Last Trip: The Death of Alfred Bonenfant / 17: William Gascon
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Above and Below: Two views of the Broad Street Canadian Pacific Railway station, one with waiting cabs. The station was built in 1901 to replace an earlier station that was destroyed in the 1900 Ottawa-Hull fire. Henri Fern was heading here in hopes finding a cab driver willing to take charge of Alfred Bonenfant.

Source:

Top: C.P.R. (Canadian Pacific Railway) Station, Broad Street (showing Royal Mail Street Car.) (William James Topley/Library and Archives Canada / PA-008676). [Misdated as 188? when in fact the station was constructed in 1901.] Bottom:Canadian Pacific Railway Station Ottawa, 1908 (Wikipedia File: CPR_station_Ottawa_1908.jpg [crediting Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec reference no. P547,S1,SS1,SSS8,D136].

Last Trip: The Death of Alfred Bonenfant / 17

William Gascon

Sadly, Alfred Bonenfant's welfare could not have been entrusted to two less reliable samaritans. Henri Fern later testified that he could not remember receiving instructions to take Bonenfant to a hospital and that the idea never entered his head.

Fern's notion was to go the cab stand at the C.P.R. station on Broad Street and look for a driver who might know Bonenfant and be willing to take charge of him.

The teenager had no sooner reached the Ottawa end of the bridge at Sherwood Street than he met a cab driver named William Gascon who was heading to Hull with a fare. Anxious to pass on his burden to someone else, Fern told Gascon that he had left his own horse at the E.B. Eddy lumber mill and had to go back to look after it. Fern was reported to be an E.B. Eddy employee and he may have become nervous about leaving his post.

Gascon knew Bonenfant well. When he called his name Bonenfant opened his eyes.

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