Archiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2004-06 > 1087939946

Subject: Excerpt Of History
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 17:32:26 EDT

"Likely the earliest ghost story in the Canadian West was that of King's
ghost. However, this was more in the nature of deathbed or crisis apparition. In
1803, there were only a handful of people on the Canadian plains, trappers and
traders, and some Indian tribes. Fort Augustus was one of the few points of
civilization, and, in Jan. of 1803, a tough minded Scotch trader was compelled
to record some unusual events in his diary.
After receiving word from an Indian camp that they would be open to trade, a
trader named King was sent out by the North West Company, not realizing that
another bad tempered trader named La Mothe, who was employed by the rival XY
Company, would also be on the scene. As he fitted his sleighs for the journey to
the Indian encampment a day away, the agent at the fort came over to warn, "
Take care, King. Be careful of La Mothe. La Mothe may shoot you." King replied
laughingly, " To be shot by La Mothe, that would be a good joke indeed."
Several days later, King's wife, an Indian girl, was sleeping in their tent
at Fort Augustus along with their six year old daughter. A strong fire was
burning to keep out the cold, when suddenly Mrs. King was awakened by a whimper
from the little girl, who said, " Mother, there is father at the foot of the
bed, his neck is all red." Mrs. King assumed it was all just a dream and told the
girl to go back to sleep. Then it happened a second time, the same vision of
her father with an injury to his neck. The following morning, the mother was
so disturbed by the dream that she told it to many inside the fort, including
John McDonald. Nothing was thought of it until the following afternoon, when
King's party was spotted returning back to the fort. Oddly, there was no sign of
King himself, but as they drew nearer, the reason became clear. He was dead,
shot through the throat by La Mothe after a violent argument. La Mothe was
arrested and sent to Montreal for trial, where he was acquitted. King was buried
on Edmonton's Rossdale flat with full military honors of the North West

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