The Un-Natural

The following was written by Ron Stone, son of Bill and Flossie,
and contributed to the Facebook site “Hodge’s Cove Family Histories”.


I now commit to text a story which was told to me by my mother, Muriel Florence-‘Flossie’ (Drover) Stone, sister of Willis Drover. However, it must be clearly understood that my mother was not a story teller, nor was she a fancier of tales of the super-natural. It is with this understanding and knowledge I believe that which she related to me as being true.

It’s the 8th day of May 1941. ………… She relates,

“I was walking down the garden path to the main road in Drover’s Room, Hodge’s Cove. I remember thinking what a beautiful day it was for so early in May. I prayed for all to go well with the war effort; and that your father [William Edward Stone – 59th Regiment -R. Nfld. Heavy Artillery]; Jim, [his brother, James Ashton Stone- serving on the HMS Stanley, Royal Navy], and Willis [my brother, Royal Navy aboard the Viva II ], were all safe and sound.

I reached, and was crossing, a small wooden foot bridge that spanned a tiny brook running through the garden. As I did, someone grabbed my right arm with a firm grip.

I looked at my arm and saw nothing. There was no one to be seen, anywhere.

The grip continued.

I heard someone whisper, sort of strongly, in my right ear, — “Flossie”.

Then rapidly a second time and third time, … “Flossie — Flossie”.

The grip tightened, …. then relaxed, … and, … then it was gone.

“I immediately turned around and went back to the house.

Mom and I were alone. She had taken fresh baked bread from the oven of the woodstove, and was basting it when I told her what had happened.
She stopped.

At first she said or did nothing, except… look up at the ceiling, …then down at the floor. She drew in a deep breath, … sighed heavily, …and wiped tears from her eyes. Then she spoke and calmly said; ….

“Maid”, and she paused, … “I allow we’re in for some bad news.”

Quietly, without saying another word, she left the kitchen and went upstairs.

I heard her bedroom door close.

Days later we got a letter from ‘The Government’ stating that Willis was ‘lost at sea’.

Willis and I were very close.

I’ve always believed those moments on the foot bridge to be his last.”