by Maxine Trottier
The Filles du Roi Diary of Helene St. Onge, Montreal, New France, 1666
le 22 juin 1666 - I stood on deck and watched France disappear in the mist. Catherine stayed inside the ship, below, the captain calls it. But I had to watch. I may never see France again.
I wept. My cheeks were damps with mist and so I think that no one saw. I did not care if they did. I only wished to be alone inside myself and let the image of France burn into my mind. Then I heard a sound. It was the indian girl. She had come up on deck and now stood at the ship's rail near me. Her cheeks were wet with tears as mine were. There was a difference, I soon learned from her. My tears were of loss, born from the idea of leaving France. Hers were tears of joy. "I am going home," she said.