'time before I found my way around the house and got the children used to me.

Marie-Louise: How are the little ones?

Catherine: Oh! The children are nice, a real blessing.

(She notices Aurore lying down and looking very sick.)

Marie-Louise: … And Abraham?

Catherine: Well, yours is very sickly. You know, it could get very serious.

Marie-Louise: If she would just die, I’d be well rid of her....

Catherine : Oh! Don’t say that.

Marie-Louise: It’s obvious you're not in my place. All she has to do is move and she finds a way of being unbearable. If she could be nice enough to die without anybody knowing about it. People are so vicious, they’d find something to say against me.

Catherine: By the way, I came to borrow your little meat grinder.

Marie-Louise: Oh, well, it’s not here. Théodore used it. It’ll take me five minutes to go get it; it probably isn't too clean.

(Marie-Louise leaves. Catherine walks towards Aurore and sits by the bed.)

Catherine: Aurore, Aurore!

Aurore: Yes, Madame.

(Aurore awakens and sits up in her bed)

Catherine: Dear sweet Lord, I don’t believe it. How did you burn yourself like that?

Aurore: Well... uhm!

Catherine: Well what?

Aurore: It was an accident.

Catherine: You don’t look too sure. Don’t be scared. She’s not here; you can tell me everything.

Aurore: I can’t say anything.

Catherine: And why not?

Aurore: Because she said she’d poke my eyes out if I did.

Catherine: Hey! You listen to me good. I won’t say a word of what you tell me to anybody. But, if I sort of had an idea of what was going on … without showing it, well, I could do something to help you. But tell me everything, eh. Don’t tell me lies; it’s not nice.

Aurore: Well, she hasn’t touched me for two weeks.

Catherine: All right, but before that?

Aurore: Before, she made me do all the work in the house, and if I didn’t go fast enough, well, she beat me.

Catherine: What does your father say about that?

Aurore: Well, Papa believes everything that Madame tells him, and when I want to say something, she says it’s not true and he beats me.

Catherine: What did she do to you again?

Aurore: Well, when I couldn’t do any more work and was thirsty, she made me drink dirty wash water, made me eat soap, then beat me with a strap. I still have all the marks.

Catherine: And I suppose that the burns on your head got there by themselves. Ah! Is it possible to go to church every Sunday and then to abuse a child like this? It would be on my conscience if I didn’t go tell our priest about this right away.

Aurore: Don’t do that. She’d know about it, and she told Maurice and me that she'd cut out our tongues if we talked. She’s coming!

Catherine: Shhh!

(Aurore lies down again)

Catherine: And don’t you worry. Everything you just told me--I won’t repeat any of it to anybody.

(Catherine gets up. Marie-Louise comes in with the meat grinder in her hands.)

Marie-Louise: I wasn't too long, was I?

Catherine: Oh! No! No!

(Marie-Louise notices the chair near Aurore’s bed. She moves it back to near the table while she looks at Catherine. There’s an uneasiness in the air. Catherine takes the meat grinder from her hands.)

Marie-Louise: My goodness, you seem in a hurry to leave.

Catherine: Well, I have to cook my meat, put it through the grinder. I can’t stay too long. So, goodbye then!

Marie-Louise: I hope you don’t have too much trouble with your little ones.

Catherine: Oh! There’s no bloody danger of that!… I’m not a woman to mistreat my children, not me!

(Catherine leaves. Marie-Louise turns towards Aurore.)

Marie-Louise: You talked, you. Remember what I told you I'd do if you talked…

Aurore: No, no…

Scene where Marie-Louise burns Aurore’s hands on the stove.

Source: Extrait du scénario du film «La petite Aurore l'enfant martyre», Jean-Yves Bigras dir., Montréal: France Film, 1952.

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Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History