Aurore!  The Mystery of the Martyred Child
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MARIE ANNE HOUDE, accused of murder

This sixteenth day of April, nineteen hundred and twenty, appeared Arcadius Lemay, of Ste. Philomene, farmer, aged fifty-three years, witness produced by the Crown, who, after having sworn on the Holy Gospels, doth depose and say:

Q. You went there the day she died?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, who did you go there with?

A. I went with Monsieur Mailhot and Monsieur Chandonet.

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Q. Would you please tell the jurors what you noticed the day you went there? What did you see in the house? How did you find her?

A. Well, I found the little girl completely mutilated.

Q. You found the little girl "completely mutilated." What do you mean by that?

A. She was covered with sores. Her knees -- from her feet up to her knees as well.

Q. At what time did you arrive there?

A. About three o'clock.

Q. About three o'clock?

A. ....

Q. Were you alone? You were with Monsieur Chandonnet?

A. With Monsieur Chandonnet and Monsieur Mailhot.

Q. Did you meet anyone in the house?

A. Yes, there were some people. There were people in the house.

Q. Who was there?

A. My wife was there and my daughter-in-law. There were relatives, I'm talking about the strangers.

. Apart from that, there were relatives?

A. Yes.

Q. Was the child unconscious?

A. Yes.

Q. How was she lying?

A. On her side -- in bed.

Q. Could you see what state she was in by looking at her in bed like that?

A. No, I wasn't knowledgeable enough for that.

Q. You weren't knowledgeable enough for that?

A. No.

Q. But when you say that she had sores, how did you notice that?

A. Because I uncovered her.

Q. You uncovered her?

A. Monsieur Mailhot was the one who uncovered her, to show me her legs.

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Q. To show you her legs?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, were you there when the child died?

A. Yes.

Q. You were there?

A. I returned. I left from there. Afterwards, I took my load up there. I came back at six o'clock in the evening.

Q. And then you were there. You arrived after she died or before she died?

A. Before she died. She died at about seven o'clock.

Q. Now, did you notice what state she was in -- what state the corpse was in -- immediately after she died or later?

A. No.

Q. Who was it that wrapped and laid out her body after that?

A. I did.

Q. You were the one who wrapped and laid out her body, and in doing so, did you notice anything?

A. I noticed that she had sores elsewhere -- on her back.

Q. Did she have many sores?

A. Seven or eight ( 7-8 ) on her back.

Q. Were they large or small sores?

A. They were of various sizes.

Q. Now, did you notice anything on her legs?

A. I noticed that she was almost covered in sores.

Q. Was there anything wrong with her head?

A. Yes.

Q. What was wrong with it?

A. The doctor sent me to put my hand on her head, to see how it was.

Q. Did you put your hand on her head?

A. Yes.

Q. What did you notice then?

A. I noticed that her head was soft.

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Q. You noticed that her head was soft?

A. I mean swollen -- swollen on top. Anyhow, I didn't want to press. On top the scalp was coming off the skull a bit.

Q. Did the accused speak while you were there?

A. I don't remember. Only, when I showed Monsieur Chandonnet -- as I was showing [him] her right hand -- I said, "Just look at her right hand. It's butchered." She said that it had begun to swell that morning.

Q. The woman said that?

A. Yes.

Q. That's all that you know, Monsieur?

A. That's all I know.


Q. Monsieur Lemay, you went there yourself at whose request?

A. At the request of Monsieur Mailhot.

Q. Did you willingly consent to go there or were you...?

A. No, I didn't think -- I didn't think it was like that.

Q. Did he order you...?

A. Yes.

Q. To go?

A. Yes, he ordered me to go.

Q. Did he tell you in which capacity he was ordering you to go?

A. As justice of the peace.

Q. If the justice of the peace had not ordered you to go there, you would not have gone?

A. Yes, I would have gone all the same.

Q. You would have gone all the same?

A. Yes, since he would have told me more or less what state the little girl was in. At the time I didn't know; I didn't know anything.

Source: ANQ, TP 999, 1960-01-3623, 1B 014 01-04-004B-01, Cour du banc du roi, assises criminelles, district de Québec, Déposition de Arcadius Lemay, procès de Marie-Anne Houde pour meurtre, April 16, 1920, 4.

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