By Suzanne Aubry
1849. Chemin du Roy. Une fillette passe à un cheveu d'être piétinée par le cheval du boghei d'Emma Portelance, une femme avant-gardiste de Québec. Constatant son état pitoyable, Emma ramène l'enfant chez elle pour l. a. soigner. Deux ans auparavant, Fanette a dû s'exiler avec sa famille pour échapper à los angeles famine qui sévissait en Irlande. Devenues orphelines, Fanette et sa sœur aînée, Amanda, sont placées chez des cultivateurs, où elles mènent une vie misérable. Pour améliorer son style, Amanda half avec un négociant en promettant à Fanette de revenir l. a. chercher, mais elle disparaît mystérieusement. Fanette s'enfuit...
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Additional info for À la conquête de la haute ville (Fanette, Tome 1)
I rapidly lost three quarters of my white blood cells and became frighteningly ill. The doctor put me in his clinic; he thought I was dying. But after two days of a peculiar struggle, I pulled through and he quickly took me home again, where my absence had gone unnoticed. I will add just a few more words: I promised the doctor I would be silent and I am holding to that 47 silence, by and large. He swore that what he had done was done on purpose, and was not the result of a blunder, and he gave me the reasons for it.
Enjoyed anything that allowed her to leave her work. So the two of us were on the steps in the middle of an enormous crowd, the kind of crowd that is urgent and unwieldly, sometimes as motionless as the earth, sometimes rushing down like a torrent. For quite some time I had been talking to her in her mother tongue, which I found all the more moving since I knew very few words of it. As for her, she never actually spoke it, at least not with me, and yet if I began to falter, to string together awkward expressions, to form impossible idioms, she would listen to them with a kind of gaiety, and youth, and in turn would answer me in French, but in a different French from her own, more childish and talkative, as though her speech had become irresponsible, like mine, using an unknown language.
I suppose that was because she was wearing a beautiful dressing-gown. Even though it was nearly midnight, she was sitting in her armchair looking perfectly neat and presentable. That fact must have made everything else pleasant for her. Since she seemed quite pretty to me that day, I too thought my error meant something, and I did not tell her I had come in by mistake. Later on, she annoyed me very much. She was always wanting to come into my room and I did not want that. But she taught me something that I would not perhaps have discovered until much later if it had not been for her.