Taylor & Thomas Hardy & Spiritwood SaskatchewanSee just this Post & Comments / 0 Comments so far / Post a Comment /   Home
A year after the events it went something like this: Art Dagenais wants compensation over his arrest.
This big book rests on my night table, A Secular Age, 800 pages, hard cover, and I open it each night and read a bit, marking the spot before I fall to sleep.
Last night he was quoting Thomas Hardy, 3 verses out of the 17:
I saw a slowly-stepping train --
Lined on the brows, scoop-eyed and bent and hoar --
Following in files across a twilit plain
A strange and mystic form the foremost bore.
And by contagious throbs of thought
Or latent knowledge that within me lay
And had already stirred me, I was wrought
To consciousness of sorrow even as they.
The fore-borne shape, to my blurred eyes,
At first seemed man-like, and anon to change
To an amorphous cloud of marvellous size,
At times endowed with wings of glorious range.
And this phantasmal variousness
Ever possessed it as they drew along:
Yet throughout all it symboled none the less
Potency vast and loving-kindness strong.
Almost before I knew I bent
Towards the moving columns without a word;
They, growing in bulk and numbers as they went,
Struck out sick thoughts that could be overheard: --
'O man-projected Figure, of late
Imaged as we, thy knell who shall survive?
Whence came it we were tempted to create
One whom we can no longer keep alive?
'Framing him jealous, fierce, at first,
We gave him justice as the ages rolled,
Will to bless those by circumstance accurst,
And longsuffering, and mercies manifold.
'And, tricked by our own early dream
And need of solace, we grew self-deceived,
Our making soon our maker did we deem,
And what we had imagined we believed,
'Till, in Time's stayless stealthy swing,
Uncompromising rude reality
Mangled the Monarch of our fashioning,
Who quavered, sank; and now has ceased to be.
'So, toward our myth's oblivion,
Darkling, and languid-lipped, we creep and grope
Sadlier than those who wept in Babylon,
Whose Zion was a still abiding hope.
'How sweet it was in years far hied
To start the wheels of day with trustful prayer,
To lie down liegely at the eventide
And feel a blest assurance he was there!
'And who or what shall fill his place?
Whither will wanderers turn distracted eyes
For some fixed star to stimulate their pace
Towards the goal of their enterprise?'...
Some in the background then I saw,
Sweet women, youths, men, all incredulous,
Who chimed as one: 'This is figure is of straw,
This requiem mockery! Still he lives to us!'
I could not prop their faith: and yet
Many I had known: with all I sympathized;
And though struck speechless, I did not forget
That what was mourned for, I, too, once had prized.
Still, how to bear such loss I deemed
The insistent question for each animate mind,
And gazing, to my growing sight there seemed
A pale yet positive gleam low down behind,
Whereof, to lift the general night,
A certain few who stood aloof had said,
'See you upon the horizon that small light --
Swelling somewhat?' Each mourner shook his head.
And they composed a crowd of whom
Some were right good, and many nigh the best....
Thus dazed and puzzled 'twixt the gleam and gloom
Mechanically I followed with the rest.
Slightly surprising to me that 'he' and 'his' are not capitalized ... I might have included verse nine as well ...
And then the Dagenais father and son from Spiritwood Saskatchewan. Coming to mind to wonder how they survived if at all. The last pictures is of the Spiritwood Wolf 'Statute,' as described on the town's web site.
There is a great play, or maybe a novel, in this story ... a multi-dimensional tragedy ...
Art Dagenais wants compensation over his arrest, CBC, August 2007.
The father of a man accused of killing two Mounties wants the Saskatchewan government to compensate him for what is being called a "baseless" arrest.
Art Dagenais was charged with obstructing justice after he allegedly entered a restricted area near Spiritwood, Sask., while police were searching for his son, Curtis, in July 2006.
In May, the elder Dagenais was found not guilty. But his lawyer, Jack Hillson, argues Dagenais should be compensated because Judge Barry Singer went one step further in his ruling and said Dagenais should never have been charged.
"We have a situation where a 70-year-old man was arrested and held in custody for six weeks," Hillson said Wednesday in an interview from his Saskatoon office.
"The judge has now said that that arrest was baseless, without any cause."
Hillson acknowledged that Dagenais was arrested at a time when there was "considerable upset" in the Spiritwood area, where Const. Robin Cameron and Const. Marc Bourdages were shot.
But he said that in "the emotional turmoil" that followed, as well as the 11-day manhunt for Curtis Dagenais, "there was an injustice in detaining Art Dagenais in custody."
Hillson has written to Saskatchewan Justice Minister Frank Quennell asking for a meeting to discuss compensation — although no dollar amount has been specified.
There has not yet been any response to the letter.
Saskatchewan's Justice Department declined to comment.
The request for compensation comes as Curtis Dagenais's preliminary hearing is scheduled to begin Aug. 13 in North Battleford, Sask.
He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempting to murder a third officer who escaped injury. Cameron, 29, and Bourdages, 26, were shot about 100 kilometres east of their Spiritwood detachment after a 15-kilometre pursuit. The pair had responded earlier to a domestic assault call. They died in hospital about a week after the shooting, which prompted a manhunt involving about 250 police officers from across Canada.