THE BONE SETTER
On November 12, 1955, a landslide carried away a section
of the City of Nicolet, killing 3 people. The Bishop's residence,
the Commercial Academy, several dwellings, as well as a park
known as le petit bois, disappeared into the clay along
the river bank. As a result, the magnificent cathedral had
to be torn down, as it stood precariously near the site of
Louis Caron captured this event in his novel entitled Le
bonhomme sept heures (The Bone Setter), published
in 1978 by Robert Laffont (Paris) and Leméac (Montréal).
This novel portrays 10-year-old Jean-Lu, who is nicknamed
the Lone Ranger, perched on a branch of one of the majestic
pines in the park when catastrophe suddenly strikes. The tree
is swept away and the child perishes in the landslide.
"On Saturday, November 12, 1955, at around a quarter
to twelve, the sun held all of Nicolet in the palm of its
hand. The Lone Ranger was napping in his pine tree, sitting
on a fork of branches, his head leaning against the trunk
and his feet propped up on yet another branch, in front of
him. There was no wind, but with a slight pressure of his
legs, Jean-Lu could make his perch sway softly. To add to
his delight, the child could part the top branches, covered
in fresh needles, for a commanding view of the little city
below that seemed to purr like a cat in the sun.
A silent jolt shook the ground. It seemed to originate from
the very depths of the Earth." - Excerpt from Le bonhomme
sept heures (The Bone Setter).
Needless to say, we did not attempt to create a steel replica
of a giant pine. The designer took the liberty of sitting
the child at the foot of a young tree. The sculpture illustrates
a scene in Louis Caron's novel, but it also represents the
pure pleasure a child finds in nature.
This sculpture was created by Nicolet artist Sébastien
Brassard, based on an idea by Pierre Chatillon. The final
coat was applied by Trois-Rivières artist Pierre Landry.
It was donated to the Literary Park in 2000 by the Grey Nuns
to the park ]