“Some say he is mad, others he is a fool; but I say he is the sharpest man I ever saw.”
– The New Brunswick Royal Gazette, July 11, 1815
It’s well-documented that a young man with many names (Henry Moon, Henry More Smith, etc, etc.) cut a lunatic swath through early 19th Century New Brunswick: escaping a condemned cell, flimflamming bounty hunters, pilfering anything from an innkeeper’s silver spoons to the Attorney General’s fur coat, slipping away through the mist. Even when recaptured and shackled to a stone floor, he just grew more insanely inventive,
Not well documented were people like Elly Clair: half-white children born to inmates of the Indian Academy run by The Society for the Propagation of The Gospel. When the girls were grown enough to do a woman’s work, they were rented out as domestic servants. The county jailer/courthouse caretaker was well-connected with the Indian Academy, so Elly Clair wound up scullery maid to the jailer’s family.
Two trapped people: one in the prison cells under the courthouse, the other in the kitchen and the rooms above, sentenced to a life scouring other people’s chamberpots, scrubbing their floors and nursing her bruises in the dark. But one of them was a born escape artist, while Elly Clair had never been allowed to imagine she might slip her chains.Preview: Mad Moon
About the Author: Alfred Silver has had fifteen novels published and many scripts produced on radio and the stage. After toughing out thirty prairie winters and sweating out seven Toronto summers, he now lives temperately in rural Nova Scotia with his wife and assorted wildlife. Relatively temperately.