FROM BLACKSMITHS TO BLACKBOARDS

THE MYSTERY OF THE NIGHTTIME NUISANCE

 

To the untrained eye, this village may appear quiet, maybe even tranquil. But things aren’t always as they seem! Every morning the villagers awaken to some very strange, and sometimes even criminal, occurrences: items change places, are found broken, or disappear altogether; animals roam the village streets untended; and a strange being has been sighted, causing rumour and speculation to run rampant throughout the village.

Each villager has a theory on who or what the culprit (or culprits) could be, but no one really has all the facts. Maybe you can help solve this mystery… But be warned, these mysterious nighttime activities are making the villagers suspicious – of you and each other!

To solve this quest, you will have to read each character’s statements and help each one of them by completing a quiz or finding what they are searching for. The answers will give you the clues you need to solve the quest.

Answers and clues

Solution

Priest:

Eii! You frightened me! You should not sneak up on people like that! I don’t recognize you. Are you new to the Parish?

I suspected as much. Do you attend Mass regularly? Show me you are a true believer. Find me replacement candlesticks for Sunday Mass. A thief stole them from the church last night!

Farmer’s Wife (Madame Beaudoin):

Who is it? Oh you must be the one Monsieur Guillemont warned me… I mean, told me about. I am Madame Beaudoin. I suppose you want to ask me some questions? If you want me to talk to you, you will have to do something for me first.

It has been a hectic morning. Last night, all my pigs were let out and I have been chasing them all over town. I’ve done none of my chores and dinner still needs to be prepared! Bring this pie to Madame Laflèche, and then I’ll talk to you.

Joiner:

I had heard that someone was snooping around the village. What is your business here? Are you here to help us?

I am Monsieur Guillemont – but you probably know that already, with all of your “visiting”. Forgive me if I am a little suspicious of strangers. My workshop has been vandalized and no one here is doing anything about it. In my opinion, we should look to whoever has been spared by the intruder. I know of one man – go find his house and come back when you have. I want to hear everything.

Postmistress (Madame Drouin):  

Good day, I am Madame Drouin, the postmistress. Are you visiting a relative in the village? Don’t mind the clutter – things are a little hectic today and I cannot leave the post office. Could you do me one small favour?

Marvellous. Monsieur Drouin seems to have ruined the soles of his work boots. Can you see if they can be fixed?

Blacksmith (Monsieur Sylvestre):

Ah finally! Are you my new apprentice? No? He is late! I am Monsieur Sylvestre, the blacksmith. This is really putting me behind – maybe you can help me instead?

I need a new handle for my hammer. Mine was burned in the fireplace last night, very strange indeed…This village is no longer safe. If you ask me, it’s a sign…

Schoolteacher (Madame Laflèche):

You are late! School is about to start; the bell has already rung. I am Madame Laflèche. Today we are going to have a quiz. Please take this slate and begin.

  1. What was the average salary for a female teacher in a rural school around 1900?
  1. a) $105 / year
  2. b) $220 / year
  3. c) Room and board
  4. d) $500 / year
  1. In addition to teaching, what are some of the tasks of a schoolteacher in a rural village?
  1. a) Write letters, read farmers the instructions for new farm products
  2. b) Act as a grief counsellor, judge county fairs
  3. c) Help women give birth, baby-sit children
  4. d) Write letters, serve as legal counsel for farmers during disputes
  1. What object(s) in the school represent moral and religious education?
  1. a) The crucifix
  2. b) The Bible
  3. c) The bell
  4. d) A and B

Tinsmith (Monsieur Dumouchel):

Good, someone’s here! I am Monsieur Dumouchel, the tinsmith. Would you like  to do a little job?

  1. What are three uses for tin in a rural home at the turn of the 20th century?
  1. a) Foil, weapons, utensils
  2. b) Lanterns, cookware, roofing
  3. c) Furniture, horseshoes, nails
  4. d) Plumbing, tools, sports equipment
  1. What is solder made of?
  1. a) Iron and tin
  2. b) Lead and tin
  3. c) Lead and resin
  4. d) Glue and tin
  1. What is the tin rooster’s purpose (found in the tinsmith’s shop) ?
  1. a) A toy
  2. b) A decoration
  3. c) A weathervane
  4. d) To scare away animals

General Store Owner (Monsieur Drouin):

Welcome to my store! I am Monsieur Drouin, owner and proprietor. I just received a new game – it’s a quiz – would you like to try it?

  1. What types of things are not found at the general store?
  1. a) Dry goods
  2. b) Ice
  3. c) Textiles and clothing
  4. d) Medicine
  1. What role(s) does the general store play in the community?
  1. a) Meeting place/gossip spot
  2. b) Pharmacy
  3. c) Political discussion area
  4. d) All of the above
  1. How could rural families pay off credit at the store?
  1. a) Money raised from logging and maple syrup sales
  2. b) Vegetables from the garden or meat from slaughtered animals
  3. c) Bartered land and livestock
  4. d) All of the above

Textile Worker (Madame Richer):

Hello, who’s there? Madame Laflèche must have sent you to tutor my daughter, Charlotte. She is working on her homework now. Will you help her?

  1. What is linen cloth used for?
  1. a) Summer clothing, tablecloths and hand towels
  2. b) Winter clothing, sheets and napkins
  3. c) Summer clothing, winter clothing, and hand towels
  4. d) Winter clothing, tablecloths and napkins
  1. What is handmade cloth called?
  1. a) Woollen cloth
  2. b) Homespun
  3. c) Flax fibre
  4. d) Textiles
  1. How many hours would it have taken to spin thread for one hour of weaving?
  1. a) 1–2
  2. b) 20–30
  3. c) 4–5
  4. d) 8–10

Shoemaker (Monsieur Cyr):

I'm glad to finally have a customer! I have not had one all day, with all of the troubles … My name is Monsieur Cyr, shoemaker. Please have a seat on the bench and chat with me while I work.

  1. What are bottes de boeuf?
  1. a) Simple leather shoes for everyday use
  2. b) Factory-made work boots used for gardening,
  3. c) Work boots made with thread coated in a resin/tar mixture
  4. d) Fancy boots imported from France
  1. What types of tools did the shoemaker use?
  1. a) Awl and hammer
  2. b) Mallet and knife
  3. c) Shovel and tripod
  4. d) All of the above
  1. What did the rural shoemaker use to make shoes and boots?
  1. a) Rubber and thread
  2. b) Wood and nails
  3. c) Leather and thread
  4. d) Leather and rubber  

Answers and clues

Solution

    Date created: May 13, 2008 | Last updated: June 30, 2010