The bus from Fredericton that afternoon was filled with farmers' wives who had been to town for a day's shopping, and with soldiers going on leave. The farm women, stout, comfortable souls, severely plain, with none of the smartness of their neighbors in Quebec, shouted to each other the gossip of the road. A red-faced woman, with cheeks like twin raspberry jellies, told her companion that Al was supposed to be out of jail again. "But he'll be in soon," she screamed above the roar of the motor. "They'll all be in, the whole family." And I began to catch some intriguing snatches of information about Al and his relatives that set me in a lather of curiosity.
"Up to his old tricks, eh?". . . "but his mother!". . . "that woman he kept in St. John". . . "his mother has the baby". . . "the taxes they're puttin' on". . . "I wouldn't mind the government spendin' the money if they'd only show a little more agony about it". . . "in the depression they told us to spend money when we hadn't got any, now when you've got a few dollars they tell us you mustn't spend it, you got to lend it to the government". . . "well, he'll be in again, you'll see. . . ."
Before I could get to the bottom of the mystery, the raspberry jellies heaved themselves out of the bus with a huge shopping bag full of parcels. It was a depressing thought as we bowled along beside the Saint John River, that I would never know who Al was, why he would return to jail or