Attracted by the lure of wealth and the encouragement of Priest to populate the west for Christ, led many French Canadians to the west. Families were torn by the decisions made. Lust encouraged some to leave Quebec, even with the thought of murder in their hearts, while Eusebe and Alphonsine left because Eusebe wanted to become wealthy enough to build her the house of her dreams. Alphonsine had given up on the house, but Eusebe never did. They argued, they fought, they worked side by side, all the while Eusebe counted the money in hidden bank accounts, and schemed to raise crops in the good years off of 'free' unhomesteaded lands. Eusebe, at times, could be generous, which created tension in his relationship, but a friendship grew with a simple man, Jerome, who with time became his right hand man - until his untimely death during the most fruitful of harvests. His quest for riches never left him, and he postponed the construction of the dream home again and again, while he drove an expensive Pierce-Arrow about the country. Alphonsine was a tireless worker who at first despised Deirdre, Jerome's wife, because she considered her a freeloader, came to appreciate the woman's love for Jerome, and, he willingness to be so helpful. The relationships unravel with Alphonsine's death, when Eusebe begins to realize the solution to the mystery of life. Based on the times in which it takes place, a fairly clear picture emerges along with the story of how the settlors managed in their assaults on themselves and the elements.
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