Fred to Evelyn [Calgary]
Sunday Evening, Mar. 1/14
For the past 3/4 of an hour Carson, Tait and I have been discussing Woman Suffrage, and women generally, ending with a question that was touched upon in a recent issue of the L.H.J. - what kind of man a normal woman wants for a husband. Miss Rogers was an interested listener between brief attempts to read “The Inside of the Cup,” and an occasionally put in a word of approval or disapproval.
I don't know that we reached any very definite conclusions except that a man might as well recognize the fact that married life is an entirely unexplored and unknown country, and that anyone who brings to it many preconceived notions is likely to be rudely disillusioned.
Perhaps, dearie, you have observed in the past that I used to think I knew a good deal about human nature, both male and female and had some clearly defined ideas about how husband and wife should act in relation to each other's tastes and prejudices and likes and dislikes, in order to have a happy married life. Well, I've come to see that my fancied wisdom was but foolishness and one by one I've laid away my pet ideas in the quiet grave of forgetfulness - and I can't even shed a tear over the obsequies. About all that is left of the fragile fabric of my fond philosophy is a realization that I know absolutely nothing about the question, and that I must learn off you.
It's rather hard to see one's pet ideas fade away like this but I can't help being glad for I feel sure, dearie, I'll be a better husband to you because of it. I hope and I really believe that you will find me less opinionated and more tolerant and sympathetic than I use to be. Oh, I do want to be. I know I’m pretty stubborn and positive in my convictions, but I can’t bear to think that these traits of my character might be the shoals on which our ship might be stranded even for short times. You will please try to be patient with me, won’t you, darling?
Didn't go to church tonight. Had nearly two hours of it this morning. Yes, Dr Rice was good - and most people thought him exceptionally so - but to tell the truth, the American style of preacher grates upon me. Mr Rice is less obtrusively American than many but the influence in unmistakably there. ... The sermon was very long, and he read it very fast. There was such a plethora of words that I really got tired trying to follow him, and let my thoughts wander to you instead. ...
Oh, the man is able all right and sincere, and I guess he gave a splendid sermon - other people said so - but I prefer some other style. At the next Quarterly Board meeting I’m going to suggest that for our subsequent anniversary services we try to get Canadian preachers. For 3 years now we have had Americans - Bishop McIntyre, Bishop Quale, and Dr Rice - all renowned preachers and lecturers it is true, - but I believe the people would prefer to hear our own men, and I think we have men just as able and just as consecrated.
Had a good class this afternoon - 33 - and at least 9 or 10 took part in the discussion. Usually there are more women than men but today the sexes were about equally represented. After S.S. I went to Brownlee's for tea. They hadn't been at church this morning and went tonight, so I left them at the church and came home. Had a good visit. Jack has thawed out a good deal since marriage and Mrs. B. improves greatly upon acquaintance. She's a good home maker and has cultured and literary tastes - almost as if she were a Vic grad. She is a McMaster graduate. They've had pretty hard luck financially this past year. Jack was only getting $1,500 a year and they built their house and had so much sickness besides. Their doctor and hospital bills alone were almost $600. That makes quite a hole in one's exchequer - and in the first year too.
I think I’ve told you that they live across the Elbow River about a quarter of a mile from the end of the car-line in a new subdivision where there are only half a dozen houses within hailing distance. It’s very nice when you get there, - it’s almost like being in the country with a splendid view of the mountains and down over the city, for they are on a hill. But there’s no sidewalk up the hill and no pavement, - or gas. They have water and sewer of course. It’s more than two and a half miles from the centre of the city, and a little inconvenient in that way, but I like that part of the city.
You’ll be wondering why I’m telling so much about this place. Because next door to them live John Graham’s who built a new house last summer, a nice little bungalow. Graham lost his job here about Xmas and has had nothing to do since. I heard today that he was thinking of going to Vancouver and renting the house furnished. I think it would suit us. It’s well furnished and about the style I’d like.
The only objection I see is the distance out from town. It’s more than half a mile farther out than Fritz’s. Would you mind that, dearie? Of course I wouldn’t want to take it if I’d have to pay rent for it all summer, but if it could be rented until fall to someone else and we could get it then for a reasonable figure I think it would be wise to take it. Being so far out the rent would be a good deal less than closer in. Of course this would be partly offset by the expense of car tickets. But I think you’d like it up there.
Today has been windy but warm and spring-like. How has March come in down in Ontario? Oh, I got my tie this morning and instead of being a joke it’s really a nice one. Ordinarily I don’t like to wear ties other people pick out for me but this is all right.
There are some people just came in, so must go downstairs and help entertain.
Oh, how much I'd rather have my own little kiddie!
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 1, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
Hazel and I are having a conversation about militarism. At least, she's talking, and I grunt out an occasional reply. It seems so long since I really wrote to you, and I'm a little afraid that you'll retaliate. I hope you'll be generous with me, though.
I'll begin and tell you what I've done since I wrote Wednesday. Mr. and Mrs. Baker and I went to the rink, and I certainly enjoyed my first skate in two years. I wasn’t stiff as I expected to be, but I was tired. ...
Thursday and Friday I taught, but they have a teacher now for which I am very thankful. Thursday, when I came home, I made sandwiches, sent off two birthday-cards, and went to the sleighing party. Mama went too. There were about twenty-three of us in the load. We went to a house which used to be an old barracks, the place where [James] Fitzgibbon was established when (1)Laura Secord took her memorable walk. The woodwork is nearly all walnut, and in some places has been replaced by new wood, walnut too, and it is scraped and waxed. In the parlour is a great old-fashioned fireplace of cobblestones - about four feet deep and six or seven wide. It certainly was a great old place, and everybody was poking around to see what there was to do.
Friday, Hazel was here, and we talked, except when I was at choir practice. Saturday we took an early car to the city - Mrs. Baker went with us. We bought sheets and pillow-cases and a bed spread. About four we met Mrs. Smith, the Presbyterian minister's wife. The five of us and her little girl went up to "The Martha" a new tea-room just recently established. We had a nice time, even if the girl did forget our sandwiches until we were half through. It was my show, and was very pleasant, according to the expressions of the ladies. After we got home, Hazel and I went down to see Miss Fitz. and then downtown, and it was ten when we got home. Isn't this a list of doings.?
You misunderstood me about the pictures. We can take good pictures in the winter, certainly, but I meant that the scenery wasn't pretty, unless after a heavy fall of snow. Of course, I suppose in your country, summer doesn't make so much improvement in its appearance, and so doesn't make much difference.
You spoke about seeing the Falls in winter. Apparently you think that whenever one goes to the Falls, he goes to see them. I've been down twice this winter, but so far have seen no water. I should take Hazel down and across the river only small-pox is rife over there, and we might not be allowed to come back.
Hazel asked me if I'd prefer a lunch-cloth or an electric coffee-percolator. I chose the latter. Percolators make such good coffee. I hope no one else is seized with the same ideas.
I was thinking this morning that of two evils, I'd rather be considered too strict than too lax, and that really, church work, real true work, is the best that can be done. And I'd rather do that than be a good entertainer, if I couldn't mix the two.
To-day at S.S. I felt utterly discouraged. Three of the kids pretended to say a verse, and they were reading it off the board. After I had marked their verses some time, one of the kids told me what they had done. I marked them off, but I was sore. I hate cheating and especially in Sunday-school. I gave them a good talk, but I was thunder struck, and I didn't teach much more.
What’s the use of teaching about Pharisees and scribes, if the kids don’t practise the rudiments of common honesty? I felt very blue over it, and I was mad too. But that just proved that they needed some good influence.
I wondered to myself if parents were always under a continuous strain about their children's welfare. I guess some of them don't care enough about it to bother their heads. I asked the kids to-day why they came. They said because they were sent. I asked why they were sent. Some said because they could get some benefits, others said so they would be out of the road, and I'm afraid that last is true of the kid who spoke.
Supper is now ready, prepared by my boss.
Fred to Evelyn
Monday evening Mar. 2/14
My dear Elnora,-
Another day without a letter! I hope you aren't ill. You said last week would be a very full week and I'm afraid you have been attempting too much. Please, dearie, consider yourself a little bit and let some of the things go that you have been so busy with. ...
I’m writing at the office. Came back here to work for a while - not for long though - for I have started reading “The Inside of the Cup” and I want to go back in time to read for a couple hours tonight, - but not until I have been down to the P.O. again to see if there isn’t a letter. The P.O. closes at tea. I’ll wait until then so that the eastern mail will be sure to be distributed.
Have you read the book I’ve just been speaking of? It deals with the problems of the modern church, - or more properly speaking of the relation of the church of today to the present day problems of society. ... I can’t say yet whether I like the book or not. It’s strongly written but almost sombre for a novel. Perhaps it will lighten and brighten farther on.
Did I tell you that Brownlee and I have half promised to debate against woman suffrage at a public debate held by the Local Council of Women? One of our antagonists will be R.J. Deachman who was a classmate of ours at O.A.C. He is one of the best platform men in the city. Personally I should much prefer his side of the question but the ladies had already given him his choice of sides, and then hunted around for two bold champions of the unpopular cause. The date isn't fixed yet. I promised to do it only on condition we have at least 3 weeks for I'm too busy to work it up just now. At one of their meetings before long the Local Council are going to have Mrs. Nellie McClung. ... She was in the city a couple months ago but I didn’t hear her then.
Tomorrow night, Clara Butt(2) , the great English contralto is to give a concert. Haven't decided whether to go or not. Fully intended to but there are so many other good things coming soon. Martin Harvey(3) next week - Central choir concert on the 24th the last symphony concert on the 29th, Forbes-Robertson(4) etc, etc.
Calgary may not be a centre of culture but we're certainly better off than the average small Ontario city. Must get to work now. Please, please, dearie, take care of yourself if not for your own sake, then for that of
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 2, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
You have a very good friend in mother. I was going to bed tonight without writing to you, intending to do it in the morning, but after I got upstairs she came into my room and said, "why don't you write your letter now? You may not have a chance tomorrow." We are going to have company tomorrow, some friends of Hazel's who live near S. Catharines. In the morning we'll have to get some grub ready.
This morning when I got up I found a good-sized snowbank in my room. The wind has ben blowing at a great rate, and I think there's the most snow we've had, all piled up in fantastic shapes. It's pretty cold, but not too bad, and at any rate, it can't last long. I tell you last night I was thankful for having a good, warm bed. ...
Papa has just started special services. I didn’t want Hazel to come while they were on because I don’t like to stay home, and yet it isn’t much entertainment for her to go to church every night. She doesn’t go very often at home, so maybe she’ll get done up for a time. There are some things about her I do not understand, but that doesn’t hinder her me from liking her.
... I guess you wouldn't like me very well now-a-days, I think you would find me as I was last summer. Some way or other I have gone back to that condition, and if you want me to be any different, you'll have to make me so. Sometimes it seems as if I don't want to get married at all. I suppose you feel like that sometimes, but you have the kindness to keep it to yourself. I feel like this, most often, I think, when I have missed writing to you, or am busy with something else. ...
Now I'm going to re-read your letters. Oh, my dear, don't believe what I said. I do love you.
Fred to Evelyn
Wednesday morning Mar. 4/14 #1
... I didn't go to the Clara Butt concert last night. I hadn't procured seats beforehand and yesterday there was nothing left except about two dozen very poor rush seats and a few $3. ones in front of the platform. But this wasn't the only reason I didn't go. For some reason - I wonder if it is because I haven't had a letter from you since last Saturday morning - I haven't felt like enjoying anything.
Oh my dear little sweetheart, I can't help wondering if something is wrong. You aren't sick are you? At first I thought you hadn't written because you had been so busy but when the third day passed without a letter, I couldn't keep my mind from the thought that you must be ill. Yesterday morning when no letter came I buoyed myself up with the hope that on account of the storms in the east the trains had been delayed, but soon I saw this wasn't true for other Toronto mail came in. If there isn't a letter this morning I'm going to wire you tonight to find out what's wrong.
Last night I stayed in the whole evening reading The Inside of the Cup. I finished it just on the stroke of midnight. I read much too fast to get the most benefit from it, but I'm going to read it again. It has stirred in me that Divine discontent that the book speaks of. I've told you before, dearie, that it often seems as if I were a insensible little automaton moving round and round in a close confining shell that "cribs cabins and confines," and that I'm not giving expression to the best that is in me but am living a miserable, stultified, selfish existence with no real positive good in it. You are my one guiding star. If it weren't for you in my life, it would all be utterly empty, and oh, how petty and useless!
Percy Carson was home all evening too. No one else was home. He has felt the same unutterable longing - mixed in his case with a rebellious stirring of anger and discontent that the world seems to deal so hardly with so many people. I don’t agree with his views but I can’t but feel a sympathy of spirit. He isn’t a man who simply sits down and accepts some other person’s “say so” but he thinks for himself, and while his inward strivings haven’t as yet led him to anything positive I’m sure he will ultimately win a positive philosophy and religion. We had quite a long talk last evening. It’s stimulating to talk to him even if one doesn’t agree with him.
But, oh, my darling, I'm looking forward with such expectancy to the time when we shall be together. You will be the living incarnation of the ideals and aspirations that are high and noble and that I want to control my life. "And yet a woman too, and bright, with something of an angel light." That's part of what you are to me.
Fred to Evelyn
Wednesday Evening Mar 4/14 #2
My dear Elnora,-
You don't know how relieved and glad I was to find three letters from you on my desk when I reached the office this morning. ... Well, none of them were very long but they at least told me that you were well and reminded me of your love and that even in the midst of your business days you thought of me. And much as I like to get long letters from you, dearie, I'm glad you didn't add to your many duties and perhaps overtax yourself by writing more to me. I want to hear from you, but I want very much more to feel that you are well and happy. Just the same it is nice to get letters from you.
Do you remember writing once last fall on a day when you hadn't heard from me and you said you couldn't write much because I hadn't given you any ammunition? I've realized how true this is during the past week and I've been thinking that it augurs pretty well for our future happiness and shows very plainly how mutually dependent we are upon each other. If one is glad so is the other: If one is depressed or tired or ill, the other sympathizes: if one has pain the other wants to bear it. That is a real one-ness, isn't it? - not a sickly sentimentality or ephemeral infatuation, but only a real union of personalities that harmonize and find their complements, each in the other could make us feel that way, it seems to me.
I don't know why it is, but for some reason you have seemed farther away and less real to me during the past few days than ever before. I couldn't help thinking at times that perhaps I had said something that offended you, and that you were so angry you didn't want to write until your anger had cooled. I couldn't imagine what I had said that should make you feel so, but I couldn't get rid of the thought, and I guess it was partly this that made you seem far away. But tonight, you seem very real to me, and oh, so dear. If only we could be together!
I'm very glad you don't have to teach after all. I didn't want to appear to complain or interfere for you must decide your own course of action, but I was really troubled to think of you teaching until Easter. The time will be all too short, you'll find, even at best. We spend years in making preparation for lots of things. Why shouldn't a few months be given over wholly to preparation for marriage, which is surely the most important step in any man's or woman's life?
It will be nice for you to have Hazel with you. Will she be staying with you all the time she is in Thorold? Have you made up the estrangement that you were telling me about last summer? Excuse my short memory, dearest, but is she the girl who wrote me a piece of a letter once and enclosed it with yours or was it Marion Pettit? No matter, it’s enough that she’s a good friend of yours, and so if you think I’m not transgressing the bounds of becoming reserve, please convey to her my very best regards with a hope that I’ll meet her this summer.
You didn’t tell me how you enjoyed your skate. Of course you had a good time. Next winter, dearie, we’ll have lots of skates on the river - that is if you’ll be content to skate with me. You remember what you said about poor skaters and I haven’t skated a dozen time in 6 years. N’importe.
We’ll have good times together. I’m going to make you live outdoors and get strong and vigourous!
Your own Fred.
Your own Fred.
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 4, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
From now on, I shall be able to write more regularly, I hope. Yesterday I was very busy. We had three of Hazel's friends for tea, we expected five, and another man. We were busy all morning, and most of the afternoon too.
Hazel decided that she had to go home to-day. I was sorry, but I couldn’t entertain her as I had expected, because papa is having special meetings now. Things often jar don’t they? Last night dad teased her pretty hard and she didn’t like it a bit. It was pretty raw, but she gives it to other people. She said I slammed her hard too, and maybe I did. I can’t but recognize the fact that we are very different. She said once that we had been brought up in such totally different atmospheres that we couldn’t really stick together. It’s queer, and it hurts too. But we don’t get in to each other, each afraid, I guess, that the other won’t understand. But there’s this consolation, I can always turn to you, and know that even if you should happen not to understand, you’d want to, at any rate.
This is what has been troubling me this last few weeks. I don't want to be narrow, but if there are things I do not think right, should I pretend to like them, so as not to be too "cribbed cabin'd and confin'd?" I know that's what Hazel thinks I am. And yet when she doesn't like a thing she doesn't consider it her duty to keep quiet about it.
I often think of what Helen Dafoe(5) said in her Senior speech at Lit. She had been telling about how everything and every person had tried to make her broad. She said, "I don't want to be broad, but I want to be more than two inches deep." Probably this perplexity is groundless, but you know what has caused it, don't you? I don't want to refuse to do things you enjoy or to go places you wish, but I don't see how I can help it. I know what you'd do, if I were talking to you. How I wish you were here with me. Why, I'm crying on the tablecloth.
... I don't see how I can get ready for the tenth. You see Conference begins the first of June and lasts over a week. Not only must father attend, but we'll have our house full of preachers or laymen. I know we'll have to have all we can take, because there are very few places where they can be billeted. Father's birthday is the fifteenth, and Ora's the seventeenth. I should like to have it on the 15th, if we can have it then, for it happens to be on a Monday. That's about a week later than you said, but we can't have it sooner. If you didn't leave till the second week it would be better, but I suppose you want to start at the beginning. It will mean one week less abroad, but it can't be helped. You didn't seem to understand when I explained this before. I guess you don't appreciate the fact that it means some work to billet five or six hundred men.
When will you know if we are going abroad? Within a month? Because I'll soon have to think about my clothes, and clothes for Canada and for England are two different things. I don't want to go to Muskoka or Georgian Bay if we don't go abroad. I'd like to go some place where I'd never been before, wouldn't you?
My dearie, you must think me an old crank. I didn't mean that I didn't want you to tell your friends of your engagement, it's yours, as well as mine. What I meant was that I didn't want Stell [Carey] informed of our plans. She'll probably know of our engagement. ... Now, I never told anybody but Elleda. I guess Art told Noble. You wonder why I care so much. Well, Ora told her friends she was to be married last June, and she wasn't, and then they all wondered why she wasn't.
Did you read about the row at the Hall over the boys going in to the basement to dance? Hazel told me that Lina and Wray were both in it, but I hadn’t heard of it before. She said it was in the paper.
It's nine-five, so I must go.
Good-night my own dear Rusty.
Fred to Evelyn
Thursday Evening Mar. 5/14
A good deal of the evening is spent. I had expected to have a nice long evening for reading and writing but “Chic” Stockton, brother of R.O.Stockton of Vic ‘08 was here for the evening. He travels for C.S. Hyman & Co of London and every time he comes to the city he pays a call or visit to the Hermitage. He is a friend of Tait’s and I know him fairly well too. ...
... I suppose you wonder, dearie, what has happened to the oil boom. It subsided but development work has been going on steadily and several wells are now drilling. I don't know whether anything will come of the stock I bought last fall or not, but I confidently expect that I'll make a little out of it before long. I don't expect to make much for I paid too high a price, but I am counting on selling it to help pay our expenses to the Old Land. Within the last couple of weeks I've gambled $200.00 more on oil stock in another company. This last I got at a bargain, and if any oil is struck at all I'll make at least 3 or 4 times what I put in. If no oil is found of course the stock will be worth absolutely nothing. But I am confident oil will be found somewhere in this district within the next year. Some of the most noted oil and geological experts in the world have expressed themselves very confidently, and large sums are being spent by English and American capitalists for development purposes.
Now from oil to real estate - Mr. Orde the manager of the Union Bank where I bank was advising me today to buy a lot quite near his place. It's right along the Elbow River, 50 feet frontage & 190 feet depth, running right down to the river. The owner will sell for $2,300 cash or $2,500 on time. It's a snap at that price. Orde paid $3,000 for his more than a year ago and despite the tightness of money land in that section has gone up in value since then. Orde is awfully good to me and offered to lend the money. Not many bankers are willing to do that these days. I wish you could see the place dearie. As for myself it's in the very locality I would choose to build and I'm sure you'd like it too.
But I don't want to buy without your seeing it, and besides, I wasn't figuring on buying or building anywhere for a year or two. I’d like to get a little ahead first, If I should happen to make anything in oil, I think I’ll buy anyhow for it would be a snap as an investment.
I wonder if there’ll be two letters for me tomorrow Saturday’s & Sunday’s?
Goodnight my own sweetheart.
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 5, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
I've just come home from church, and mama's been talking all the way home about me not "testifying." She says it's partly contrariness on my part. Perhaps it is. But I don't like it and never did. She says I might do it for dad's sake and I say that's a shame, if I don't really want to do it. But she said later that it might help some person else. Well, if it will, I suppose I ought to do it. But it makes me angry and sore when she talks as if I'm wicked because I don't do it. Why should a preacher want people to talk, if they don't want to? I suppose it's scriptural, when I think it out, but that doesn't make me like it any more. I do get tired of church with my meals and at all other times. That's a nasty thing to say, isn't it? And maybe when I get away from home, I'll get away from it too.
I won't write any more to-night. I told you the date, didn't I, the fifteenth or seventeenth?
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 6, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
... I'm sure I don't care where you get a house. It would be very nice to live near people we knew. Are there electric lights in that house? One thing I'd like about it would be the air. I hate to be close to other people, as city houses are. You don't want a flat, do you? You said it would be ever so much cheaper that a house. I should not mind for a short time. One good feature would be that there wouldn't be a great deal of work to be done, and naturally that appeals to me.
But you are to use your own discretion in choosing a house. I rather like the idea of the “country-home”, but wouldn’t we have to get up very early in the morning? Or would you walk merely to the car? And on Sundays we’d be all the time on the road, wouldn’t we? We’d have to take our dinner and tea with us. I don’t want to stay home from church Sunday-night. We don’t need to. We can have Saturday afternoons to play, can’t we.
I had a letter from Hazel to-day. As I expected, when she got home they wanted to know why she didn't stay. Naturally she was somewhat cross.
We were going to the Falls yesterday, and it would have been a glorious day for the trip. It was a day of brilliant sunshine, and spring air. Mother and I went calling. We were at Mr. Lorriman’s, the man who paints. And he was showing us his pictures. He studied with McGillvary-Knowles. ...I have my sheets, pillow cases, and counterpanes hemmed. I didn’t do them. Mother has done them all and I’ve been embroidering. It seems as if I haven’t done very much though I should like to do some for Ora before her furniture is sent, but I can’t possibly do it. I'm making some nice clothes, but it takes a lot of time. I don't care, they're pretty. I hope to get my slip done tomorrow. Hazel took a centrepiece home with her to work the eyelets in it. We laughed at her when she was here. She never did any fancy-work when she was at college, and it seems so funny to see her do it. ...
That was a funny scrawl last night. I was pretty sore, but as that is part of my church belief, and if it does anybody any good, why it would be wrong of me not to subscribe to it. I was in a particularly naughty mood last night.
Good-night honey. Yes, I'll try to be good to you.
Fred to Evelyn
Saturday morning Mar 6/14 [Mar. 7]
My dearest Evelyn,-
It’s a little after one o’clock. I’ve just come home from a little party at Prof Ward’s (Vic ‘04), but I don’t feel sleepy so will write you before going to bed. I had intended to work tonight but late this afternoon Ward phoned me and wanted me to come and as I have refused him on several occasions, I accepted. ...
Yesterday was Mrs Carson's birthday and J.M. is getting her a Victrola for a present. They have two at the house for trial - one costing $235 and another $135.00 J.M. wanted our suggestions in choosing which one to keep, and a large number of records were tried. The larger of the Victrolas has a beautiful tone, - with a minimum of noise. I hope we can have one before long. Tonight I heard 3 of [John] McCormack's records, two in Italian - and "Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes," in English. Have you ever heard him? I haven't, except in records, but as far as I can judge from them I prefer him to Caruso in solo work. His voice is more mellow and sweeter. There were a number of other splendid records, - a solo by [Luisa] Tetrazzini from Il Trovatore, the sextette from Lucia [de Lammamor], a beautiful violin solo and many others. If I felt tired and disgruntled I'd like to sit down before the fire, turn off the lights with you beside me, and listen to some of those wonderful records on the Victrola.
The firm of Clarke, McCarthy & Co is still expanding. The latest addition to our forensic department is a girl, - surname Smith, - unchristened as yet - who arrived this morning in Elbow Park at the home of Mr & Mrs. A..L. Smith. All day Art wore the smile that won’t come off. ...
Have been reading in the Globe about the result of the recount in Welland. Isn't it a shame? Do you think the Temperance people will try to upset the vote? It is maddening to be so near to winning and then to lose by rank crookedness such as was evidently practiced in Welland.
...Your Sunday letter came this morning. I was expecting two but I guessed I shouldn’t have, when I knew what a busy week you had. I’m glad the rush is over, and that Hazel is taking Mr Woolley’s place at school. Surely no one else will be troubling you now! If they do just tell them you can’t, will you, dearie?
... Do you hear from Ora often? I'm ashamed to say I haven't written her yet. I'm going to do it tomorrow or Sunday without fail. Haven't written home for two weeks either. It really is bed time and now I'm beginning to feel sleepy.
So goodnight my own sweetheart.
Fred to Evelyn
Saturday evening Mar 7/14
I'm writing in the library to the tune of a two-step, for the staff is having a dance in the office. ... there's not much fun looking on, so I came in here a while ago and read some law and now I'm going to write you a short note and go home. There isn't as large a crowd as there was the other time, but there are about 35 or 36. Two or three couples have been doing the hesitation waltz and one or two tango steps for our edification. (?)
Miss Wigle, the girl from Windsor whom I spoke about meeting a couple weeks ago at Mrs Hutton's is one of the girls who is doing those new dances, she's really a very intelligent girl and I thought her quite nice until tonight, but these new dances aren't decent and I can't help losing respect for any girl who dances them in public. Miss Wigle has a tight skirt which makes them all the more objectionable. When I see such things I'm glad, dearie, that you don't dance.
Had a very heavy day today. Was working all afternoon. Next week is going to be very strenuous too. I’ve decided not to take that debate with Brownlee. I should have told him before tonight, but I’ll phone him tomorrow.
Do you know Beaton,(6) Vic. '10 or '11? He's holding missionary services here in Wesley Meth. Church. I understand he is going to China next fall. Never thought much of him at college. It seemed to me he had a swelled head and it hasn't been growing smaller.
This is a miserable scrap of a letter I know - but I haven't felt in the mood to write today. Guess I'll feel better tomorrow.
Goodnight, my own little girl.
Fred to Evelyn
Sunday evening Mar 8/14
My dear Nora,-
This has been one of Calgary’s bad behaviour days. The morning broke clear and bright and warm - so warm that most men went to church without overcoats, but before noon the wind began to blow and then we had a bad dust storm which lasted until a little after three o’clock. ...
I didn't feel a bit like teaching today. After dinner I wanted to lie down and dream, or read and if there had been any real excuse I'd not have gone to S.S. but there wasn't and it didn't seem honest not to go, so I went, and as often happens in such a case I really enjoyed the discussion. For the past two or three Sundays there have been more young men than formerly. The majority of the class are women of middle age or more.
After S.S. I went out to Elbow Park to see the Smith baby. ... Art says it's the first young baby he ever saw and he seems more than usually pleased and proud. He was quite surprised to find that it was really complete. He said he always used to think that babies were more or less shapeless lumps of humanity when they were born, - perhaps minus a nose or eyebrows or some other feature, which would develop later. He had no idea that his daughter would arrive fully equipped with every feature.
Everybody made a great deal of the baby, and I acquiesced. As far as I could see, she is no better and no worse than the average but of course my experience is limited.
...There wasn't any letter last night. I guess the special services are taking a good deal of your time. How long are they to last? Is your father all alone or has he someone to assist him? ...
...Do you know what I was thinking this afternoon? That is would be delightful to get up early in the summer and go for an hour's ride before breakfast? The morning air is so fresh and sweet and I don't know anything that would make one feel so fit and vigorous for the day's work. What do you say dearie? - Too strenuous? I believe you'd like it if you were here.
Elizabeth has taken to walking with Fred [Fritz] to the office every morning - about 2 miles, and she enjoys it very much . Before neither was getting enough exercise.
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 8, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
I was going to write to you and Ora last night, but by the time I got the paper read it was time to go to bed. I didn't go to church this morning. I felt tired and cantankerous so I stayed home, and slept an hour. I just didn't feel like sitting in church for an hour and a half. I got along pretty well at S.S. to-day, as the boys behaved very well indeed.
... You must not let me whine, Marion said I used to do it, but she teased me out of it. Mother says I don't speak distinctly. For two or three days she made me repeat everything I said. It made me mad, because other people understand me. But you say I don't speak loudly enough. Well, we'll have to modify our speech, you'll have to leave out some of your noise and emphasis, I'll have to tack it onto my speech. I do hate to be yelled and emphasized at, especially about things I believe anyway. It makes me so cross that I pretend not to believe it, and laugh at the speaker. ... please let us take each other's corrections kindly, and make them of some benefit. If we get cross and only make the annoyance more decided, or even try to stop it, it does such harm.
Some people have little mannerisms that drive me nearly wild. One friend of mine used to suck her teeth when she ate. I never enjoyed eating with her. I'm sure if I were a man I'd never think of marrying her. Well, it stands to reason that I have faults that annoy other people, but I'm cussed enough not to want to acknowledge that speaking indistinctly is one of them.
No, I haven't read The Inside of the Cup. Dad read it and then lent it to Mr. Culp. I guess he didn't know that I'd been wanting to read it since last fall. ...
I hope we don’t have six hundred dollars to pay next year for doctor’s fees. The only thing I’m afraid of is appendicitis ... I have pains occasionally but they’re on both sides, so I guess it’s some other tangle. ... Mother says I'm looking "weller" ... And my small pox marks are healing up.
I expect to have Ora for my aide-de-camp in June. I don't know whether, seeing she's married, I have to have anyone else or not. If we have it in the church, you'll need some ushers. Whom shall we have? I'm going to ask Noble, and he'll have a coat. Say, what kind of a hat do you wear? Will you have to wear a silk one? How do you look with one on? I thought of asking the unmarried girls of your cousins, and mine too. ... Have you any additions to suggest? Ora didn't have so many, but she had just her friends, none of Art's lived near enough.
We are to have a class re-union in Toronto at the end of May, I believe. One of the girls is to be married in June. We knew it last summer. She's been "preparing" for some time, so I suppose she has a fine outfit. You should have hunted her up. She has a large supply of towels I hear.
Fred to Evelyn
Monday evening Mar. 9/14
My own dear little sweetheart,-
This has been a day of good things. ... Several office matters went well during the day and tonight ended with the Symphony concert - and now a talk with you before going to bed. But I don't think, dearie, that any of the other things would have brightened the day much had it not been for your letter. I wonder if you have any idea how my world revolves around you.
I didn't intend to go to the concert tonight. I planned to stay at home and read and write. But on the way home from the office Percy Carson met an old Ottawa friend, a Mr. Stewart who is now assistant chief engineer (civil) in the employ of the provincial government at Edmonton. Carson hadn’t seen him for two or three years and didn’t know he was out here. ...Well, Carson had Stewart come up to the house for dinner. After dinner we chatted for a time and then Stewart suggested going to the Symphony concert. He has been wanting to hear the orchestra for some time but hasn't had an opportunity. Carson wanted to stay at home to study and as Stewart didn't want to go alone I offered to accompany him. I like the fellow very much. He's a graduate of Queen's in mining engineering - well educated and a superior man in many ways. We rushed off to the concert in our street clothes - he because there wasn't time to dress, and I because there wasn't time to dress if I had wanted to and also because I didn't want to dress when he had only ordinary clothes on.
We arrived about the middle of the first number and got first class seats for there was the smallest crowd I've seen at any of the concerts. We both enjoyed the concert very much. One of the sweetest and most melodious numbers the orchestra has given all winter was a short symphony, by Wagner, from Tristan and Isolde. All of the heavier instruments were subdued and the harp was much in evidence. It was wonderfully beautiful. The audience cheered this so much that nearly the whole number was repeated.
The concert ended rather earlier than usual - 10.30. Afterwards a little party of 7 of us went down to Cronn's for a little supper. A couple weeks ago Cronn's fitted up a tango tea room in the cabaret style. There is an orchestra and several girls who sing and in the afternoons - and sometimes at night - there are exhibitions of tango dancing. The tables are arranged around the outside of the room and there is a green wooden lattice work around the walls, while the ceilings are pretty festooned with some green stuff too. The whole give a very pretty effect.
Stewart had to catch a train at 11.30 so we left before the others. It is the first time I had been to this place. The singing was good, but mostly popular songs, and after the classic renditions of the symphony, both songs and orchestra ragtime jarred a good deal. But in spite of that we had some nice refreshments and as our company was congenial I enjoyed myself.
I'm so glad, dearie, that you wrote the letter which came today. It was just what I needed and it came at just the right time. You must have noticed that for several days past and particularly Saturday and yesterday my letters were cold.
Please, please forgive me, for I have been unjust to you in my thoughts lately. After getting your letter Saturday morning I was really angry and thought I wouldn't write. Then I thought I'd write just as I was feeling, but second thoughts prevailed and I decided to wait until I could be more fair to you. I was sure a letter would come Saturday night that would be like your true self. Then when none came, I felt hurt and more angry than ever, for it did seem to me that you didn't really care for me. I didn't feel a bit like writing yesterday and I was on the point of not writing. Then I thought that wasn't either fair to you or honest with myself, but I knew when I did write that my letter was cold and formal I couldn't write as I felt or I would have hurt you. Perhaps I did anyhow: if so, please forgive me.
Do you ask why I should have felt this way? That's the mean part of it. Now I see that the fault was mine, but until your letter came this morning I was blaming you. For what? I can't say just what, except that it seemed to me that you didn't really care for me first and that you were letting so many other things crowd me out. It wasn't because you didn't write often last week. I meant what I said when I told you that I would rather you'd get your rest than spoil it by writing to me, but I thought you were doing so many other things at the expense of your health and your preparation for our life together, I guess I was jealous even of your church work. It seemed as if you were doing something there every day, and sometimes a couple times a day. I thought that in the few short months before June, other things ought to take second place to the one great thing - preparation for married life.
Please don't misunderstand me. I didn't want you to spend all of your time and energy in getting things together, - but it always has seemed to me that so many marriages might have been much happier, and freer of irksome little jars, if men and women had given a tithe of the thought upon giving to any other undertaking in life.
You ask what it was in your letters that made me think like this? I can't tell what particular things, but there was a general atmosphere - or lack of atmosphere - that had this effect upon me. Now, please dearie, don't misunderstand my motive in saying these things now. I see that I was wrong, but I believe we have both misjudged each other a little and have been afraid to be perfectly frank, for fear we'd hurt each other and because of that we have not been revealing our true selves to each other lately, and so have misjudged each other. I'm not saying these things now by way of excuse for myself, but simply that you may know how I felt and that I am perfectly frank now.
When I got your letter this morning, dearie, I felt like a brute. To think I had been accusing you in my thoughts of not caring for me, when you had been secretly suffering because you could not agree with my views about certain amusements and other things! Where I had been unfair and arbitrary, you were tolerant and unreproachful. Oh, I could read between the lines and see more than you said, and that you had been suffering, and that that was the reason your letters had been more repressed than usual lately. There was one little sentence in your letter that wrung my heart and made me feel like a brute. Oh, how I wanted to take you in my arms and kiss away your fears and comfort you.
And, my dear, I do want you to know that I don't want to impose my will upon yours - and please don't think that I care more for amusements - I don't care what they are - than for your good opinion and your happiness. I see now where I have been to blame in giving you wrong impressions from my letters lately. I've spoken about certain things in a matter-of-fact way that has led you to think I really care for them. Why, my dearie, you don't suppose for one minute that I'll try to get you to go to dances, or to play cards if you object, do you? Please, please, don't let these things trouble you again.
What have I done that would make you think I intended to set up my judgement and my will above yours in such matters? In the first place, I don't care enough about any of those things, though I can see now that you might very easily have got the opposite impression from my letters: and in the second place even if I did I would put them all aside if they were objectionable to you. Please don't let these things trouble you any more and if there are things about me or that I do which you don't like won't you please tell me about them? And it isn't only in these matters that I have been to blame.
I realize that I have been setting up my standard and expecting you to conform to it, without considering that very likely I have been doing things of which you disapprove, and not doing things that you think I should do. Not until this morning did it come to me that with greater reason, you might have been thinking the same things about me as I have been accusing you of. I don't want you to take what I said about preparing for married life as being my thought now. I merely mentioned that to show what my thoughts had been. Now I realize that, surely, if at any time in her life, a girl ought to be perfectly free to do as she likes before marriage, without criticism or restrictions from her lover. I didn't realize before how presumptuous it was on my part and how unwarranted.
I wonder now if I have made you understand a little of what I have wanted to say. It is so hard to say things right on paper. Oh, please, dearest, believe that I am sorry for having wronged you in my thought, and that I do love you very dearly and that I want to learn how to shield and cherish you. I think you would understand if I could only press my lips to yours, my own darling
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 9, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
Mama had a bad headache to-day, so a goodly share of the washing fell to my lot. .... About half-past four a young man came, looking for dad. He wanted work. I asked him in and he told me a pretty hard tale. He’d walked from the Falls to-day and hadn’t had anything to eat. I wanted him to sit down and let me get him something hot to drink, but he wouldn’t, said he was too disgusted with himself to eat. ... I felt very sorry for him. I’m rather skeptical of applicants as a rule, but I believe he was telling the truth. ...Hazel sent me her book of cake recipes to-day, also a salad recipe. She wants me to go to Toronto at Easter and go to hear the Quinlan Opera or Forbes-Robertson, or both, with her. Then she wants me to go home with her. She wants me to send her some towels and a nightgown to work for me. I'd like to go down at Easter, but I guess I can't. I'm going to Brantford, if I go any place, to visit my cousin. I've promised for a couple years, and have never got there yet. I think I'll put off our "affair" for a while and go all the places I want to go...
I'm anxious to hear about the house. How near are the other houses? I'm afraid to stay alone, all alone. I hope there'll be people close by.
Don't worry about me being sick. If I were, the folk would write to you and so you’d know. Mama says for you not to be such a “calf.” I’m sort of glad you are though.My poor old chap, I'm sorry you went letterless for so long. It won't be very long until I'll give up writing to you, will it? Good-night, my dearest. I've been having nice talks with you to-day.
Fred to Evelyn
Tuesday evening Mar. 10 1914
My dear kiddie, -
I'm all alone. After dinner I went to Fritz's for about an hour to talk over some business with him. Then we chatted generally for a short time. Elizabeth was entering her calling book the names of women who called on her today, for this was her last receiving day of the season. I never knew before that being sociable was such a cold blooded business. She has a record kept of everyone who calls on her and the dates when she returns the calls. Today there were 27. It must be a terrible task to keep track of so many and see that none are overlooked. I suppose this is really the only way the thing can be done but I should prefer to call only on those people I really care for.
Did you know that when a lady calls she is supposed to leave not only her own card but two of her husband's as well? That is a new wrinkle to me but Elizabeth assured me it is the correct social usage. Imagine having my name decorating the card plates of drawing rooms all over the city! I guess there's a good deal for me to learn about these things, isn't there?
I left Fritz's about nine o'clock intending to go to the office to work for a couple hours, but first I went to the P.O. hoping to get a letter, as there hadn't been any this morning. But there wasn't. Then I changed my mind and came home and found everyone else out. Most of the boys - and I guess Miss Rogers too - went to the theatre to hear Martin Harvey, the great English actor, who appears in a dramatization of The Tale of Two Cities. They say it's great. I'd like to see him portray Sidney Carton.
About a year ago at the anniversary services of Central Church Bishop Quale gave a lecture on Sidney Carton which was wonderfully thrilling. You have read the book haven’t you? Harvey will be here tomorrow night also but I’m not going, for I have been our too much and must stay in and do some work for the next week.
I definitely told Brownlee today that I wouldn’t take the debate, and he has roped Fritz in. Fritz was working at it tonight when I arrived.
You have read the book haven't you? Harvey will be here tomorrow night also but I'm not going, for I have been out too much and must stay in and do some work for the next week. I definitely told Brownlee today that I wouldn't take the debate, and he has roped Fritz in. Fritz was working at it tonight when I arrived.
You wonder when I'll know whether or not we can go abroad. I'm pretty sure I'll know definitely before the end of this month. As things look now, we ought to be able to make it. I'll let you know, dearie, just as soon as I can, but I think you had better make preparations on the assumption that we will go. I haven't thought about where we'd go if we don't go abroad. As for myself I'd rather not go to any cities. I'd like to go our into the open somewhere - where there's woods and water.
I guess in the back of my mind has been a sort of subconscious desire to go up north to Muskoka or Temagami but if you don't like these places, how would you like to go down the St Lawrence to Quebec, and then out into rural Quebec or up the Saguenay? They say the trip up the Saguenay is very picturesque and beautiful, and the whole region around Lake St John.
The only objection I see to this is that it is becoming a favorite resort of tourists and we'd like to avoid tourist crowds wouldn't we, dearest? Now I've made some suggestions. You tell me what you would like, though as I said before, I hope we'll not have to adopt any plan except our first one of going across the Atlantic.
I wish we could have the wedding earlier if we go abroad, for I do so want you to see England in June. Neither July nor August show her at her best. But if you can't arrange it earlier there's no use talking about it. Perhaps it's selfish but I was hoping that by having it earlier you could avoid having conference delegates altogether. I'm so afraid, dearie, that if you have the work which conference delegates will mean, added to the preparations for the wedding, you'll be overworked and completely fagged out when the day comes, and then you'll not be well enough to enjoy our honeymoon.
Don't you think, that under the circumstances, you could be excused from having many people stay at your place? Or if you can't, wouldn't it be best to have a very simple wedding and invite fewer guests? Please don't misunderstand me, dearie, I don't want to dictate, for the wedding is your affair and I don't want to interfere with your wishes in any way, but I am so afraid you and your mother will be overworked and tired - and if that is the case, Elleda will not be able to say of our wedding as she did of Ora’s that is the nicest she ever attended.
There’s one other point about the date, but I am at the end of my paper so will talk of it tomorrow night.
With my heart's love
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 10, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
Your real estate talk, for the first time, has interested me. If you like that lot, and the locality, why don't you get it? I like the idea of being along the river, though of course dad says it overflows its banks. That's what he says every time I mention the river. Is the lot near Fritz's? And is it the same one you spoke of some time ago in connection with Mr. Orde?...
I don't know what to do about my clothes. If we go abroad, I'll get a comparatively cheap suit this Spring, because it won't be any good anyway when I get back, and get a good one in the Fall. If we don't go, I can get one now that will do for fall too. Also, if we go, I won't want light summer dress, I'll need darker ones. So what shall I do? To-day mother made arrangements with the dressmaker to make my wedding-dress, though she doesn't know that's the kind it's to be. It seems as if the time's getting pretty close, doesn't it? ...
I have to go over to the Bakers to practise for a Missionary Mock Trial. I think we ought to go to church instead, but the date was set before the meetings began, and it's been hanging on since last fall. There were so many things on we had to drop it for a while.
Must get my wrap on and go now. Don’t wait for me to see that lot, if you think it’s suitable. Good night my sweetheart.
P.S. I always liked "She was a Phantom of Delight." And now you quote it to me. It is my dream coming true. E.
Fred to Evelyn
Wednesday Evening Mar 11/14
... Did I tell you that I am taking scalp treatments again? Once a week I have a half hour session with Madame Belmont and I'm supposed to put an ointment on my head every night. The ointment is one of her own special preparation and is greasy yellow stuff. I don't know what the ingredients are except that sulphur is much in evidence. This horrible stuff to wash off in the morning and I have to rely upon Miss Roger's good offices, else I'd be going to the office with small yellow particles of dried sulphur besprinkling my scanty locks. I can't exhibit any "Before and After" using pictures that would be of much use for advertising purposes, but whether this treatment prevents hair from falling out or grows new hair or not, it certainly has made my scalp feel better and has put more life in my hair than it has had for a long time.
I changed my mind and went to see Martin Harvey tonight in The Only Way after all. Carson & Edmanson and some others went last night and their reports were so enthusiastic. I decided to go too. Carson said, "It is the last word in acting." This added to my desire to see Sidney Carton who is one of my favorite Dickens' characters portrayed on the stage decided me, so Tait and I engaged seats this morning. We have just returned and while I know it is easy to speak in superlatives, I can only say that I never enjoyed any play more than this - not even The Passing of the Third Floor Back which the great Forbes-Robertson opened the Sherman theatre more than two years ago.
Last night there was a full house and tonight, every seat, loge, and box was full, - something I don't remember ever seeing before, even when Forbes-Robertson was here. I have been wondering how much of the applause was for the acting and how much a tribute to Sidney Carton's wonderful act of self sacrifice. The acting was brilliant, without one weak spot. I can't imagine anything which could give a better idea of the awful race hatred and vengeance and uncontrolled passions of the people at the time of the French Revolution. Sufficient detail was given to do this, and yet not enough to make the play too horribly realistic. As it was, many women wept.
The play was long, commencing at 8.30 sharp - and lasting until 11.15, but there was not one dragging moment. Oh it was wonderful - and then the final tableau on the Guillotine platform when Carton says, "It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have done. It is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have known!" Tonight surely is an answer to those who say the people will not patronize good things. Oh my dearie I'm longing for the time when we can see some good plays like this together.
Today has been very warm and tonight there's a chinook arch which presages warmer weather still for tomorrow. ... This would have been an ideal day for a long ride. You are going to learn to ride, dear, aren't you? That will put roses in your cheeks better than any amount of iron or oil. Poor little girlie! Aren't you working too much? I can hardly wait for the time when I'll take you away from it. This has been another letterless day but I know it hasn't been loveless, has it? Not from your Rusty anyhow
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 11, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
... Are you going to give me a Victrola, or am I going to give you one? I used to think it wasn't fair to give presents to a person that weren't exclusively for that one's use. But I've changed my mind. Things that can be shared are appreciated most, aren't they.
I've just been thinking that this fall we'll plant a lot of bulbs and have them out in flower to give away for Christmas. And early in the spring, we'll plant seeds and have plants ready to set out as soon as it gets warm enough. Oh, I want that place by the river. We must have loads of hollyhocks. Did you know that scarlet runner beans are good to eat? We can have them climbing up the verandah and all I'll have to do will be to pick them.
I've found a picture I like for a dress. It's blue, trimmed with pink, and there's a cute little pink figured vest. It isn't light blue, pretty dark in fact. Of course you'll like it because it is pretty. ...
I think the Temperance people are going to try to upset the vote. They really won all right but every chance was given for dirty work. I know one place, and doubtless the others were the same, where the Returning Officer didn't furnish wax to the District Returning Officer with which to seal his box. Things like that don't happen at a political election, and the D.R.O.'s didn't muddle things as they did through ignorance. The Returning Officer is a whiskey man, and of the D.R.O.'s he chose, all but him are like him.
... Today was a great day, and tonight is splendid. The moon is full, It is so bright and sunny now-a-days, yet cold, that it is a pleasure to be out. It isn’t so cold that our windows are frosted though. Did I tell you about the snowbank I found in my room when I got up one morning last week?
This is all tonight dearest.
Fred to Evelyn
Thursday Evening, Mar. 12/14
... It has been very warm today, and is this evening. ... Well it was a halcyon time for the ladies who were out in full force gazing at the spring styles displayed in the shop windows. I haven't seen such crowds of shoppers on the streets for a long while. Even to my inexperienced eye the windows did look attractive. As a rule I can't tell whether I like dress goods until I see them made up, but, really, the stuff looks far better unmade than distorted into some of the shapes in which it is exhibited by women on the streets these days. I don't want to interfere, dearest, in matters of dress but I do hope you don't wear slit skirts - at least not deeply slit ones or some of the other immodest styles that are now in vogue.
Did I tell you about the azalea we bought for the office. I wish you could see it - it’s a perfect blaze of color. The buds are nearly all out now and it is a beauty. The girls take a great pride in it and water it regularly. There are several other nice little plants in the office and they brighten it a great deal.
I felt sleepy this evening, so I lay down on the couch for an hour. Then I went upstairs and rubbed my scalp with Madame’s ointment. I’m supposed to do this every night but I have been a little remiss. It’s quite a bother to put on and a still greater one to get off.
I got out a number of your old letters and read them. I have had only five in the last two weeks - none today - and when I don't hear from you, the day doesn't seem right. But your old letters brought you very near to me again. I picked out some that were most personal and it seemed as if you were right here talking to me. Oh, my dearie, how I wish we were together.
About our wedding day. I said night before last that there was something else I wanted to say. It is this. If we go abroad we'll not want to have much of an interval between the wedding day and the day we sail shall we? For when we come back we shall have to spend some time shopping etc. and if we cut some time off the beginning our time abroad will be very short, so I thought it would be best if should allow for one day in Quebec but, except for that, to leave directly for our trip. How would that suit you?
It would be awfully nice to be married on your father's birthday, but if we follow out the first plan we'll have to set the date having regard to the sailing date of our boat. I think this can be arranged to fit in with Monday June 15th but am mentioning it in case it doesn't. In the latter case what would you prefer to do? Would you like to have the wedding on the 15th anyhow? Oh, I'll be glad when I'll not have to send kisses by letter.
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 12, 1914
My Dearest Rusty,-
This is the fourth letter for me tonight, two of them composed of two double sheets. I did the three in an hour and a half, I didn’t go to church tonight - which accounts for my unwanted leisure. ...
I've been alone most of the day. ... I'm just getting accustomed to living without you, because I won't really see much of you now will I? At meals, and from six until bed-time, Saturday afternoons, all day Sunday and holidays. We won't have much chance to get tired of each other's company, will we? ...
Kiren Lukes heard of our engagement and wants to know if it’s to me, so that she can contribute towards our “setting up.” It’s funny, and yet it’s mighty nice to think people care enough about you for that. Kiren is a fine girl. I had a lovely time the Sunday I spent at her place. Her mother said I had mouse-coloured hair, I didn’t like that, and moreover, I didn’t believe it. She said Keren’s was too.
Yes, I knew Ken Beaton slightly. I used to get cross at the way he did things. He'd spend his time in outside work, and then dope himself to get through his exams. His health won't last long at that rate. I really admire him. ...
So you don't want me to learn to "tango" or "hesitate"? I should like to see the things anyway. Edith and Susie gave us an exhibition of turkey-trotting once, and bumped against the table that held a lighted lamp and a hand-painted jardiniére. But no damage resulted, strange to relate.
It's after ten, I'm really sleepy, my neck aches, ...
Fred to Evelyn
Friday Evening Mar. 13/14
My dear little colleen,-
I'm sorry, but the Irish isn't strong enough in me yet to make me remember when St Patrick's day comes around. I thought of it a couple of weeks ago and decided to send you an Irish card for a reminder but here I've let the last day go by without sending any and now it will be too late to arrive in time for the 17th. Some day you'll teach me to be a better Irishman won't you, sweetheart?
I'm staying in the whole evening. Have given my scalp its daily plastering and now am going to write you and my long-delayed letter to Ora. ... Tonight for dinner we had ham and eggs. Eggs are now down to 35¢ and as we are all very fond of them we intend having them frequently.I do wish you were fonder of eggs. I think that people working indoors usually eat far too much meat ...
This morning’s mail brought 3 letters, - Thursday’s, Friday’s and Sunday’s which was a nice long one. I had begun to wonder what was wrong that I hadn’t heard from you for so long but I guess your mother must have carried some other letters in her handbag when she should have posted them. I didn’t get time to read the one until nearly noon, for I had an early appointment which broke into the middle of my reading of your Friday letter. Then I had an examination for discovery that lasted all morning. But the letter wasn’t any the less good because it’s reading was delayed. I was so glad to get them and to know that you hadn’t been ill. ...
Did you know you are an aunt - or almost one? Got a card from Bill [Albright] today saying they have a baby boy. It does beat everything, the number of babies that have been born this winter. It seems as if nearly every young married couple of any acquaintance has had a baby within the past 3 or 4 months. I'm not exaggerating really, - but there has been an unusual number here in Calgary at any rate. And I haven't heard of but one case of illness or death. The young ten day's old baby boy of Mr. Orde's died yesterday. (Mr Orde is manager of the Union Bank, where I deal)
This is a hurried scrawl, I know, dear but I want to write to Ora & Maggie yet.
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 13, 1914
My Dearest Friend,-
... So you want to go riding before breakfast! Um! That means getting up in the dim, misty ages of five or half-past. Well, all I can say, is that if you succeed in getting me up at that time you'll deserve all the pleasure you can get afterward. Moreover, I'm thinking the that little task will be all the exercise you'll require. Why, I'd have to go to bed at half-past eight in order to get enough sleep. There again you'd have difficulty-, because it's agin my principles to go to bed early. I perceive a rosy future for you. How do you enjoy the prospect?
No, father hasn't anyone helping him in the meetings. He doesn't like evangelists. Neither do I. The meetings aren't very well attended, but they are better this week than last. By my letters you'll see that I haven't always gone, sixty per-cent is my average. ... Now I must go to get ready to go. ...
I've been at choir practice and am as raspy as a saw. I have a solo and a solo and duet and quartet, or at least, the last three are all in one, and I have most of the work to do. The quartette is very pretty. The girl who sings alto has a lovely voice and we need her very much, but I think she left because she and another girl in the choir don't like each other.
Oh, by the way, have you had your settlement in your firm yet, and what did they say when you gave your order? You said it was to be settled when somebody came back from some place, but I forget who it was from where. ...
... I'm tired. I sang till my back, legs and all the organs used in deep breathing were utterly wearied. I haven't been doing enough correct breathing in my singing lately, and when I have to, I show the result of lack of practice. Those horse-back rides will make me breathe deeply, won't they.
... Good-night my friend. Prosaic you are not, else how could I come to you with these thoughts, which are not of the noon day, but of the moonlight and bewitching shadows?
Fred to Evelyn
Saturday evening Mar 14/14
Is your Tuesday letter, which I’ve just been reading, a silent rebuke to me for the illegibility of my writing? I never knew you could write so nicely and at first I thought someone else must have written for you and I was preparing myself for a disappointment at not getting a letter from you, but I soon saw I was mistaken. Does this sound unkind? It isn’t meant to be. I know, dearie, that my writing has been nothing but disgraceful scrawling but when I write fast I don’t seem able to do differently. ...
It’s very nearly midnight. After dinner I called with Percy at J.M. Carson’s for about 20 minutes and we had a few Victrola records. Then I went out to Oaten’s partly on pleasure and partly on some business I am attending to for Mrs. O. senior. I stayed until a little after ten then went to the P.O. where I got your Tuesday letter, and my western weekly Law Reports. ...
The boys have been remarking upon the exuberance of my spirits for the past two days. They don't know what the reason is, but when I get nice intimate letters from you it seems almost as if you were here. I wonder if you feel happy on the days when I do. I've noticed several times when you said you were thinking very much of me I was doing the same with you.
You said you talked to me a lot last Monday. That was the brightest day I had for quite a long time and you were very dear and very near to me in thought that day. I do believe our hearts speak to each other across the distance that separates our bodies don’t you, sweetheart? Do you feel sometimes as if you didn’t want to do anything but call me by endearing names and caress me? That’s the way I often feel towards you, - and tonight is one of the times.
Somehow my heart seems bubbling over with happiness tonight and I don’t want to talk about anything else but just to clasp you close and press my lips to yours and tell you how much I love you and how sweet and beautiful and dear you are. My own darling little kiddie, I want you so much and I want you right now.
At this hour you are fast asleep. I wonder if you are dreaming of me. It seems as if my thoughts must be finding a response in you, -you seem so near. I’m so thankful June is coming close. Then we can talk face to face and when my tongue can’t say what I would have you know, - my heart beats will make you understand.
Goodnight my own dear sweetheart.
Fred to Evelyn
Sunday evening Mar. 15/14
My dearest Evelyn,-
... This morning’s sermon was given by Charlie Bishop Canadian General Secretary of Y.M.C.A’s on “applied Christianity,” and it was excellent. It is his brother who is assistant pastor at Central now. Charlie himself was assistant pastor here 8 years ago, immediately preceding Bob. Pearson who is in the Y.M.C.A. work now too. After Charlie left Central he started Wesley Meth. church here, which now has the second largest Meth. congregation in the city. I knew him at College, for he was taking B.D. work when I was in my first year.
In my time he was looked upon as one of the best men Vic had turned out, and subsequent events have justified the expectations of his college days. I enjoyed the service this morning very much.
How did you like the S.S. lesson today on Sabbath Observance? I try to avoid a discussion of controversial subjects like this as much as possible, but today I couldn't very well get away from it. We had a very interesting discussion in which expression was given to diametrically opposed views. I don't know that my own met with the approval of everyone.
I tried to emphasize the fact that Christ desired the true Sabbath spirit rather than the strict observance of the letter of the law when the two come into conflict. I said the Sabbath was a man-made and a God-blest institution and that we should be very slow to judge people who appear to us to be violating the laws of the Sabbath.
I fully recognize the present day danger of looseness in Sabbath observance - that it may tend to total non-recognition of the Sabbath, but on the other hand it seems to me that many people have set up artificial human standards of Sabbath observance which are quite at variance with the principle Christ was trying to teach.
The Sabbath has a two-fold function it seems to me. - It is a day of rest, and a day of worship. Sometimes we are so intent upon the second that we quite overlook the first and then because of our missing the “rest” part our worship is only formal and not real. ...
And so, dear, with your "testifying," I agree with you that if you really dislike to do it, it is better not to else it is mockery. I believe in the efficacy of spoken testimony but only when it comes from someone who feels impelled to speak. I believe I think it is good - not merely because the founder of our church enjoined it, and I do believe that many of the forced, formal testimonies which bear on their face the imprint, - "I'm doing this because I feel I ought to" do more harm than good, oftentimes they give me the shivers.
On the other hand the testimonies with a message grip and help one. No, no, dearie, don’t let anyone convey to you that you are wicked because you don’t feel like expressing your religion in certain stereotyped forms that other people use. You know you aren’t wicked. I know you are one of God’s good women and you are as near being an angel as I want my wife to be in this world.
So you are anxious for me to buy that lot. Well, if I had the money lying loose I would, but at the present time I haven't, and I don't see any prospect of getting it for some time to come. Going abroad will take all our spare cash, dear, and I don't think it would be wise to borrow to invest even if it is a snap for in any event we couldn't build for a year at least and the use of the money in that time would be worth more than the increase in value of the lot. If I had money to loan I could easily make 25% per year at the present time on first class security and I figure that it will be cheaper better to have the use of the money and then buy when we are ready even if we do have to pay more for the land. There will be other lots available along the river later on.There will be other lots available along the river later on. I do think you would like the location, and what your father says about the river overflowing is all "guff." It is true the whole of Elbow Park was flooded once several years ago, but that was due to a cloudburst and not the ordinary spring freshets. No, this isn't the same lot that Mr. Orde wanted me to buy some time ago, but it is only about half a block away. ...
Why do you say "for the first time your real estate talk interests me?" I don't remember that I have ever mentioned real estate in my letters before, have I? I haven't done anything about the other house either. I mean the one beside Brownlee's? The owner has not decided whether to rent it or not. Why do you call it a little house? It is quite a good sized house, if it is in the bungalow style.
No, it is not all alone. Two others are right beside it. Brownlees’ and Mr. Frames’s. Mr. Frame is a civil engineer with the G.T.P. and there are several other houses not far away. Of course it has electric light and water, and will have gas before the end of the summer. I'm going to keep my eyes on it.
I guess you don't realize dearie, the difference between the cost of building here and in the east. It will be impossible to build here in a locality that we want and the sort of house we'd want for less than $6,500 or $7,000, for house and lot. So you see why I don't want to build right away, but like you I want to get our own house as soon as we can.
I’m sorry, dearie, that you and Hazel didn’t get along very well during her visit. I don’t know why. except that from what you have told me I have formed a very high opinion of her, and I was hoping you would “make up” the estrangement which you told me about last summer.
Your Sunday’s and Tuesday’s letters are very dear. Weren’t you feeling better when you wrote them than you had for the week or two previous? For a while there seemed a restraint and constraint about your letters that I couldn’t account for. But these last are like your own sweet self: They don’t contain so very many loving words, but somehow there’s an intimacy and an atmosphere of love about them that was lacking before.
I agree with you, darling, about pointing out each other’s faults. We can do it kindly can’t we, and we’ll understand that we are not merely criticising each other but that it’s because we love each other and we are doing it for our self-improvement?
Of course we both have faults but if we always point them out to each other kindly, let us promise that we’ll try to profit by it, shall we?
Are you afraid of appendicitis dear? Because if you are I wish you'd be operated on for it as soon as possible after we get back from our wedding trip, will you? I have been at Roy Edmonson for a long time, because he is troubled with it a good deal and if he doesn’t undergo the operation now, perhaps he’ll be attacked sometime when he is in poor general health and other conditions are unfavorable just as Shouldice was a couple years ago, - and big strong healthy fellow as he was he had a bad time while if he had taken the thing earlier the operation wouldn’t have been serious at all.I'm glad you are feeling and looking "weller" - and also that your pock marks are disappearing. You know I'd love you just the same if you weren't beautiful don't you dear, but I'm proud of you and I want you to be beautiful for your own sake.
Will you think me immodest, dearie, if I ask you another question? It is this. My real concern about the date of our wedding day, more than for any other reason was so that our ocean trip would come at a time when you are well. I didn't like to speak of this, and so I merely asked about the date in a general way, but you'll not misunderstand me, will you? If you are a poor sailor, I want to take every precaution against you becoming sea-sick, for if you aren't seasick the voyage will be delightful beyond your greatest expectations but if you are, it will be a blot upon your happiness.
I think if one is in normal health there is far less danger of seasickness than if one in unwell or upset in any way. So I wanted you to make sure as you can that you will not have any illness about that time. Have you thought of that in deciding upon a date? You are not angry with me for speaking about this, are you?
Must go now for my nightly plaster. You have been very near to me lately. I hope you will be all week.
Goodnight. With love from
Fred to Evelyn
Monday Evening Mar. 16/14
My dearest Nora,-
Everybody seems to be obsessed with lassitude lately. I guess it's Spring fever, - for spring is certainly coming. Yesterday was a windy dusty day but today has been bright and nice. I did intend to go down to the office this evening but after dinner I decided I'd stay home. My office work is very far behind but so are my reports and I'm going to read some of them after I finish this letter. Perhaps I’ll write Margaret [Albright] too - I haven’t written to her for a long time.
Have you been thinking that I forgot all about my promise to send you a photo? I haven't, but I do dislike sitting for a photo, and I kept putting it off from time to time. Do you know that I never willingly had more than two photos taken of myself alone? One was about 12 years ago and the other was my graduation photo. So I am having this one taken just to please you, dearest. Yes, I was "took" last Saturday. I got the proofs tonight and have been getting expressions of opinion from the various members of the household to assist me in choosing which to take, - for the photographer took 4 different sittings. We are almost unanimous in our first choice. I hope it suits you, sweetheart, I was looking at you and thinking of you where it was taken. The finished pictures should be ready in a few days and I'll send you one. Perhaps it will reach you in time for my birthday.
Did I tell you I received an announcement of Harold Smith’s wedding? It occurred on the 11th. I thought they would stop off at Calgary on their way east, but they must have been in a hurry and have passed through during the night for I’ve had no word from them except the announcement.
Why do you ask if I expect to wear a silk hat? What else could I wear with a frock coat? Really I can't say how I look in one for I've never worn one yet. Of course I know I would look better in one if I were bigger, but I can't help that now.
Speaking of clothes, yesterday some of us were discussing what clothes it would be necessary to take on a trip abroad and Tait was arguing the necessity of taking dress clothes in case we were invited out to dinner somewhere or happened to be staying at some fashionable hotel. But I don't want to, do you? Of course if we go first class we'd have to,and that is one reason why I don't want to go first class - not because I object to dressing for dinner, but because my little experience in travelling has taught me that one of the secrets of enjoyment lies in reducing luggage to the minimum - and I don't want to be dragging dress clothes along with me on a summer's trip when we'll be moving about nearly all the time, do you?
How much luggage do you want to take, dearie? I know a woman has to have a great deal more than a man and in spite of what I've said I don't want you to think I'm trying to "skimp" you. I was thinking one steamer trunk and 2 suit cases and a club bag would be sufficient. My suit case is a very large one - one I bought in London when I was there before, and I'm sure it and a bag would hold my "good." How about yours? I was looking at trunks on Saturday when Robertson and I were in the "Bay." I saw a beauty - one of the patented, indestructible trunks - but the price! $63.00. Rather too high for our exchequer. I guess one about $25.00 will be more our size. But I do like to have such things good. There are lots of things I'd rather do without than get cheap. Are you like that too?
I don't know what to say about wedding guests, dearie, honestly I don't. There are very few of my college friends in the east whom I care about. The only one I would suggest is Harold Smith and his wife. How would it be to invite them if they are around instead of Reg? Or is Reg a particular friend of yours? I don’t think I’d add to the number of my freundschäft which you have enumerated except that I’d kind of like you to invite Hugh. It seems as if he is always left out of things. And how about John? I’d like to invite have him invited unless you’d rather not. Do you think, dearie, he would not want to come?I haven't thought much about ushers, but I guess I'd rather have Ray and Wray than anyone else - that is unless I have to have Ray for best man. I'd rather not have any best man. I want to be best man myself. I'll have to think these things over and write about them later.
Meanwhile duty calls to the daily anointing of my head with oil.
Good night dearie.
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 16, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
I won't get very much written because I was reading. I wanted to see if it was fit for your innocent mind. I am sending two parcels by the same mail as this, and if they arrive before your birthday, you're to curb your curiosity and leave them unopened until the proper time. ...
... You should see the gorgeous Chinese robe I have for my gown - mauve figured silk with wonderful embroidery on it, and great big sleeves. I think it is a Mandarin's coat, but I'll wear it anyway. Now I must wrap up the parcels and go to bed. We are going out to the country tomorrow. The roads are pretty muddy.
Hope you've got my letters. My dear, dear one, good-night.
Fred to Evelyn
Tuesday Evening, Mar 17/14
My dearest Evelyn,-
... St Patrick was honored at our office today - not that there are so many Irish among the staff but once the spirit started everyone joined in wearing of the shamrock, and in all appropriate celebrations. Even I wore a sprig of the green in my buttonhole, something I don't remember ever doing before - but it was in honor of a little bright-eyed Irish colleen, who fondly calls me Rusty.
How have you spent the day sweetheart? I haven’t decided about my photos yet. Do you know what I am thinking of doing? I’ve a notion to get only two finished of the one sitting, so there’ll be one each for you and mother - no one else and then I’ll get some of a different sitting finished for other people. I want you to have one that will be all your very own and that you’ll never see anywhere else except at mother’s.
So you are wicked enough to want to know what the "tango" and "hesitation" waltzes are like. I'm surprised to think you should so far forget your sense of what is proper. Why, next thing you'll be asking me to take you to a cabaret in London or Paris! And you a minister's daughter! Shocking! I don't want to "see life" as it is called simply to know what other people are doing, but I don't think it is wicked to observe social customs of our own foreign peoples.
You know, dearie, I'd never want to take you anywhere where you'd have to blush, but I am looking forward to the time when we can see a little of the gaiety of the world together. And you don't know how glad I am that you will be seeing so many things for the first time with me. Now you have waited so long, that is if you don't accept Hazel's invitation for Easter, to go to the Quinlan's Opera or Forbes- Robertson, I hope you'll wait and see your first play in a theatre, and hear your first opera with me. Oh won't we have good times enjoying things together?
Weather like that of the past couple of weeks has given me the riding fever. I hope the time will come when we can keep a couple horses of our own. I have no desire for an automobile, have you? It’s all very nice to go to places in a hurry, but I’ve noticed that people with autos don’t take much exercise. Riding is both beneficial physically and enjoyable too. I want you to ride better than Elizabeth, dearie. She rides exceedingly well for one who never was on a horse before last year, but I know you can beat her at that as at almost everything else, can’t you sweetheart?
I’ve been thinking that one thing we must be careful about is to take lots of exercise. If we do that and have plenty of fresh air and live simply, we’re bound to have good health, aren’t we?
So you are thinking we'll not see much of each other after we're married? I guess a man doesn't realize how much alone a woman is during the whole day. The day seems so short at the office I can hardly believe closing hours come so soon. But I'm not going to leave you alone more than I have to dearie, I guess we'll be together as much as most married people. - Only about 3 months more!
Lovingly, your Rusty.
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 17, 1914
My Own Dearest,-
... I hope you'll get this on your birthday. I wonder what I can say to you that will gladden your heart most. I think it is this, that I thank God for you, that I feel that we can make the most of our lives by living them together. That has always been my ideal of marriage, that two souls should unite that they might thus become more beautiful.
I have not wanted to go to these meetings, but I feel I needed them, and tonight when they closed, apparently a failure, with a small attendance, I knew they had done me good. It is so easy to be selfish, is it not? I have complained too much about the work I have done at the church. Though some of it may be useless, it is better to do it that we may not miss some of the useful kind.
I have been thinking a great deal lately about my life next year, for it will be a great change. And I've come to this conclusion - that I'd rather put my energy into the church and kindred societies, than into any other thing. I know you will agree with me So let us not think how little we can do, but how much. It has been my claim that a woman can do as much good at home as she could if she were a missionary. She cannot without constant struggle. It would seem as if she would have more insidious temptations to lead her in by-paths - off from the main road to her goal.
We were out in the country to-day. Although it was muddy, it was grand to be out, sunny, warm and the sky so blue. Before we went I saw a five days old baby. It is a nice baby, but oh, I should not want a baby under such circumstances. Last March or April the girl ran away from home and married a young Italian. Her people opposed her marriage, and so she took the matter in her own hands.
For a time they lived at the Falls with his people, but her father and mother couldn't have her stay there, so they have been with them all winter. But they can't get over the fact that he's an Italian, and they do not love the baby as grandparents usually do, especially their first grandchild. It is not at all dark, fortunately.
How strong is our pride of race! And yet in a few generations it is certain that the races will be mixed. Mother says there won't be any more Canadians. I said we will be Canadians but no longer Teutons and Celts, but also Latins and Slavs. I cannot be glad at the thought, I think I'm an Anglo-Saxon, and I'm not a bit German, Irish and French. Isn't it funny? I wonder if the New Canadians will also still call themselves Anglo-Saxons?
May you have a happy birthday, but may next years be happier yet. Its only three months until I can kiss you really, my dear one.
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 18, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
If it were not for the fact that you'll be expecting a letter, I'd go on copying recipes. Hazel sent me her cake book some time ago, and I wanted to copy the recipes I want so that I can send it back to her before I go away. I have it done, but now that I'm in the mood for it I'd like to go through mother's book, and get what I want out of it. I made a roll-jelly cake to-day, but there was too much butter in it and it didn't roll well. I used good quince jelly in it, and it seemed rather extravagant. It's such very good jelly. There are two jars left, and I will really, I hope, save some until you come home. I have just been wondering if you can get maple syrup out there. ...
Mother says I’m to tell you, you’d better skip me and write to your mother oftener. I don’t like to think that I’m lessening her letters, and, honestly, I’d be glad for you to take her time out of mine, once a week, if you haven’t time for both. It isn’t right.
It does seem rather nice to have an evening at home. For about four weeks I haven't had any except Saturday and Sunday, and sometimes not then. Oh yes, I was home two nights, when I was tired. Tonight I finished a little embroidery while mother was playing. Then I played and she mended the stockings (which is usually my task).
We have a new book of Heart Songs, a collection of classical and popular old and new songs. It is an American collection, and I was remarking about the number of songs in it written about the Civil War. The more I think about that war, the more terrible it seems. I can scarcely find an excuse for war. Even national honour seems hard won at that awful cost.
... Papa went to a Temperance Convention at Welland to-day. They do not, by any means, intend to let the matter drop. They have nominated a third man for the Provincial House, a Conservative but one who has worked hard for the Act.. ...
Yes, I knew about calling cards. I think it is a silly custom, but we are slaves to it, you see. How terrible 'twould be if Elizabeth should forget some of her 37 callers - Ora's making herself sick, drinking tea and eating cake when she goes calling - she's trying to get her 85 done before the end of the month, for then the "season" closes.
Have not read Tale of Two Cities, but Martin Harvey was in St Kitts, and Edna Smith, who heard & saw him, told me about the play. Hope you got the two parcels. The gloves are from us. We sent some to Art too. The books are from me. I'm afraid you won't like them. They'll be more Education anyway.
Fred to Evelyn
Thursday Evening Mar. 19/14
Do you like mending? I've been getting a thorough overhauling from Miss Rogers. She was doing some sewing for herself and I though it a good opportunity to replace a button which had come off my vest. A little judicious praise of her cooking tonight brought forth a prompt offer of service, and so on my vest once more could boast an unbroken row of sentinels. The vest done, it was hard to resist showing some gaping wounds in my coat pockets ... I wonder if you'll like sewing on buttons and repairing time's ravages on your "hubby's" clothes. One thing I know if you had been Miss Roger's place tonight the sewing would not have been done so soon as it was. 'Cos why? There would have interruptions - their nature you may guess.
... Had a letter - or rather two letters from Ora and Art today containing a double-barrelled welcome to Strathcona for Easter. I hope nothing will occur to prevent my going. Art says Ora opens his letters anyway, so after this there is no use my writing to him. Isn't it terrible the way man's good nature is imposed upon after marriage? And the strange thing is the poor deluded benedicts don't seem to mind in one bit. If I can judge from Art's letter - he's very well pleased with the world, the flesh, and the devil - and his wife.
Had a very busy day and for and for the next week I'm going to be so rushed at the office I'll hardly know which way to turn. Next Monday we have an important case in the Supreme Court, and another one on Wednesday which may last a couple days. Mr Clarke will act as counsel in both cases but I'll assist him - The second case in quite involved and as yet he doesn't know any thing about it. I have to get all the evidence in shape. Today I was nearly the whole day in District Court. ...
You asked me whether I had made arrangements with the firm for this year. No, dear not yet. I told you we were waiting until Mr. Clarke should return from Ottawa where he was attending the session of the House of Commons. Well he came back a couple weeks ago but nothing definite has been done pending the government’s appointment of new judges, which will be made in a month at latest.
It looks now as if Mr McCarthy, who has been in Honolulu since Xmas will be one of the appointees. If so, there will be a change in the firm caused by his retirement and no permanent arrangements are being made until this matter is settled. I have discussed matters in an informed way with Mr Carson, ... I have told him that I want to leave about the first of June and that we are expecting to go abroad for our honeymoon, but no definite time limit has been fixed yet.Goodnight my own sweetheart.
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 19, 1914
My Dearest Fred,-
...Mama has gone to bed, and I’m going soon. I'm tired. I did quite a lot to-day. I haven't got that jelly made yet, the juice is draining. It is a long, messy job. I had a good dinner today. Beefsteak, mashed potatoes, browned onions, apple pudding. It was good pudding too, only I don't see however I'm going to cook just enough for two. I get too much for three. ...
I wish, I wish you were here, or I were there. I want to lie in your arms. I don't want anything else. I don't want you even to say anything. This is the 19th. It isn't three months.
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 20, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
What do you mean by skipping Sunday, and then never saying a word about it? There I was expecting a big Sunday letter, and I didn’t get any at all. However, I got the Monday missive the time Sunday’s usually arrives. ...
My ring is getting tight. My fingers swell up at night, so I have to wear it on my little finger then. You'd better take me with you when you get my other , so as to get it the right size, for they have to be larger than ordinary ones. I want it engraved - Ora's was too small, and the enlargement made the letters of the engraving too wide apart.
... Now about luggage. Mother says she thinks two suit-cases and a trunk should be enough. I was intending to take my bridesmaid's dress to wear on the boat, if I wanted a "best" dress, and then leave it in the trunk. You said we'd have some sort of headquarters, didn't you? I was counting on taking, besides it, four dresses and some waists. Dresses don't take up much room now-a-days. I'll have to have my heavy coat for the boat, and then another lighter one, besides my suit coat. So I won't need a whole trunk and a suit-case going over.
If Wray goes abroad, he’ll be gone before convocation, and they’re pretty sure of going. So you’ll have to think another think for usher. Mama too said we ought to have Hugh. If I have a "maid" you'll have to have a "man", and I'm pretty sure I'm going to have one. I must find out what is the proper kind of man when the maid is a matron-of-honour. I suppose you ought to ask me, who is to assist in the ceremony? I'm asking you because I don't care, and I rather thought you'd like Dr. Graham. But mind you, he's only an assistant.
There are some pretty houses in the last Journal. It won't be long before we'll be consulting plans will it dearest?
Fred to Evelyn
This has been an exceptionally busy day. This morning was filled up with appointments which I had to break because of unexpected calls. It seemed as if everything I had to touch this morning was a snarl or tangle. This afternoon was no better. I was at the court house the whole afternoon on an examination in the case that comes up for trial next Wednesday. My man made an ass of himself. I was so angry I could have shaken him.
Gordon Rutledge (‘09) came into town this morning and Fritz and Elizabeth and I went out to lunch with him at the “Bay.” Then he came home for dinner at the Hermitage this evening. He had made arrangements to go to Fritz’s afterwards for the rest of the evening.
I had made an appointment with a fellow named Garrett to meet me here at 8 o’clock to discuss next Wednesday’s Monday’s case. He came just as Rutledge was leaving. I was afraid Gordon might not be able to find Fritz’s house easily so I suggested to Garret[t] that he go along with us, intending to come back as soon as I had piloted Gordon to Fritz’s. But when we got there I thought it was foolish to bring Garrett back this way - for he lives farther out than Fritz - and so I took him in and we talked business in the library while the others visited in the living room. By ten o’clock we had finished. Then Fritz and I saw Gordon off on his train at 10.25.
He told a good joke on me. You remember I told you that I had dinner at their place in Winnipeg last summer on my return from the east. I stayed for the evening until about 10 o’clock. During the course of the evening Mrs. Rutledge yawned several times. And after I left she yawned so hard that she threw her jaw out of joint and they had to call the doctor to put it back in place. Isn’t that a pretty fine tribute to my powers as an entertainer? What do you think of the prospect of spending a whole life time with such a bore?
I was almost afraid to open your Sunday letter, (March 15, missing) which came this morning. What a delightful surprise was mine to get such a dear letter as you sent! If only you had been here to get some of the kisses I showered upon that bit of paper! Oh, my darling, I'll try never, never again to be jealous of anyone. I do know you love me very, very dearly or you couldn't have written such a forgiving letter after the way I had misjudged you. No I didn't really misjudge you but it looked as if I did. Deep down in my heart I knew you to be true and loving faithful, but I was unreasoning and unreasonable. But oh, I do love you above all else, even if I do appear harsh and exacting. You know that, don't you, dearest?
Such letters as your last bring you very close to me, but I wish you could give me that promised hug instead of loving words by letter. One touch of your dear hands and one kiss from your lips are worth more than all the letters you've ever written. Do you remember one night at Thorold you smoothed your hands ?? and tenderly over my face and you voluntarily kissed me several times? I wonder if I let you know how much I liked that, or many of the other delightful little ways you have.Everything you do seems to be a part of your own dear self and I love you for your very weaknesses. Oh, I think I can make you understand some day how dear you are to me, my own dear little kiddie.
Fred to Evelyn
Sunday Mar. 22/14
My own dear kiddie,-
I'm afraid you'll not fare very well for the next few days. I didn't write at all yesterday. I thought I would this morning, but I overslept and there wasn't time before church. Work is crowding very much for the coming week. ... I was working all yesterday afternoon and until midnight last night and when I came home my brain was the most wearied it has been for months. Hence no letter last night and I'm afraid there'll be much the same story for the next few days. Then to add to the rush, some time ago I made arrangements to take Fritzes and the Oatens to the last Symphony concert which will be on Tuesday evening, I have been intending to do this all winter, for I have accepted their hospitality a good many times and a bachelor can only return it in such ways.
There'll be a party of 8 for Mrs. Clarke, the elder Mrs O. [Oaten] and Miss Carey will be along. In a way it is a birthday party I'm giving, but I can't go tomorrow night, neither can Fritz, and besides, the last concert is likely to be the best, so it is arranged for Tuesday. I expect we'll have a nice time, but there will be one absentee who should be here for my complete enjoyment. It doesn't seem right, dearie, that I should have a birthday party without you here. Never mind, this will be the last one.
A little parcel came yesterday morning - yes I'll have to 'fess up and tell you I disobeyed your instructions and opened it almost as soon as I got home and found a lovely pair of gloves. I can't properly thank you, dearest, at this distance, but I'll make up for it when we're together. What a lot of unpaid debts I'll have to look after then. The gloves are dandy, and just what I've been needing. ...
Do you know, dearie, I never used to care very much to receive gifts, but since you have come into my life things are so different? Everything you send me, even the letters from day to day, remind me of the priceless gift of the heart and life which you have given into my keeping.
Your birthday letter came last night. I can't tell you how dear and sweet it was especially, after the rush and worry of the week. After I read it I just lay back in the big chair, with my eyes closed and dreamed of the time when we would be together and you would put your arms around my neck and smooth my brow with your soft little hands - and make me forget all about work and care - everything but just you.
...This evening I have to go to Singley’s for tea. I really wanted to stay at home to rest but I haven’t been at their place since Christmas and I knew Mrs. S. thought it strange and would possibly think I really didn’t care to go there any more if I refused. It is really shabby the way Ray and I have treated them since last fall. They were so good to us when we were there and we’ve hardly seen them for months.
Estelle Carey came Friday night and sang in church this morning. It was announced in the papers that she would sing both morning and evening, and the church was packed. ... After the sermon she sang "I'll Sing a Song, a Song of Trust," and it simply held the congregation spell-bound. I've never heard anyone who sings quite so easily and naturally as she does.
The choir gave a selection from Gallia Miss Carey taking the obligato solo. After church quite a number went out to Oatens for some more music. It was mostly a musical crowd. ... Oh, I often wish so much that I could sing or play or do something musical. I'd give more than I like to say if I could sing. I often hope, dearie, that our children may be musical and if they are let's give them every opportunity to develop their talent. No one can estimate the soothing healing and winning power of music.
It's terribly late and I have a very heavy day tomorrow so I must stop. Oh, how I longed for you to be with me tonight, my own little sweetheart!
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 22, 1914
My Dearest One,-
I don’t wonder that you sometimes feel neglected but this is almost the first opportunity I have had in two days to write to you. Yesterday I worked until five o’clock. Then I read the paper - I was too tired to write. Immediately after tea, mother and I took some things over to some needy people. I stopped at the church for practice. Fred Laughlin came up with me and stayed till eleven. ...
But what has been in my mind all day was and is this. Last night I dreamed of you, and to be perfectly truthful, it's only a few times I've done it. But last night you kissed me. And that's all I remember. But you have never really kissed me like that before. I know you will really when you come, and I can scarcely wait for you. I have been with you all day, haven’t you felt me.?
Mother says the sixteenth or seventeenth [June] would be best, but if the fifteenth would make better connections with the boat, we could have it then, but that is an awkward day. She’s just changed or made up her mind on that point.
I got your Sunday letter yesterday. It was a nice fine print, long one. I’m sorry you’re getting such a short one in return. What you said made me feel very queer, but I know you are very considerate to think of it.
I don't fully realize that I'm going to marry you. It seems as if you are still to be as you are, but that you won't know things I don't want you to. Why you’ll be as intimate with me as a girl.Honestly, there are lots of things I don't like about this partnership. But there is one thing I like well enough to outweigh these. Do you like to be called a thing?
Fred to Evelyn
Monday Evening Mar 23/14
Had a very busy day and feel pretty tired tonight. The case I expected to be tried today has been adjourned until Friday and may be settled in the meantime, but this respite didn’t give me any time to loaf in. ...
... I haven't had much time to think about this being my birthday. - I'd not have thought of it all day if it hadn't been for your gift which arrived today. I haven't read any of Yeats and so am particularly pleased with your choice. I just glanced at a few of his shorter poems this evening while dressing for dinner. They are different in style from those of any other poet I know. He is author of a new school isn't he?
My only celebration was a birth-day dinner at Oaten's. I thought I'd be late for I was detained late at the office, but Wilfred [Oaten] was late in coming home himself so I didn't keep them waiting. Mrs O. is just about the best natured person about meals that I know. He is often very late and she always keeps things waiting and never a word of complaint. And she prepares such tasty meals too.Had a very pleasant evening spent in talk, with a few songs by Miss Carey. She said some very nice things about you, dearie, with which of course I most heartily agreed. I don’t know whether to tell you what she said or not. I’m afraid it will make you vain. Yes I guess I will, - but not tonight for I’m very tired and sleepy, but still your very loving
Evelyn to Fred
17 Tisdale St.
Mar. 24, 1914
My Dearest Fred,
... The china is going to be lovely. A set of eight, cups and saucers, tea plates, bread and butter plates, a fruit dish and saucers, a long narrow sandwich tray and a vase. There are to be four different designs on the tea-set two of each. The three big ones are bunches of flowers, with a tiny one in between. The inside band is of gold. The flowers are to be daisies, roses forget-me-knots, and some other kind. The fruit dish has hops, the little ones blueberries, blackberries, gooseberries, currants. The sandwich tray is to have morning glories and the vase is to be done in blue and silver. I know you'll like them.
I'm sorry I didn't get a letter written yesterday, but I was on the go all the time. Margaret came in here with me for a while and Blanche, mother and I went down with her. I am now going to Mae Ireland’s.
Margaret said your birthday wasn't Saturday, but she said she didn't know when it was. Well, I won't make a mistake again, dearie.
Fred to Evelyn
Wednesday Evening, Mar. 25/14
My own dear kiddie,-
I guess you'll say the tables have turned. It was the merest scrap I wrote Monday and nothing at all yesterday. Even now I should be in bed for I need the rest although I don't feel sleepy. Today's case was, very luckily for us, postponed until tomorrow. We needed the extra time for preparation, and have been working on nothing else all day and until about twenty minutes ago this evening. (It's now about a quarter to twelve). The case is about the erection of a steel framework for a store and theatre building ...
I had my birthday party last night - consisting of the Moyer and Oaten families, and Miss Carey at the final Symphony concert.Everybody seemed to enjoy it and as a matter of fact the concert was one of the best of the season. Last night’s concert was one of popular choice an extra one over and above the number included in the season’s programme. At the second last concert a vote was taken of the various numbers which had been rendered during the season and last night’s programme was the selection of those which received the greatest number of votes. There were 4 of Greig’s 2 of Tchaikowskis, [sic] one of Wagner’s and I forget whose the others were. Oh, yes there were a couple from “The Tales of Hoffman” and Traumerie. [sic] I enjoyed the concert very much.
After the concert we all went to Cronn's cabaret for some refreshments. I wasn't quite sure how this touch of Bohemianism would strike Mrs Clarke, for she is very firm. I knew all the rest had seen the same thing, only more so in New York and other places. That was one of the diversions Fritz and Elizabeth took in on their honeymoon. Mrs Clarke looked on with a more or less doubtful expression but on the way home she confided to me she was glad of the chance to see what such places were like.
...Your letter with the pictures came today. Thanks very much. How do you like the camera? Something you said in a letter a couple days ago made me think it wasn’t working quite right.
... So your ring is becoming too tight! Can't we get it enlarged, dearie? I thought it was quite large enough when we bought it didn't you? All right, we'll go together when we get the wedding ring shan't we?
Poor little lonesome girlie! Do you know the night you wrote that letter last Thursday, [Mar. 19] I was thinking very much of you and was longing more than usual that we were together. Don't you believe our hearts speak to each other across the space that separates us? Never mind, dearie, I was just counting up the time tonight. It will be only about 10 weeks until we're together.
Must go to bed now. Goodnight my own dearest.
...So it is decided that the Glee Club is going to England is it? Wray wrote to Fred a couple weeks ago asking his advice about going. I don’t see why he should have hesitated at all, for it’s a wonderful chance to get a trip that he may not have the opportunity to take again for a long time. I wonder if we shall see him when we go over.
No I don't think we'll need more than one trunk, judging from the list of articles of apparel you have given me, but I notice you have mentioned nothing but dresses. Doesn't a woman have a bigger proportion of other clothes than men? However we’ll not worry about this until the time comes.It will soon be time for me to engage our passage. How long do you want between the day of the wedding and the date of sailing? I think it would be best to go directly except for a day in Quebec - and possibly a day or a part of a day in Montreal! What do you say dearie. Must go now Roy is waiting.
With love from Rusty.
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 25, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
... Things are pretty bad here in this city and are causing a great sensation. Since the exposure, three girls have committed suicide, and that one man, you know, what I talked to you about the last night you were home. You'll think me silly, and that I don't trust you, but honestly, I can't get it out of my head, and worries and angers me. It doesn't seem right to me that life should spring from an accident, only that's not the right word for it. But I can't see why if it's right, people should have to take so many precautions. You'll tell me not to worry and think about this and I try not to, but it has always bothered me.
I told papa to forward my letters, but I haven't had one to-day. I got one yesterday morning, the one you wrote in Chambers but there should have been yesterday noon's to-day.
Oh, my dearest, I love you very, very much, and I long so for you.
Your own Nora.
Fred to Evelyn [Calgary]
Thursday evening, Mar. 26/14
Once again I have to write a very short letter. I'm sorry, dearie, but after this week I'll not be so rushed. It's now a quarter to twelve and I've just returned from the office where I've spent most of the evening in settling the case that was on for trial tomorrow morning. Our client was suing for $10,000 and interest amounting to $700. We settled on practically our own terms, the defendants consenting to judgement for $10,500 and costs on condition that the time for payment be extended. It was a very good settlement for our man and he feels pretty good over it. ...
...Oh, I forgot to tell you, Fritz & Brownlee won their debate on the suffrage question last Monday night. The women were furious and nearly mobbed the judges. Of course Elizabeth was elated, in spite of the fact that her side was worsted in the argument - another example of the supremacy of heart over mind. I wonder, dearie, if you'll be glad of things for my sake, even if they sometimes conflict with your intellectual opinions.
Today I stepped on to the scales at the Hudson's Bay and weighed 158 in my ordinary clothes, without an overcoat. - I'm just holding my own though some people say I'm getting fat. How much do you weigh do you know? Heavy or no, I wish you were in my arms.
Fred to Evelyn
Friday evening, Mar. 27/14
My own dear kiddie,-
Sherwood Eddy is in the city today. He addressed the Canadian Club at noon and a mass meeting in Central Church tonight. I wanted ever so much to hear him, but it was absolutely impossible both times. At noon my time was short and I went to the Bay again with our client so that we could discuss the case. This evening, Mr. Drummond-Hay - a lawyer from Wpg. (Winnipeg) was up for dinner. I had to see him about some business matters and there was no other time as he had to leave town tonight. I thought I’d still have time to hear the tail end of Eddy’s speech but the crowd was coming out when I arrived. Fritzs’ were there and said it was the best speech on that subject they had ever heard. I’m awfully sorry I missed it.
It's now midnight and I can write only a little. I've been getting up of late at seven o'clock or earlier. On Sunday I mean to sleep in later and catch up a little in my sleep.
Mr. Drummond-Hay was married a year ago last summer and he and his bride spent their honeymoon abroad, too. He is connected with the Drummonds of Montreal, and had a private car and a private $750.00 suite on the boat - such class is a little beyond us, isn't it dear. But I believe we'll be happier if we don't travel in too much state. I was asking him about the cost and he thinks from $1,200 to $1,500 should cover everything. Aren't you getting anxious for the time, dearest?
I got your Sunday letter this morning. I think your letters are becoming dearer all the time. It’s so nice to have you say you are thinking about me. You ask whether I was thinking especially of you last Sunday. Indeed I was. Every Sunday I am with you and you seem nearer to me then than on other days. Only two and a half months more and we shall be really together.
Ever since I wrote that letter a week ago Sunday [Mar. 15] I have been afraid you'd misunderstand me, and I was so glad to find that you did not. Don't you think it speaks volumes for our love that we do not misunderstand each other more than we do?
Do you know there was one funny sentence in you letter - “Why you’ll be as intimate with me as a girl?” Isn’t that really reversing the order of precedence? Never mind, dearie I know what you mean, - and I love you the more because of your reserve. I only hope you don’t think I transgressed the proper bounds in saying what I did in that letter.
There are lots of things I want to say about our trip and wedding, but they'll have to wait until Sunday. I'm going to bed now.
Goodnight my own sweetheart.
Evelyn to Fred
122 Nelson St.,
Mar. 27, 1914
My Dearest Rusty,-
... You'll be thinking I have forgotten you again. This will be a good chance to try you out after your recent outbreak. That isn't really my object though, dearie. We got up very late this morning and just got the breakfast dishes done in time to go uptown for dinner. ...
We were going to the Ryerson’s both yesterday and to-day, but it poured both times. This afternoon I went a couple blocks with Marguerite Baker, a girl who was in my year, to see her sister and her twins. Her sister married Archie Harley. I don’t know whether he was at Vic or Varsity. He is in law with his father here. They have a very nice home, and the babies are cute too, but oh my, one’s enough at a time. Harry, my cousin-in-law, was saying he read about a couple who had two pairs of twins and one of triplets. The people are taking up a subscription for them. Eva says that’s just encouraging them.
We have been talking about life insurance. I was going to take out an endowment last year, and I want one for my father and mother.
When I got here yesterday there were three letters from you, and I got one Monday morning before I left. Tuesday and Wednesday seemed lacking in something. Oh, I must tell you about the clothes I got Wednesday.
... it's time to go to bed. I'll write tomorrow morning, I hope. ... Sorry, dearie, I thought to write more. But there's heaps of love.
Fred to Evelyn
Sunday, Mar. 29/14
I didn't write yesterday. All morning we worried away at the same old case which looks better for us as we proceed. ... All my work is stacked up at the office and I was trying to get a little order out of the chaos yesterday afternoon, but I didn't make much progress. I went out to lunch with Drummond-Hay who stayed over until tonight then I had some business with him that occupied a good deal of the afternoon.
Last evening Fitch had a little dinner party at his apartments. Two of the stenographers from the office went up in the afternoon and prepared the dinner which was really very fine. There were 17 11 guests all from the office staff and later in the evening there were cards. I couldn’t stay as I had made another engagement for the evening with Drummond-Hay so I left immediately after dinner. I meant to go to bed early last night but it was just a few minutes before midnight and I felt very tired. I feel very much the same way today. I didn’t get up until after ten but I managed to get to church though ten minutes late. Bishop preached, and gave an excellent sermon.
Didn't feel in very good shape for S.S. for I felt "dopey" but as is often the case, the lesson turned out to be very interesting and we had one of the best discussions yet.
You have heard me speak of Mr. & Mrs. Charlie Adams and their little son. He's a fine sturdy little chap about two years old. They had him out to church today for the first time and then afterwards he walked home with his daddy while I went with Mrs Adams. Both Mr & Mrs A. are very stout, and David is taking after them both. He's a beautiful boy and the picture of perfect health. I don't know that I ever saw anyone more proud of a baby then they are of him. Mrs A. has a soft spot in her heart for me because I carried him once when he was teething and she was very tired.
... About our wedding, - I guess the 17th would be most suitable. I'll make arrangements as soon as I can for our booking and then will let you know definitely. But it seems to me Monday would be an awkward day.
You expect Ora to be home do you? From what she said when in Calgary I inferred that she didn't expect to be able to go home before fall at the earliest. I've been thinking dearest, what's the use of having a bridesmaid at all. Are you very anxious about it? You see if you don't have a bridesmaid I don't need to worry about a best man, and honestly I think I'd rather not have anyone else before the altar but just you and I. But I don't want to interfere with your plans in any way and if you really prefer the "fixings," why, we'll have them.
About someone to help your father marry us - wouldn't you rather have just him alone? I don't like fussing and I wouldn't like to have two ministers. It looks too formal. When I spoke of Dr Graham, I had in mind that we might be married in the college chapel, or that wherever we were married, your father would give you away. That would be my ideal, - just a simple wedding without bridesmaid or best man - and you given away by your father. But if your father is going to perform part of the ceremony, he can't give you away at the same time can he, and I'd rather have him do it all, wouldn't you?
What would an assisting minister do anyway? I don't think I ever heard of more than one, did you? But the main thing sweetheart is to have you satisfied. I know women look upon these matters differently from men, and if there's one time above all others when a girl should have things as she wants them it is on her wedding day. So, dearie, notwithstanding what I have said, you please let me know what you prefer, and we'll arrange it that way.
I thought I'd get some more written this evening, but I'm so sleepy I can hardly keep my eyes open, so I'm going to bed. I sat down about 8 o'clock with Yeats and read a few of his shorter poems but I was so sleepy then I didn't fully realize what I was reading and soon I dozed off. Am going to bed now to go to sleep properly. Hope you are enjoying your visit in Hamilton.
Goodnight my own dear little sweetheart.
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 29, 1914
My Dearest Fred,-
The people downstairs think I'm sleeping, and I really ought to. I nearly went to sleep in church this morning and my head aches slightly. I really must have a few winks before I go out. We are going to the Ryersons’s for tea. I don’t want to go. We were there a little while yesterday afternoon and she insisted that we come over tonight. ...... I'm going home in the morning and maybe after tomorrow I can write to you. Mother came yesterday afternoon and we were on the go until twelve at night.
I hope you enjoyed your birthday party. Did you get the books? I'm afraid, honey, you'll get a rude shock when you feel my hands, if you labour under the delusion that they are soft. Oh, no, you'd think me a washerwoman to judge by the hardness of my palm. ...
Fred to Evelyn
... Do you know kiddie, I got a few cold shivers today when I stopped and thought that scarcely more than two months remain before I’ll leave for the east, - on account of my work. I mean, I’ve quit taking on new work and am going to spend the rest of my time in clearing up matters that are pending. ...Tonight was the final meeting with the election of officers of the Canada Forward Club. I attended for the dinner and the election and then left. My name was up for the Executive but I refused to let it stand. I want to be free next year to spend most of my evenings with you. There will be times when I shall have to work but I want to keep the evenings free, as far as possible. For the most part the Executive is the same for next year as it has been for the past.
I have been puzzled, dearie, to know just what you meant by your last Wednesday's letter [Mar. 25] which I got Saturday night. You said, "It doesn't seem right to me that life should spring from an accident, only that's not the right word for it. But I can't see why if it's right, people should have to take so many precautions." ...
Don't worry anyhow, whatever you had in mind. Surely dearie, you are not afraid of me, or that I will be unkind to you. Oh I can't bear to think that you should be afraid I'll willingly hurt you in any way. Perhaps I don't know what you have reference to. Won't you please tell me? Sometimes it is hard to speak plainly but I believe it is best for us to understand each other, and often what seems difficulties to us aren't so at all when we really know.
I'm afraid, dearie, you have been getting some disturbing notions from some books you have been reading, haven't you? Anyhow whether you want to tell me any more about what has been worrying you or not, you'll please not let these thoughts trouble you any more will you? Oh, the same old wish - that we could be together and you could tell me your fears and troubles and I could reassure you and drive them away. ...
It is possible that we may be allowed to stay here for a few months longer. We're not sure yet and in order not to be left in the lurch we have advertised. Tonight we heard of a house in Elbow Park about half a block from Fritz's. If we can’t stay here we may take that house. It will mean a longer walk to the office but that will not hurt me.I wonder if you are back home again by this time.
With love from
Fred to Evelyn
Mar 31/14 #1
My dearest Nora,-
One quarter of the year has gone and it's only a little more than two months before I'll address my last letter to Miss Evelyn Kelly. I wonder, dearie, whether you are looking forward to June as eagerly as I am. Surely, surely, dearie, your thoughts aren't tinged with apprehension, or worry, as a couple of your letters might suggest. With me there is nothing but glad and eager expectation looking forward to the time when we shall spend our lives together.
Shortly after lunch today, Carson, Roy, Mack, Gilchrist and I went house hunting. ... one house is in Elbow Park about half a block from Fritz’s...
The house is new, well-furnished and suits us all in every way except that it is more than twice as far from town as our present house. Some of the boys object to the distance. It is awkward about going home for lunch but the car runs right past the door. Anyhow we are going to take it. The rent is $80 per month. ... There are only 4 bedrooms, so 3 of us will have to occupy one room until I leave. Nice as the house is I'm not sorry my tenure will be of short duration.
The tickets for the choir concert are selling well. More than $400 worth have been taken already. Percy Carson, Mr. Scott and Mr & Mrs. Art Smith are going with me. After the concert the choir is going to hold a little banquet and I'm invited ...
Tonight I'm going over to Victoria church - the one where I teach S.S. - There's to be a meeting to decide whether to move the church farther west. It is very badly situated at present because on practically 3 sides there are no people at all, being cut off by the exhibition grounds, the Elbow river and the C.P.R. I don't know why the church was ever built there in the first place. It has only been built 4 years.
Tomorrow night my class takes charge in the Prayer meeting. I haven't been to prayer meeting for a long time ...
I was enquiring about my photos today and was told they'd be finished on Thursday. If I don't get them soon, there'll be no need for them will there? You'll not want the picture when the original is around will you. Must go to the meeting now
Goodnight my own dearest. Fred.
Fred to Evelyn
Tuesday evening Mar 31/14 #2
... I'm enclosing a postal note for $2.00 and I want you to get your mother a nice Easter lily with it. Flowers must be cheaper in Ontario than here, and that would buy a lovely one here. I'm not sending you any flowers this time dearest. You'll not be jealous will you, because they are to be for your mother instead? Of course, if you are very, very anxious, I'm sure your mother will not object if you look at them once in a while. I'm going to have Margaret send mother one too and get one for her own room. I've not often done anything for my folks and before long you'll be my own wifie, but you'll not mind now if you appear to be neglected for others will you, dearie? Even if I don't send you flowers, you know I'm sending my love to you just the same, don't you?
I had thought of asking your father to get the lily and giving it to you and your mother, but then I thought perhaps you being a woman could pick one out better, - and then I thought it would be nicer still if the gift were from you and me together. Wouldn't you like that better, dearie? Or how would it be to have it given to your father and mother together? If you'd prefer this, why all right, though I think I'd prefer giving it to your mother alone. I often think our mothers do so much for us that we take as a matter of course and sometimes a little token of appreciation to her - not as a parent - but as mother - means so much. And besides no man can really value flowers as much as a woman. But you do just as you like best. Only I want you to be sure and have it understood that this is our joint gift. Just think! it's our very first, isn't it? Won't it be fun dearest, doing things together?
Yes I knew Archie Harley quite well. He was Vic ‘06, and was leader of the government in Lit when I was a freshman and under his tutelage I made my first speech in Lit. He was also in Pol. Science, - the only Vic man of his year. I always liked Harley very much. And I had heard about their twins. Like you dearest, I hope we don’t have any. I do want children, but one at a time is enough. For one thing, it’s too much of a strain on the mother, and besides - oh I don’t know why - but I just don’t want twins.
But, oh, my darling, I've been so glad to notice in several of your letters lately that the mother-spirit is strong in you. You don't misunderstand me, do you dearie? You know I want you first and last of all as a wife - and not as a mother, but I don't believe any woman can be a wife in the truest sense unless there is strong and deep within her, the spirit of motherhood; and often lately I've pictured you as my "little mother" sitting before the fireplace with our baby in your arms. I don't think I could love you so well, dearest, if you didn't love babies and didn't feel tenderly towards them. You are not angry with me for talking about this, are you, dearest?
... It's bed time now, so goodnight my own little kiddie. If I have time I'll write some more tomorrow night but the envelope will be filed with love if not with writing.
It’s pretty late. After prayer meeting I went to the office and spent a couple hours looking up law. ...
... So you have been thinking of taking out life insurance, have you? I don't see much use doing it now that you are going to be married, unless you want it for your father and mother. But why take endowment? I've come to the conclusion that for most people endowment insurance is a mistake. As an investment it offers poor returns, and if insurance is what one is after, the straight life is the best. It is purely and solely and soundly insurance.
My first policy taken out 10 years ago is an endowment, $1000.00. Besides that I have a $3,000 straight life taken just a little more than a year ago and a $2,500 straight life taken out last December. The first two are payable to my estate, the last one to you. I'm going to have them all changed to be made payable to you. I was thinking a little of taking out $1500 additional straight life but I haven’t decided for sure. I rather think I’ll take 3000 accident and sickness. I already have $1000 accident.
Must quit now. Goodnight dearest.
Evelyn to Fred
Mar. 31, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
I don’t know when I’ve been so tired as I am tonight. I worked all day with a sort of nervousness that has left me very weary. However, I’m going to have a hot-bath and go to bed early. I chased down to Merriton station twice to-day to meet mother, only to find out that last night she sent me a card telling me not to bother going down. We got the card to-night.
You asked about the camera. I don’t know what I said to make you think it wasn’t working well, because it is.
Mama bought part of the china. It is lovely. Aren’t you glad we’re going to have it? You’ll like the hops on the fruit dish.We had a telephone put in to-day. Papa immediately started calling up his friends and giving them his number. I wish we'd had it long ago.
Our Mock Trial last night was a success. We took in about thirty-five dollars, and charged only fifteen cents. Mama said when I asked her to-day that maybe we took in ten dollars. She thought that would be good. The church was well filled, and everyone seemed greatly pleased.
... It was quite fun all alone this morning, and I though how nice it will be next year, to get things ready for you. I made apple-pudding and had a nice dinner. I thought papa would be home at 12.30. At one I thought he wasn't coming and started my dinner. He came when I had finished and all he ate was some pudding. I don't mind waiting if I'm sure a person's coming, or have and idea how long I'll have to wait. You will telephone me when you are detained, won't you dearie, and I'll try not to lose my temper. It's very hard to be sweet when one is tired out, isn't it?
Oh, when a bride has as her assistant a matron of honour, there should be no groomsman. Now, shall we have another assistant - a bridesmaid and a groomsman? I thought maybe you'd rather have just Ora, but tell me your real wish at once.
Are you counting on the sixteenth or seventeenth? You haven't said. The fifteenth would be rather awkward to prepare for, but we could do it. I thought we should allow a day between our wedding day and the date of sailing. We can have it in afternoon and get an eight o'clock express to Toronto, which I suppose would connect with the Montreal ten o'clock train. It will be rather exciting for me won't it? Getting married, and spending my first night in a sleeper. I think berths in a train must be very pokey. They aren't so bad on the boat. I've been on the Upper Lakes, but I know nothing of the train.
Talking of sleeping, I had a hard time while away, and certainly lost a lot of sleep, trying to sleep with mother. I’ve got so used to being alone, that I can’t stand anyone else - Besides, she snores. If I fidget, I wake her up, and trying to lie still makes me want to turn and toss still more. One night in Brantford I had a good sleep, and it was good to be alone last night. I guess I’m a pretty bad fusser.
Oh, my dear, dear man. I will be so glad when I have you for an audience. ...
Good-night my darling.
1. James Fitzgibbon. 1760-1863. The British officer who was supposedly warned by Laura Secord of the planned American attack on his outpost during the War of 1812.
2. Dame Clara Butt. 1873-1936. Well known singer, especially of ballads and oratarios.
3. Sir John Martin-Harvey. 1863-1944. Actor-manager. His performances in The Only Way always captivated audiences.
4. Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson. 1853-1937. Actor-manager. Well known for his portrayal of Hamlet. He was knighted in June 1913. In the same year he started a long farewell tour, which included Calgary.
6. Kenneth J. Beaton, Victoria College, class of 1912, later 1913. " ... His face set towards the Orient upon graduating." Became a missionary in W. China. Received honourary degree at Victoria University in 1942.