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The Letters‎ > ‎Part One‎ > ‎

Chapter Seven

January 1914 -  "You are steadfast and true as the everlasting hills."


Fred to Evelyn
 Calgary, Alta.,
Jan. 1/14

My dearest,

I’m awfully sorry to start the new year with breaking our engagement but Miss Rogers has commanded me to tell some things which in her opinion are an insuperable bar to any woman’s linking up her life with mine. When I came in this afternoon about four o’clock she was hugging the cold grate and when I left a couple doors open and complained about the stuffiness of the room (it was a beautifully clear warm day) - she said she’d like to tell my girl a few things and she’d bet there’d be no wedding. She says if any woman is so unfortunate as to be my wife, she’ll have to wear a heavy woollen sweater and felt boots in the house or she’ll be freezing all the time.

I didn’t ask whether she had reference to the coldness of my nature or to my desire for cold fresh air. This dire accusation really made me feel a little fearful for Miss Rogers isn’t a thin blooded person by any means, but I determined to let the truth be known at any cost and so I invited “Bill” (Miss Rogers) to enclose a note in my letter, expressing her opinion of me. She declined, however, and I’ve been compelled to tell the terrible truth myself.  During the course of the conversation, other criticisms were also made of my probable conduct as a husband but I’ve forgotten them now. 

I’m sitting in the big chair in front of the fire - writing on an improvised desk of an old University - magazine. Miss Rogers is writing at the table.  All the other fellows are attending the Travellers’ Ball. ...

Well, the day is over and long before this, Dr. & Mrs Ritchie will have left and you are now wrapped in tired, but happy slumber. Happy because I know dearie, that today you have been thinking of a few months hence when you and I will be standing before the altar where Ora and Art stood to-day and two hearts that have already been joined together in the holy band of love will be publicly united before the world. I'm so glad today because we have entered upon the year of our wedding. Somehow it seems so much nearer than it did yesterday. I was counting up the months today.

Do you realize that in a couple more weeks I'll have written half of the letters you are to get from me? Does it make you glad to think that there'll be an end so soon of the "unwelcome" attentions which that fellow for whom you "don't care a rip" persists in forcing upon you? When would you like our wedding to be, dearie? It will have to depend a little on what arrangements we make in the office and also on whether or not we take our European trip. If we go to Europe, I'd like to be married early in June so that we could arrive in England before the roses are gone. One of the most vivid of my recollections of my former visit is of the wonderful beauty and perfume of the roses, which were already past their best when we landed on June 7th. Of course there were lots of roses after that but I'd like you to see them at their best.

I hardly know what to say yet about our trip abroad. It depends a good deal on what happens during the next two or three months. I don't want to go if it is going to take everything we have and if I'm not able to sell my oil stock, that's just what it would mean. Don't count too much on it, dearest, so that you'll not be too greatly disappointed if we can't go, but I'm hoping things will come around all right.

I was speaking to Ford about it today. You know he was over in England the same year I was, and he has always been wanting to get back again. In fact two years ago we made a mutual promise that we’d go again in 1914. He still hopes to go but now that the baby  has come, apart altogether from financial considerations the trip will likely be postponed for several years. Ford is pretty cautious and he knows about what my financial position is and he said if he were in my place and had a few hundred dollars to the good, he’d go.  

Most people I know think it would be very extravagant, but I'd rather live a little more modestly after we came back if need be. You'd enjoy the trip so much and it would be something we could look back on afterwards and enjoy together all the rest of our livesAnd so Ford said, if we don't go on our honeymoon there may not be another opportunity for years to come. It would not likely be any easier to get away from the office, and perhaps God will bless us with children and we couldn't take a baby on such a trip, and of course we wouldn't want to go alone and leave little children in the care of someone else. So I want to go if it is at all possible.

You made one remark last summer which showed your surprise that I haven't some money laid by. So I'll give you just a brief sketch of my career. When I came to Calgary I was about $500 in debt. During my first year as a student I got $25 per month and even with living on two meals a day it was impossible to live on that, buying clothes and everything. In my second year I got $40 and in my third $60. Even at this latter figure with fees and necessary expenses incidental to starting in a profession no man could become a Croesus. I had no money of my own to invest or I might have got rich, for in 1909 and 1910 opportunities were flaunting themselves in our faces. I did make a little by investing a few hundred dollars for father, Ray and Mr. Tinlin on the basis of sharing half profits. I was fairly successful, and by living economically and reinvesting my own share of the profits I was able to pay off my debts, take three trips home and have a couple thousand dollars to the good. 

Unfortunately I invested this $2,000 in subdivision stuff at Bassano,(1) and with the burst of the real estate boom impossible to realize anything on this now. Whether it ever will amount to anything or not is uncertain. It looked at one time as if Bassano might grow to a city. If so we’ll make good money. But if Bassano stays a town, we’ll not likely get anything out of it. It doesn’t help much that 3 or 4 of the best financial men of Calgary are in on the same proposition. For the present at least my Bassano investment can be disregarded. 

Of course this year I've had a pretty good thing. The books are not closed yet, but my share will be nearly $3,000 - pretty good for a man only one year at the bar. But my expenses have been heavy and notwithstanding, what some people may think of our way of living, I don't think I've been extravagant. I've reckoned this year's income in my assets and my position now is that, except for my Bassano property and my oil stock, if I paid what I owe the bank, I'd be just about square

The worst of the situation is, I reinvested $1000 for father and a similar amount for Ray (all he has) in Bassano, and he was counting on reselling and paying his college expenses, so I feel under moral obligation to see him through, taking over his Bassano stuff if necessary, at cost. I’ve already advanced him about $200 and will have to do more.  So you see unless I can realize on my oil stock, our trip will have to come out of my earnings this year. We haven’t made arrangements yet for 1914 and will not likely do so for a month at least when Mr. McCarthy, who is now in Honolulu, returns. After that I can give you a little more  definite information about how I stand. 

Perhaps you'll wonder why I talk about these things in a New Year's letter. My natural inclination is to keep my business affairs to myself, but they are no longer mine alone and I think you should know about them. I've never told my own folks though, and I'd rather, dearest, you keep this to yourself too. Will you think me a terrible secretive man? Well, perhaps I am with other people, but I don't like other people to know all about my affairs even when I know they are prompted by real interest and not idle curiosity.

...I meant to do some work today on my speech at the Canada Forward Club next Monday night but I haven’t. This morning I was at the office, going over some private accounts.  Ford and I were at Fritz’s for dinner and afterwards I made a couple calls - one at the hospital. Mrs. Ford is going home either tomorrow or next day. The baby is growing like the proverbial weed. They have named her Helen Margaret.

Yes I know “Doug” Henderson quite well. He was in ‘06. His wife was not ‘08 but ‘07.  “Doug” was quite young when at college, being noted chiefly for his  tennis and popularity with the ladies. But he wasn’t a “sissy” by any means and was well liked by the boys too.  

You surely had a chapter of accidents Xmas night. I hope you didn't catch cold. And that you've been able to enjoy Ora's last week at home. Your letter of the 26th was a dear. Didn't get one today, but maybe there'll be two tomorrow. If kisses could give you a glad New Year, you'll have one.

Your very own.



Fred to Evelyn 
Calgary, Alta.
Jan 2/14

My own dear kiddie,-

I’ve been blest indeed today.  Just as I was leaving the house for the office this morning Art’s telegram was put in my hand.  Then when I arrived here, I got 3 letters, a nice long one from Art and 2 from you.  I guess you must think me a funny fellow to ask you to wire about the present.  To tell the truth it I like funny to me after I’d written it and this morning when the telegram came the full ludicrousness of the thing flashed upon me and I chuckled to myself all the way down to the office and stayed in good humour  - for me - all day.

When I read Art’s letter I realized the reason why you said there was lots of time to write.  By the way, why didn’t you get the worth of your money by sending a night lettergram instead of a telegram.  You know 50 words don’t cost any more that way than 10, and it would have been novel to say the least to receive a love letter by wire.  It would be almost as good as an aeroplane courtship.

I'm awfully glad Art and Ora are coming via Calgary, even though I know Ora will look upon it with blinded eyes and tell you it can't compare with Edmonton etc., etc., etc. Don't believe her. Whoever saw a woman on her honeymoon who could see ordinary things in an ordinary way? When I told Fritz tonight about their coming he was all agog with excitement and he wants to know when they'll arrive so that he can invite them to his place. Don't things work out fine if we don't worry? Now that I know Ora is coming to Calgary I can get her present while she's here and then I can be sure to get something that she wants and that will not be duplicated.

Of course you know Heber went east for Xmas. Dr Merritt told me today he expected him back on Monday. I feel awfully sorry for him, and Dell, and hope things will turn out all right in the end. I'm glad though, dearest, that we haven't any troubles of that kind. I don't agree with the proposition that the course of true love never did run smoothly. In some cases it may be refined and purified by trials but I believe some of the sweetness is lost. I'd far rather have the purifying before, as we have, wouldn't you?

In your last letter you ask if it doesn't seem foolish that we didn't know each other as mates long ago. Perhaps, but somehow I can't help but think that our waiting will bear fruit in a better understanding and more perfect love than if we had come together several years ago. I've seen so many cases of misunderstanding among lovers and I couldn't bear to think we should have any. And yet I'm afraid if we had been engaged for the past three or four years our engagement wouldn't be as delightful as it has been. I think we're both more ready to yield to the other than we would have been. Hasn't our engagement been one of pure pleasure, in spite of our separation?

Harold Smith was in the city on Tuesday and I had lunch with him.  He isn’t going to Panama after all for the Department has ordered him back to Ottawa and he’ll go next week.  He expects to be in Hamilton either the last of this week or the first of next, and possible he’ll go to Thorold to inspect the canal work.  If so of course you’ll see him.

So you thought I didn't want your graduation photo. I've always hated to ask for photos because it seemed so much like begging. It always seemed to me if anyone wanted to give me one he would without asking, so I guess my answer must have seemed pretty indifferent to you. You see I hadn't broken down my reserve at that time as much as I have since. But I did want it very much and I was hoping you'd give me one. How do you think I could help wanting every picture of you I could get? Haven't I told you that everything belonging to you is dear to me? Ray can get some other picture but I wish you'd keep one of your graduation photos. I always counted on seeing you in your graduation robes at commencement, but I missed that, and I'd like something kept of that time

This is a frightful scrawl but I've been interrupted by people breaking in with questions. Two days nearer our wedding day! Goodnight and sweetest dreams.

Your own "hubby."



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 2 1914

My Dearest Rusty,

I've just got home from choir practice, and although I am desperately sleepy I must write a little tonight.

I don’t know what to say about the present. I didn’t know you were relying on me for suggestions. What did you do with the clock?  Ora said she’d like a marble one. If you don’t want to give her that, why then, I’ll tell you about her silver. She has a half-dozen tea and dinner forks, and Grace is going to give the knives. They are in the Cromwell pattern - 1847 Roger Bros. plate.  She has a dozen sterling spoons in the Stratford pattern. You could get boullion [sic] and dessert spoons. She was intending to get them in the Cromwell pattern - that is plated - because the sterling is so expensive.  

Of course if you got sterling you’d get the Stratford pattern. Then there are table spoons too. She hasn’t any of them. She has a butter-knife in the Cromwell pattern. She hasn’t any carving outfit. She has 2 and a half dozen coffee spoons and some bread and butter spreaders, that’s all I can think of in silverware. She didn’t get but one piece of cut glass, a little one, but she has plenty of silver. Noble gave a lovely silver flower holder - an appropriate wedding present he said because it was utterly useless. Oh, if you wanted to give her silver, you could make up the dozen of tea and dinner knives and forks. The dinner forks aren’t the biggest size - the medium.

She got nine more towels, seventy five dollars in money and a quilt. I’ll tell you about the rest tomorrow. Mr. Dickinson sent Ora ten dollars, Mr. and Mrs. Buck five, Aunt Belle and Uncle Percy five, and Mr. and Mrs. Will Culp five.

Elleda and I slept together or talked together last night. We had two couches in the study side by side, and we talked until two o'clock. Of course you came in for a fair share of opprobrium. She is one of the grittiest girls I know. Wray was here to-day, and Noble went home tonight. I'll tell you tomorrow about all the fun we had. Elleda said it was the nicest wedding she ever attended, for everything rang true. That's the quality in you we settled upon as the most satisfying.

Your sleepy-head.



Evelyn to Fred 
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 3, 1914

My Dear Rusty,-

It’s been snowing all afternoon and I haven’t been out all day, but I’m getting rested after a month of hard labour. I didn’t get up till about half-past ten this morning.  I’ll start back at Thursday and try to tell you something about the great  event. Aunt Pearl and Lenore, Noble and Jean Collver, our cousin, came Wednesday.  Jean’s train was late, so the boys and she did not get here until after ten and I had gone to take a bath.  

Thursday morning we got up early - I did some work upstairs and made my bouquet, which was composed of pink roses and marguerites. Ora's was white roses and lily-of-the-valley. I wanted to roll the bread, you know, make it up in little rolls and tie it up, but mother and Ora were sure I wouldn't have time so I gave way. But there was plenty of time for it, so I just hung around and talked to people. I didn't want to get dressed too soon. I was rather cold and had a black jacket over my dress, and an apron over both. When I took the two latter off, Ray [Albright] remarked, “Oh you did have a decent dress on underneath, didn’t you?” After Ora had gone he said to me, “Say, Ora looked pretty swell, didn’t she? And you looked all right too. My, clothes make a very great difference in your looks.” I told Elleda and she said I’d have to marry rich. Personally I don’t think they make so much difference as Ray thought. It really was my hair, which I hadn’t curled. There, you thought I was going to say combed, didn’t you? 

Before we went downstairs, after Art and Noble had gone, I looked at dad and his face was twitching. It was hard for him to read his part of the service and I think he handed the book to Mr. Smith before he intended, simply because he could not go on. At night some were playing downstairs and I went up to the study where he was and I knew what he was thinking. I put my head against his and my arms around his neck, and he pressed me to him as he never did before. After a while I said, "Aren't you glad you had us?" His tone was crisp and decided. "Yes," he said, and went on later, "If only you weren't going so far away it wouldn't be so bad." He seemed to feel better and started talking about the things people had given Ora. I believe they please the rest of us about as much as they do Ora.

All of the young people, even Lenore, went to the station and gave them a liberal shower of confetti. There was no rice in evidence. The suit cases were beautifully decorated with bows of white ribbon, but there was no horseplay. Ora and Art were absolutely "un-fussed", though Elleda said they were the bridiest pair she had seen, they looked so spick and span. She said she had got so used to seeing Ora in her old clothes at Muskoka.  We remarked how strange it was that she had never in her life slept at our house before. She stayed with me at the Hall [Annesley] a couple times, but never at our home. ...

But to return to Thursday.  Auntie and Lenore, Noble, Jean, Elleda, Winnie and Hazel, Mr and Mrs. Sheppard all stayed overnight. We resorted to our New Years’ game of Jenkins.  In the morning we went to the car with Elleda and the cousins. We missed the car so went over to the G.T.R. station where we had to wait about half an hour because the train was late. We came home and straightened up the house. Auntie and Lenore left and  at two, and the parents and Sheppards went to the Falls. Ray came out about one so there were the four of us, Jean, Noble, Ray and I.  

It took a long time to get the dishes done and the floor swept, even with the assistance of Jean and Noble. I made Ray empty the tea-pot and he opened an express parcel too.  He and Noble complained because I bossed them and I told them it was to make them thankful for what they had escaped.  

We were going out for a walk, but it had turned raw, so we decided to stay in and talk. Ray was arguing that there was no such thing as loving only one person. He claimed that one person might marry any one of a certain number and be almost, not quite, but almost as happy, as when married to the one. I must admit that I think partly as he does, else how could second marriages turn out so well? I don't like them but I have seen two cases where things turned out beautifully. However, I never knew the first wives. Probably they weren't the ones. Maybe you won't like to hear me say this, I think it improbable that there could be more than one ideal mate for each of us, but my dear, I have seen so many who have evidently not married the real mate, and so for them, any one out of a number would do. I wonder if every couple thinks it is different from the rest of the world! 

We had afternoon tea and Noble helped me get it ready while Jean and Ray talked. We picked out the nicest dishes and had tea, toast and jelly. I wanted Ray to stay all night, but he didn’t know what to do. We were eating, but he got started talking and all he ate was one bite of toast, when he decided he’d go, and so he left.  The three of us ate up all the toast, drank all the tea, and sat until six o’clock when it was really dark. We were talking about marriage and connected topics. We had a nice time. Noble went home at 7.30 and Mr. and Mrs. Sheppard went to-day after dinner.  Jean is staying with us for some time.

 This is enough for tonight. Noble's farewell was, "Tell Fred I'm envious." I'm satisfied with my Rusty.



Fred to Evelyn
[Calgary]
Sunday morning Jan. 4/14 #1

My dearest,-

I didn’t get time to write last night and I haven’t very much time this morning but want to send at least a note that you’ll not look in vain for some word from me.

Did I tell you about a case I have where a man was injured last May while working on the Hudson’s Bay Store. His back is injured and he has been in a plaster of paris cast ever since. He can’t be moved from his bed and yesterday afternoon I examined him for 3 hours to get his side of the story.  It is always permissible to examine the opposite part before trial for this purpose. ...

Poor fellow!  I couldn’t help feeling sorry for him and his wife. His nerves are still so shattered that two or three times during the examination he nearly fainted and had to take stimulants. His wife is a good deal younger than he and she has waited on him night and day with the greatest devotion. They live in an apartment of only 2 rooms and though everything is scrupulously clean and neat you may readily imagine there can’t be a great deal of comfort. I can’t understand why they haven’t a better house, for he was a steady worker and had been earning $8 per day at his trade.  I don’t know when I hated more to be acting against a fellow than in this case and yet from the examination I can’t help feeling that he was a good deal to blame for the accident himself.

It was seven o’clock when I came in for dinner last night and then I had to be back at the office at 7.30. I quit work about 9.30 and after getting a hair cut and shampoo, and going to the P.O. to see if there was a Sunday letter - but there wasn’t - I felt tired enough to go to bed when I got home.

I haven't gone to church this morning but have been preparing my S.S. lesson. In a few minutes I'm going to post this and meet Charlie Adams at the church to bring him up to dinner. His wife has been east ever since June and he has been boarding out. Mrs Adams is coming home next week however. They have been very good friends of mine. He is Sec'y of the Law Society. Brownlee is in his office. I think I've told you that Mr. & Mrs. Adams and son, if placed side by side occupy the best part of an ordinary street. Talk about my being fat! You should see them. 

By the way, I'm not quite as stout as I was last summer, but I am getting more bald. Last night when in the barber's chair, I nearly got a shock, I guess it was partly on account of the way the light was shining but the reflex mirror seemed to show a bare spot as big as an ordinary tea-plate. Which do you dislike most, fatness or baldness? For I seemed doomed to one if not to both. Must go now. 

Fred.



Fred to Evelyn 
[Calgary]
Sunday evening Jan. 4/13 #2

My dear kiddie,-

One blessing the day has brought - there was no sermon tonight only a song service with a repetition of the cantata given at the choir concert last Tuesday night. ... 

I've just come home. It's only 9:30 but somehow I don't feel much like writing tonight. Perhaps it's the weather for it's been very warm today and an intermittent chinook has brought up clouds of dust that get in one's eyes, ears, nose, throat and even the pores of the skin. Perhaps it's the reaction from a more than usually strenuous week of work. Anyhow I feel "dopey." For a few minutes after supper, before church I tried to read Van Dyke but threw it down in disgust. R.L.S. suffered the same fate. In both cases I seemed to be reading mechanically without "sensing" it. Now I'm inflicting myself upon you. Cheerful company I am, n'est-ce-pas?

Miss Rogers has been attempting to write between my interrupting remarks. If you were here instead of her! Oh if we could only borrow wings on Sundays and fly to each other the rest of the week wouldn’t be so lonesome. After all writing is such a poor form of communication.  If one of us has a question to ask the  other it takes at least 8 days for the answer to come. “Silent sympathy” is all right, but so often I long for the living sympathy that pulsates from a warm loving heart pressed close to mine. Did you say once you were afraid I was too self-sufficient and didn’t seem to need you? Why, I need you every day, - yes every hour, and I don’t think it’s an evidence of weakness or anything to be ashamed of to say that I know I can never live or be my best without you.

I’ve just been calling for fresh air and “Bill” has responded by calling for her sweater and felt boots. She’s also told me to tell you that I am the most uncomfortable fellow to have around the house. “Bill” is very much concerned for you welfare so much so that I have asked her to write you a confidential report upon my shortcomings, but she says her courage isn’t quite equal to that. So you see you’ll have to acquire a sort of filtered knowledge of my failings as I attempt to transmit the gist of Miss Roger’s criticisms.   

After S.S. today Charlie Adams and I went out to look over his new house. It’s about half a mile south of Fritz’s along the Elbow River. It’s of bungalow style, - pure white and in a long flat of ground with 150 feet frontage. Charlie bought this about 2 1/2 years ago for $2,800. The same lots couldn’t be bought today for less than $6,500. The house was planned but not started before Mrs. Adams went East in July, and as I told you last night she hasn’t returned yet though she’s expected back next week. Their old house has been rented furnished and for the most part they expect to buy new furniture as the new house is much larger. Won’t it be nicer for her to come back for a fine new house? The house itself has cost $7,800 and the materials and workmanship are of the very best. ... 

I wish you were here for the next couple months. In February there are always big furniture sales here, and this year prices are likely to be better than usual for two reasons: First the tightness of money: second, the moving of the Calgary Furniture Store to their new 6 storey store opposite the Hudson's Bay. People say this will be the largest store devoted exclusively to furniture in Canada. It’s certain that before moving there will be great bargains offered. Of course it would be cheaper to get furniture in the east if we knew what we wanted but I think Fritz’s made a mistake in doing as they did. It’s hard to choose furniture unless you have seen the house. 

And besides I believe that this year retail prices are not much higher in Calgary than in Toronto.  If one could get at wholesale prices as Ora is doing, it would be worthwhile buying in Ontario and having it shipped out.  But even then there’s always the danger of getting stuff marred in transit.  I’ve known of several Calgary people who have done this and they say they wouldn’t again. ... 

What are the honeymooners doing? Shopping? Of course you were all "took" by the new camera on New Year's day? How is it working? I'm forwarding the slip you enclosed and the magazine should reach you in due course. If it doesn’t let me know. 

Do you like photography? I've never been able to get interested in it as yet, but there'll be a new incentive now. Anyhow I'm more than mildly curious to learn how you are getting along with it and to receive some samples of your work.

I'm not to speak at the Canada Forward Club tomorrow night after all. Our night is postponed two weeks, because O.M. Biggar(2) K.C. of Edmonton is to be in the city tomorrow and we have been particularly anxious to get him to address us on another topic and we're going to seize the opportunity by changing dates to suit his convenience. I’m glad for I’ve been so busy I haven’t been able to prepare.

Want to write home and to Margaret yet so goodnight.

With love from your own

"Torchy.



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 5, 1914 #1

My Dear Rusty,-

I was going to write last night after church, but Mr. and Mrs. Baker came up. I was very naughty and wasn’t at all pleased to see them, but I hope they didn’t know it. I was counting on a letter and about an hour’s reading and on going to bed early. But the fates were agin me. I got nothing of my three desires.

We washed to-day, and I'm writing this so it would go out on the same mail the one which was to be last night, would have. Also, I am going to the bank. I'll have twenty dollars out of my earnings to deposit. Isn't that pretty good after a wedding and Christmas? 

Dad and I have been having a dispute. My check was made out to Miss E.E. Kelly. I endorsed it as E. Evelyn Kelly, which is my bank signature. I claim that Evelyn cannot stand for anything but E. If the cheque were made out to E, Evelyn and I endorsed it as E.E. that would not hold. He wouldn’t listen to my argument so I wouldn’t let him cash the cheque. I know they’d cash it here but I want to know if the way I endorsed it wouldn’t hold in places where my bank signature wasn’t known.

Say, Jean my cousin, is slower than I am, I do believe. I’m doing my best to get to places and to do things on time. Mother gave me a gentle reproof the other night. I had a cold, and she thought I was crying over her criticism.  

Must go now.

Nora.



Evelyn to Fred 
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 5, 1914 #2

My Dear Rusty,-

... There is a couple here waiting for dad, and mother is going after him. He is down town awaiting the election returns. Jean has gone in to talk to them, and I must go too. I’ll finish after they’re gone. If mother finds dad in time, we can go to League; if not we’ll have to stay as witnesses.

We are just home from League. Everything was funny. Those people didn't say they wanted to get married tonight, but as they wanted to see dad we assumed that they did. They said tomorrow would do just as well, but they decided to wait. About eight dad came in. The man showed the licence and dad looked it over. Then he said, "Have you the ring? Do you mean to be married with a ring?" "I have it, but I didn't bring it with me," he answered. "Oh, well," said dad, "It doesn't make any difference. Just stand up there." The fellow stared at him, then comprehended his meaning and blurted out, "Oh, we don't want to get married tonight. We want to get married the thirtieth of January." I don't know which of the two felt the silliest, but everyone indulged in a hearty laugh ...

I went to the bank, and the clerk said that I was right, that I did not need to endorse the  cheque as it was made out, but that I should endorse it with my business signature. Of course dad claims that h e doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and says that if I went to a strange place I’d have trouble.  Is there an Imperial bank in Calgary. My little book is such a dear and I have a cute little cheque holder too. And I’ve used only two out of it.

You'll be disappointed to know that the first picture in my camera was one of the bridal table. How shall I get a picture of me? Oh, I'll get Art to take one, maybe tomorrow if they get home in time.

...On Wednesday the B and G., [Ora & Art] Jean, and I are going out to Cousin Mary Uppers for tea. It makes me hungry to think of going. She hovers around your chair and says, “Now do have a little of the breast. Just a little salad. Why, you haven’t any cream. Oh, you’re not eating anything.”  And she gets a bite in between. I guess my relatives can cook just as well as yours, Mr. Albright. I’ll take you out there just to prove it to you.  I was telling Jean what I said, and she said maybe your relatives aren’t as good-looking as mine, and you wanted something to make up for it.

You'll get no more out of me tonight, except something that isn't words, but made with my lips.

Your sweetheart.



Fred to Evelyn
Calgary, Alta.,
Jan. 6/14

My dearest,-

...I meant to write after I came home from the C.F. Club meeting but I was asked to report the speech and I had to write it out afterwards so it was half past twelve before I got home.  Then feeling tired and sleepy, I went to bed.

Guess how this eventing has been spent. Tait read an ad in the Herald of $2,500 worth of new furniture to be sold for $1,000 and the house in Elbow Park for $6,000 - $500 cash and the balance at $50 per month. The present owner's leaving for California. ... I stumped Tait to go out and take a look, so he, Miss Rogers and I hurried away after dinner. 

The house is in Elbow Park, about 2 blocks from Fritz’s. As soon as I saw the house I concluded it was no snap for it was small and the rooms cut up. The furniture however is really good and a snap. Everything is new, the couple having been married only 5 months. One set of bedroom furniture is of gumwood - and is a beauty. It cost $250.00 new. Another bedroom set is of mahogany. The parlor suite is mahogany the dining room fumed oak, and there are some fine oak chairs in the den. The furniture is really cheap at $1,000. for the player piano alone cost $850 new in New York, but they don't want to sell the furniture without the house, and there's nothing doing in that line.

As I was looking over the house, I thought how nice it would be to bring you to a cosy little house already furnished, but then I thought perhaps you'd rather feather your own nest and wouldn't like a made to order one half so well as one we chose together. I have no intention of buying in this way unless an exceptional snap offers, and then I might but with the idea of living in it temporarily and reselling. From now on I expect there will be lots of snaps offering in the house and furniture lines. 

I'm going to keep my eyes open and don't be surprised if my letters from now on are filled with talk of Sheraton bedsteads, mahogany rugs Brussels tablecloths Tomorrow morning I’ll expect a full report of the bride’s trousseau and the wedding ceremony with a few parenthetical remarks about how charming the bridesmaid looked and how she nearly fainted at the bashful overtures of the best man. How did you like being second fiddle on the first? You say you’ve always had to take second place. Always? You know full well a corner in one man’s heart where there isn’t room for anyone else than the same little girl who is going to take the very first place in a wedding ceremony next June.

Are the presents still being showered upon Ora? I now understand the reason why she asked me about the carload rates of freight from the east. Someone is going to have a delightful time packing everything and I'm beginning to look upon myself as a public benefactor in saving even a little bit of that trouble. When am I to welcome the newly weds to Calgary? You aren't teaching again are you dearie? I hope you can have a good rest from now on.

Your own Rusty



Evelyn to Fred 
Thorold, Ont., 
Jan. 6, 1914

My Dear Fred,-

Your New Year's letter arrived at tea-time, and some remarks in it started a train of thoughts which were not kind nor loving. Yes, even you say things which make me angry, not mildly angry either. Your offense this time? It has been repeated several times and it has to come out. Whenever you have spoken of us not going abroad this summer, you seem to take it for granted that it would be impossible to go next summer. Why do you do that? It makes me hot and angry and hurt and everything wrong when you assume that, for the most logical deduction is that you think there'll be a baby to keep us home. That takes away just about all the joy there is in the thought of marriage. 

Of course I want children, but I don't want them to start on. And you said you didn't either. So why do you talk as if you expected one for a Christmas present next year? There are some things I hate, I hate, I hate, and one of them is that. And to say that if children aren't born within a certain time after marriage there is danger that there'll never be any, makes me angry. People who marry later in life have children, and I can't see why married life should make such a difference. I wish, oh how I wish you were here to tell me what you really do mean. That last night you were here you said something very different. And I don't want Heber for my doctor. In fact, I won't have him. He's too young, even if he is very competent and clever. There, it's out now. If only you were here to talk to me, instead of taking so long to answer me.

Ora and Art haven’t arrived yet, but we expect them in a short time. Dad is at the church. He has organized a Men’s Study Class and they are having a social evening tonight. He went down, laden with sandwiches and doughnuts (Cousin Mary Upper’s make) but it is a cold windy night and I’m afraid there won’t be very many there. He has tried long and often to start a Men’s Class, with but little success, but at last he seems to have attained some part of his work.

How much are you counting on us being able to live on monthly, the latter part of this year? I must confess, I never really looked the matter in the face until recently. I took it for granted that you knew how much was necessary. I don’t mean to imply that I have ceased to think so, but merely that I have started to “figger.”  

I was telling Elleda [Dickenson], and she is the only one outside my family to whom I have mentioned it, that we hoped to go abroad, and I also said that it seemed rather foolish to spend so much at the beginning but she said she didn't think so, that we could live simply and that the trip would mean so much to us. But I don't want to go if it takes all the surplus money. And as to the time. Conference meets in St. Catharines this year. You may not see how that makes any difference to us. Of course dad has to attend, but moreover our house will be full of delegates. There is going to be trouble in billeting the men and everyone who can take any will have to take all that it is possible for them to take. Conference meets the first week in June. And we can't have it directly after Conference, we'll have to have a little time to wash the towels and sheets. If we don't go abroad, we don't want it so early, do we? Dad's birthday is the fifteenth, which is a bad day because it's Monday. Well, Ora's is the seventeenth, on Wednesday. That's better.

I know this is a nasty letter, sort of criss-cross and cranky. Something seems to say you'll misunderstand what I've said, and yet I must say it.

You speak of your business affairs. Last summer you did not want to tell dad of them. But it was his right. And it is his still, but I shall not tell. Sometime you'll learn, I hope, that I don't tell all I know, and not even all I know of one subject. Though I must admit that probably I tell more things than you would. I do hate people to tell my secrets, but then it's my fault, for I should not tell them. But of course, you ought to tell me things, and therefore I ought to keep your secrets.

I guess I'm tired. It's easy for me to cry tonight and I'm not a weeper. Please, please do not misunderstand

your little girl.



Fred to Evelyn 
Calgary,
Jan 7/14

My own darling,-

Another evening shot to pieces! After dinner Tait, Mack and I discussed affairs of the mènage for a short time. On April 1st we must move, and it isn’t too early to think of our probable next location. We also had to give some thought to the question of augmenting our numbers. Smith went home to Montreal for Xmas and today we receive a letter form him saying he wouldn’t return for the present.  

A couple days before he left he quit his job with the Westinghouse Co and he hadn’t secured a new position. His folks want him to stay in Montreal for the winter and as he has no position waiting for him here he has decided to stay. Although he says Montreal seems deader in a business way than Calgary. A Mr. Allen, whose wife is visiting in the east will come in to the house for a month and fill temporarily the place left vacant by Fearman, but we haven’t anyone in Smith’s place yet. Even with one man short, December cost us only $50 each. So we’re keeping expenses down pretty well. 

About eight o’clock I went out to Fritz’s and have just returned.  It’s now 10.30.  Haven’t seen much of the Moyer family during the past 6 weeks and we had quite a gossip.   They are anxious to know when the bride and groom [Ora & Art Ritchie] will arrive.

Got your letter of the day after this morning, - but it was silent on the all-important question. Did Noble realize his expectations? From the fact that he went away the day you wrote, I judge you haven’t definitely decided to throw me over for him. Didn’t you want to make the exchange  when the test came, or did he have the gracelessness to withdraw his offer? I can’t accuse him of such poor judgement so must conclude that you’ve decided  to stick to me a little while longer. Am I right? 

I expected a much more exuberant account of the wedding, but perhaps you were too tired to write. As you didn't mention Margaret's name I infer she wasn't able to get off. I'm awfully sorry but we'll have her at our little function, won't we dearie?

Speaking of weddings of course makes me think of the one that concerns us most. How much "dog" are you going to insist upon next June? Are there to be bridesmaids and best men and flower girls and all that sort of thing? What does a best man do anyhow except make love to the bridesmaids. I suppose one is a sort of foil to the other, but I've often wondered whether it was essential to have a Gratious and Nerissa as understudies to the main actors. You know, if I really have to get a best man to carry my gloves and flick the dust off my boots and see that I behave myself generally, I suppose Ray is the logical one to perform the part, but really I'd be afraid that in a moment of abstraction, between the responses, his mind would revert to its only true and original home, and he'd crow right before the altar. Seriously, though kiddie, I'd like to know how formal you intend the wedding to be. Please forgive me if I've appeared to treat the subject with undue levity.

I'm anxious to know how the camera works. Did you get a picture of the wedding party? And have you had yourself "took" with it? That's what I'm most anxious about. Today I sent off that order to the Kodak Co. to send you on the Kodak magazine. You should receive it in about a week or ten days.

Had a light fall of snow this evening - about two inches and the ground is beautiful. The air is still warm and I'm wearing summer underclothes.

Good night sweetheart.

Your own Fred.



Evelyn to Fred 
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 8, 1914 #1

My Dear Rusty,-

... Were you pretty much disgusted with my last letter? I don't wonder at it. You don't deserve one of that sort, dearest, and it was ugly of me to write it. But sometimes when you talk of children it makes me so angry. In some respects I am very young, as young as other girls at seventeen. It's rather strange, but it's true. And you are mature. You have been a man for a long time, but in certain respects I have not become a woman. But just the same, I should not say sarcastic things to you, and I honestly mean to try not to. You have never spoken that way to me, and I know how it would hurt if you did. I'll write some more tonight, but I'll give this to Art now.

Good-bye.

Nora.



Evelyn to Fred 
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 8, 1914 #2

My Dearest,-

... Ora is very happy and thinks Art is the kindest and most thoughtful man she ever knew. He is good too, and I think a very great deal of him, but I know somebody who can more than compare with him.

Last night at Mrs. Upper's we were listening to the gramophone, and I thought that sometime we might have a Victrola and then we could sit with the light out and listen to it. Then your big chair would be suitable. Last summer when I was with Edith Adams, we were invited to visit a couple who had a Victrola. The man played some beautiful selections, Gadski's and Tettrazzini's and others. But the last one was a duet by Caruso and some woman. They sang "Oh Leanora," I don't know its name, from Il Trovatore, and the man said, "we'll hear this with the lights off." It made me cry it was so sad and made me feel so lonesome. The gramophone last night was a poor one, but while listening to it, I thought of something you said about music that it should not appeal to our intellect but rather to our feelings. And I wanted you just then and there. And last night too, when I was half asleep, I wanted you then. It seems so long, doesn't it, until we can be together?

...Oh, I forgot to tell you that Noble did what he said he’d do the day of the wedding. He said to me, “You shouldn’t have got engaged. You should have just stayed good friends with all of us.” “Um,” said I. “Then I’d have been an old maid.” Ora said he kept wishing I hadn’t got engaged and she asked him what difference it made to him. “You didn’t want to marry her.” “No,” he drawled, “Say, wouldn’t she lead me the deuce of a life?  But yet I like to feel that she’s always there.”  Then Ora asked what difference marriage would make. He acknowledged that it hadn’t made her any worse, in fact, he confessed that he liked her better. But she was Art’s wife and I would be Fred’s, which would make a great difference.

We had fried oysters for tea and I cooked them. Art liked them, so decided that he’d visit us. Ora said he’d better wait for an invitation but he said that when he got as far as Calgary we’d have to invite him. I feel very virtuous because I got my things all mended this afternoon. We are all tired tonight though I can’t understand why.

So you hope that Dell and Heber will make up their quarrel. I don't think they will. It's not that kind. I do not see how they could. Yes, I am glad that our engagement is to be short, and I'm sure it's better that it did not begin years ago. You have been re-reading my old letters? Will you find it hard to believe that it was not until after Easter of 1913 that I consciously knew or thought that you loved me? The thought must have been in my mind, but it was away at the back, and when it came to the front, it made me so happy. 

The winter had been a hard, sad one, but the spring was the most beautiful one I ever knew. You must have noticed the difference in my letters. I remember telling you about the cherry tree. And it was strange, no natural, that I nearly always confided my woes to your ears. Do you remember one day at Toronto, you came to the rink and stood watching us skate? There was something in your eyes that made me want to run away. But it doesn't make me run away now.

Goodnight honey.



Evelyn to Fred 
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 10, 1914 #1

My Dear Rusty,-

I didn’t get time to write yesterday. Jean and I went to St. Kitts and then I had to  have a sleep when I got home. We went to the party at Mr. Clarke’s and had a good time. I wore my ring and we played Jenkins. ‘Nuff said.  I’m tired to-day. I swept the cellar and had a grand cleaning-up spree.  I don’t get them very often so you don’t need to worry.  Dad tried to get a rooster, but he couldn’t tell the difference and he got the laying hen.

I haven't taken any pictures since New Year's It's so dark and cloudy. Yesterday it rained and was perfectly horrid. I do like photography, what little I know of it, and I'm quite sure that you'll find it very interesting too. It really is a fine art. Did you ever see the camera exhibits at the Toronto exhibition? They are great. I don't want to take just so-so pictures, I want to learn how to take artistic ones

...I've just been talking to Art about furniture. By getting theirs from Clarence [Buck] they will save about one-hundred per-cent, less the freight expenses. They'd have to ship some things anyway, as Ora has had practically all her living room furniture given her. And I don't see why one couldn't tell what kind of furniture to get if the house were to be built. I'm sure I know pretty much what kind I want. But I guess we don't need to fuss over that for a timeArt is going to get his electrical and bath-room fixtures in Toronto next summer. He says the prices are awful out there.  His brother Will builds houses.  

This is all now.

Nora.



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 10, 1914 #2

My Own Dear Rusty,-

Saturday, and no letter from you.  Letterless days don’t seem right, do they old man? I suppose you didn’t get a New Year’s letter from me, so you know how to sympathize with me.

Ora and Art went out to Mrs. Upper’s for tea. I felt very dopey but was too lazy to go out. I went though, we had to have some biscuits. I bought some salmon too, to make salmon croquettes. Do you like them?  I went to the widow’s store, and told her I wanted the salmon for cooking, so we fell to talking about it. She never cooked it, so I told her how we did it. Just imagine me giving free lessons in cookery.  

I have been planning ways of cooking oysters and salmon, and counting the cost of them. Dear me, I hope you like the things I do. I think I should be a farmer’s wife, for if there’s one thing that gives me satisfaction, it is to see a well-filled cellar in the winter. It makes me feel like a squirrel, all nice and warm and comfortable, with a goodly store of nuts by me.  The other day I was thinking what fun it would be for us to pick out our dishes.

Do you ever have "dry" days, when you don't know what you want, and your brain seems empty? That's the way mine felt this afternoon. ... I don't want to write any more tonight. I feel rather far away from you. I wonder if this is your week for Taber. I hope you go and see my people.

Good-night.



Fred to Evelyn 
[Calgary]
Sunday morning Jan 11/14 #1

My own dear little kiddie,-

I hardly know how to answer your Tuesday letter. Somehow it's so hard to prevent misunderstanding in correspondence. Oh, how I wish we could talk face to face instead of at long distance as now!

After a more than usually trying three weeks in the office, certain matters came to a head last night and I wasn't feeling in the best of humor by any means. I left the office about eleven and as you may guess without my saying so, I went from there to the P.O. Sure enough there was a nice fat letter and I put it in my pocket with pleasant thought of how cheering it would be to read when I got home. All the others were either out or in bed and I planted myself in the big chair before the fire prepared to enjoy your letter to the utmost. Well it wasn't exactly cheerful and my first impulse was to answer at once. I had intended writing last night anyhow. But on second thoughts I decided not to, for I was afraid I'd say something again that you would misunderstand and that would hurt you. 

And now what can I say? In the first place I'm glad you've told me that you've been hurt, instead of nursing a grudge secretly. We must expect that sometimes we're going to rub each other the wrong way and perfect frankness and sincerity is necessary to true happiness. Have you told me all, dearie, in last night's letter? Because it has seemed to me for some time past there has been just a wee bit of constraint - as if something I had said or done had displeased you, and you didn't want to say anything about it. Oh, my darling, I may blunder and stumble, but surely you know I love you too well not to try in every way I can to make you truly happy.

What shall I say about our trip abroad? For that seems to be the chief stumbling block. I've thought and thought and my inclination would be to say nothing further about the matter and let it heal itself. But perhaps if I did that you'd take my attitude for indifference to you complaint, and I can't bear to have you think that. It's hard to talk about some things in letters but it's the only way we can talk now, so at the risk of being misunderstood again I'll try to explain what I meant.

In the first place I didn't mean you to infer that the probable reason why we couldn't go any time in the near future but this year was because a baby might come. There are a large number of reasons - purely business - which are likely to prevent. For a young man just starting his profession it is not and easy thing to get away long enough to take a trip abroad. This year it does look possible from that standpoint. I can't foresee the future, but as far as I can judge, there doesn't seem to be any reasonable chance of going for several years unless we go this year, - for business reasons purely

I'm not speaking now entirely from a consideration of my own position but partly from knowledge of the experience of others. It may not be pleasant to contemplate, but we must face the fact that life for most of us is not a play time nor yet a school-time in the sense we knew it at school and at college, but is a steady work-time. At our wedding time, there's a break when it is possible to take an extended trip that might be possible but would probably be very foolish at a later time.

But I did have in mind as a second reason the possibility of children and I'm awfully sorry - No, I'm not going to talk about this now. I can't find words to express myself right and I'm afraid you'll misunderstand me. I'll write later - perhaps not for several days - but sometime before long - when I can better say what I want to only, I don't want you to think, sweetheart, that I didn't mean what I said that last night in Thorold.

Just one thing more and then the ground will be cleared up. I may be mistaken in my attitude about my business affairs but that is one thing on which I have settled positive convictions - I want my wife to know about them and it is her right to do so, but except for ourselves there is no one else, not even our fathers and mothers, who have any business or any right to know about them. We are not children, we are more or less mature and if we are not capable of managing our own affairs, we are ...

(Letter ends here.)



Fred to Evelyn 
[Calgary]
Sunday morning Jan 11/14 #2

My own dear little girl,-

I've just returned from church. Mr Marshall exchanged pulpits with Rev. J.C. Sycamore of First Baptist church. He came here about three years ago from Hamilton Ontario and has become one of the best liked and most effective preachers and pastors in the city. ...

The preacher [Mr Marshall] said. “The true church must be a haven of refuge with a heart of love.” Oh my own love, that’s what I want to be to you.  In any trouble or perplexity I want you to feel that you can find a haven of refuge in me and that, however weak I may be and however thoughtless and careless I may be, my heart is full of love for you and I wouldn’t willingly cause you a moment’s pain or anxiety. 

I'm so glad I didn't post the letter I wrote before church.(3)  Your Tuesday letter came last night. I was feeling especially tired and tense because after a more than usually strenuous three weeks in the office, certain matters came to a head last night and I was trying to work out a solution, with but indifferent success. I must confess your letter made me angry at first and I was on the point of sitting down then - midnight - and answering immediately trying to justify myself. But I was afraid I'd say something you'd misunderstand and that I'd be sorry for, so I waited until this morning. Then I wrote a long letter this morning before church. 

It was written in the calm of the morning and perhaps it would have been all right, but I hadn't quite finished before church and now I've decided not to send it. I thought at the time it was a calm discussion of the points raised in your letter, but it might not appeal that way to you. What's the difference? I don't think we disagree very much after all.

I'm awfully sorry, dearie, that you were hurt by what I said. And I'm so glad you've told me about it frankly instead of nursing a grudge. In the last of your letter you said "Please don't misunderstand your little girl." I don't think I do, now, dearie, though perhaps I did a little bit last night. One thing is sure, you care for me very, very dearly or you wouldn't have spoken as you did.

How can I make you understand that I love you just as dearly? Will you say this is an evasion of your questions? Well, I'm not attempting to answer them now. I believe discussion of differences is best put off until distance and time have minimized what seem like differences, and after a while we'll wonder what there is to discuss won't you believe me dearie, when I tell you again I'm very sorry I said anything to hurt you and that I didn't mean just what you thought I did. Must post this now and then go to S.S..

Your own Rusty.



Fred to Evelyn
[Calgary]
Sunday evening Jan 11/14 #3

My own kiddie,-

I’ve had a delightful walk of about a mile and a half from Brownlees’. There’s just enough snow on the ground and fleecy clouds under the moon to give a softened reflection of the myriads of twinkling crystals that blink and  twinkle as one passes. It has been rather cold and raw all day - much like an Ontario winter day, but a chinook arch early in the afternoon gave promise of milder weather  which has been fulfilled tonight. 

Oh, it was glorious out along the river. A few couples were on the ice, but there is almost too much snow for good skating. The two or three  inches of snow doesn’t interfere with the walking though.

[Jack] Brownlee has been in bed ever since Monday night. Was up today for the first. I knew nothing about his second illness until today, so went up to see him this evening instead of going to church. He has had a very serious time - and a very little more would have pushed him over the brink. I told you he had an attack of quinsy. He had recovered from that and was down at the office last Monday. Then he went to Dr Hockney to have his tonsils removed. After the quinsy the tonsils were very much inflamed and Jack wanted to delay the operation until after the inflammation had gone down, but the doctor insisted on going ahead immediately. 

Perhaps because of this the operation was very difficult. The doctor said one tonsil was as tough as leather and he had a hard time cutting it - the worst he'd ever seen. After the operation Jack bled profusely, but the doctor said it would soon stop and told them not to worry. He took Jack home in his car and in spite of Mrs. B's protests insisted that everything was all right. Soon after the doctor left Jack fainted, and then Mrs B. phoned her sister at the hospital. He continued to bleed frightfully and she phoned the doctor. When he returned he was really alarmed for, Jack had lost more than two quarts of blood and had fainted 3 times. 

They worked with him all night and finally pulled him through though it was a close call. He has been in bed ever since until today and even now he looks pale and very thin. It's pretty hard on Mrs B. for her side isn't strong yet from the appendicitis operation, and they haven't the gas. She can't shovel coal or do any hard work, but fortunately their neighbors are very kind. I was awfully sorry I didn't know before that he was in bed. I'm going back tomorrow night to cheer him, with Jim Pearson’s poems.  Have you read them?...

I left Jack's about 9.15 and walked down to Fritz's intending to call there for a few minutes, but lights were out downstairs and on upstairs so I came on home... How they manage to digest so much sleep is more than I can imagine. They usually go to bed about ten  - sometimes before, and don’t get up until eight or after. I should think they’d get bed-ridden. I’ll admit I might profitably spend a little more time in bed than I do, but surely they are overdoing it.  

Last week a client gave me a pair of prairie chicken and we had them along with another domestic chicken for dinner today. We always have a special dinner on Sundays. I don't altogether approve of it, for two reasons. In the first place it makes too much of a work day for the housekeeper, and in the second place it's the one day of all the week when one is working least and should eat least. Just the same we had a good dinner - roast fowl potatoes, turnips, corn on cob, jelly and chocolate with whipped cream. This morning I had a nice plate of porridge, toast, a poached egg and marmalade and coffee. Strictly new laid eggs are 65¢ and are hard to get. We don't have them every morning because we can't get them. I wish we did

... tonight we again had eggs - boiled, toast, sliced pineapple and oranges, cake, pie and cocoa. I never eat cake and I didn't take any pie but the eggs fruit and toast are what tickled my palate. Do you like toast dearie? I think I could eat toast and eggs three times a day. If ever you're in doubt what to give me and want to get something in a hurry, just remember my three standby's are toast, eggs and fruit.

Edmanson returned yesterday morning.  Looking better for his holiday, but he still needs to be careful of his health.  I think I’ve told you that he’s been fighting appendicitis for years.  He consulted a doctor in Toronto and was told that his heart is bad too.  He’ll have to take life a little easier.  He has been working too hard and far too intensely.

Last night the office staff consisting of stenos & students had a skating party at the rink after which they went to Winter's house. Several of the older people were invited too, but I went to the Quarterly Board meeting instead - the first one I've attended for a long while. The report of the pastoral supply committee was presented. It recommended extending a call to Rev. Fallis. ... Is he the man who has a cottage near Mr Dickinson's at Bala, - the man who made his own motor boat and has the big bunch of children? Do you know what kind of preacher he is? From what I saw of him last summer, I should judge he is strong on the human side and will make a good pastor anyhow. Fritz says he's afraid he's weak in the pulpit.

Do you realize, dearie, that nearly half the time from the time I saw you last until June, is gone? The next few months will pass very quickly, and June will be here before we know it.

From your letter I infer you'd like to have the wedding about the last of June. That would be best if we don't go abroad, but if we do I'd like to have it early in the month for I'd like you to see England in June. July is not nearly so nice a month over there as June or September. August is about in the same class as July, except that it's nice weather for getting about. It's very awkward that Conference meets in St. Catharines isn't it? But it can't be helped. Anyhow it's too soon to decide on a day for many things might turn up between now and then to change it. So Elleda thinks the European wedding trip is a good idea. I always thought she was a girl of exceptional judgement and I'm glad to have my opinion confirmed. She's just the kind of girl who'd enjoy such a trip to the utmost isn't she?

... oh, my own dear girlie, I want you tonight. If I could only kiss you goodnight! If I could only hear you say to me what Van Dyke's "Gentle Traveller" says. Do you know it? ...

Your own Rusty.



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 11, 1914

My Dear Rusty,-

The writing-desk is in use - I don’t like it anyway, so I am using “Torontonensis”. I hope I won’t have to freeze nights as well as days when I come to Calgary. My room here is very cold on some occasions. Last night I was cold all the time and I didn’t feel a bit rested when I got up. I like fresh air, but I don’t like a bedroom that is cold all day, for then the clothes are so cold at night that it gives one a chill to get into them.

My cousin Jean is slow - I have to wait for her. She said she used to think that there was one person slower than she - meaning me - but she is surprised and disappointed to learn that there isn’t. I told mother this morning that I didn’t like being considered in that class. I have long since placed myself out of it, but it seems that others haven’t. I guess it’s good for me to see how it goes to wait for people, especially when there’s a car to get.

I had a good time this morning in church. I was figuring out what time I'd have to get up, when I undertake to get your breakfast, and I was planning my time-table. Do you want to get to the office before 8.45? You say the morning time counts for so much more than time later in the day. If you went early in the morning would you have to work at night? You'll have to make provision for me, because I'm not going to stay alone nights, at least not very often. And if you work nights, there's not much use in me marrying you, because all I'd see of you would be at meal times. I think night work is a crime - that is if one works all day. Now I must get supper. Mother and dad are at a Temperance meeting, Ora and Art are asleep, I guess, and Jean and I are corresponding.

 10.10           

...We’re going to have a new settee - a mahogany one. We have a mahogany chair and table too. She also says we’re to have a verandah next summer. Hope it’s done by June.

We had a Temperance man tonight, Mr. Duggan from Toronto. He was fine.  He proved the church the mother of society and  every business the child of society. Thus he laid the duty of getting rid of this evil at the door of the church.  One bon mot was, “I  was brought up on porridge and the shorter Catechism. Now-a-days children are brought up on cornflakes and Eaton’s catalogue.” He dealt with the argument that is always brought up “It will cause illicit selling” by saying, “Who will do it? Who will break the law? We certainly won’t. And what’s more, we’ll tell on those who do and back up those who enforce the law.”

...This month is nearly half gone, isn't it? And I haven't started on my "things." I'm afraid your bride will be well-nigh dowerless, your poor unfortunate dear. How I wish I could have here or somewhere where I could lay my hands on you, just once before next June. The nearer the time comes, the farther away it seems.

Goodnight dearest.

Your Own Kiddie.



Fred to Evelyn 
Calgary, Alta.,
Jan. 12/14

My own kiddie,-

Though short, it was a dear letter I got today. Don't you worry dearie about my taking umbrage at anything you may say. Sometimes of course my temper flares up, and I'm not so perfect but perhaps I'll sometimes be cad enough even to show it to you. But I hope I am man enough and I know I love you well enough to now want to do so and to be disgusted with myself when I do. Do you know what I like best of all about you? I think I've told you before but it can't be repeated too often. - It's your absolute true-ness. It shows itself in so many ways and I know that whatever might happen, whatever I might do, whether you were hurt or not you'd be true till the last breath left your body. Do you know what a comfortable, rock-bottom-like feeling that gives me? Even when you are angry with me I feel just the same. How I wish I might be able to inspire you with something of the same feeling for me!

Have just returned from seeing my first hockey match of the season - between the Chinooks of Calgary and the Dominions of Edmonton. These are the leading teams of the league and tonight's 6-5 victory for the Chinooks makes them tie. Our boys haven't had much ice so far and aren't in as good condition as the Edmontonians. The game was very strenuous but was not a really first class exhibition of hockey. It was lacking in team work and finish, and was marred by several delays for injuries, though there was no dirty work. ... Fritz and Elizabeth were there with Bob Pearson and wife.  You remember she was Beulah Colling who started on ‘09 but forsook college for matrimony.

Unless I change my plans, I'll go to Taber Friday night. Will be busy all day Saturday but will probably stay over until Sunday and take the Sunday train home. So you've never told them about our engagement. Am I to keep mum too? But what's the use? Aunt Em will have to learn the doleful news sometime. Why not prepare her to get used to it?

Our lease here expires on April 1st and we've been looking around for another place. It's not likely we could get another anywhere that would suit as well, so you may imagine we are very pleased to learn that there's a possibility of getting a renewal for a year. Apart from the excellence of the place itself I hate the thought of moving again. The next time I move I want to go where I"ll have a dear little girlie to help me unpack and straighten things up. I guess it will not be things only that she'll have to straighten up. There'll be a lifetimes's work in taking the kinks and meannesses out of a chap that for some reason she's been foolish enough to fall in love with, whom she has christened

Rusty.



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 12, 1914

My Dear Rusty,-

You'll think me very contrary, and maybe your judgement won't be far out. But I'm very glad you couldn't buy that furniture. Gumwood is very pretty, but it's too soft to be serviceable, mars very, very easily. I’m quoting Clarence. I don’t like mahogany bedroom suites, they’re too hard to keep clean nor parlour suites of any sort unless they are just three-piece sets, nor oak chairs for a den. So you see the only things in the lot that would have suited me would have been the fumed oak dining-room set. And do you like player-pianos? I don't. I'd like an ordinary one and a Victrola, if I had the money. 

Art said, “Don’t buy your furniture before you’re married or your woman will knock your head off. I did and I’ve been sorry ever since.” Of course, if you could buy a furnished house at a reasonable price, with the intention of selling shortly, I suppose it would be advisable. I hate the idea of paying rent. But if you did buy such a house, and couldn’t sell it, then we’d have it on our hands and we wouldn’t want it.  

No, I don't think it would be a bit nice for you to have a house all ready to take me in. You'd deprive me of one of my dearest dreams. Long before I ever really thought of marrying you, I dreamed of building a home and of furnishing it. I've always been intensely interested in houses and one of my pet day-dreams was that I'd be an architect. Another one I had years and years ago, after reading one of Edith Wharton's first novels, was that I'd own a shoe factory and run it on the co-operative basis and see if I couldn't arrive at a satisfactory relationship between employer and employee. Of course, I meant to have the largest share, but the employees were to be given so many shares in it after they had worked there a certain length of time. Did you ever imagine that when I was a young girl in Beamsville, such plans were seething in my brain. I haven't given up my dreams of building houses. I want to build pretty homes for poor people. With a modicum of brains and interest, cheap houses can be built so that they will be pretty and convenient.

So now you're wondering about our wedding. I expect that Ora and Art will be home next summer, and that she will act as matron-of-honour. I really can't picture Ray as an assistant. If Ora doesn't come, I should prefer to be unattended, I think, because there are four girls I'd like to have and I can't make a choice. They are Winnie, Susie, Hazel, and Margaret. I am going to get Mae Finch to play. 

I suppose the guests should number about thirty or thirty-five, and I have almost that many of mine I wantNow I’ll tell you who they are, Ora & Art, Ray & Margaret. Our fathers and mothers, 8, Hazel & Winnie & Loie Findlay, Irene Stett (16) Jean, Aunt Pearl, Lenore & Winston, Mizpah Sussex, Aunt Em & Marj, Noble, Gordon Dale, Elleda, Auntie & Uncle Smith, Auntie & Uncle Case (31) Lina and Mary (33). I’d like to ask Wray, I want him, but I hate to ask John.  

Then dad’ll want some, Dr. & Mrs. Davey, Dr and Mrs. Fairfield. Oh, yes, I have another cousin, Eve Vanderburg. Then I’d like to ask Jim Dempster, and maybe Reg Smith. I don’t want all girls and married people.  Then maybe George and Marion Cruise may be home, and so they’ll have to come.  That makes over forty.  Now whom do you want?  You see Art didn’t have any “folk” but you have, so if we can’t have all we want, I’ll have to cut my list down.  Ora’s wedding was very informal, and I guess everyone had a good time.  They said so, at any rate. Hope the verandah will be done for us.

...Must go to put water on for a hot water bottle. It's awful cold. Ugh. I wished you lived in California.

Your kiddie.



Fred to Evelyn 
Calgary, Alta.,
Jan 13/14

My dearest,-

Not a very long letter tonight though it’s not late - only half past nine. Have just returned form a call on the sick man and was surprised to find him up and around, looking little the worse for his week’s illness. Brownlee is the most sudden in his movements toward illness and convalescence of any man I know. He had the foolhardiness to go down to the office for a short time today and the satisfaction of being cordially sworn at for doing so by Mr. Jephson one of the members of the firm.  

... When are the b. & g. [bride & groom] coming? Elizabeth is all agog. She said tonight she's got their present ready. It's more than I have. I'm going to wait now until they come to Calgary then I can get something I know Ora will like. I wish they'd come soon or we're likely to have cold weather to greet her, because we're sure to have some soon.

I learned this afternoon that I'll not need to go to Taber after all. I'm glad in one way for it's not a not a nice trip and I can hardly spare the time. But I was counting on seeing Aunt Em. and the kids. You don't mind do you dearie, at my calling her aunt before I really have a right to? Somehow she seems near to me even apart from her relationship to you. I always did like her very much.

No letter came today.  I guess you were too busy to write a second one last Thursday, but I feel in my bones tonight there’ll be a nice big satisfying one tomorrow.

I can't help feeling sorry for Brownlee's. Appendicitis is a frightfully expensive luxury, particularly out here. Mrs B's doctor & hospital bill for that illness was $256.00 Jack's will be at least $75.00 - possibly $100 and I don't know what her first illness cost. Talk about exorbitant lawyers' fees! There's no comparison with doctors'. See what a mistake you made in not choosing a med. for a husband.

If only you’d known this before, perhaps the envious one wouldn’t have been Noble but your own Rusty?

Can you give me a kiss after a nasty remark like that?



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 13, 1914

My Dearie,-

Jean was just reading a story about a German musician and a little old maid, and it made me very homesick for my Dutchman. Ora and Art have gone to see Corinne, and Dad is at the mission.

Mr. W.D. Culp was here for dinner and tea. I told you that he had been ill, and now that is getting better and is consequently good-for-nothing, his wife sent him down to his mother’s for a few days.  

Ora and Art and mother have been busy packing, and they're not quite through yet. They expect to leave tomorrow afternoon, and to stop off at Detroit, Chicago, and Taber, arriving in Calgary the twenty-second or twenty-third. Art said he had to get home on Saturday to get his bath, and Ora agreed with him that he'd need it. It doesn't seem possible that she is going, and for so long. Dad had been bluer than indigo, and mother gets cross at him because he casts such a gloom over the cheer of our home.

At last the fate of our house is decided. It was sold to-day, and Dad will clear at $425. That isn’t bad, is it, for Thorold, not Calgary. Of course the people didn’t pay for it all, and he took a mortgage, so he was saying tonight that he had to have a mortgage on our home to pay for the wedding.

I might suggest that you keep your eyes open for a tea tray or a cut glass water set.  I merely suggest these, I don’t know the prices of things in your country.

I forgot to tell you last night about my tragedy. I had been planning for some time to make salmon croquettes. We used to have them at the Hall, and I never got enough. Croquettes have to be fried in deep fat - like fried cakes. I made them and put half in the fat, and I waited for them to pop up, they go in and up like a diver, but these didn't come up. After some waiting we started to fish them out, but alas, they had all gone to pieces. I was so disappointed that I cried. I'd been working nearly a whole hour and it was a big blow. But mother was made of sterner stuff. She hauled out the frying-pan and fried the rest in the ordinary way. I'm going to get them right though, because I like them. Ora said I didn't have the fat hot enough.

I'm finishing things I started last summer. Yesterday it was a gown, to-day a centre-piece. ... I'm going to run the meals pretty much, because I need the knowledge. Ora is leaving me a book about economics and there's a cow all marked out in the different cutsOh, that reminds me. To-day mother was cutting up some bits of meat for the chickens, and she said to Mr. Culp, “Do you give your chickens meat?” “Yes,” he said, “I had the good fortune to lose a steer I bought this fall. So we cooked it for the chickens.”

 Am I teaching? No. There was an ad. for a supply in Dunnville, English and History, for a month, and I wanted to apply, but my mother said "Nay. "Oh, we feel very wealthy now. 

You ask me how it feels to be a "bloomin' capitalist." Why, once I had over a hundred dollars in the bank. That was last spring. Don't you wish you had won me in the days of my affluence. As it is, I know you love me for myself, not for my wealth.

Goodnight dearest.

Your kiddie.



Fred to Evelyn 
Calgary, Alta.,
Jan. 14/14

My own sweetheart,-

I wasn't disappointed this morning. I said last night I was sure there'll be a nice big letter for me this morning and so there wasCompared with some I’ve received lately it was exceptionally good as to bigness, but the bigness was nothing compared to the niceness. It wouldn't do if we dwelt on the heights all the time and I suppose it wouldn’t be best for us to feel even love in its greatest intensity all the time. I guess even our goodness and happiness must have its ups and downs. But whether this is so or not, I know its mighty nice to get a letter like today’s just full of love.

So you like a Victrola too! I've always hated gramophones and phonographs. But there are some victrolas in town that are beautiful. I think I like Oatens' best of all. Possible because they have nothing but the best music - mostly from Grand opera, and a large number of selections sung by the Metropolitan Opera Co., quartet or sextetOf all I’ve ever heard I like a couple selections from Il Trovatore and the sextet from Lucia best. Nearly every time I’m at Oatens they play these for  me. One thing I like about the Victrolas is that manufacturers have been able to get better artists to sing for them than those of any other machine. Some day I hope we may have a Victrola too.

Tomorrow evening I'm going out for dinner at Mr. Kinnaird's. He is the deputy registrar of land titles. ... On Friday night I'm going our for dinner too. Mr & Mrs F.M. Black, of whom I've spoken before, are having Fritz & wife, Ford & wife, Roy [Edmanson] & I and a couple others at a little party. Black is one of the broadest minded, most cultured business men of the city.  He hasn’t let business absorb all his time or thought but he lives.  Don’t be disappointed therefore dearest if tomorrow and next day, my letters should be more scrappy than usual.  Won’t it be great when I’ll not have to go out alone to dinners but will have you with me?

I hope dearie you'll not have to be bridesmaid very often. I know it's silly of me, but it makes me feel jealous to think of anyone else kissing you. I want you all for my very own. Do you know that Noble expressed one of my strongest feelings for you when he said, "I like to think she is always there?" Sometimes we learn to value people by missing them, and when I used to look into the future. I couldn't seem to think of it as complete without you in it. When I realized that - that I wanted you always there, I felt sure that there must be some strong reason for it, - and that reason could only be love. There's such a sense of dependableness about you: If you were taken away it would be like removing the foundations of my very life.

I haven't seen Heber since he came back. I was hoping everything would be fixed up when he was east, but you seem to think everything is over between them. I hope not, for I think he needs Dell and I know he loves her. But love is one matter where friends can never interfere successfully isn't it? And so they'll just have to work out their own salvation. But I do hope it turns out all right.

You were wondering how much I expected it would cost us to live this year. If we take a furnished house we'll have to pay about $60 a month rent. Light, water and fuel will cost an average of $15 per month through the winter, and food about $25 I should judge. I figure on $125 per month exclusive of clothes and insurance. Perhaps we can save a little on the rent for rents are getting easier, and it may be that we'll find it advisable to buy furniture and rent an unfurnished house. As far as expense goes it would be much cheaper to take a flat in an apartment house for the winter, but I hate apartments. Don't you? To tell the truth I haven't made any definite plans yet. I'm waiting to see how things shape up this spring.

Weather still fine. Are you freezing down there? Must go to the office for a while.

Goodnight, my own love.

Rusty.



Evelyn to Fred
[Thorold]
n.d. [Jan. 14? 1914] 

Letter incomplete

...Jean and mother went to hear Ben Gough. Father is at a Temperance meeting out in the country. He didn’t want to go a bit, he wanted to here Mr. Ben Gough, but he had to go. I didn't want to go out tonight, and anyway, one had to stay home because I had papa take the key. Let's have two keys. I don't like staying alone. I hear all the noises there are. It seems to me that you can't enjoy the letters I've been writing lately. I've found so much fault with what you've said or done. I don't like being so far away. I wouldn't stay engaged to you for ten years. I'd either marry you or try to forget all about you. Do you think I could?

Eva Locklin was in tonight to ask me to go skating. There is no rink here and we'd have to go to the Falls. I couldn't go tonight but hope to go sometime. I wasn't skating at all last year. Yes, you'd better get practised in skating if you think you'll get me to skate with you. I’ll steal Fritz away if you don’t because he can skate. I don’t think I’ll try Mr. Edmanson. How do you think we’d get along?

 I told Ora she could kiss you for me, but she said she wouldn't. So I'll just send one direct.

Elnora.



Fred to Evelyn 
[Calgary]
Thursday evening Jan 15/14

My dearest,-

Tomorrow is the half-way between September and June.  In one way the time seems long but yet it doesn’t seem four and a half months that I’ve been writing you.  When you no longer have to write me, your friends will be blessed with letters won’t they?  If they only knew what a debt of gratitude they owe me for giving you so much practise.

... Had a nice time at Kinnairds'No one was there but Edmonson, a lawyer named McCaig and myself. Kinnaird lived a few years in Winnipeg in the early part of the century, and while there was a very close friend of Dr. Gordon, brother of Rev C.W. Gordon. Kinnaird was one of Rev. Gordon’s active workers in the church and he came into close contact with him. He has many interesting stories to tell of Rev C.W. particularly of his love of horses and outdoor life generally. He always keeps a trotting horse and in the winter he drives - or did a few years ago - his horse on the river with the best of them. I guess he and your father would fraternize pretty well.

Kinnaird is very fond of sport and spends some time up north shooting every fall. Tonight we had a wild duck supper of some that he shot in October and has kept in cold storage. They were very fine. After cold storage fowl doesn't taste as good as fresh ones but I guess it depends upon where they're kept. ...

Gilchrist has just come in with some other fellows and it's pretty hard to keep my thoughts from straying. Here comes some one else, so I guess I'll quit for tonight and go to bed instead. As a matter of fact I should do a little work on my speech for next Monday night at Canada Forward Club, but I feel rather sleepy. Goodnight sweetheart

"Rusty."



Evelyn to Fred
 Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 15, 1914 #1

My Dear Fred,-

... I got your letter speaking about the furniture. I do hope dearie that you have not bought it. I want to help select it myself. I was very angry yesterday at you for thinking of buying it. I've been trying to analyze my reasons and though I have some, I must put some of my wrath down to mere childishness and indignation at the thought of Miss Rogers telling you to buy things for our house. However, if you have bought it, I will say no more about it until I see it, and I suppose we can sell what we or should I say I , is it presuming too much to say we?, don't want. You have really told me very little about it, and being rather gloomy yesterday, I was very touchy.

I'm sorry you got such a nasty letter after a hard day's work. I knew at the time that I shouldn't send it, but I persisted in my evil course. If you hadn't shown more self-restraint than I did, I'd likely have written a letter nastier than ever, because I was just beginning to be ashamed of myself. But a small spark from you just at that time would have caused an ugly blaze. I believe I have not tried hard enough to control my speech, nor my thoughts either. I am no better than I used to be, for there are still times when a blind rage takes possession of me, and yesterday you caused it. I must not let it happen again, for it makes a nasty mark on the record of our intercourse, and I am afraid that I might say something that I'd always regret. I guess I ought to love a make believe man, for then it couldn't hurt him if I did get angry and say sarcastic things. 

But there is no such an easy solution of my difficulty, I must “keep my tongue from evil” with a vengeance. 

Must go to post this. You are a good man and I am a bad girl. Not a good combination. Poor man.



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 15, 1914 #2

My Dearie,-

...It’s been thawing to-day and tonight is one of those damp, still nights, when one waits, expecting something strange. As we were walking along I said to Jean, “It’s a lonesome night,” and she answered, “Yes, the kind when you want something and don’t know what it is.” I knew what I wanted.  I wanted you, oh, so much. And the way I want you proves to me that what you said is true, “That there are really no differences.” 

Ah, my dearie, I'm sorry I was so sarcastic. I could have explained myself in a kindlier way, and made my meaning just as clear, without hurting your feelings.

Jean and I went downtown this afternoon. I had to buy my father some nightgowns. I wanted to get him white, but he wouldn’t have white.  He wouldn’t say why he didn’t like white, he just didn’t. Now he’d like pink stripes.  He wanted gray. [sic]  Mother said no, so we compromised on blue. She says she can’t get them to hang right on him, and they do look funny, they poke up in the centre of the front. He wouldn’t eat much supper either and Jean wouldn’t eat any, nor would mother because she’d been at a sewing meeting and had had hers. You mustn’t refuse to eat your meals or I’ll give you some  nasty medicine. I know a nasty kind, the doctors loved to give it to me. It tasted like bad fish.

I’ve started to read a book on Household Management.  This is the ideal division for income from $2000 to $4000

                                                                                                Operating expenses

Food           Rent              Wages-Fuel             Clothes     

25%              20%                    15%                       15%

 Higher life - charity, savings, Insurance, Travel        25%

This is for two adults and two or three children equal to four  adults. In our case the food and clothes could be lowered, but rent and savings would go up. We won’t be paying rent for long though, will we? And so part of what we’d pay for rent would really be a saving. I haven’t read much in it, just glanced through it. It describes the different ways of keeping accounts. What kind do you use? There’s a card index system and a savings bank system, and some other which I’ve forgotten.

Oh, really, I've done so little reading I am ashamed. But I don't count on doing much this year. And you are depending on me to get you into the way of systematic reading. The Scriptures say something about leaning on a bruised reed, which pierces the hand. But I hope we'll have some evenings free, when we can do as we like. And we won't waste them, will we dearest?

I have so many letters to write, but I am putting them off until Jean goes away. I don’t like to be writing all the time. We have had an extra amount of work since she has been here, getting Ora & Art started. Ora got two presents yesterday after she had left, a cut glass olive dish from Myrtle Morrison and a spoon from a girl who is married and lives somewhere I don’t know.

Good night dearie. I'm going to bed early tonight, something new.



Fred to Evelyn
Calgary
Jan 16/14

My own dear kiddie,-

Though I've dated this today, it's really tomorrow, being exactly 1 a.m. Have just returned from the dinner party at Mr. Black's where I had a fine time. There was a party of 8. ... None of us expected the dinner would be at all formal and so none of us went in evening dress, and we were more or less chagrined to find our host in a dress suit, but each took comfort in the fact that all were in a like predicament.

I’ve told you though you may have forgotten that Mrs Black and the children spent a year from July 1911 to September 1912 in Scotland visiting his old house. (She herself is of American birth). Mr Black took the family over and went for them again last summer. A great part of the evening was spent in looking at Scotch views and hearing him tell of the various places of interest. It made me want to spend a lot of time in Scotland. If we take our trip, dearie, it will be very difficult to decide on what places we’ll miss, won’t it? The tendency will be to attempt to see too many places.

... I wish I had more time tonight. I'd like to tell you more about Mr Black. He approaches more nearly to my ideal of the business man than anyone else in Calgary. He has a fair library and is very fond of reading good books. He also has artistic tastes. ... I guess it's a good thing he's married and that you'll not meet him until after you've tied yourself to me or you'd be losing your heart to him.

Blessings like ills don't come singly. I got 3 letters this morning - 2 of Saturday's and one of Sunday. Do you know sweetheart, that on Saturday night you said I seemed far away? I wonder if it is because that was the night I received the letter that I was about to answer hastily. No, it couldn't be for I didn't get the letter until after eleven, and you would have been in bed long before that. Just the same I've noticed before that often we have felt particularly near or far away from each other at the same time. Distance doesn't seem to affect communication between our spirits does it? Oh, how I longed for you tonight, - and do now. I'd like to take you in my arms and kiss you goodnight. I want a "skin face" tonight.



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 16, 1914

My Dear Rusty,-

This has been a very busy day.  Jean went to Buffalo, and mother and I straightened things around upstairs. I took Ora's dresser, it was nicer than mine, and that necessitated a great change in dresser drawers. We had a great time trying to make the "spare" room look nice, but it's impossible. The carpet and paper are faded and patched, and some of the furniture isn't suitable. Being a minister's wife isn't all roses, one is denied the pleasure of the choice of household furnishings. I think our three downstairs rooms are very pretty, but the upstairs is merely a place to sleep.

So you have invited Mr. Fallis! I heard him preach once, and he preached very well indeed. I don't think Fritz need to worry about his preaching. I will tell you, sub rosa, that he is not so energetic in his pastoral work as some others. Mrs. Fallis told mother that he did not get out after the people the way her father did. ... I never heard him preach but the once - last summer at Bala, but he made me listen, and for that I think he deserves much credit.

Mrs. Fallis’ father was Mr. Jackson who was at Grimsby the year we went to Beamsville. He was a fine man. Mrs. Jackson lives with the Fallis’ most of the time, and both the women are splendid. I like Mr Fallis too, and I like the children. It would be odd, wouldn’t it, if we’d all arrive in Calgary about the same time. I wonder what Elleda will say when she hears. Oh, I shall not tell her, but it will likely be published in the Christian Guardian, and her people will see it.

I didn’t get your letter posted at noon and this is to be posted with it, so you’ll get two by the same mail. I wonder if you went to Taber to-day. And if you went to Aunt Em’s, did she give you a poached egg?...

Must stop now, as father is anxious to go. He says, "Why there's a letter here that hasn't been posted." I have a hard time to make him understand.

Your girl.



Fred to Evelyn 
Calgary, Alta.,
Jan. 17/14

My dearest Nora,-

... No letter this evening, though Monday's came this morning. Poor dear! Did you have some anxious moments about that furniture? I'll not disappoint you of your ambition to furnish our house. I never intended to even if I bought the furniture. It was my idea to re-sell but I figured we might have the use of it for 6 months or a year or even more until we bought our own and then sell for as much as we paid - thus saving rent in the meantime.

I don't like player pianos either, and if I'd got this one, I'd have traded it immediately for a new non-player, and I think I could make an even "swap." Likewise our tastes in parlor furniture coincideI don’t like a parlor at all or anything savoring of it. In a large house a drawing room is all right but in an ordinary sized one I just want a living room.  

I don't want you to think I have such poor taste as you seem to imagine. For I have now no intention of buying. Just the same I have made some enquiries and I know the stuff is a bargain at the price and while I never for a minute thought of getting any of it, however good, for "keeps" ... my idea, as I've explained before, was to use it as a temporary expedient. But 'nuff said. We'll not talk any more about furniture until we can talk face to face. 
Must say Goodnight now.

Your own man.



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 17, 1914

My Dearie,-

It was a week ago that you were so angry with me. I wonder if you are now. You will probably be at my Aunt Em’s now - it’s nearly ten. This is mother and dad's wedding anniversary - thirty-one years. She intended to have a celebration but forgot about it until after tea, and dad wasn't even home. Mother got him some candy and put it in a dish on the side-board, with a note beside it. He looked silly and sorry when he saw it and said, "Why didn't you tell me?" I want you to bring me flowers, always, on our anniversary, and I'll try not to let you forget it.

When papa came home, he wanted to know if I wanted to teach in the Primary room at Fonthill until the first of March. The teacher died a few days ago. He wasn't anxious for me to go, and mother didn't want me to. I didn't want to go, but I should have gone if they had expressed any desire for me to. Mother said "Do you think Fred would want you to go?" " Oh no," I answered, "But I'm not suiting him just now. It's you." So you see you haven't me under your thumb.

...We had a lot of work to do to-day too and we didn’t get through till half-past  three. Then, as soon as we were dressed, Mrs. Millar came to help mother make dresses for some motherless children - I sewed a little too. After tea we went downtown and I studied my S.S. lesson when I came back.

Tomorrow is a busy day. I have to go to Junior League at 9.50, to sing, church, S.S., Temperance meeting, Presbyterian and Methodist Choirs have to sing, ... What man was it said a short time ago that we work least on Sunday? To-day hasn't been nearly long enough. Now it's time to go to bed and nearly all day I've done things I didn't want to do. This letter included, you ask. You're an old fraud. You tell me what you like about me, and then in a plaintive wail you say, "I wish you could say that about me." So you think you're going to get me to say I like you, and that I trust you, do you? No, I'm too wise for you. ...

Your kiddie.



Fred to Evelyn 
[Calgary]
Sunday morning Jan. 18/14

My dear kiddie,-

I'm surprised at you a "meenisters" daughter - and letting your mind wander in church from thoughts of divine things to questions of what we shall eat and what we shall drink and how late we can sleep on Sunday mornings, and whether there'll be time to cook porridge on week days and eat it in a civilized manner at table, ... And I suppose while all these carnal thoughts were passing through your mind, a nun could not have been more demure in her deportment. This is the world deceived by outward show.

Now I'll 'fess up too. Many a time when Mr. Marshall is preaching I pretend to be asleep and let my imagination stray like a will-o'-the-wisp over miles and miles of prairie rock and forest until it lights upon a dear little kiddie in a far Ontario town, and I often wonder whether that same little kiddie is conscious of the spirit that is hovering round. I think so. Am I right?

I often wonder if I am really such a "bête noir" to you as your letters would sometimes indicate. You surely don't think dearie, that I intend to work as long hours after I'm married as I do now? Don't you understand that now my only thought is for the future? Perhaps I've always lived a little too much in the future and not enough in the present. I know that I've missed a lot of the joys of life as I was going along, just because of this. But I've always had to fight my own way and look ahead and I had to choose between present, transient pleasures, and future real and permanent ones. 

For example the other fellows, Fritz, Ford etc all spent a good deal more money than I, and of course they had some fun that I didn't, but I had in mind a wedding trip to Europe and I knew that I'd have to deny myself some things if it were to be possible, and I'd rather have the denial before marriage than after, for in the latter case you,as well as I would suffer. And it isn't only in money, but in time also. It's all very well to say I'm getting too absorbed in business. It isn't that, but I realize that it's going to be difficult to get the time off from the office in the summer, and if part of it can be made up now the way will be just so much easier then. 

 And the same thing is true of clothes. I don't dress as well now as I expect to after we're married. Now, as long as I'm respectably dressed, it's no ones' concern but my own. Then, it will be my duty as well as pleasure to try to look as well as possible for your sake, and I'd rather save now that I may have the money there, even if it does result in some people's thinking, and saying "His wife has spruced him up since he's been married, hasn't she?" So far as I personally am concerned, I don't care for other people's opinions one way or the other, if I am satisfied in my own mind that what I am doing is best. But oh, my darling, how can I make you understand that I do care, more than for anything else in the world, what you think of me? I want, oh, so much, that you not only love me but are proud of me, and that I may please and satisfy you before the world, as well as in the privacy of our own home. It's your opinion I care for, - not the world's, except in so far as it may hurt or please you. ...

Why have I told you all this? Simply because I don't want you to be frightened and worried lest I keep on in the same way after marriage as I'm doing now. I have no intention of doing so. It may be necessary occasionally to work nights but except in very unusual circumstances I intend the evenings to belong to us, and holidays and Sundays too. I do want to be regular in my office hours and to get down to the office promptly at nine o'clock in the morning or a little before.

But don't you worry, dearest, I'm not going to leave you alone nights. Why, if you only knew how I've been looking forward to our evenings together! In the summer when the days are so long, we'll go for nice walks or rides, or tennis and when the days are short in winter we'll have beautiful long evenings by the fireside with books, or friends and sometimes a concert or theatre for a change. Leave you alone, while I grub away at the office? Well I just guess not. If I do it will be because you've got tired of me and ordered me away. What do you suppose a home is for? Do you think living a bachelor's life for so many years has been so alluring that I can't break away from it? No, no dearie, I'm not planning a married life that leaves you out. Isn't marriage to make us one? You'll not worry anymore about this will you, sweetheart?

... The skies are gray today for the first time in a long while. ... I have still to do the most of my preparation for tomorrow night's speech, on Canadian Sovereignty and the worst of it is my reading during the past few days has unsettled my mind. I'm not sure now but that Ewart is right and that we ought not to declare ourselves in name, as we are, in fact an independent sovereign state, co-signed with Great Britain and Ireland, and bound to the rest of the King's dominions only by the common ties of blood, kinship, traditions and institutions and by the link of a common sovereign. It's an intensely interesting subject, and I have been really astounded to learn that British statesmen have almost unanimously, until the last decade, been of opinion that it was only a question of time until Canada and the other colonies would break away and form independent states. In fact they desired and encouraged the desire for independence, and looked upon the colonies (other than India and the crown colonies which were a source of revenue to the crown and to the nation) as a burden which common decency forbade shaking off.

Later.

Have just had lunch, roast beef, potatoes, carrots, corn on cob & Hermitage special pie. ... When I started this letter I didn't feel a bit like writing. Usually I want to, but today, to use your own expression my brain - yes and heart - seemed "dry." Letter writing seems so unsatisfactory. Somehow I don't think either of us has been writing such good letters lately. They seem more or less perfunctory and less personal than they did. Has it seemed so to you? I guess we've both been too busy lately. but since I've been writing today, you have come nearer to me and it seems now more like old times than for a long while. I've often wondered whether it is well to write when I don't feel in the humour, but I've come to the conclusion that I should because sometimes like today the act puts me in the humour. 

Correspondence isn't so satisfactory as talking, but its the only form of communication we have ... , If only it didn't take so long for a letter to be answered. I've figured out that it takes 10 days to get an answer to one of my letters. Well, half the time of waiting is gone and in less than 5 months I hope to fold you in my arms again. My own dear little kiddie - never more dear than this winter morning separated, as we are by long miles of intervening country. If we could only be together now and plan our house instead of having to wait until after we're married! But perhaps we'll care for each other the more dearly and really understand each other better because of our enforced separation. Only, may it be short, is the wish of

Your lonesome man.



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 18, 1914

My Dear Rusty,-

It's just struck nine and I've just got my hat and coat off. After church Mr. Clarke and I practised a duet for tomorrow night. Our League is invited to the Presbyterian church and we have to give the program.

After church, this morning, before dinner, I had a sleep. I thought mother would sleep after S.S. while I went to the Temperance meeting, but the ladies persuaded her to go too. We got home at half-past five. There was a big crowd at the meeting, Mr. Clarke made his maiden speech. Another man, Mr. Munroe, made his first Temperance speech. He was a would-be-politician, but there was some mix-up, I don’t know what it was, and he is out of politics at present. 

He made a good and telling speech. He used to be a drinker. Why is it that men who have seen the other side can make such an impression when they turn? It appears to be an argument in favour of sowing one's wild oats, but then the others against it by far outweigh it. ... Perhaps I'm making a confession of wrong when I say I don't know much about this Canada Temperance Act. But what's the use? It's voted on as a Provincial, not as a municipal law. When I come to Alberta I want to own enough property to give me a vote. And I'll bet I could talk and convince some women. I love debating when I get my subject in my head and even if I have lost, I'm not afraid to go at it again.

I'm going to Fonthill to teach for a few days. They may be able to get somebody in that time, and I do hate to see a school close. I don't want to go, but it's for only a few days.

How should I know Beulah Colling?  So many people , though, have told me that I remember her, that I’ve almost begun to think that I do.

No more tonight. I'll make some cocoa and go to bed. Good night dearie. I wish I were with you.

Your own girl.



Fred to Evelyn 
Calgary,
Jan 19/14.

My own kiddie,-

It's half past eleven but I feel like writing you a big letter tonight. I'm not the least bit sleepy and my brain is clearer than it has been for two weeks or more. I don't know why, for I didn't sleep very well or long last night and I had a big day today. Added to that was the Canada Forward Club tonight, for which I was not prepared. I think I told you that after I got digging into the subject I changed my views, so my speech tonight was just along the reverse lives of my preparation and consequently extempore. Nevertheless, I think I got along pretty well. At any rate the meeting as a whole was very interesting. Nearly all the speeches were serious as befitted the subject, ... I guess the chief reason why I feel so good tonight is that I received two nice letters this morning , ... Thanks, dearie, for sending me a picture so soon. Did you develop it yourself? What are those white spots down the middle of the picture? They look as if they might be rain drops only they are too close together. They're not the result of any defect in the camera are they? Because if there's anything wrong with it, let me know and I'll get it changed. ...

Don't you worry, kiddie, about your temper. You wouldn't be any good if you didn't have one. And don't you blame yourself and say I'm good, for I'm not. When it comes to self-restraint, I guess you've shown as much or more than I. Didn't you tell me you wrote a whole letter and a half which you tore up? I guess we both have enough ginger but it's not going to hurt either of us so long as we don't forget we love each other, and that neither one would wilfully or willingly hurt the other. To my mind, it isn't necessary an evidence of either good sense or good nature never to get angry. What does count though, is controlling our passions and you've done it in this case. Do you ever realize that you are always ultimately, if not at the moment, honest with yourself? Do you know how much that means to me? No, you can't, but you will some day.

Goodnight dearest.



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 19, 1914

Dear Rusty,-

It's after eleven so I can't write long. I got home from Fonthill at 5.30, dried my shoes had my supper, and got dressed to go to the Presbyterian church. We had a fine time. There was a man there who resembled you very much and naturally I stared at him a good deal.

The school at Fonthill is splendid, the most gorgeous view out of the big windows. Isn't it the most beautiful little village? I wish we could live in a place like that. That's one trouble with Western cities, there are no pretty suburbs, are there? Jessie Keagey(4)  teaches there. She graduated when I did. After school she played on the old piano. Then I sang a couple songs. After that we started for a walk, when the kids who were bobbing, asked us if we wanted a ride. We took two rides, and spilled off the first time. It was great, and made me think of the mountain at BeamsvilleThen Jessie came to the car with me.  I get my dinner at her boarding-place, Mr. Millar’s.  Do you know Mr Mittelfeldt?  He went to model in Beamsville and used to teach in Welland port.  I like him very much.

I am enclosing Marion’s letter, just to let you see what a treasure you are getting.  

A letter from you before starting out this morning and one when I got home, was a good tonic for meI got one from Mae and Marion too, and an invitation to a tea on Wednesday from Edna Smith.  I can’t go because I get home so late.  Maybe I’ll go skating Wednesday, there’s a crowd going.

Your happy, sleepy girl.



Fred to Evelyn 
Calgary,
Jan 20/14

My dearest Evelyn,-

It's a long while since I've called you Evelyn isn't it? Don't you like it? Sometimes I like to think of you by that name, chiefly, I suppose because it's associated with my earliest recollections of you. I'd often have used it before only I was afraid you didn't like it, but perhaps it's just the same as "kiddie." Do you remember I called you that several times when I was home, but I didn't know whether you liked it or not until you signed yourself that way in a letter last fall. ...

Art wired from Taber today that the b. & g would arrive tomorrow evening at 6.45. I called him up by phone this evening and talked to nearly every member of the household, permanent residents as well as transients. Ora insisted that she has something for me, whether pickled peaches or a kiss in cold storage she wouldn't say. ...

Over the phone Art's voice had a comfortable - at-peace-with-the world, - proprietary tone: Ora's was utterly care-free - and spoke of the joyous irresponsibility of perfect happiness. I really believe she feels so kindly to the male sex in general because of the one specimen she's captured that we'll be able to have a whole visit without scrapping. ... Ora and Art will be here tomorrow night and Thursday morning but they take the three o'clock afternoon train for Edmonton. Art says his ticket runs out on Thursday. We're going to Fritz's tomorrow night for dinner, and the next day we're going to have lunch at the Hudson's Bay.

Just as I feared the weather has turned colder. Last night it was 8 below and it's about the same tonight. While very pleasant, the air is pretty sharp for motoring, and unless there's a chinook on Wednesday I don't know how to show Ora the beauties and charm of Calgary for it isn't exactly pleasurable in such weather. And yet I do so want her to be able to see a little of the place so that you can get an unbiased opinion.

Tomorrow night Mr. Robertson is entertaining the office staff at a dance, but of course I'm not going now. I did intend to though I hadn't a very keen desire, but now duty calls elsewhere and I'm glad of the excuse.

On my way home I called in at the steamship co. offices and got time tables of the C.P.R., C.N.R., Allan, White Star and Cunard lines and since dinner I've been figuring out the cost of a trip. What do you think, dearie, of the relative merits of 1st and 2nd cabin? Personally from my previous experience, I don't think 1st cabin is worth the extra price. It means "sasiety," - dressing every night for dinner, etc., etc. The really sociable people - most of the profs and intelligent people generally who aren't trying to see how much money they spend go 2nd. The price is about 1/2.

Here's just a rough estimate - made without a great deal of calculation of the actual cost

Ry. fare, myself       Calgary     to Montreal     $104.50

"      "      yourself     Thorold    "         "      (say) 12.00

"     "           "                  "              "      Calgary      55.00

Ocean fares (2 both ways) 4 x 57.50                  230.00

Ry fare Liverpool to London (1 way)                 10.00

                                                                                411.50

If we went 1st cabin add                                        220.00

                                                                                $631.50

Meals and berths

Calgary to Montreal & return                    (say) $100.00

2 months (60 days) in Eng. & on continent

at $7.50 per day                                                     $450.00

[total]                                                                     $550.000

So on this estimate $1,000 would cover the cost 2nd cabin and about $1,225 1st cabin. This of course would not include any purchases over in England and perhaps my estimate of $7.50 per day for the two of us for travelling expenses while over there is too small. I'm going to get some more data. In one way I feel that on a wedding trip I want the very best going, but the question is, would we not get more pleasure out of the money some other way than by travelling 1st class, just because some one else does? What do you think? ...

Goodnight my fellow traveller.



Evelyn to Fred 
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 20, 1914

My Dear Rusty,-

For some reason I wanted to write November I'm glad I don't have to. What a stingy little letter I got to-day, not even writing on the last page. Mother says the letters will be shrivelled up to nothing by the time you stop writing. I'm so sleepy I can scarcely keep my eyes open. It's a nasty stormy night, and my poor father's way out at Allanburg, speaking about the Canada Temperance ActSince supper I’ve read the “The Jam Girl” aloud to mother and Victory Law to myself.  Isn’t the Jam Girl funny?  I’ve enjoyed it very much. 

I was going to write a lot of letters tonight, but I'm too tired and sleepy. I must write to Ora, and probably a short note to Mae. What I am going to do is to have a bath and a good long sleep.

I got letters from Hazel and Edith to-day. Edith wants me to go to Toronto soon, and Hazel wants me to meet her there at the end of next week. She wants to hear Lohengrin, I'd love to go too. I have planned to attend my first Opera with my husband, ...

I’ll bet you laughed when you read in yesterday’s letter that I was enclosing Marion’s, and then found that I’d failed to do it.  I knew I’d missed it when I was sealing the letter, but thought I’d give you the laugh.  At any rate, you didn’t sign the cheque you sent Ray, so that makes two forgets.

Your yesterday's letter said I wrote a nice long letter once upon a time. It must have been years and years ago, for I have now forgotten how. No, no, but I'm so sleepy my eyes hurt and I can hardly sit up. 

Do you think Fritz and Elizabeth sleep all the time after they go to bed? Not on your life. They go there so they can be alone and have a chance to talk to each other without anyone hearing.  And they talk so late at night that they  have to sleep late in the morning to make up for it.  

I hope I’ll do better tomorrow, but there are about a dozen letters for me to write.

Your girl.



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 21, 1914

My Dear Rusty,-

... Well they telephoned for me to go to Fonthill and wanted me to stay until March. It wasn't because they wanted me so much, but because they were stuckMr. Woolley leaves the first of March and Miss Fitz hopes they won’t get an answer to their ad. so that they can have me. 

Would you like me to do it until the end of June? So far as my health is concerned, I really think I am better when I am teaching. I get very tired, but it makes me sleep like a top. Last night I was asleep almost as soon as I got in bed, which is quite unusual. I'm not quite so sleepy tonight, but I am sleepy enough to appreciate the thought of my bed. Please don't object to my teaching. I am not overworking - I do nothing else. If I go to the High School it will mean less sewing and more housework for mother, which is really what she needs.

Today is very cold and blustery. Last night while waiting for the car, the station agent started to find out who, and what manner of woman I was. His second question was, "You don't happen to be the new teacher do you?" He asked me where I lived, told me my father had been there Monday morning, and after satiating his curiosity as far as I was concerned, started telling me about the Niagara Central Road and Welland, and from that drifted on to speaking of the Canada Temperance Act. There's hardly a conversation in which mention of it is lacking. 

Did I tell you that the 'Anti's' had several hundred new names put on the polling-list? They were a little too slow, however, and as they didn't get them on sixty days before, they must use the 1912 list? On Monday the Presbyterian Minister was explaining the split in the Conservative ranks here in town. It seems that one of the hotel-keepers thinks he runs the showAnd, because the man who was to have run against German - he was an anti Reciprocity man, because this man wouldn’t approve of the dismissal of all the Grits on the canal, this hotel-keeper - Addie Martin - swore to dig Munro’s grave.

This fall, when they were nominating a man, he had the caucus packed some way, and they nominated a boozer, Sam Frazer. The decent conservatives were very angry and there is certainly war in their camp. This Mr. Munro is coming out very strong on the Temperance side. I heard him speak Sunday. 

I think he means what he says, but I guess also he’s mad at Martin. Mr. Smith, the minister, finished his explanation with this remark, "I guess we have as dirty politics here as in any place." When they tried Local Option, the other side tried impersonation, and were prosecuted, one man being convictedWhile I have been writing this, I have been thinking that if one knew the people well, or could make them up, this would make a corking good story of base rule in politics. The Temperance people are very hopeful

...I'm glad you had such a very nice time at Mr. Black's. How is one to know if such an affair is to be formal? Why not wear nice clothes anyway? It doesn't make people act any more formally. I have a vision of you and me dressed up for dinner. Do you like the picture? I think one enjoys the dinner more, when freshly dressed, don't you? This is a fairly generous letter, isn't it? Guess I'll sew a little.

Good-night honey, my own "skin face."



Fred to Evelyn 
Calgary, Alta.,
Jan 22/14

My dear neglected sweetheart,-

... I had a lovely visit with Ora and Art though I wish it could have been longer. They expected to arrive at 6.45 last night but the train was late and didn't come in until 8.20. We had planned to have dinner at Fritz's but when we found the train was so late of course they went ahead and ate their own dinner and I had mine at the Hermitage as usual. Fritz and I met them at the stations and Ora was better than her word. You may tell her that though her kisses aren't half as good as her sister's, they have something of the family excellence and will do fairly well as a substitute. My but it was good to see her! But, yet - does it sound ungrateful to tell you how I wished it was you instead of her? Oh. my dearie, it's good to see anyone who belongs to you or who has been near you.

Fritzes had planned to have the b. & g. stay over night at their place, but I thought perhaps Ora and Art would feel more free and independent at the hotel, and so in spite of Fritz's protests, and Elizabeth's subsequent abuse, I took them to the King George. Ora had caught a little cold at Taber and I thought that the best thing would be a hot bath and she could be doctored better at the hotel. After registering and leaving their luggage in their room, we all went out to Fritz's for the evening. Had a good time and then, after piloting them to a drug store where Art got some dope for Ora, I left them at the hotel about 11.30 - not until I had given them your photos which came yesterday morning. Did you ask me if I want any? You don't expect me to say no, do you? 

By the way, if Ora's wedding is a fair sample I'm more prejudiced than ever against bridesmaids for with all deference to the bride, (and she looked sweet and charming) she wasn't "in it" with the bridesmaid. You looked beautiful and sweet and altogether lovable in the bridal photo. None of the others do you justice. Oh, today Ora gave me one of your graduation photos. Thanks, dearie, very much, for it's a dandy, but how could you spare it? Much as I prize it, I don't want you to rob your father and mother. You didn't give me theirs, did you?

Just as I feared, the weather has been colder for the past few days. Last night it was about 7 or 8 below zero, with a slight eastern dampness in the air. All this morning it was cloudy with a light snow falling, - one of the worst days we've had for months. I was awfully sorry, for I wanted a nice clear day so Ora could get a good idea of the city and a view of the mountains. It cleared a little after noon - but not fully until after their train left at 3 p.m. This evening is bright, clear and starlight, and a good deal warmer than last night. Ora struck the very worst day for seeing the city that there's been all winter.

This morning I went to the office form 9 to 10.15 then went over to the hotel. They had just come up from breakfast when I arrived. Ora was feeling fine. She had a good hot bath last night and whether it was that or the medicine, or the sleep, her cold was all gone. Though such a poor day for seeing the city - you couldn't see more than half a mile, - I got a closed taxi and we drove around the city for an hour. Inside the taxi it was warm and comfortable. Art hadn't seen Calgary since 1909 and he was amazed - said he didn't recognize it. I did so wish, dearie, that it was a nice day so Ora could give you a fair report. Even as it is I think she is a pretty true westerner already and will tell you that Calgary isn't wholly wild and woolly.

After the trip around the city we came in to the Hermitage for half an hour. It was cleaning day and the woman who helps Miss Rogers at this work had everything upside down, but there was a fire in the grate and we managed to find a place to sit down. Ora was greatly surprised when she met Miss Rogers. She said she thought she'd be at least 40. As a matter of fact she's only 27 or 28. We left there shortly after twelve and walked down to the office, where I did about 15 minutes' work that I had to do, then we went over to the Hudson's Bay for lunch, where we were joined by Fritz and Elizabeth. I had asked Mrs Clarke too, but she didn't come. After lunch we spent some time in the furniture department of the store, and Fritz, Elizabeth and I got weighed but both Art and Ora refused. Just imagine, Fritz weighed 182. I find I have gained a couple pounds too for I tipped the scales at 160 1/2.

Thanks dearest, very much for your suggestions for a wedding present. I thought it was foolish not to try to find out what Ora liked best, and so I asked Art. Perhaps in one way it doesn't seem so gift-like to have a person know beforehand, but on the other hand why not get something that is really wanted and will be appreciated for its own sake as well as for the spirit that prompted it? Art said Ora desired a cut glass water set above all things so, we all went across the way to D.E. Black's jewellery store. I got Ora to tell which pattern she liked best, and then I bought the set, - pitcher and half a dozen glasses. It's a beauty if I do say it myself and she and Art too seemed mighty tickled with it. I'm glad they like it and I'm glad now I waited instead of sending something down east. It was packed up immediately and delivered over at the station so they took it right with them. Isn't it a coincidence that it cost just what the clock I had bargained for would have cost? And it was at the same place.

I wanted to take them around more - but there wasn't time. I hated to see them go. Isn't' it strange, that today Ora seemed like a real sister as she never did before? And I believe she has something of the same feeling for me, if I can judge from a suspicious droop to her mouth when I said good-bye. Well she's got a mighty fine husband, and they're going to be happy. She's going the right way about it - not thinking about the things out here that are different and that she'll miss, but seeing the best of things. It will be nice when you live here, dearie, Edmonton and Calgary aren't so dreadfully far apart, and you'll be able to visit each other quite often. I'm invited to Edmonton for Easter and I'm going unless something absolutely prohibitive turns up.

Oh, I may go to Taber soon after all. I have to go to Lethbridge next week on a couple matters and if I can work it in at all, I'll run up to Taber. Can't tell for certain, however.

...Yesterday I had a letter from Aunt Sarah Sherk, father's sister in which she speaks of your grandfather.  I don’t often - in fact I don't think I've ever before passed on a letter for I always look upon them as strictly private, but I'm enclosing this one. You'll find she has a warm spot in her heart for you dearest. She said some nice things about you years ago when she first saw you at Beamsville. I don’t think I’ll tell you, it would make you vain.

Anyhow I don’t remember the exact words so instead I’ll just tell you in my own way that she doesn’t think half as nice things about you as your

Rusty does.



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 22, 1914

My Dearest Rusty,-

I’ve just finished the dishes, and am going to write to you before I go to the mail, where I hope to find a letter from you, as none has come to-day.

I'm pretty tired but that's nothing serious. Mr. Mittelfeld made a last effort to-day to persuade me to stay, but it was unavailing. He dangled the salary before my eyes, but even that didn't make the respond to his invitation. I'm not terribly interested in school-teaching, even when the children are nice and the school is everything that could be desired, and the company and boarding-house exceedingly excellent.

There is a piano in the room and I spent some time to-day teaching them a new song. The things they tell me make me wonder, they seem interested in such trifles. It's a good thing they are, else how could one teach them.

I guess I need Ray’s gospel of the wonder of things. I am reading and telling Robinson Crusoe to them and yesterday I read about him wounding a little kid and then catching it and looking after it until it got well and tame. To-day they told me he found a little child. It is interesting to not what things make the most impression on them. I am getting very curious as to the inside workings of people’s minds, and people who [are] impassive or present a masked face, make me angry, because they won’t let me see in behind. They are the most interesting kind of people too.

To-day has been perfectly gorgeous, sunny and cold.  As I came down the hill to the station, I turned and look [sic] back.  The trees stood out distinctly and in the centre of the view, the sky was red from the setting sun, while to the right it showed that clear, yellow colour, only seen on a cold winter day.  Do you like the blue gray [sic] colour of the sky opposite the setting sun?  I do.  It always gives me a feeling of exhilaration.

Papa has gone to another temperance meeting.  He didn’t know whether to go or not, as he’d changed off with another man and he thought it would be reflecting on that man’s ability if he went too.  But the people wanted him, and so he went.  He couldn’t stay home.  It is exciting.

 This is all you're going to get tonight except a dozen kisses, not little ones like the writing.

Nora.



Fred to Evelyn
Calgary, Alta.,
Jan 23/14

My own kiddie,-

... Why did you say in your Saturday letter "it was a week ago today that you were so angry with me?" You really didn't think did you, dearie, that I was really angry with you? If so I must have expressed myself very poorly. I was provoked but that is far different from being angry. I can't remember when I was really angry with you, - not since a long time ago when I thought you were ruining your health at college for the sake of a "career." 

Surely you don't think my love is such a poor thing as to be overruled even in a temporary gust of passion by any ordinary annoyance. Perhaps there is something of the phlegmatic Dutch about me but I very rarely get downright angry. When I do though, - well, I'm afraid of myself. But my darling, I'm so sorry if I gave you the impression that I thought you were at fault and that I was seriously annoyed. I guess if I'd been feeling right I'd not have thought twice about what you said, and now that I've had time to look at the whole matter calmly I can see that the fault was my own. I shouldn't have spoken as I did, about children, even though I didn't mean it just as you took it. But that isn't what hurts me most now. It's to think that I said anything which would make you think I blamed you. 

Oh, my dearie, how can you look to me with perfect confidence and trust if I should try to blame you because of my own weaknesses and blunderings? The older I get the more I see that when things don't go right it's myself and not the other fellow who is to blame. Please forgive me and bear with me, dearest, if sometimes I'm hasty in my judgements and remember that above and beyond all other feelings is my love for you, and a desire that it shall not be marred by any act on my part. If you were only here tonight to tell me by your kisses that you do forgive me for the pain I've caused you.

Are you afraid, dearie that I'll ever grow so used to you that I'll forget you and our wedding day? I don't think you need worry, I don't intend you'll ever have cause to reproach me in that way. One thing I've always prided myself on is being a strong finisher. I never care so much about the way I start a thing but I don't like to "fall down" on the last lap. And so, I may not have been as ardent a lover as some, but I don't intend to have my lover days end with marriage.

By the way what are your favorite flowers? And it isn't only flowers that you'll get every wedding day. I don't want to outgrow the kissing habit. Oh, I know, lots of husbands and wives love each other very dearly who very seldom kiss each other. But to me a true kiss is a sacred bond and symbol,- something far deeper and more significant than an expression of sexual passion, and so I don't see why husband and wife should cease to kiss each other after a year or two of married life. Don't you agree with me, dearie? And you'll have a especially loving kiss for me every anniversary of our wedding day, won't you?

This is Friday night and of course you're glad after a week's teaching. How has it gone? Please don’t look upon me as such a Nemesis. I want you look after your self and not work too hard, but don't think I'm frowning in stern disapproval of a few week's teaching if you want to do it. All I care about is that you don't get the idea that you have to earn a lot of money to get a lot of "things" at the expense of your health and happiness. But I'm not so foolish as to object - no nor so selfish either - if you think it best. 

I guess it’s only fair that if I’m to have you all to myself for the rest of my life, I should spare you for a few weeks to the little children at Fonthill.  Lucky children! Do you come home every night, and is the work hard?

Ora said the other day that you are really not expecting our wedding to take place until fall. That's not true, is it dearie? Even if we don't go to Europe, and I'm still hoping we shall, there's no reason why we can't be married in June as we planned, is there? We've waited so many years for each other and now the time is close at hand it passes so slowly. I've been counting the time until June. Can't we be married then?

It's after midnight. I was at Mr Carson's for dinner tonight. The only other guests were Mrs C's father, mother and sister, and Percy Carson. Had a nice time but I know a way to have a nicer one - to spend the evening with you beside our own fireside.

Goodnight dearest.

Fred.



Evelyn to Fred 
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 23, 1914

My Dear Rusty,-

... I should have gone on a sleigh-ride to Port Robinson tonight. Mr. Clarke and Mr. Munroe were going there to speak and Mr. Clarke wanted the choir to go and sing. I felt as if I ought to go, but last night I was pretty much used up. I thought I was getting the grippe. So it seemed foolish to expose myself, on a night that threatened to be stormy. The wind is howling and blowing, and I'm certainly glad to be at home. Mother said I groaned all night and kept her awake, so I guess when we build our house we’ll build a room for me that has sound-proof walls.

I'm so sorry I misunderstood your intentions about that furniture. That's how lonely it is to have to write to each other. One little omission on your part caused a big blow-out on my side. After I had sent my second letter concerning it, I began to think more calmly, and concluded that quite probably your intentions were as it has turned out they really were, and that you might have been doing a wise thing. Really, dearest, I'm beginning to think that you have considerable common sense, and very good taste. That is a very grudging compliment, isn't it? 

Honestly, have you ever felt that I was ashamed of you? I can recall times when you might have thought so. I haven't been as kind as I might have been - on the contrary, I have been harsher in my judgements and treatment of you than of many others. I guess that's natural. I hope you don't think that I am ashamed of you. It hurts to think how you must feel if you really believe that. I don't think I could think of marrying you, if I weren't proud of you. That's natural too, isn't it? 

Your Sunday letter has let me see a little more into your heart. It amazes me to find you everything I had always dreamed of in any lover, and it makes me feel sorry for my blindness, in that I looked so much on your self that you show to the world. I never saw anyone who craved love so much as you do. And I wonder sometimes if I do not love you as much as you wish I did. I think maybe I don't love you so much as you do me; for one thing, I haven't been practicing it so long. And I do know that I don't love you so much as I shall when we are together. It is as if there were a wonderful treasure given into my keeping, the wonders of which I had never seen. But just the joy of having it was enough for a time; later I should open it and enjoy it. But one should extract all the joy from an experience before hastening on to any other.

I think writing gets us in the mood to write, and tonight you seem very, very near me. I almost feel your cheek against mine. Ah! I shall love stormy evenings which we can spend together. I do not want you to stint yourself of pleasures for my sake, dearie you don't know how it makes me feel, to think of the thought you have for our life together. It seems as if I am doing nothing - that you are bearing all the burdens.

Did I tell you that Art thought it was small-pox and not chicken-pox that I had?  You needn’t tell Elizabeth that.  You will be sorry to know that it left three marks on my face, as well as a large number on my body.  But I think those on my face are going away, because I am massaging them as Art advised, and I fancy I see a difference.

Before she was down here, Dell told me that she had broken their engagement. Furthermore I see no reason why she should ever change her mind. She seems more contented than beforeYou must not blame her people. Her father - it was difficult to convince her father that she had done right.  She appeared sure of her ground, and believing what she did, there was no other course open for her.  

You will please not tell Heber I told you. I wondered how long it would be before he told you, but you are not to let him know that you knew, even if he does tell you.  I don’t know if he saw her or not when he was home until you told me. I am sorry, but - well.  It isn’t our business, is it?  I shall always be grateful to her for what she did for me. She saved me many years of weary groping for the light.  I should have found it, but not so soon, nor so easily.  I wonder if we all have times when we allow sentimental altruism (I do not mean to speak of altruism in a derogatory sense, but I am speaking of a false kind) to obscure our vision, so that we look at facts, not as facts but as possibilities become facts?

I've just been looking through Acta. Are you sending it to me dear? I didn't subscribe, and ordered my subscription stopped. We just had a letter from Ora. I suppose you've seen her since she wrote.

Good-night my dear man, whom I love very dearly, and of whom I am contentedly proud.

Your own girl.



Fred to Evelyn
Calgary, Alta.,
Jan 24/14

My dearie,-

... Talk about short letters, Kiddie, - I've been writing more than you. Even if I have been writing only one sheet lately. I write closer and finer, so that there's about half as much again on one of my pages as on one of yours. But I'm not complaining sweetheart. I know you have been and are still very busy and I'd rather know that you are not robbing yourself of rest to write to me.

I'm glad you like your school. Yes indeed Fonthill is a very pretty place, - but you should see it in summer to see it at its best. I remember well when I first saw Fonthill in the spring of 1901 when I was teaching at EffinghamNo, I don’t remember Mr. Mittelfeldt, although the name is familiar.  Is he your principal?  When I was at Effingham the principal was a Mr. Baxter and he boarded at a Mr. Brown’s who lived in a brick house a little south of the school, the house is away back from the road, and I have distinct and happy memories of some luscious strawberries I gathered there along the path between the house and the street. Have you ever taken a walk down the main street north of the village? It is lined with beautiful maples, and in summer would be a delightful drive, if it weren't for the heavy, loose sand on the road. 

I often used to go along that road to and from Effingham when I went to Fonthill. Have you ever been in Effingham?  - It’s the cutest cosiest little hamlet nestling down among the hills with a clear brook of spring water winding in and out among the houses.  The whole country around Fonthill is beautiful.  I wish we could  take some drives there together in summer.

This evening I attended one of the regular weekly meetings of the Liberal club. I had intended working but changed my mind. Afterwards I went to the office for a few minutes, then down to the P.O. for the mailYour Monday letter came this morning and Tuesday’s tonight.

This afternoon I told Mr Carson I was planning to go to England for a wedding trip and that I'd want June and July off. He said it could be arranged all right, so the only thing to consider now is the money. I do hope dearie that we can go.

Did you go to hear Lohengrin? It's to be given here next Tuesday by the Quinlan Opera Co. I think I'll go. The company will be here 3 nights.

Goodnight sweetheart. With kisses from

Rusty.



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 24, 1914

My Dear Fred,-

... I am not going back to Fonthill any more, they have a teacher. I don't think I was meant for a schoolteacher. I don't really know how I get along, but the kids seem to learn, and that's the main thing. There's a teacher over here sick, and I may go there for a week. Miss Fitz. wants me to take Mr. Woolley's place - but I don't think I shall. I'd like it but I'd have to work too hard preparing for it.

What did you say in your speech at the Forward Club? I didn't exactly understand what position you took. I have dreamed of a British Empire in which the states are independent of each other, except in their relationships to other nations. There would be a council to which all would send representatives, which would deal with such matters. I know one of the arguments against that would be that one part should not drag another into war. I seems to me that it wouldn't, into an unjust one, and if the cause were just, then I like to think that the British Empire would act as a unit.

While blacking the stone to-day, I had a thought. I don’t suppose it’s new to others, but it is to me. It was this - that municipal ownership is not a step towards socialism. Socialism strikes at classes; municipal ownership does not, except in so far as it might deprive some men of the full profit of their business. I didn’t think quite this far before.  Maybe municipal ownership worked out to an end would level people financially. But the trouble with socialists in thinking that by equalling men financially they will do away with classes, is that they have a false idea of class. Class is more a matter of brains, taste and breeding than it is of money.

Of course, money may help, or the lack of it, hinder these qualities. Perhaps when they speak of classes they meant only capitalists and labourers. There is something hard and cruel, and iron-bound about socialism. In some aspects it seems only just, but in others it seems unlovely, unimaginative, mechanical.

Mother says to tell you I made a cake to-day that is good enough for you, or anybody else. That's about all I did do.

How often does that Club meet? Twice a month? 

I meant to tell you about an article I read “Plot your Curve of Progress,” financially and spiritually and intellectually. I read so little. I look to you for inspiration. We will grow won’t we dear? Don’t the pictures in to-day’s Globe say “Devon must not be missed when we go to England?”  I say when, for if not this year, then sometime.

Those spots in the picture are due to the printing.  Mr. Smith did it all.  I was too anxious for these to do them myself.

Goodnight darling.



Fred to Evelyn [Calgary]
Sunday evening Jan 25/14

My dearest,-

I’ve had a busy day. Yesterday a new Hermit appeared in the person of Mr. Wilson, accountant at the Quebec Bank. His coming necessitated a change of sleeping apartments and I moved up a notch. ... It’s the largest and best in the house. It faces south with 3 bay windows. There’s a big brass bed with Ostermoor mattress, two solid mahogany dressers, and a wash basin with hot and cold water taps. It’s so nice I’ll be loath to leave it to get married, do you say? Well I guess not. Yesterday I had to move my stuff, but I didn’t get it all put away. So I finished this morning, between 9 and 10.  Then I had breakfast studied my S.S. lesson,, posted last night’s letter and went to church.

...I intended writing immediately after I came home but I felt dopey and lay down on the couch instead.  I suppose I should have skipped supper but Miss Rogers had such a tempting one ready and only Allan and I were home to eat it.  “The woman did tempt me and I did eat.”  We had toast, boiled eggs, cold chicken, sliced bananas, cake, hermitage special pie, and cocoa - quite nice for a light supper wasn’t it? 

Tomorrow the Quinlan Opera Company will put on Madame Butterfly by request, Lohengrin comes on Wednesday night. I have a notion to go tomorrow instead of Wednesday. I'll go with some of the other boys and get a cheap seat in the gallery ($1.50). The prices range from $1.00 to $4.00. How does that sound in an easterner's ear?

Next week we're to have Robert Mantell(5) in Shakespearian rôles. - Hamlet, Richard III, and I forget what else, & I mean to go once. Are you still saving your first theatre for me, dearie? Won't it be great to go occasionally? We do have some of the best things here - frequently enough for us to go

In your Monday letter you spoke of getting wet feet.  That’s one curse of Ontario that you’ll not be bothered with here.  When we do have snow it is usually so dry that one doesn’t need rubbers.  I haven’t used mine more than half a dozen times all winter and then it was more to keep me from slipping than on account of the wet.

What kind of a girl is Jessie Keagey?  Her sister Margaret  was in ‘07.  She was a frightfully homely but those who know her say she’s a very fine girl.  I never met her.

I meant to ask you last night but I forgot.  What are your favorite flowers, dearie?  I want to know what to get you on our anniversary days.

As I told you last night I don't want either of us to get so used to each other that we'll do as many - yes - most married people do - our fathers and mothers included, forget or omit to give some outward expression of our love. You'll always kiss me good-bye when I go to the office in the morning, won't you sweetheart? And I don't intend to forget our wedding day or your birthday but I'm going to give you something each time to show you that I remember. 

All the same, dearie, I don't think we should judge other people hardly in this respect. Still waters run deep, and people who, either from inherited or acquired habits of reserve make little outward show of feeling, often are the truest and most self-sacrificing and loving. I've always been a great admirer of the Scotch and the Scotch parents, - particularly the Scotch mothers who could see their children go out into the world. 

Going from a country village to Edinburgh was going farther from home than it is here to cross a continent.  And while they put on a brave face and said no word to make it harder for the children to go, their hearts were wrung in deepest tenderness and the sorrow of separation. 

I don't think parents should try to prevent their children going away from home. It's just what they did themselves.

You'll forgive me for mentioning this sweetheart, but I have fancied that you think my mother cold and too undemonstrative. She never has been lavish of expressions of tenderness, but her whole life has been one big sacrifice for us. Love often speaks more eloquently in acts than in words. Hers is that kind. I got a letter from her last week that is sacred to me but all unconsciously in it, she made one or two remarks that give a little idea of the spirit which has controlled her life and I thought perhaps it would lead you to understand her better, so I am enclosing itI’ve underlined a few places, but I guess I wouldn’t need to for you to understand anyhow. 

Just think! In 34 years - only two weeks respite from the drudgery of caring for milk and butter! And then where she speaks of Margaret [Albright]. Never a word of complaint about missing her or being lonely though I know - no, I don't know - I have only a faint idea - of how much she wants her to be near. But her whole thought is for Margaret, - being glad that she isn't home, for fear she might be lonely. And that's the way she has always been. Do you think she hasn't missed us and in one way hated to see us go away from home? But she has never said a word of that - only spoke of what is best for us. But to my way of thinking that's the truest love, - and it never fails.


Aunt Amanda does a lot of kissing and fussing over her children, but then is always complaining and bewailing her loneliness because they have gone away from home, until sometimes it makes them feel almost criminal.  And she wouldn’t want them to have stayed home and not get married either.  She may seem more affectionate but I’d a thousand times rather have my own mother’s kind of love.  It’s the kind of stuff that makes heros and martyrs.  We children have never appreciated her.  Of late years I’ve often wondered whether there’ll come a time when in some small measure I can make her understand that her love and care hasn’t been utterly wasted.


... Must write home and to Margaret yet. I'm glad she has only one more week of that tubercular ward.

Goodnight my own darling

Your true lover.



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 25, 1914

My Dear Rusty,-

I'm dead tired, so please excuse a short scrawl. Up at 8.30, Junior League at 9.50, church from 10.30 to 11.45, Sunday-school from 2.00 to 3.15, Temperance meeting from 3.30-5.15, church 7.00-8.30. Then in between I washed dishes twice and helped get two meals. That's about eight and a half hours, isn't it. That's as hard as teaching school, isn't it?

Mr. Wilson is in the parlour talking to mother and father. Our mayor is not a temperance man and they had him to preside at the meeting to-day in the Moving-Picture Theatre. Some people are finding fault about it, but that seems to me only courteous. One of the liquor dealers went into a bank and cornered a clerk and made him say which side he was on. Another man overheard it. He went out, and came back with his bank book, saying he was transferring his account. I wish I had a big account and I’d take my money out of the bank, the manager of which signed the petition that he thought the act would hurt business. I think I’ll take my few dollars out anyway.

Hadn’t I better go in and be sociable. This is a dreadful Sunday letter, but I want to relax a little.            

Good-night my dearest.        

Your own kiddie



Fred to Evelyn
[Calgary]
Monday evening Jan 26/14

My own kiddie,-

Sometimes it's best for us that we don't get what we're after, isn't it? I had a very busy day and didn't leave the office until 7 o'clock. After a hurried dinner I didn't feel like working although I knew I should. Some of the boys had tickets for the opera Madame Butterfly - and the notion seized me too. We phoned down and were told that some $1.50 seats were still available. ... Alas for our pains! There were a few $4.00 seats and 2, two-dollar ones at the very back of the theatre. Consequently we passed them up. The other fellows went to the Empire - which is devoted exclusively to vaudeville. I came home.  The air was very sharp tonight - thermometer 12 below with a north wind blowing, cut the face like a knife.

 Well I got back home - (that word will have a different meaning next year won’t it, dearest?) - about 8.15 and I ensconsed myself in the big chair before the grate.  Everybody else was out but Miss Rogers who has been working for several weeks past making fancy pillow cases.  She’s engaged to Herb. Fearman, one of the fellows who used to be in the house.  I don’t know whether you call her work embroidery or not but it is beautiful.

But to continue my catalogue of occupations. I read law reports until 10.30. - a most neglected duty of late. I should read the Western reports regularly, but lately I've not done it. It's the only way to keep abreast of the work. We now have a law publishing house in Calgary - the only one west of Toronto, and reports of all Western cases are published every week. The editor is an Oxford man, one of the best in Canada for that work.

After I finished my law reports I read last week’s Toronto Sat Night, which we get on Sunday.  Then Wilson and Mack returned and they have been playing and singing ever since.  Wilson is a very good pianist and it’s nice to hear something besides the horrible mechanical strumming of the player piano.  It’s now 11.30.  Do you object, dearie, to getting the fag end of the evening like this?  I really meant to start earlier and write a long letter tonight but I didn’t realize how late it was.  Anyhow you are the last  in my thoughts tonight as you always are.

I've been puzzling over an invitation to an At Home I received today from Mrs. Houlton a society lady who lives a few doors away. It's for Friday evening and the invitation bears the words "for Miss E.M. Davis." The strange part of it is I've never met Mrs Houlton, though I know her husband quite well, and I can't imagine who Miss Davis is unless it is Emma Davis from Beamsville, which is unlikely. But surely Mrs Houlton wouldn't invite a man she had never met unless he were known to the guest of honor. I'd like to have my curiosity satisfied but if I go to Lethbridge next Friday night, I'll have to decline.

Got a nice long letter from you today - the one you wrote last Wednesday. I appreciate, very much, dearie, your asking me whether or not I care for you to teach, - but just the same I don’t want you to think I’m a sort of personified “Don’t” speech with capital letters. Of course, dearie, I rely upon your own judgement and if you think it is best to teach for a while I’ve nothing to say against it. My reason for expressing myself as I have before is that because I was afraid you’d injure your health - and that’s worth more than all the money you could earn. 

Then too, if I’m to be perfectly frank, it seemed to me that being at home would be a better preparation for homemaking than teaching. But you know best and if you think it advisable to teach for a time, please, please don’t think I’ll be frowning in silent disapproval. I hope I’m not that kind, and I don’t want you to get the idea that I set up my judgement on such matters as being superior to yours. Don’t you understand, dearie, that we must respect as well as love each other, and your opinion in this matter must govern you.

But there is one thing in your letter I don't understand. You speak of teaching until the end of June. What about our wedding? Aren't you planning to have it in June? If we go to Europe, I don't see how we can have it any other time. If we don't, it doesn't matter so much, but oh, my darling, I'm anxious to be married as soon as we can. The time seems so long even until June to your

                                                                                    lonesome lover.



Fred to Evelyn 
Calgary, Alta.,
Jan 27/14

My dearie,-

... I’m writing at an unwanted hour for me - 3 p.m.  I’m at the court house waiting for another solicitor to appear upon an examination for discovery for which he is already 25 minutes late.  But I can forgive him for he’s a newly-wed and he was very late going home for lunch so I shouldn’t begrudge his wife a few extra minutes of his time after lunch.  And I thought I might make use of the moments of waiting by writing to you. What are you doing I wonder, at this hour. Getting ready for supper? How I wish I were there to help you. More than four months yet of waiting?

Tuesday evening

... I didn't get very far with my letter this afternoon and I don't feel a great deal like writing tonight. Last night my throat began to get sore - the first suspicion of a cold I've had since last winter. I don't know what brought it on for I felt alright yesterday. Last night I was a wee bit cold in bed. A man had been around in the afternoon cleaning the furnace and when he left he didn't turn on enough gas. With less heat than usual from the radiators, and the bedroom windows open to a 25 below atmosphere outside, there was good and sufficient reason for a slight chilliness inside. ... My throat didn't trouble me much but I thought I might as well prevent anything serious that might arise and I went to Dr Moshier for a gargle. I've taken it once tonight. Will have another shortly and take some hot lemonade and a hot bath before going to bed. I'll be all right in the morning.

Have you quit the Fonthill school already? You keep me on the qui vive to know what you're going to do next. Do you know, I think that's one of the most delightful things about a woman to a man - the uncertainty of what's coming next? I know you are going to be a continual source of wonder and delight to me, dearie. In your Wednesday's letter you were full of the idea of teaching, and it seemed to me you were afraid I would object and now the very next day you come along with the statement "I'm not terribly interested in teaching." Well, I need not say dearest that your quitting the Fonthill school causes me any heart aches, - but as I told you last night, whichever you do - teach or stay at home - pleases me as long as your own judgement approves of your course.

I had some notion of going to the opera tonight - Rigoletto. They say the music in this one is the best of the three productions, and the prima donna in Rigoletto is one of the most celebrated sopranos on the English operatic stage. But there are two reasons why I didn't go tonight - because of my throat and because I want to go to hear Lohengrin and couldn't very well go twice in succession. The papers are loud in their praise of last night's performance. The Quinlan company is no 3rd rate organization, and they are giving by far the best grand opera ever seen in Calgary. There are 200 members in the company, including the orchestra. Think what that means - especially in view of the long jumps from Vancouver to Calgary and from Calgary to Winnipeg. These are the only 3 places favored in the west. You know the company is returning to England on a tour of the world, having come to Canada direct from Australia. When Calgary can have grand opera like this she isn't quite in the wilds is she?

Now for the hot lemonade, bath - and oh how I wish I could add - kisses! Kissing at long distance is no good. I want real warm, lip-to-lip kisses such as only you can give.

Goodnight sweetheart.



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 27, 1914

My Dear Rusty,-

I didn't have time to write yesterday. When I came home from school, I went to have a sleep, and stayed there till six. Then we hustled to eat and dress and get the 7.26 car for St. Kitts. There was a district Epworth League Rally in Welland. church, and about fifty-four here went down. There was a big crowd from Beamsville. They came down in a sleigh-load.

To-day after school, mother and I went down to the city to do some shopping. We’ve washed the dishes and looked at the books for a pattern for my waist. John just went home, and it is now 6.30, so I can’t write much. I am tired, and I have to sew two buttons on my shoe before I go to bed.  This is the first time John had been up since the wedding.

We are all going to Mr. Wray Smith’s for dinner tomorrow.  I shall be going for dinner in truth, as I’ll have to come away almost immediately.  Then after school I am going to Mrs. Baker’s to help her with some French.  She promised to give me afternoon tea. You see, she thought it necessary to bribe me.  Thursday I am invited to a sewing party.  I got a cushion to-day to work, and you’re not to spoil it the first time you put your head on it.

I nearly forgot: When the German's and Miss Addison and Mrs. Raff went abroad, they went on boats that had only second and third class. I note for that kind, I recall Mrs. Raff saying that her fare would be fifty over, I think. What would you think of me if I insisted on going first class? I wonder if you could help thinking me as foolish as I should be. It seemed queer to see my fare counted in, it really made me feel for a moment as if I were going to be married pretty soon.

You'll be glad to know, dearest, that I am coming to realize what good chums we are going to be. I'm sorry this is short. I meant to write more..

Your Evelyn.



Fred to Evelyn 
Calgary, Alta.,
Jan 28/14

My own precious kiddie,-

... Haven't decided yet whether I'll go to Lohengrin tonight or not, but if I do I'll not have much time to write. Several of the boys went last night to Rigoletto, and are raving over the prima donna, Miss Lyne. She was recalled time and again by the audience who simply went wild over her singing. Percy Carson says she's a dainty little lady - no taller than you, sweetheart, and perhaps not quite so big. I wish she were going to sing tonight but she was booked only for the one operaYou see the company has a very large troupe, and none of the stars sing more than a couple times a week. By special request, however Miss Lyne will sing this afternoon at the matinee when Tales of Hoffman will be rendered.

I've felt very happy all day because of your Friday letter. [Jan. 23] I'm more and more convinced that we really think alike on all important matters and that if we were together there wouldn't be misunderstandings. It's only because we have to write and can't always fit our words to the mood of the recipient at the time the letters arrive that sometimes we slightly misjudge each other. But these haven't been serious have they sweetheart? We love each other too well not to understand each other. 

And oh, my darling, it seems as if every little misunderstanding we have had only makes me love you the more, because it shows new beauties in your character, - and particularly your absolute honesty and squareness. Do you know what I mean by that? Simply, that if you ever find you have misjudged me, you always frankly say so. You are always true to yourself and to me. You can't know what a delightful sense of security that thought gives me. You are steadfast and true as the everlasting hills, and I know that your love will follow me wherever I go.

Do you know how many times I’ve read your letter over today?  No, I don’t think I’ll tell you or you’ll say I’m taking too much time from my work and will write less.  It was very dear of you to write such a nice long letter especially when you weren’t feeling well.  You are quite yourself again aren’t you dearie? 

No, I didn't really think you were ashamed of me. If I believed that I'd know you didn't love me for there can't be real love without sincere respect, can there? But there's a difference between merely not being ashamed and being actually proud of me, and I'm so glad dearest that you can feel that way towards me. And oh, I'm so proud of you, my own wee girlie - proud that you are you, and doubly proud that you are my very own! How I long at this moment to take you in my arms and press you to my heart!

Art didn't say anything about the small pox. Surely he must be mistaken. Who ever heard of a person having small pox and not being sick in bed  I'm sorry for your sake dearie, that scars were  left. But perhaps you'll be able to get rid of them. Anyhow you don't think for a moment that it would make any difference now in my love for you, if your whole face were pock-marked, do you? It might have, before I really got to know you, but not now. No outward bodily change can affect my love. You know that don't you, kiddie? 

I didn't mention it in my letter last night, but yesterday Heber told me himself about their broken engagement. I guessed at it from something he said to me over the phone just after he got back from the east. To tell the truth I guessed what was wrong before he went east. I'll not tell him anything you said, dearie.  He asked me yesterday if I had heard anything from you or Ora, - (He had known that Ora was in town and didn't go to see him.) - and I told him that nothing had been said.  

This isn't a matter to gossip about even among dear friends.  He has spoken very frankly to me - more so than to anyone else in Calgary - possibly anywhere, - and I feel sorry for both of them. I don't think he was without blame but I do think the chief trouble is pride, and an unwillingness on both sides to explain what were originally, really, misunderstandings of no more consequence than our own little ones.

Pig-headed pride wouldn't let either try to explain because each felt misjudged by the other and so matters went from bad to worse and then possibly some real reasons arose.  Oh, it's too bad.  Does it sound frightfully cold-blooded to say I'm so glad, dearie, that we have taken a different way.  Oh, let us always try to understand and bear with each other and be frank and never too proud to acknowledge when we are in the wrong.

No I have to plead not guilty to the charge of sending Acta to you sweetheart, I haven't seen Acta for two years. The subscription was stopped in mistake and I've simply neglected renewing it. If you like to have it we'll subscribe again next year.

I've had to wait longer than I expected but my time is up now. It has been a pleasant break in the day's work to have this little talk with you. If your were only here so we could talk face to face!

Lovingly and longingly

Your own man.

11.50. Just returned from Lohengrin. It was simply wonderful. Goodnight dearie.



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 28, 1914

My Dear Rusty,-

... There is a final Temperance meeting tonight, but I don't want to go. I'm tired. There were 63 kids to-day, altogether. One class comes in the morning, the other in the afternoon, and one stays from morning till afternoon recess. That made forty-three or so this morning. It's certainly a hard room, and there are some little rippers thereTo-day there was a little Roumanian [sic] came. He can’t speak much English, but appears very bright. He went to the separate school, but I don’t know why he landed in there this morning. He says his mother is in Austria.

I'd like to teach one or two children, but a whole roomful is not to my liking. No, I can't say that the Fonthill children, nor these, are lucky. The results are very unsatisfactory here. I can't get along with a large baby class, when they need so much individual attention.

Yes, I did tell Ora that I guessed I wouldn't get married until fall, if we didn't go abroad. I sometimes say it to myself, but I don't mean it, down in my heart. You're a funny man. I didn't care if you were cross with me. It didn't hurt me any. You appear to think it shows a poor sort of love if we can be angry with one we love. Then how do you class my feeling for you? For I was very, very angry with you, for a time. And then I discovered it was unnecessary. When I am angry, I do say things that I want to hurt. I am absolutely unfeeling, and want to see others suffer. Of course you won't believe this, but it is true, and it is for this reason that I don't like to get angry. I'm not speaking of righteous indignation.

We were down at Mr. Wray Smith’s for dinner. Mr. and Mr. Patterson were there too - quite a ministerial gathering.  I got back to school just a couple minutes late, but I had arranged for that so it didn’t matter. After school I went in to Mrs. Baker’s. There are four or five ladies supposed to be studying French and she wanted me to come in and help her.  She is sick of it though because all they’re doing is to learn a few phrases and idioms, and it seems like waste time. They aren’t starting at the bottom. They’ve all had a little smattering, but it doesn’t amount to much.

So you don’t approve of my practice of sending you letters that have been sent to me? What else could I deduce from your statement that you don’t like other people to read letters meant for you? There is one way out, you don’t have to read them. Now - this is a semi-joke. You take my feeling and sayings too seriously, old man, but that is only natural, when you can read only my words and not my face. 

You seem to worry lest I want to get a lot of things. Well, my dear, I might want to get them, but I can't. However, decency demands a certain amount.

I am glad you got Ora something she liked. For my own part, I've never hankered after cut-glass tumblers, but I know she wanted themDo you like blue dining-rooms? I’ve always thought I’d like one.  

I hear the band out. Guess I'll go to the Temperance meeting. The band's going to the Anti-meetings, so I'll stay at home. I have a new Everybody's to read.

What are my favourite flowers? I have none. Roses, lilies-of-the-valley, sweet peas, and violets. I guess roses come first.

Do you think I'm spending much time in worrying lest things do not go right? No, indeed my man. I know you too well for that.

Your own sweetheart.



Fred to Evelyn
[Calgary]
Thursday Evening, Jan 29/14

My dear Nora,-

You'll not get a very long letter tonight for two reasons - it's very late and I fell on the sidewalk tonight while running to cross the railway tracks ahead of a freight train and sprained my wrist slightly so it is rather painful to write.

Have just returned from the annual meeting of the Young Liberal Club. The business of the evening was the election of officers. I was offered the presidency by the nomination committee, and if I had allowed my name to go before the meeting, I'd have been elected, for the committee's recommendations were followed almost as a matter of course. 

But for a two-fold reason I wouldn't let my name stand. In the first place I wanted Art Smith, and as a matter of fact he was elected. In the second place I didn't want to tie myself down to any such work for next year. If an election comes on, - and it isn't by any means a remote possibility - it would mean a lot of work especially at night, and it wouldn't be fair to you. Besides I don't want to be out next year, I want to be free to spend my evenings with you.

About six o'clock yesterday I decided to go to the opera. The seats were nearly all sold but I managed to get 2 very good ones and I invited Norman Lambert, the Globe representative to go with me. He's a dandy fellow and sings very well so he understands music and is a fine companion for such an evening.  But you can easily guess, dearie, whom I'd rather have been with than Norman Lampert. I enjoyed every minute of the opera, - from the opening at 7.30 until the closing bars at 10.45.  

Lohengrin is the longest of all the operas that were given her by the Quninlan company. I haven't words to express how good it was. It was simply wonderful.  There wasn't a weak spot in the whole performance. Lambert has heard it given by other companies in the east but he says last night's was by far the best he ever heard.  I don't know what part I liked best, but one part that appealed to me as it never would have before is the wedding march and song. This was sung by a full chorus. Some of the tenor and soprano voices were particulary fine and it almost made me wish for a large wedding and a chorus to sing as that one did last night. Did you hear Lohengrin in Toronto, dearie?  Won't it be lovely when we can attend some good operas together?

Have just returned from the annual meeting of the Young Liberal Club. The business of the evening was the election of officers. I was offered the presidency by the nomination committee, and if I had allowed my name to go before the meeting, I'd have been elected, for the committee's recommendations were followed almost as a matter of course. 

But for a two-fold reason I wouldn't let my name stand. In the first place I wanted Art Smith, and as a matter of fact he was elected. In the second place I didn't want to tie myself down to any such work for next year. If an election comes on, - and it isn't by any means a remote possibility - it would mean a lot of work especially at night, and it wouldn't be fair to you. Besides I don't want to be out next year, I want to be free to spend my evenings with you.

... My hand is getting so cramped I must quit. I can hardly hold the pen I guess it will be all right tomorrow morning though.

Goodnight my own sweetheart.

Your man.



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 29, 1914

My Dear Fred,-

"Welland's going dry" is the greeting tonight. I have never before been down town on an election night, or awaited results in committee rooms. It is very agonizing to hear the majority read out, now for, now against - much more excruciating than a hockey or Rugby match, for there it is all action, but here one must wait, and wait. Our town is third worst, with 124, or something like that, against. Bridgeburg was worst. Welland surprised everybody by giving only 73 or 79 against. They call this the wettest county, so there's hope for all others. Three counties in one vote

If people would drop there [sic] politics, Whitney would have to step down and out, if he didn’t change his mind on this subject. What favoured us in our town, poor as the result was, was that the Tories were scrapping among themselves. The hotel-keeper and his gang overreached themselves in their political caucus, and set some of their erstwhile supporters against them. Now the man who owns the pool-room, fought against them, declaring that "the bar-room is the greatest curse in the town." It seems too good to be true.

There is one girl, Lizzie Kennedy, who has worked her very hardest. She has several brothers, who need all the protection along this line, that they can get.  She had them out to-day, working for it. She is a wonderful, wonderful girl, always on the side that is true and good, and always all there, not just part of her.

You mean thing, to send two letters with yours.  I never sent you more than one at a time.  I thought I was getting such a lot.

I went to the tea to-day, and had a very nice time. I worked a little at my/our cushion, and ate a fair supply of dainties. Of course the talk was chiefly of the Temperance Act. While we were eating, Mr. Clarke, whose wife was there, stuck his head in the door and called out, "Thorold 124 boozeHurrah for women's suffrage! Humberston 18 dry." You should have felt the depression that settled on the crowd. What I can't swallow is husbands and wives not being at one on a moral question. But they aren't, and the women of whom I'm thinking are on our side.

Your suffragette.



Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 30, 1914

My Dear Rusty,-

... We feel very much depressed as our majority has gone down to 15, and there are 7 places from which to hear as yet. Mother can't understand how long a time for the ballot-boxes to be returned. The Conservatives have the patronage in this county; their nominee is a heavy drinker, he selects the returning officer and that man, the deputies. Everything combines to make it hard for us to get our way.

You silly old thing. When I suggested teaching until June, I was only joking. When do you think I'd get my clothes made, if I were busy all the time? Or my pillow-cases embroidered. I'm not going to do much of that, Mother won't let me, but she can't prevent me later on, and then I'll have my own way for once. I have to laugh to myself sometimes, at the things she tells me to do. Last night she told me to throw the quilt back over the foot of the bed if it were too heavy.  Of course, she doesn’t realize how ridiculous it is. ...

I’m going to pay you back, and return two letters in this one. I never sent you more than one at a time.

I'll write some more tonight.

Evelyn - if you like. I don't.



Evelyn to Fred 
Thorold, Ont.,
Jan. 31, 1914

My Dear Rusty,-

The last day of January, and a fierce one too. Yesterday it was very mild, in fact it has been so all week. But yesterday was dry, before the mud was awful.  This morning the sleet driving against the window roused me, but I was just beginning to comprehend what it was when papa came in and closed the window. Tonight the wind is roaring around the house, making us all thankful we have such a warm place to live. The lights went off after supper for about twenty minutes. I suppose some needle ice got in the water wheels; that often happens on cold, windy days.

There are some English people up the street who have a little shack, just boarded up on the outside. There is no foundation yet, and the wind and the snow gets under it. The other day mother asked the lady how they were getting along, and she said pretty well, only the floor was cold. Then mother learned that they didn't have any beds, that they had been sleeping on boxes. A carpet was given them, and a new iron bed, mattress, and springs. He is a carpenter and won't need help long, but he came only last spring, while she and the children didn't arrive until the end of the summer. They seem very happy and contented, and are as neat and clean as can be. They will make good, thrifty citizens. But oh! Some of the English and Scotch who come here are making us trouble. 

I suppose we have to take all kinds, but it seems that now, we are getting more than our share of the latter kind. I was telling mama to-day about the deficient children in that room where I was last week. There were four of five, maybe more. That poor teacher has between 90 & 100 on the roll. Of course, some of them come only half the day, but she often has over 60 at once. She gets 550 a year, and is attempting to do the work of more than two teachers.

One night you spoke of your intention regarding attending Mr. Robertson's dance. I gathered from you remark that you did so want to go, but that you would go if no good excuse presented itself. I have just been wondering what you'll do when you're hampered by my presence. I don't like dancing, and I can't see why I should go where I know it will be. I have also been wondering how I'd feel if you should write home and tell me that you'd learned, and decided to attend dances. I can scarcely imagine my feelings. Yours, when I told you what happened at the wedding compared with mine, would be as the heat of a match is to that of a furnace fire. I think one reason because I don't like it, is because I've always wanted my man all my own, and I didn't want anybody else to touch him. And of course, I'd have to give what I expected to take. Don't you think, dearie, that I have a good idea of the equality of the sexes?

I have just finished writing out my topic for Monday League, and studying my S.S. lesson. Do you ever go to League? I never notice that you do. Once some time ago, when Wray was talking about marrying me, which was one of his pet themes, I told him that he'd have to go to prayer-meeting with me. He opened his mouth-wide-in astonishment. But I meant it.

So you really though I meant to teach!  You are very credulous, aren’t you?  No, No, I want some time to sew and do what I like.  I wouldn’t buy some things ready-made for a great deal, because see! how many thought of you would be missing.  You are getting yourself embroidered in all that is done.  How does it feel?  Do you notice the pricks of your “Irish Rose.”  You said I had thorns.  What are they?  You should follow out your statements amplify them - make them clear to the feeble intellect of your future companion in misery.

My brain is beginning to feel active. A night's study can waken me up wonderfully. Shall we have a German, a French, and an English night? Or shall we read one book of each in succession? June is far enough away. Let it be June, say I.

Your very loving Elnora.


Endnotes

1. Bassano - town approx. 100 miles east of Calgary.

2. Oliver Mowat Biggar. 1876-1948. Lawyer; public servant.

3. Fred did send this letter, Jan. 11, 1914, #1 - incomplete.

4. Jessie Keagey, Victoria College, class of 1912. "She has done all the usual 'stunts,' served on committees, been pianist ... and waved a tennis racquet."

5. Robert Bruce Mantell. Actor. Born in Switzerland, settled in United States. Toured a great deal, bringing Shakespearean tragedies to many communities.

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