“Mutantism on The March”: Chapter 52 “Squid Heads Back to Montreal”

It had been centuries since Squid had been back in Montreal but his home in the caves of Mount Royal had remained undisturbed. Needless to say it needed a good spring cleaning but everything was exactly as he had left it. It definitely required some modernizing! But its environs had changed dramatically. No longer was Mount Royal the domain of fox, bear and deer. They had been replaced by a park and an artificial lake called Beaver Lake. There was a road right through Mount Royal and the once glorious view of the St. Lawrence River was obfuscated by skyscrapers of a bustling city called Montreal. The foot of the mountain was full of luxury homes in an area called Westmount and full of buildings belonging to McSwill University including the Royal Pictoria Hospital. No doubt the mutants lived in the dirty fumes of the city below.

Squid needed some re-education about the history of his former home so he dropped into the Redpath Library at McSwill University to catch up. When he tired of his reading he would drop down below to the student lounge and chat with the students drinking coffee from coffee machines. After several days lightbulbs in the student’s heads would flash making the connection that this was the Squid involved in Columbia and Nicaragua. The leftists enthusiastically supported his past actions but the small number of Marxist-Leninists , most of which were the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) informants, called him a bourgeoisie toadie siding with the colonialist Tarzan and mythical Santa Claus. The student lounge crowd mostly sided with Squid calling the Marxist-Leninist faction a bunch of roosters who crowed a lot but never did anything but criticize. The students were fascinated by Squid’s recounting tales of Jacques Cartaway in the 1500’s in the area. One Master’s student Charles Doyoun, delighted Squid by filling him in recounting the histories of certain insurance and railway companies and the role they had in the formation of Canada. Munching on May Easts and sipping poor quality coffee he portrayed a terrible story of swindle and exploitation of Chinese in the building of Canada’s railroads. Times had been good for the railway men and government, although at the time it was difficult to distinguish between the two. What was good for the railways was good for the government. The excuse of the government for greasing its own pockets and that the railway men was that a railway would create a nation. As the aboriginals had been killed off or placed in reservations there was no stopping the railway men! Swindle the West, the Maritimes for the benefit of Montreal and Toronto interests. The bank accounts of the politicians and railway men were fattened and later glorified in history books and to hell with the workers who died by the hundreds but they were Chinese so who cared. What a shame Doyoun mused that these swindlers and opportunistic businessmen were glorified in school history curriculums. No surprise to Squid as those Scots and Brits were like their early ancestors. After dealing with the Indians they subjected the French-Canadians.

The fate of the aboriginals was to be hounded off the island of Montreal into reservations to be resettled far away from the white man and his guilt, if he had any. Many lived in a huge slum called Fognawagna lacking proper medical, education and decent housing. They languished in a tax-free environment peddling moonshine, dope and cigarettes. Occasionally they were visited around election time by various politicians who would don a headdress and smoke a peace pipe in a photo-op opportunity. During the summer tourist season many Americans would flock to Fognawagna to snap away with their cameras as the dejected residents danced a few war dances like they had seen on Hollywood Westerns. Souvenirs would be sold and the Yankees would head off in the blazing summer heat with skis on their cars looking for skiing opportunities. The once proud inhabitants of the area had been excluded from political, economic and social affairs by a series of “protective measures” enacted by The Great White Father Incorporated. Perhaps they faced a better chance with spears and arrows. The white man had butchered the vocal aboriginal mutants and all that remained was silent desperation.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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