Aurore!  The Mystery of the Martyred Child

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Translated document

The witness shall be sworn in before being heard

District of Quebec }


In the presence of Coroner Dr. G. Will. Jolicoeur and the Members of the Jury chosen to conduct the inquest on the body of Aurore Gagnon, age 10 ½ years at present lifeless in Ste. Philomene on February 13, 1920

Testimony of Exilda Auger, wife of Arcadius Lemay of Ste. Philomène de Fortierville aged 50 years who, being duly sworn on the Holy Gospels, doth depose and say:
I am a neighbour of Télesphore Gagnon’s and I knew the deceased well. Last February the second, I went to Télesphore Gagnon's home and, knowing that the deceased was ill, I inquired about her. They told me that she was upstairs and did not offer to let me see her. Sometime earlier, Monsieur and Madame Télesphore Gagnon had come to my place and, complaining that the child was difficult to bring up, and they punished her with an axe handle and other things. To that, I told them not to do that and to put her in a convent instead. They then answered that that would cost too much. The child never complained when we saw her. Last February tenth, I went back to the Gagnons’ and, without asking for permission, I went upstairs to see the deceased. I found her in a corner of the attic, on a pallet made of a small grey blanket and a pillow. Beside her on a small piece of furniture was a plate holding two potatoes and a knife. When she saw me come in, the deceased leaned on her elbow and could barely support herself. She told me that her knees hurt her very much but did not complain about anyone as usual. I did not question her either. When I came downstairs, I told her stepmother, Mme. Thél. Gagnon, that the deceased was very ill and that it would be best to have her treated. She answered: "The child is my husband's; if he wants to have her treated, let him do so. If he brings me medicine, I will administer it to her." I didn’t go back until yesterday, at the request of Madame Gagnon, who telephoned me to tell me the deceased was worse. I went there and found the deceased on a bed in a room downstairs. She was unconscious. Madame. Gagnon had telephoned the doctor, and I myself called the parish priest. Madame Gagnon then told me that she had had trouble carrying the child downstairs and that she had told her husband not to go to the woods because she found the deceased worse. He nevertheless went without going to see the deceased, who was still upstairs at the time. And thus hath signed,

Sworn in before me at Ste.
Philomène de Fortierville,
this 13th day of February, 1920

Exilda Auger

Dr. G. Will. Jolicoeur

Source: ANQ, , TP12, S1, SS26, SSS1, 1960-01-353\2344, dossier 33, Cour des sessions de la paix, enquête du coroner, greffe de Québec, Témoignage de Exilda Auger, enquête du coroner sur la mort d'Aurore Gagnon, February 13, 1920, 2.

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