Tourisme Mauricie

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2014-11-25, 09:28:10

10 nouveautés touristiques à découvrir cet hiver en Mauricie

Vous cherchez un nouvel endroit à explorer cet hiver ? De Suite )

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The Legend of Antoine Tassé

Red Tremblay

Antone Tassé was a giant who lived in the 1800s. A native of the Mauricie, he worked all his life at the Forges-du-Saint-Maurice. He was straight as an oak and strong as a bull, and nobody - absolutely nobody - could beat him in a fight. Besides muscles of steel, he had a stomach of lead. That man could drink a whole cup of molten metal without feeling the slightest twinge of heartburn.

Antoine

(He drinks the cup and tries to hide his pain.)

Red Tremblay

"You O.K. Antoine?"

Antoine

(Unable to talk, he signals that everything’s fine.)

Red Tremblay

"So as I was saying, Ant…"

Antoine

(Burp) "Sorry, copper gives me gas."

Red Tremblay

No man had ever beaten him with his fists, either while wrestling or boxing. He even took on bears with his bare hands. Antoine was indestructible.

Antoine

"Yessir!"

Red Tremblay

On the other hand, Antoine, our Antoine, wasn’t much of a churchgoer. Besides, he himself use to say:

Antoine

"Church is like going to the sugar shack. Once a year’s enough already."

Red Tremblay

Everybody’s got his principles! Antoine believed he could beat anybody, anytime, anywhere, anyhow, and one day he launched a challenge.

Antoine

"From the four corners of the planet, from heaven and hell to the centre of the universe, I’ll give everything I own to the first guy who knocks me down in any kind of fight."

Red Tremblay

The answer wasn’t long in coming.

Antoine

"Whaddya know…speak of the devil!"

Red Tremblay

The devil in person had appeared in front of him. He wanted Antoine to gamble his soul in an arm-wrestling contest. The giant agreed at once. But on one condition.

Antoine

"Listen, fiend, if I win, you’ll put a spell on my tools for a year so they’ll do my work for me.

Red Tremblay

The devil agreed. Man and beast sat down face to face. It was the first time the great Antone Tassé really seemed nervous. The demon was known to possess extraordinary, supernatural strength. They set their elbows on the table for a solid grip and…the contest began.

Antoine

(Struggling with empty space: only he can see the devil.) (He strains until he becomes red, he cries out. Sometimes he loses, sometimes he wins. It’s a real contest.) (Antoine wins.) "Go back where you came from, get out of my face! Tell your fallen angels and twisted demons you found your master. Start practicing – you can come back next year. I’ll take you on in the same conditions. You make the rules, I take home the prize!" (He laughs.)

Red Tremblay

For a year, Antoine Tassé’s tools worked in his place at the foundry. The day of the second confrontation arrived. This time the contest was held outdoors. The challenge was different: the devil wanted to take revenge in a bare-fisted fight. It was a first-class brawl. The demon had trained well, but Antoine had also been busy. He had taken the hardest jobs at the foundry and, since his tools were already working, he made twice as much money. The struggle went on and on, intense, merciless. And after an hour of relentless combat, guess who finally declared victory?

Antoine

"Poor wretch! Go back home to your mother, you’re pathetic! I’m gonna wait for next year, and if you’re not any better I’ll kick you from here to paradise…so to speak! I never saw anything like it, the nastier it looks, the weaker it is!"

Red Tremblay

Our guy’s fortune was made. He became a celebrity in no time flat. Everyone was talking about Antone Tassé, the man who got his tools to work for him, the one and only person who had beat the devil in single combat.

Antoine

"If he hadn’t cheated by using his claws, the fight would have been over that much sooner! I started by giving him a solid backhand across the face. Wham! He seemed stunned for a second, but then, quick as lighting, he gave me a swift right, then two left hooks straight to the gut. Well, it didn’t take another hit to make me see red, if you know what I mean! I said to him as sure as I’m standing here, “Get ready, you wily devil, this is gonna hurt!”. I darted forward and grabbed him by the horns and then stepped on his tail so that he couldn’t get away. That’s when I started hitting him, ten, twenty, thirty, forty times! Scraped my hand all to hell on his thick hide! But it’s when I got him in a head lock that he finally cried uncle! You should have heard him scream! Bloodcurdling! He sure was a pitiful sight…It wasn’t long before he slunk away in shame. I’ll take the devil on, anytime, anyplace!"

Red Tremblay

The following year, at the same time, same date and same place, the devil returned.

She Devil

(Well dressed, a beautiful woman.) "Hi Antoine!"

Antoine

"Leave, Madam, I’m waiting for the devil to give him another good beating!"

She Devil

"Antoine!" (Kick in the groin) "I’m the one who’s waiting for you, you conceited jerk. I know you’re not a coward and you’ll never have the courage to hit a woman."(Punch in the stomach and headlock)

Antoine

"You don’t have the right to do that!"

She Devil

"Remember what we agreed on, I’m the one who makes the rules."

Antoine

"You’re cheating!"

She Devil

"Puh…a good slap in the face! You seem groggy, my good man! So what were you saying? Oh yes, it’s a right and two lefts! Or is that …a left and two rights! Now, I’m telling you, get ready, you’re really gonna get it." (She punches him. Combat. He can’t do anything.) "Now, here’s the bear lock!" (She strangles him.) (Antoine surrenders his soul.)

Remember these lessons:

  • Drinking molten metal doesn’t mean that your judgement is worth gold!
  • Having muscles of steel doesn’t necessarily mean we have a heart of stone.
  • Having a big mouth doesn’t mean we can’t be shut up.
  • Especially by a woman! (Laughter)

ISBN 2-920764-26-8 © Éditions des Glanures, 1997

Stage adaptation of a Québec tale, Antoine Tassé, Antoine Tassé, l’Homme fort des Forges du Saint-Maurice, from Contes cornus, légendes fourchues by Bryan Perro .
Find this and all publications of Éditions des Glanures on the site: www.glanures.qc.ca

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