Delirium tremens in the Okanagan
A whole lotta shaking goin’ on! Hands, bodies, souls. Not to get too personal, but the following is in honour of a loved one who died in a similar way about this date some years ago. Yes, another alcoholism document! I couldn’t resist the vividness of Father Marchal’s quotations from the Native people here (Kamloops Wawa #68, 05 March 1893, pages 38-39):
<Rev. Fath. Marchal’s letter.>
= Pir Marshal kopa
Okanagan iaka mamuk pipa kopa nsaika iaka wawa kopa ukuk pipa:
Père Marchal in the
Okanagan has written a letter to us; it says in this letter:
“Naika nanish kopa Kamlups Wawa maika tlus tomtom pus klaksta
mamuk tsim pipa kopa tilikom kopa ukuk pipa. Kakwa naika mash ukuk
pipa kopa maika. = Basil, taii kopa Hid Lik iaka mimlus kopa
Krismas. Ukuk taii kwanisim tiki tlus, wik kansih iaka tiki
lam, kwanisim iaka wawa kopa iaka tilikom pus wik klaska makmak
lam, pus klaska haha milalam. Pi wik klaska mamuk kakwa. Pus
iaka komtaks wik saia iaka mimlus, iaka mamuk chako kanawi iaka
tilikom pi iaka wawa kopa klaska: Ankati naika kwanisim ayu wawa
kopa msaika pus msaika kopit makmak lam, pus msaika kwanisim
styuil, pi wik msaika kolan. Alta naika mimlus naika klatwa mash
msaika. Nanish naika lima. Pus msaika tiki mash lam, pi iskom
styuil, tlus msaika shako iskom ukuk naika lima, pi naika mimlus
yutl tomtom. Pus wik msaika tiki kopit kopa lam pi kopa piltin,
pi wik tiki iskom styuil, kakwa Katolik, wik msaika iskom naika lima
pi naika mimlus. Kanawi iaka tilikom wawa: Tlus nsaika mash lam,
nsaika iskom styuil. Pi klaska iskom iaka lima. Krismas
sitkom pulakli kopit styuil iaka mimlus. ST mamuk klahawiam
iaka. Iaka haha milalam, iaka iskom li[k]strim oksio, pi iaka
iskom Å. Tlus kanawi tilikom komtaks iaka wawa pi klaska mamuk
kakwa iaka tomtom.
“I saw in the Kamloops Wawa that you’d like for anyone
to write letters to the [Indian] people for this newspaper. So I’m sending this
letter to you. = Basil, the chief at Head [of the] Lake [reserve], died at
Christmas. This chief always wanted the best, he never liked
alcohol, he always told his people not to drink
alcohol, [and] for them to make confession [at church]. But they didn’t. When
he realized he was about to die, he gathered all of his
people and he told them: I always used to tell
you folks and tell you folks that you should quite drinking, [and] that you should stick with
praying, but you wouldn’t listen. Now I’m dying, I’m moving on, leaving
you. See my hand. If you folks are ready to quit drinking, and to take up
praying, come shake this hand of mine, and I’ll die
happy. If you don’t want to be done with booze and with sin,
and don’t want to take up praying, like Catholics, don’t shake my hand,
and I’ll just die.[“] All of his people said: “Let’s quit drinking,
let’s start praying.” And they shook his hand. On Christmas
at midnight after prayers he died. God had mercy
on him. He had confessed, he received extreme unction, and he
took communion. Everyone should hear his words and they [should] do
as he felt.
Alta iaka tanas Cho iaka nim iaka shako taii. Wiht iaka
sik wik saia iaka mimlus. Alta iaka lost iaka latit. Iaka
chako piltin. Tanas ilip kopa iaka chako piltin iaka mamuk shako
kanawi tilikom pi iaka wawa: Tlus a[l]ta msaika iskom kanawi
liplit iaka wawa. Mamuk kopit makmak lam, tlus kanawi msaika
haha milalam. Pus wik msaika tiki, alki msaika klahawiam.
Nanish naika wik kansih naika tiki kolan liplit, kwanisim naika
ayu makmak lam. Pi wik saia naika shako skukum klahawiam.
Chi iaka kopit wawa pi iaka lost iaka latit. Iaka chako
piltin. Ilip iaka mokst taims haha milalam.
Then his son named Joe became chief. He too
is sick, he’s near death. Now he’s lost his mind. He’s
gone crazy. A little before he went insane he gathered
all of the people and he said: “Now you folks should take all
of the priest’s words to heart. Put an end to drinking booze, you all need
to make confession. If you won’t, you’re going to be pitiful.
Look at me, I never wanted to listen to the priest, I kept on
drinking a lot. And I’m about to get awfully miserable.”
Once he finished talking he lost his mind. He went
crazy. Before that, he made confession twice.
Wiht iht hlwima man iaka nim Abil iaka shako piltin
kakwa pi iaka wawa kopa tilikom: “Liiam iaka iskom naika lima, pi
iaka hol naika kopa kikuli paia pus piii iaka makmak. Ukuk
Abil iaka mimlus alta.
Yet another man, named Abel, went crazy
like this and he told the people: “The devil has hold of my hand, and
he’s dragging me to hell to pay for his drinks.[“] This
Abil has died now.
Tlus kanawi msaika komtaks ukuk pi kanawi msaika kwash kopa
lam pi kopa kanawi masashi mamuk.
All of you folks should know about this and all of you [should] be afraid of
booze and of every kind of bad actions.
Naika Pir Marshal Naika mamuk ukuk pipa. Klahawiam kanawi.
I’m Père Marchal I wrote this letter. Goodbye everyone.