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The Letters‎ > ‎Part Two‎ > ‎

Chapter Twelve

January-October 1915 - "I am sorry darling that you are so lonesome, but so am I."



Evelyn to Fred 
[Edmonton]
Jan. 8, 1915

My Dear,-

This our first anniversary apart, and I hope I get a letter this afternoon to make up for being away from you. I haven't been up very long, for I didn't sleep well last night. Neither did Ora and Art. We had beans, ice-cream and coffee for supper and the combination didn't seem to agree with us. I dreamt the night before last that you were dismissed from your position and that you didn't know about it until Charlie Adams told you.

We went out calling yesterday. To-day we are going over the river and out to Ola Culp's for the afternoon. Art [Ritchie] has been so busy he can't take us, so we are going on the street-car. Isn't that a come-down? ...

I had a letter from Miss Glass and she said she hoped I'd be home by next Wednesday, but I don't expect to. However, I think I'll be home before Sunday, probably Saturday night. I'll let you know in time, so that you can get some bread and meat on hand for me. I like being here during the week, but I like being home for Sunday. It seems a long time since you left, and there's a week more.

Did  you get that stuff from Art?  If not you’d better write him a note and tell him to give it to me. Maybe I'll ask you for some more money in a day or two. ...

Your loverless.




Evelyn to Fred 
Edmonton,
Jan. 11, 1915

My Dearest,-

This is no letter, just a note. I want to get a little sewing done before Ola comes and she will be here soon. Ora washed this morning and we have been having a rest since dinner. She had a letter from mother this morning, and they seem to be getting along fairly well.

It was good of you to telephone, also to tell me not to hurry home. Nevertheless I think I'll come home Saturday. Don't you want to see me? I thought I sympathized with Mrs. Oaten before, but I didn’t enough. 

I don't think I was ever so lonesome for you, at least not so often, before we were married. And I hope I don't get over it either. I'm having a nice time, but I've made my plans to come on Saturday so you might invite me. You see, I'll be sick Sunday or Monday, and there's no fun being away then. I must go to my sewing so

Good-bye dearest.




Evelyn to Fred 
Postcard Detroit, 9.45
POSTMARK: Chicago, Sep. 18 1915

We have arrived so far in safety, - have got our berth, and are just going on the train now. It was a lovely trip this morning but got pretty dirty and hot this afternoon.

N.



Fred to Evelyn
Calgary, Alta.,
Sept 19/15

Dear Kiddie,-

While waiting for ante-service committee meeting of stewards and society representatives at the church I’m making use of the moments to write you. It’s about 10.30 of a raw morning. I got up at 8.45 had a shave & breakfast of canteloupe, (the one you left & it was ripe & delicious), oatmeal porridge & cream, & toast & soft boiled egg. - so you see I’m not faring badly.

I'm economizing on labor. Instead of washing & drying dishes, I put them under the tap. Here's a sample of my menus.

Breakfast - toast boiled egg, & marmalade.

Lunch - Toast, boiled eggs (2) & peaches.

Dinner - whatever my friends provide. 

I was at Oaten's for dinner Thurs. night & Coutts on Friday. Am going to Fritz's today. 

Yesterday I bought 4 dozen eggs from Mr Mason at 2 doz for 75¢ - Re-sold them at the same price to Mrs Coutts & Ruby [Oaten] & they were delighted with them. Have ordered 4 doz more for next Saturday. Ruby baked bread yesterday & gave me a loaf. Oh, Yes, Mr. ? sister had a lovely spring chicken yesterday which I bought for 70¢ - Don’t know when I’ll get a chance to eat it, guess I’ll fry it tonight.

Ten or twelve office staff have them.  Mrs Coutts & David & many others. Mine was bad but is better:  after I went home Tues. night I gargled my throat & put on a plaster as Mrs Coutts suggested. About half past two I woke up with my throat smarting & swollen. I washed the plaster off - but not the smart - & thus prevented things getting worse than they would have been but yesterday the skin all peeled off & it looked as if I had had an attack of scurvy. However it’s all right now.

Hope you have you had a nice trip & are enjoying yourselves in Detroit. I'm awfully sorry I didn't write you before, I meant to get a letter off to you at Detroit but miscalculated the time & then I mislaid the address so I sent you a wire last night. Hope it didn't frighten you. I'll do better from now on. Must quit now for church.

Love to Ora and You.

Fred.

There’s a full choir, a new soprano going to sing this morning an applicant for Miss Wilson’s position. I’d write more only I want to [get] this off on this train. 
Fred. 



Evelyn to Fred
261 Pacific Ave.,
Detroit, Mich.
Sep. 19, 1915

My Dearie,-

I am so glad you sent that telegram, and that you are really feeling better. I got imagining all sorts of things last night, and was considering sending a telegram this morning. But when I woke up I felt so sick myself that I wanted to go home on this morning's train. My throat has been sore for several days, but it's better now. I always get upset on the train, and Friday afternoon I was properly so. However, I've had some medicine that's made me feel better, and my throat is well now.

... There, that's a whole string about my ailments, a very bad beginning, isn't it? No I'll tell you about our trip, for we had a very enjoyable one. Mrs. Cushing met us in Moose Jaw and we got out and walked about for a time. She is pretty well, but doesn't like Moose Jaw so well as Calgary, which she likes the best of any Western city in which she has lived.

The train was full of Americans returning from the Exposition,(1) in fact one woman from Regina with her baby, a man with a sick wife from Weyburn, (on the way to Mayo's(2) ) were the only Canadians besides ourselves. We didn't say much to anybody, they didn't seem interesting nor interested. I did wish you could see the wheat. Down in that flat section of Saskatchewan the grain was all cut and one could look as far as the horizon and see nothing but "stooks" of grain. Some of the grain was threshed, in other places it was in the process of being done.

This woman from Regina told us a good hotel in Minneapolis, the Radisson, and it certainly looks like a nice one, but because the C.P.R. and the C.N. and 2. stations were apart there, we decided to go on to St. Paul. When we got in to Minneapolis, where we stayed only five minutes, I couldn't see any station, the people seemed to be getting off in the middle of the car tracks. I certainly didn't expect Mrs. Hunt down to meet us. But she came and met two sections, and then went home very much disappointed. 

We went on to St. Paul, went to the hotel, got washed and dressed, went down to the ticket office and made a berth reservation from Chicago, and then went over to I then telephoned Mrs. Hunt, who said for us to come out for dinner. So we went. I was so disgusted though. If I had gone out to the back of the car, I'd have seen her and we could have got off at Minneapolis. She had planned the whole afternoon; she was going to take us to the Fine Arts Building, then out for afternoon tea at her dressmaker’s, who has opened a tea shop and then around to see the parks. She wants me to stop off on my way home. They were asking about you. 

They are trying to pass a prohibitory law in the county in which Minneapolis is situated, and the vote is to be taken in October, so naturally they were quite interested in it. Mr. Hunt went to prayer meeting to play, and they had a Temperance speaker at the meeting. Poor Kansas is figuring largely again. I wish another state would get prohibition and would have it work well. Then Kansas might have a rest.

Mr. Hunt's father was there for dinner. He just came in from Dodge, where he had been breaking up his home. He is eighty-six, and his mind is wonderfully clear. He was in the Civil War, and saw three years fighting. He had part of his jaw shot away, two teeth knocked out, and his tongue riddled, and yet he talks with only a slight strangeness in his speech. He is a most wonderful old man and told us such interesting stories.

The Hunt's were at the Expositions and at Glacier Park this summer, and had a splendid holiday. How long do you think they have been married? They celebrated their twentieth anniversary this year, and have lived in the same little apartment for sixteen years. They certainly enjoy life and each other. Don't you like to see people who love each other more the older they grow, people who do not "muddle along?"

Well, we got off in time Friday morning. Of course it was late when we got to the hotel Thursday night; you see it takes an hour to go from one city to the other.  We had a double room with single beds on the tenth floor. All the rooms have baths. It was a front room, a fair size, but the furniture, carpet, paper, nothing was so nice as the first room we had in the Vancouver. We paid five dollars for it. Ora insisted that she was going to pay for the room. However, she’s let me pay for everything else. Oh, I must tell you the joke, Mrs. Hunt thought she was younger than me.

On the Burlington trip there was a woman in a compartment going to Chicago. She was sitting up in bed with great bandages across her mouth and face. Some time ago she left her husband who drank, and was generally no good. She went to live with his people, who felt very sorry for her. About two weeks ago her husband came to the house where she was, shot her three times through the face, and then killed himself. Although the bullets went through her face, they did not even injure her sight.

We expect to leave here Wednesday about noon. Our train was three hours late yesterday. We did not leave Chicago until 1.30 A.M. as a key engine upset on the switch. There were about six trains tied up there.

Must now go and help with the potatoes. I am so relieved to know that you are better and am glad people are good to you. They ought to be though. Is there any chance of your coming east?




Fred to Evelyn
Calgary, Alta.,
Sept. 20/15

My dearest,-

The house is terribly silent & uninviting. I didn't come home until about nine o'clock ... I intended going to bed early and so wasn't going to put on a fire, but I have to wait until 11.15 for a long distance phone call, and concluded it would be unwise to try to save gas, for while the day was warm it is cool tonight, especially in the house after it has been unoccupied all day.

I told you about buying a chicken didn't I? Well, yesterday afternoon I decided to roast it as I had more time then than I would have later. Thinking I'd do it right and according to rule, I unearthed your Boston Cook Book. Imagine my amazement when I found there were so many things to be done - butter to be rubbed until it was creamy - then mixed with flour - more butter to be melted for basting etc., etc., etc. 

I didn't think you did so many things in actual practical cooking, but I started bravely to work to follow instructions. But when about half through, I hung out signals of distress and phoned Mrs. Coutts, who kindly confirmed my previous opinion & told me to "cut out" some of the frills. This I did and put my fowl in the oven, and if I do say it myself, at six o'clock it was quite presentable in appearance and more than half digestible and toothsome. It was slightly underdone but this fault can be remedied before next meal. I really didn’t need any meat last night having had a generous dinner at Fritz’s but I fell to and before I knew it, I had eaten a good quarter of the bird at least.

I intended having dinner at home tonight but Mr Macadam, manager of the Union Bank at Brooks, who has done me many favors - was in town and I seized the opportunity to reciprocate by taking him to the Palisser for dinner. It was very good for hotel fare, but isn't in the same class with yours.

Did I tell you Mr Cushing had resigned from the finance committee of the church & that I was elected in his place. ... We had our organization meeting last Sat. afternoon & Adams was made chairman & myself secretary. We did a lot of work and the meeting lasted all afternoon. One suggestion of mine was adopted - that the congregation & especially the officials try to get to know who the people are who come Sunday after Sunday, & so about 20 of the stewards & society representatives were told off to get the names and addresses of all the congregation at both morning & evening service.  

It is astonishing how few are known, even to the ushers. I believe this start will prove but the beginning of an awakening process that will stir the people up to realize that they have a further responsibility than simply to attend the services & make their financial contributions. My idea is that if we get the people, the finances will largely take care of themselves. It seemed like a good omen, that last night from beginning to end, the service was the best we've had for months - a fine crowd, excellent music, a splendid sermon and a spirit of worship that you could feel in the atmosphere. The choir is now almost up to full strength.

After church last night the Wright's(3) and I went up to the Oatens' for an hour. Mrs. Wright has invited me to dinner next Sunday.

Received your letter from  Minneapolis  St Paul this morning. Evidently you had a nice time at the Hunt’s. Am glad you found them at home. I do hope you had a nice day for your trip down the Mississippi and that you enjoyed it to the full.  Did you sleep better the second and third night in the train than you did the first night?

It's bed time now so good night my own dearie

Fred.




Fred to Evelyn
[Calgary]
Monday evening, Sept 27/15

My dearie,-

I was anxiously awaiting a letter from you but only got a card this morning. I'm afraid your cold has been a great deal worse than you have led me to believe. I do hope you will get a really good rest at home.

I'm writing this at the office - I intended doing some work tonight on the church books but the posting wasn't quite finished so I went to the parsonage and had an hour's chat with Mr. Fallis. I'm going home soon as I want to get more sleep than has been my practice of late.

Mrs Bell [cleaning lady] came today. She was sick again last week with a cold and the cough lingers. She is working too hard and not taking care of herself. You know Mr Bell is away in the harvest, and in addition to her other work she had dug all their potatoes. She came this morning before I left. 

 I went home for lunch and took a couple pork chops so she had a fairly good lunch. I ate downtown this evening at Kolb’s. Mr. Moffat of the News Telegram staff was at the same table with his wife. He comes from Owen Sound and she was at Anneseley in Elizabeth’s time attending the Margaret Eaton school. We had a very pleasant chat.

Nothing new has happened at the office. Matters remain in status quo. Clarence Smith left today for Montreal. Sandercock expects to leave in a few days, inside of a week. He looks the very picture of health.

Love to everybody and especially to my wife.

Fred.




Evelyn to Fred 
Stony Creek,
Sept, 26. [1915]

My Dear Old Man,-

You'll think I am neglecting you terribly when I haven't written to you for two days. But I'll try to make up for last time by writing you a long letter to-day.

I have had three letters from you, and it is so good to get them that I suppose I ought to think how nice it would be for you to have letters. But then you know you don't care so much about getting letters as I do. Ora got a packet of them when she got home, but hasn't had any since. My, I do feel sorry for Ora, in fact for anybody who has to stay here. It is so lonesome, and depressing. Mother and dad do not like it, and I think Ray isn't struck on it. 

The people seem to think of nothing but money - talk about the west, why the people out there aren't in it with these people from all I hear. Then daddy had to go down to the other end of the circuit for some services, and the people do not ask him to stay for dinner, oh, somebody does occasionally, but it is the custom for the minster to be asked, and he feels hurt. So he came all the way home to-day, and had about fifteen minutes for his dinner.

I do not know what it is about the place, but it just makes one blue. If I were in their place I'd move next year. I suppose it's selfish to leave a hard place for someone else; but dad doesn't mind hard work, it's just that he can't stand selfish, stingy people. Of course there are nice people here, I'm afraid you'll think they are fault finding, but really they aren't. There's an atmosphere about the place I cannot describe and one which I certainly would not wish to transplant if such a thing could be done to an atmosphere. Oh dear, I wish people were wholesomely happy!

Friday morning we all went to Beamsville show. We were at the Sheppard’s for dinner and then went to the Fair. We saw nearly every one we knew, the Bucks’s, Mrs. Will Culp and Pearl, the Everetts’, Sam Culps’, Isaac Culps, Lawrence Hipple, his wife and Emma, who by the way is going to be married soon, Mr. Hewitt, Mrs. Crane, Dave Robson and his wife, from Thorold, Garnet Gibson, Mrs. Walter Tufford and her family, and hosts of others.  

Francis Rufford and her mother went to Toronto yesterday. She is entering college, going to take Domestic Science. Mabel Buck happened to be home, and having her there made it seem more like old times.  

By the way, I forgot to bring those enlarged pictures, will you please send them to me soon, so that I can take them to her. Ora and I are going out to spend a Sunday with her. Your mother got some prizes at the Fair, but I’ll leave that for her to tell.

I went home with your father and mother, to see your aunts from South Cayuga, who are there for a short time. They wished to be remembered kindly to you. They also asked me to get daddy to drive me over there. There is one obstacle however, they didn’t say anything about mother and Ora - not likely they knew I had a sister - and we wouldn’t go without them. So I won’t go unless you should come home.  Oh, do you think you will dearie?

...We were invited to a corn roast last night, an eighteen-year old's birthday party. It was rather stupid for us, but we didn't have to stay very long and the kids seemed to have a good time. ...

...I wonder what meat you are cooking to-day. Mrs Wright is very good to you, as are the other ladies, myself included. Hope Mrs. Bell [cleaning lady] got in all right. Remember you are to pay her $1.75 after this.

With love from your wife.




Evelyn to Fred 
Stony Creek,
Sept. 30. [1915]

My Dear Old Man,-

The letter you wrote Saturday night arrived this morning. [missingI wonder if by this time matters are arranged. I wish I knew. I am not worrying, only curious. I know whatever you do, you will do what you think is for the best. But remember this honey, what you half promised me the last time you and I talked the matter over that you would let me help in the office. And Ray needn't object. I know as much as he does about some things. And I have it all arranged. Of course things might not be altogether as we would like, but we can wiggle along.

I feel very sorry for Ora. She has not been well since she came, but is feeling better to-day, and mother is getting a little cold. When Ora is sick, she is blue. The other night she was telling me how she dreaded going back to Edmonton and starting all over again, for she said it was so hard last year, and that when Art left he was just getting nicely established. It will be lonesome for her this winter, and mother gets blue too, because of Art.

...When I got your letter this morning I wished I had not ordered my suit but it was done, and so I'm not going to worry. Maybe you think I haven't much faith in your business ability. Well I have, but I know that bills are not paid before they are presented or before work is done. I am glad you have talked with Robertson, and that there will not be any hard feeling. I find that hardest to bear.

Say, why don't you become an egg commission merchant? That might pay you better than law.

David [Coutts] is a smart kiddie, isn't he, and a lovely child? I would scarcely know that he knew me for he wouldn't talk much to me, but his mother said he knew me well enough. ...

Oh, my dearie I'll be glad to get back to my "Albertan" if not to Sunny Alberta. Slept outdoors again this afternoon.

Lovingly,

Your girl.




Fred to Evelyn 
[Calgary]
Saturday evening [Oct 2/15]

My dear wife,-

You will soon think I'm very irregular in my correspondence. As I told you on Thursday I went to the Smiths' for dinner that evening. It was expected that Clarence would leave for the front on the following day and so all the boys of the house were invited. .

Percy Carson had another engagement but Roy, Clarence, Jimmie Macleod, Gordon Maclean and Rankin English (who went with Clarence) were all there and formed a very delightful "stag" party. I had to get ready for the trial on the following day and so I took a file along with me and worked during the greater part of the evening while the rest played parlor golf. I arrived home about midnight and then did an hour's additional work before going to bed. Yesterday I had a very busy day and in the evening was at the church again going over accounts.

I had all my meals at home yesterday, but only breakfast today. I had lunch at Kolb's and went to Oaten's for dinner. I'm going to the Fallises for dinner tomorrow. I'm not badly looked after, am I? I'm still buying eggs for my friends. Today I got 6 dozen - 2 for Oaten's, 2 for Coutts' and 1 each for Moyers' and myself. The price is rising. Last week I paid 37 1/2, today 40¢. But they are lovely eggs - never a complaint - but all as fresh as can be.

Today I become extravagant and bought a couple golf sticks & balls. Art Smith told me of a special sale at the Hudson's Bay and I took him along to select mine. I bought only 2 - a mashie and an iron for $1.49 each, regular $3.00 and balls for 49¢ each, regular 85¢. Art says I've got dandies - much better than his own. Now we'll be able to go out sometimes.I hope you don't think I was extravagant. It seemed too good a chance to miss.

Oh yes, I made another purchase yesterday. Campbell's Toggery is selling out and I bought a $5 suit (combination) of summer underwear for $2.65. I hadn't intended buying such expensive stuff, - but it is lovely, - and a bargain. Yesterday I bought a case of Alberta peaches for 55¢. They are nice and firm but I don't see how I can use a whole case. If I see they are going to spoil I'll give to my friends. 

Except for eggs, toast and an occasional bit of meat, my meals consist principally of marmalade and peaches. Sometimes I have tomatoes. I bought a small basket of them yesterday for 25¢.

I'm glad your cold is better at last and that you are having lovely weather for your visit. It must be nice to be able to get around everywhere in a car. By the way, you haven't said anything about melons. Did Ray have any this year? And how does father look? Does he look better than he did a year ago?

Am writing this from the office. I'm going home now to deliver some of my eggs and then get a bath.

Goodnight dearie.

Fred.




Fred to Evelyn 
[Calgary]
Monday evening. Oct 4/15

My dearest,-

I intended writing a couple letters yesterday - but wrote neither. I’ve been spending some considerable time on church work recently.  Yesterday morning I arose at 9, and it kept me hurrying to get breakfast and be at the church in time to usher, but I got there.  As I told you I was at the parsonage for dinner and had a delightful time. It is surprising how many mutual friends and acquaintances Mrs. Fallis & I have.

To add to the Ontario reminiscences, there was another guest - a newcomer to Calgary Mr. Crowl a lawyer formerly with Short Cross & Biggar in Edmonton - now with Burroughs & Co Ltd. He is also a son of the itineracy, his father being now stationed at Hepworth Ont, - and at one time in York Haldemand County, and also in Pelham. His health has been very bad for some time and he spent the past year in Ontario doing nothing, but now he is somewhat better and is back at work. I think he’ll be a decided acquisition to Central church work.

Well, when the Fallis’s went to S.S. I intended going home, but on passing the church & looking in at the Mens’ Own I found some people waiting but no leader so I went in and stepped into the breach  We then had a sort of heart to heart talk about conditions before the speaker Mr. Westman arrived.  I think I stirred the people up a little anyhow.  After it was over a small group consisting of Mr. Falliss  Mr Tweedie, Mr Irvine & myself walked home.  On the way he expressed himself very strongly in favor of repairs to the organ & promised $50.00.  

You know the organ question has been shelved because of the feeling of pessimism in the Board and it seemed to us who are in favor of the organ that we would be sounding its death knell if we broached the subject in such an atmosphere. Well, yesterday the organ was quite out of commission and it set some of the people thinking, so perhaps there will be a change of sentiment before long. Anyhow I was much encouraged by Mr Tweedie’s opinion.

I was so long talking to Tweedie that I had barely time to get up to Oaten’s for supper, so there was no time to write before church.  After church we all went up to the Wrights' and stayed so late that when I arrived home I put off writing until this morning. Then I overslept - and there you have the tale of my neglect. Even this evening, I have interrupted this letter to have a long talk with Roy [Edmanson] on church affairs generally, and have obtained his promise to get out and do some work, and to come to the congregational meeting next Monday night. I hope it will be a success. Our church attendance is picking up - There was a fine congregation last night - and a good sermon.

Mrs. Wright made me promise to have Thanksgiving dinner with them. They have been awfully good to me - and oh say! she has a stunning new velvet dress with hat to match - though Ruby says the hat is her old one - and new shoes. She was enquiring about you and I said you'd like to get some letters so she is going to write you.

I'm glad you are getting some new clothes dearie - and don't you worry about extravagance. You know I think you are frugal and I want you to get clothes so that you'll be satisfied with yourself. I'm glad you chose blue for your suit. Don't you need a house dress or sort of semi-functional gown too? Just get what you think you need. I sent you a cheque for $30 last week. If that isn't enough let me know and I'll send more.

Tomorrow afternoon from 5 to 6 there's a finance committee meeting at the church. At six the ladies missionary society have a tea. Wilfred [Oaten] & Mr Fallis are invited and I'm going to try to work an invitation too. In the evening I must go to drill. I haven't been out since you left.

I went home with Roy for dinner tonight. It seemed like old times except for the small crowd. Now that Clarence has gone there are only Roy, Percy, J D Macleod & Gordon Maclean, who expects to go with the next draft for the University contingent. If that happens the boys think of giving up the house.

Tomorrow the Calgary Bar Association will give a complimentary luncheon to Redman at the Hudson's Bay. R.B Bennett will speak. I intend to go.

Ruby wants you to call on her people and I'd be glad if you'd look up Estelle Carey - I forget her present name. Have you seen Margaret yet? I wish you'd see her as much as possible and if you can take her out. She has been confined so close and has been so short of funds I really feel condemned. I should have helped her, and I haven't done anything - not even written for a long time.

The 12th Mounted leave tonight, and I believe - some of the 50th [battalion] also. ...  Oh say, Shouldice had his car stolen on Saturday. The police have the matter in hand but haven’t found the car yet. Neither has your camera been located. That reminds me - do you remember the picture Wilfred took of me on the golf course? Last week Miss Cummer and a friend were calling & when Miss Cummer saw the picture she said “What is Mr. Albright hoeing?”

 ... On Saturday Everett Fallis(4) wired to see if he could be taken in place of Will Osborne in the cycle corps. Will has to stay home on account of his father's death. Wasn't it sudden?

Hope Ora's cold is better, and am glad to know Art has come across Noble. It's nice to think of him in familiar Folkestone, but can you imagine those peaceful scenes in Kent in the grip of the war? ...

Remember me to everyone and just take as many long distance kisses as you can stand

From your own husband.




Evelyn to Fred
Stony Creek, 
Oct. 4, 1915.

My Own Dear Husband,-

... Thank you for the cheque, which arrived most opportunely, as I expect to get my suit on Saturday.

I’m rather tired and sleepy,  and I wanted to write you a long letter. I meant to write a scrap yesterday, but when you hear my tale of woes, you will not be surprised that I did not do it.

In the morning your mother telephoned that Margaret [Albright] might come down in the afternoon, ... I lay down a short time and then Ray [Albright] came in, and shortly after I started getting tea. I had quite given up expecting Margaret and had tea all ready for the two of us when in came Margaret and another girl, at a quarter of six, I'm afraid the cordiality of my welcome was cooled by the knowledge that there were only three eggs in the house (I had eggs on to boil, and had no time to get anything else if we were going to church) and by the additional fact that I couldn't get the fire to burn. Well, I decided that I wouldn't like an egg, and got supper ready for four, when behold, I couldn't get the light on in the dining room. So we ate in the dark. 

We managed to scramble to church before the doxology was sung.  

 I don't want to sound as if I am complaining, but I was so worried and rushed. I really did enjoy my company very much, and didn't feel much like church. However, after church I was in a better mood, and we had a good visit until the girls had to go.

Ray stayed all night here and entertained me while I washed the dishes. He is much perplexed about his course. They have changed it so many times, that he is rather out on his reckoning. It used to be three years B.D. (Bachelor of Divinity) work, and now it's made possible to take it in two supposing some theological subjects had been taken as Arts options, which Ray did not elect. ... 

Ray says the only way he can get through college is to take circuits, and he does not feel like facing more than two such years. He really has too much to do. It can't be helped this year, but if we are at all in a position to do so, we must insist on his not taking a circuit next year.

Your mother and my mother or our mothers have fruit done up for us. Do you not think they might wait to send it in the spring, in case we should move? I am promised some sausage to bring home in my trunk. So tell Mrs. Coutts it's coming.

So there really is some chance of your coming east this fall? My, you would have enjoyed it yesterday and to-day. They have been beautiful October days, soft and langourous, oh, I can't spell it and I'm too sleepy to look it up.

My dearie, I was so lonesome for you last night. And every time I think of how happy I'll be to be with you again, I think of Ora and of how long it will be before she sees Art. Poor girl, it is pretty hard, especially as she does not know what kind of work he will be given. Nevertheless, I will be oh-so glad to see you once again. It's three weeks tomorrow since I left you, and it seems like three months. How does the time seem to you?

I'm sorry I've written you such a dolorous letter. Do you find it so? Anyway, I love you, I love you, I love you, and that's happy enough.

Goodnight sweetheart.




Evelyn to Fred
Stony Creek,
Oct. 6, 1915

My Dear Fred,-

Ora is writing to her old man, but just as I wrote the salutation, she was gazing casually my way, so that is the explanation for the coolness thereof. I haven't had a letter for two days, not since the money arrived; I have been wondering if you sent another to Thorold. Or maybe you were having a firm meeting. I do wish I knew how things were shaping themselves. ...

Are you going to St. John's if you come home? ... By the way, your mother said she was going to send you some grapes. If you are coming home, there wouldn't be any use of her sending them, would there?

I went up to Hamilton yesterday afternoon to get my suit fitted. I told the tailor it made me look short and he said he'd take out some of the fullness, for it was not becoming, it made me look worse. Evidently he does not think my best is much. There was a man in then, helping his wife pick out her suit, or at least the style of it. And he was helping. I had a clear vision of your doing such a thing. I have just finished trimming a hat. I hope you'll like it. It is very splashy, black and white.

Last night Margaret was coming down with me for tea. When we got to the Red Hill something happened. The lights went out and blue and red flashes of lightning were all around. Margaret said she thought the roof was on fire, and I didn't know what was happening. There was a live wire across the track. We got out then, and walked home, about two miles. Margaret lost her gloves and would not let me get back on the car to hunt them. She was pretty tired, poor girl, and it was too bad she had to walk so far.

I do not feel very well to-day, my nerves are all on edge, but I'll likely not be feeling well tomorrow, and that is likely the explanation. Mrs. Putman is here sewing and we have each had a dress made. I have some more to be made, but am not going to have them done now. In fact, I feel as if I do not much care if they are ever done.

I should like to go somewhere where there is absolutely nothing to do. When I am here and mother is helping sew, why meals have to be got, and dishes have to be washed. I didn't mean to tell you I felt out of sorts. Mother says I have to stay in bed tomorrow and I think I shall do it. Don't worry about me dearie, I'm all right, and will be better in a few days. 

I did not have time to write last night, because we got company before we had finished supper, and we washed up after everybody left. It is now twenty minutes to ten and I'm going to bed. If I could see you I'd feel a lot better. I'm sorry you've been working so hard.

Goodnight dear.




Fred to Evelyn [Calgary]
Thursday afternoon Oct 7/15

My dear wife,-

I'm snatching a few minutes this afternoon because I know I shall have no time tonight as I'm going out to drill with the 103rd. Wilfred is going too and George Coutts is thinking of it. Dr Wright [Elmer] would like to but he hasn't done so out of deference to his wife. We were all down at the station this afternoon to see Everett leave. He does seem young to be going off to war. Several other boys left on the same train. Several of the choir were down at the station to see him off. Mr Fallis and Frances [Fallis] were there but Mrs Fallis didn't go to the station.

I was quite disappointed today when Redman said that on mature consideration he had decided not to speak at the Men’s Own on Sunday. He’s very diffident and doesn’t want anyone to think he is is trying to talk about what he has done. His refusal has put me in an awkward predicament and I have been trying a great deal today to get someone else but so far without success. I don’t know what I shall do.

I wonder what you are doing? 

Are you having a good time? Oh, who do you think called today? Rex Fleak. He says he has come back to Alberta to stay. His is on his father-in-law’s farm near Gleichen and came up to the city today to buy some repairs for his threshing outfit. He says his father-in-law intends moving into Calgary for the winter so the children can go to school at Mount Royal College. Rex evidently intends to stay on the farm himself during the winter.

Somehow I don't feel like writing tonight. Perhaps a good brisk drill will make me feel better. Have been talking office arrangements again today. Nothing definite done yet.

Your own husband.

Am going to the Coutt’s for Thanksgiving dinner on Mon. night.



Evelyn to Fred 
Stony Creek, Ont.,
Oct. 8, 1915

My Own Dear Husband,-

Mae Finch and her mother are here and we have just come upstairs to bed. Ora excused herself some time ago to come upstairs to write to Art. She got two letters from him to-day, previous to his departure for France. He must have been there before the recent big engagements. Billy Proud, of whom you have heard Ora speak, was sent to the Dardanelles.(5) Someway or other I feel very blue tonight. The war reports are certainly not glowing, and although one may have a firm belief in the final outcome, yet so much may lie between now and then as to make success almost or as far as one is personally concerned, a hollow gain. I will be glad to know in what kind of work Art is really engaged. I guess I'm homesick for you, dearest. I know I'd feel a great deal better if I could snuggle up against you.

I didn't write last night because I was sick all day, got up about two o'clock. To-day I got up after eleven so you see I'm having an easy time of it. I'll be better now for another month.

... You did not say what Mrs. Bell did for you. Did she get your mending done. Will you get a card of yarn out of a blue Hudson's Bay bag in the second bureau drawer and put it on the sewing machine, in case I did not put any yarn out for her? And please get the nice rich dirt dug before it freezes. I want to have some good bulbs there this year, and I am going to bring home some other slips.

No, my dear, I certainly do not think you extravagant to get golf sticks. I was thinking of getting you some for Christmas, but we'll have some good out of them before then, won't we?

I did not get a letter to-day, but am not surprised at that. I expect you went visiting after church. I’ll likely to have one tomorrow.     I wish you would get that business settled up, but you cannot force matters, I know. I hope everything comes out all right. I'm not worrying, though, dearie.

Ray did not have very many melons, just a few, and they weren't very good. ... You asked about your father. I think he looks better. I am leaving my visit there until later, hoping you will be here to visit with me. Shall I tell them you are expecting or hoping to come? They asked me and I said you might possibly, and then later I said I did not expect you.  

But oh dearie, I am so homesick for you. And when I get homesick for you, I think how homesick Ora must be. You’ll think I’m an Aunty Doleful. Well I’m not, but I get lonesomest at night. Oh I had a funny dream last night. Will tell you next time I write.

Kiddie



Fred to Evelyn 
[Calgary]
Saturday night, Oct 9/15

My dear wife,-

... I had a chance to go duck shooting this p.m. with Ford and some others from the City Hall but I didn't get the invitation in time to arrange and owing to the change in the weather I'm glad now I didn't go.

I felt sleepy all afternoon and yet I didn’t want to go home for supper, but I decided to do so about  5 o’clock. So I took 4 doz. of my eggs (I bought 8 doz today) and went across to the market to buy a little meat. I had just got my steak and was turning away when Ruby accosted me and insisted upon my going up to their place for dinner. It was just what I had been wanting to do, so I didn't demur very strenuously.  

We got home in good time and I lay down while supper was  being  prepared. After supper Wilfred & I came down town. I was going to do some more work & I also wanted to talk to Mr Clarke about office arrangements but he had to leave, and I don't feel like work so I'm going to buy a pair of boots and go home to bed. I still have some eggs to deliver.

I got a nice long letter today, - unexpectedly after what you said in yesterday's letter. I'm sorry you had such a catastrophic time when Margaret came, but I wish you'd be nice to her, she doesn't get much chance at the brightness of the world except as she can get it out of her work.

With my whole love. Fred.




Fred to Evelyn 
[Calgary]
Thanksgiving Day, [Monday] Oct 11, 1915

My dear wife,

How I wish you were here today! I wonder if you are having a real Thanksgiving time at home. I haven't felt quite so lonesome for you at any time as yesterday and today, and that's one reason I didn't write yesterday.

I got up late, was at Fritz's for dinner, at Men's Own, & Fritz's for supper and then in the evening at the Military Thanksgiving service in the church. It was one of the most impressive I ever attended. The church. was crowded even the S.S. room, and the Honor Roll of 86 names was unveiled by Col. Cruikshank. There wasn't any sermon but there was special music, - among other numbers, "A Song of Trust,"and "Land of Hope and Glory". 

Mrs. Marshall sang a Song of Trust beautifully not so well as Estelle of course - but much better than Miss Wilson sang it. Dr McDougall prayed & there were brief addresses  by Col. Cruikshank Lt Col. Drummond & Mr Cushing.  

Mr Cushing made one of the finest speeches I ever heard. It seemed first like a benediction & a prayer. It was the best part of the lot, and they were all of a very high order. I was talking to Elizabeth afterwards and from what she said I could see she realized as never before the needs of the war and what it really means. And I think the same is true of many others.

After the service I didn't feel like going home to a cold and empty house, so I went home with the Oatens. I was going to get up early this morning, but overslept. Now I’m at the office writing this in a hurry to get off on this mail. It’s a little after 11. and I want to go over to the Thanksg. service in Central Ch.  Rev Mr. Huntley is to preach.

I received your letter this morning. Oh my dearie, please don't work so hard but just rest. If you can't get rest at your home, go down to my home and you'll not have anything to do there. Mother doesn't "effuse," but she understands and her quiet strength and the way she faces the situations as they are, without complaining, has always been wonderfully restful to me - I'm sure you'd find it so too.

Oh my dearie, I'm so thankful I have you. You have been my guiding star. You'll never know how much I owe to you. All that is best in me mother and you have called forth, - and to you two I owe what I am. I love you, I love you, I love you.

Your own husband.

P.S. Roy saw the name F.W. Campbell in one of the papers as having been killed at the front. He wonders if you know whether this is Fred Campbell of Vic?




Evelyn to Fred 
Stony Creek, Ontario,
Oct. 11, 1915

My Own Dear Man:

Ora is writing to Art, and she says she does not know what to say to fill up her page. ... Mother told her to tell him about my dream, which, by the way, I forgot to tell you.  I dreamed I had a baby, don’t know how I got it, but had it, and at two days of age it talked and cried because it wanted to see your picture.  It asked for your picture, then cried to emphasize its demands.  That’s smarter than David Coutts...

I have had an extremely heavy day, to-day I arose about nine, ate a little breakfast and went with dad, mother and the company down to get some peaches. Ora stayed home to-day and got dinner. We got back just about twelve. ... Margaret was here for dinner but she had to leave on the one-twenty car, for she had to work this afternoon.

After dinner I had a little sleep and then Mae and I went up to the monument, erected on the battlefield of Stony Creek. There were twenty-three men killed in that battle, and there is a smaller monument across the road on the spot where they were buried. 

...We are going up to Norwich tomorrow, if it does not rain, to be gone probably until Friday. I was telephoning your people and your mother said to tell you they appreciated your letters, and that she would try to write soon. ...

Dearie, will you find out how much it would cost me to change to C.N.R. at Prince Albert and go up to Swan River, getting back to C.P.R. probably at Saskatoon. Can you do it very soon? Do you think you will come east? Oh my dearie, it was beautiful to-day. I did wish you were here.

So you are going to join the 103rd! Is Mr. Coutts? Oh, I am lonesome for you dearie. Your house may seem empty, but there are others that seem that way, because you are not one of the occupants.

Your loving wife.




Evelyn to Fred
Simcoe, Ont,
Oct. 12, 1915

My Dear Fred.-

I will write a little big longer and will write some more tomorrow. We are up at Uncle Archie Colver’s, if you know who he is or where he lives. I will explain that he is the husband of my aunt Laura, and that they live about three miles outside of Simcoe. Jean, who was at our wedding, is their eldest child.

We left home shortly after eight this morning, made a couple stops on the way, and reached here by dinner time. This has been a beautiful October day, and the ride was delightful. I do wish you could see the trees now, in all their glory. There seem to be so many red leaves this fall, while some of the trees have not yet coloured.

...I forgot to tell you yesterday that I had a letter from Edith Phillips. She is now on the Normal-Model staff in Ottawa, in what capacity she did not say, but she did say that it was a step up for her, so I know she is pleased with it. I am glad to see her getting along so well.  She sent you her kind regards.

... I am feeling very well now, much different from the way I felt a few days ago when I wrote you that terribly doleful letter. Why, you would have thought me a pack horse. Goodnight for now.

Wednesday morning. [Oct 13]

We went in to Simcoe this morning, and I might have posted this, only I did not have it finished, and got up so late I barely had time to get my breakfast before we left, & Uncle Archie's aunt is here and she said "she'd never had a ride on one of them things" so dad took her out.

... I suppose there will be some letters for me when I get home. We came away too early yesterday to get any. I am thinking that if you are coming east, you will be starting soon, because I'll have to be leaving here in four weeks.

Is it mean of me, dear one, to say I'm glad you're lonesome. Misery likes company. Is that why I'm glad of it? Try some long distance kisses and tell me what your think.

Your first wife.




Evelyn to Fred 
Glanford,
Ont, Oct. 14 [1915]

My Dear Old Man,-

Ora and I have come upstairs to bed, but we are both going to write to our beaux before retiring for the night and part of the morning. We are at Auntie Smith's tonight. She is the mother of Rutherford, for whom you did some work. He wanted to know if you didn’t get anything out of it, he said he couldn’t make out whether you did or not. He is very grateful for having the thing settled up, for he had got his money now, and I am sure his cousin was doing his best to get out of paying it.

We left Uncle Archie's after dinner yesterday and got down to mother's cousins at Villa Nova. We stayed there for dinner and were going to start on about six o'clock but by the time dad got the car out it had started to rain, so he put it back and we stayed all night. We talked until after midnight. ... I didn't want to go to bed at all. I'm going to go up now though and will write more in the morning. I'll get some letters from you tomorrow. Hurrah!

Friday night. [Oct. 15]

We are home again, and I am taking an intermission in the trimming of my hat to finish this. I'll write you a real letter tomorrow.

We got home about five o'clock, and when we got here we found a telegram saying that my Aunt Clara was dead. Mother and dad had been to see her Tuesday, and tomorrow they start back again. She wasn’t very old, only sixty-three. ...

I got four letters from you to-day. ... I am sorry darling that you are so lonesome, but so am I. Are you coming east, or am I going to have that long trip all alone? It was good of you to say what you did in one of your letters about your mother and me.

Your own wife.




Evelyn to Fred
Stony Creek, Ont.,
Oct. 17, 1915.

My Own Dear Husband,-

I have been sitting out on the verandah for a short time, reading about Tecumseh, in one of Ora’s books, but have come upstairs to write you for now, as we will be having company for supper. ...

I have sent you very scrappy letters, haven’t I, and you’ll hardly know where we’ve been or what we’ve done. When we started from Villa Nova Thursday morning, the roads were pretty bad, and we went through some dreadful ones. We went into a ditch the other side of Caledonia, but it wasn’t a bad one. The roads were graded up, and they were so slippery that the car slid all over. I was certainly glad when we got on a decent road a few miles from Mount Hope, but not so glad as dad was, I guess. He was dreadfully stiff last night. 

...We are going down to Thorold tomorrow, then down to the Falls and along the Boulevard, and back to St. Catharines.  Dad is taking these two weeks for holidays.  There he is now.  He went down to hear Ray preach this afternoon - he’d never heard him before.

So you are very lonesome without me? It will not be very long before I come home to you, and I hope to get a good hearty welcome. ... I am glad that people are so good to my sweetheart, but I'm glad too, that they don't quite make up for me.

Will you tell me, dear, what you meant about enlisting? I have not wanted to speak of this, but I can't keep quiet any longer. You said, "No wonder Mrs. Wright does not want him to talk of enlisting" and before that you said you had joined the 103rd and that Dr. [Elmer] Wright would, only that she did not want him to. You never asked me at all, what does it mean to join it?

Ora had a letter from Art written the day before the big battle(6) a couple weeks ago Sunday. He said they had not got to work yet, but were being kept in reserve. He did not know what kind of work he would be given. If he is in a base hospital, Ora will feel very much relieved.

Down here, in the parts of Ontario I have visited, the people scarcely know there is a war, and act almost as if they did not care very much. They are doing a fair amount of Red Cross work, but very few seem to think of going, unless they are out of work. Art said that German influence was very noticeable in England, that the men were not enlisting at all freely. On such a day as this, war seems very far away. ... I sometimes wonder if peace will ever come again and if we can be freed from the haunting dread that now darkens the sun and dulls the vivid beauty of the trees.

I wore my suit for the first time to-day and am very well pleased with it. It looks very good, and I think is becoming too. When are you going to get a new suit?

I'll leave you now and get my hair combed before the company comes back. They are up looking at the Monument.

Dearie, aren't you going to have a holiday?

Your loving wife.




Evelyn to Fred 
Thorold, Ont.,
Oct. 19/15

My Own Dearie,-

... I am glad Mr. Clarke thinks you are justified in your demands. 

We left Stony Creek yesterday afternoon and came down to Cousin Mary Upper's out in the country where we stayed until this afternoon. ... She was asking about you. We didn't have much to eat out there. She just sets the table and then scarcely sits down herself but just goes around urging everybody to eat, and then eats very little herself. 

We had fried chicken last night, but she wouldn’t eat any, said she didn’t like it. Neither does she like whipped cream cake, but she makes it for others, nevertheless. I didn’t get up until about eleven this morning. She said to sleep as long as I liked, and I did it. It makes me so sleepy to ride in the car.

We are at the Bakers, that is, Ora and I. In the morning we are going to the Falls, and Mrs. Baker is going with us. We will be in St. Catharines Thursday and Friday. Even if I am visiting, I get a lot of sleep, for I have to, being so sleepy as I get.

Goodnight my own sweetheart.




Evelyn to Fred 
Thorold, Ont.,
Oct. 20, 1915

My Own Dear Fred,-

I wonder where you are tonight and what you are doing. How I wish you could have been with us to-day, for you would have enjoyed it so very much.... we came back to Thorold by way of Brock's(7) monument and Queenston. That does not take very long to tell you, but pages could not begin to tell you of all the beauty that met our eyes to-day. Were you ever at Brock's monument? I was never there before. It has a most wonderful situation, commanding as it does, the river with both shores and the surrounding country. When I am at the border I never get over the strange feeling I have that here is one country, there is another.

As I stood out overlooking the river, the war of 1812-14 was very vivid in my mind. I had been reading something about it recently and of course about Brock. I said to myself "Men came from this side and they came from that side, and they fought here. They were men of the same race and of the same speech, and in the main, men of the same ideals." And I wondered why how it could be such things could really be. In the Falls [Niagara] we saw a parade of soldiers, going to cross the sea to fight men with whom they have no quarrel. Do you not think the real course of the war of 1812 was that the men of each side did not understand each other? ...

We are going down to St. Catherines tomorrow. Oh dearie, I wish you were here to go with us. I am getting tired of holidays without you, and will not be sorry to get home - with you.

We have been talking until it is late, so

goodnight sweetheart.




Fred to Evelyn
[Calgary]
Friday Oct. 22/15         
In this letter Fred tells Evelyn that he wants to enlist

My dear wife,-

It is 5.15 and I feel I have done enough for the day. Yesterday Dr Wright phoned and asked me to go to a dinner at Kolbs’ tonight when there is to be a gathering of those interested in S.S. and boys work. I believe Taylor Statten of Toronto is to be present, but I am not sure.  As I have no other engagement in particular I think I shall go.

You may be having lovely weather in Ontario but it can’t beat what has been our portion for the past week. It does seem this year as if the Lord of the Universe had been testing our faith and making us his peculiar care.  First there was a dry spell in the spring, and people were becoming anxious.  Then the rains came, giving the grain an unusually early start. The cold of the summer followed by excessive rain again brought forth doleful predictions of an utter crop failure. But just as people were beginning to despair, a wonderful period of warmth and sunshine brought to maturity the greatest crop in the history of the west.  

After a few weeks of good harvesting weather again the prophet of disaster broke loose saying the grain could never be threshed - that it was spoiling, etc. etc. when there was cold and wet. But again the sun broke forth and for the past two weeks we have been having days and nights such as Alberta only can produce. Threshing has been proceeding apace and now we find that the earlier bad weather was a blessing in disguise for it delayed threshing and prevented a grain blockade and a slump in prices. We now learn that the railways have been working night and day to capacity - ever since threshing started so if more grain had been threshed a blockade  and price slump would have been inevitable  “It is the Lord’s doing and it is marvellous in our eyes.”

I started this before supper but didn’t get very far. The supper was a great success and Statten gave one of the best addresses I have ever heard. When I remember my first impressions of him when I first met him at the Central Y.M.C.A. in Toronto 8 years ago I can hardly believe he is the same man. Now he is a wonderful force in the young life of our country.

Dr. F.M. Block was there and he invited me to their home for tea on Sunday.

You asked about enlisting dearie. I have joined the 103rd regiment which is the local militia regiment, nearly the whole force of which as constituted before the war has enlisted. It is now recruiting again to bring itself up to full strength. I haven't enlisted for active service, but, dearie, I feel that the time will come when I should go, and I think I should get as much preparation as possible. I hadn't intended writing but was going to speak to you about enlisting next spring upon your return. But as you have broached the subject, perhaps I should speak of it now.

I have been feeling very strongly of late that I should go before long. You know I have felt from the first that the time would come sometime and when the call comes I don't want to fail. I have never told you that I have felt for some years that I was a coward once. I think I should have entered the ministry, I believe now it was my duty but there seemed so many plausible reasons and valid why I should not. Well I didn't but I have had to confess to myself since that the reason was that I was selfish and didn't want to make the sacrifice, and I made up my mind that if ever God gave me a second chance to make good - and I felt it would come some day though in what way I could not guess - I would answer "Ready, aye, ready."

Ever since that night in London, on August 1st, when you awoke crying, saying you were afraid something was going to happen - and we heard the tramp of the soldiers down the Strand I felt that my turn would come - even though then I could not foresee the terrible war that has ensued. Since then the feeling has grown stronger that I must go some time. God would reveal it in his own good time and way. It has been awful to think of leaving you and I have had a terrible battle to fight - to decide how far family ties should be considered in the face of such a pressing and universal need. 

It seems to me as much a Christian duty, as to give one's life in missionary endeavor in a heathen land, - and I know that, hard as it might be for you - and if I should go yours would be the harder part -you would not want me to fail of doing my duty, but that you would be the first to urge me to do what I thought was right, no matter how great the sacrifice for you. Is it not so my brave little wife?

I had not wanted to write this. I wanted to tell you with your arms about my neck - but now I am glad I've said it. I haven't decided to enlist yet, nor shall I until I can talk it over with you, but I have told you how I feel, and I am sure the call will come before long, and so I want to prepare as best I can. I have been praying for guidance and I know you have. If we can only know what God's will is, we shall not hesitate, will we?

It is late now and I must close. 

Goodnight my own true wife, and may God bless and keep you.

Your husband.




Evelyn to Fred
Stony Creek, Ont.,
Oct. 22, 1915.

My Own Dear Man,-

Will you be glad to know that I am back in Stony Creek again? You will doubtless get letters more regularly now, for a few days at least.  

My, how I wish you could have been with us on the lovely trip we've had. It didn't seem fair for me to be spinning around, having such a good time, while you were home working. You say if you come it will be about the first week in November. My ticket runs out the fourteenth, and so if we go home together, you would not have a week at home. Have you forgotten that, dear, that I must be home by the fourteenth?

How is it you go to Men’s Own so often? Have you taken charge of it?

Before I go further, I must say that you had better send me about fifty dollars, if you do not come east. I have not yet paid for my suit, but expect to go to Hamilton Tuesday, when I will pay for it. Then I'll have about ten dollars left, which will last me for some time. When you come you have to go with me to get a hat. And you must get yourself a new suit. I like my suit very much, and hope you will too.

I have written some cards to-day, to Ruby, David Coutts, Donna, Elizabeth and the two little Fallis girls. Did Mrs. Wright get a card from me some time ago? I meant to write letters, but was too lazy. What’s the use if you do not have to?

... This has been a week of glorious autumn weather. To-day was bright, but colder and windier than the other days. The flowers are still untouched f  by frost, but I  wish I had brought in a bunch of nasturtiums, in case they get nipped to-day.

You are doing well at golf, I must say. Don’t get too far ahead of me, dearie, because I want to go and play too, or wont it be polite for me to go if Ruby and Mrs. Wright do not? I hope it will, for I want to go. I’ve been out-of-doors so much lately, that I won't want to stay at home. 

Did I tell you that I weighed at a penny-in-the slot machine the other day and weighed 112. Tell Elizabeth that she might have won her bet if she’d made the time longer.

...Will you tell Elizabeth I'll take the Journal, and will you give her the price of the subscription? She asked me about it some time ago, and I did not give her a very satisfactory reply. Please give it to her now, because there is some extra magazine she'll get, and we're going to divide up on that. That will do for my birthday present. I do now want much of a present dearie, I think I have had enough in this lovely trip.

Everybody is sleepy tonight, so I'll hike off to bed. Tomorrow is wash day. Did I tell you that our "folk" are getting stylish, have washwoman. I am glad Mrs. Bell is better. Do not forget to let her know if you decide to come east. I hope office matters will soon be settled satisfactorily.

Your loving wife.




Evelyn to Fred 
Stony Creek, Ont.,
Oct. 23, 1915

My Dear Husband,-

Ora had two letters from Art to-day. He is now transferred to No. 1. Field Ambulance. He said he had written to you, so you will likely have his letter before this one. The last one he wrote came through in two weeks. That's pretty good time, isn't it? I cannot but feel rather depressed or anxious as the result of his letter, for he said he expected to go into the trenches-

Your outburst about Elizabeth came to-day. [letter missing] Oh my dearie, I am afraid I shall not measure up to what you think of me. You must surely understand this, that as no man wants to go, neither can his women want him to go. And one cannot help hoping that his turn will not come. If it does however, I suppose there is no more to be said about it. But I will not discuss this subject further. I cannot bear to talk about it. And I do not feel much like writing tonight, but thought I would do a little, as we may be busy tomorrow. There will be Harvest Home services at Fruitland in the afternoon, and we may go down.

Three weeks from tonight I should be home. If you come east and we go home together, that will not give you very long for a visit. ... Oh dearie, I am homesick for you tonight. But every time I think how homesick I am, I think how much more reason Ora has to be that way than I, and it makes me feel rather ashamed of myself.

I have just noticed in Eaton's ad in the Globe that a box of 30 or 40 apples of good fall and winter eating varieties will be delivered free to soldiers' quarters in England or France for $1.00. When I go over to Toronto shall I send Art a box? It mentions other things too that are good to send, chocolate, electric torches, and unbreakable mirrors, etc. I have been thinking that I should like to send some Christmas presents to our friends at the front, Reg, Noble, Gordon D? , and any others whose addresses you may know.  What do you think about it? 

 Also I want to give something to Mrs. Bell. I have been thinking of making her some warm nightgowns, and some for Cassie too.  Mrs. Bell will need some heavy shoes too. 

Please, do not give me any birthday present. It will be a big enough one if you come east, if you do not, it will be one to get home. I will close tonight, with all my love.

Sunday night. [Oct. 24]

Ray said to-day, "I want you to help me," and I said "How?" "Well," he answered, " I want you to justify the action of the Allies in landing troops in Salonika, contrary to the expressed wish of Greece." "I can't do it," I said, "except in this way. Greece had a treaty with Serbia promising to come to her assistance in case Serbia should be attacked. She was attacked, and the Allies counted on Greece standing by her treaty." But that was not a satisfactory explanation. Greece said she did not want Allied troops landed on her territory. Had they the right to do what she said she did not want them to do? 

Or did they rely on Venizelos and what they thought was public opinion in their favour? Ray said, “Perhaps Fred could explain it, he’s a lawyer.”  And I wanted to know if he thought your business was making evil seem good.  So  Please do tell me what you think about it.  I am reading The War Lords too. It’s most interesting isn’t it?

We went down to Harvest Home Services at Fruitland to-day. The lake looked blue and cold, the sun was shining in all it brilliance, the trees on the hillside stood clothed in gay attire, the wind blew a sharp breath, everything proclaimed the presence of autumn. 

There was a slight frost last night, which nipped the most projecting leaves of the nasturtiums, the flowers however are still brave and untouched. In the church at Fruitland was a wonderful display of fruits, flowers and vegetables. It seemed fine to have dahlias on the twenty-fourth of October.

I told your mother that you might come home, so that she would not send you grapes. I wasn’t going to do you out of them altogether, but I was going to get her to hold them back until I knew for certain what you were going to do. I wasn't going to tell her, lest you might not come and she should be disappointed. I warned her that your coming was not at all assured.

Ray is here tonight, so he’ll have to have my bed. Pity it isn’t you and I wouldn’t have to move. Say, I’ve been thinking it will be almost like getting married over again when I see you. One thing I know won’t happen, don’t you? And some other things will.  Take as many as you can now of them, kisses and hugs from 

your wife.



Evelyn to Fred 
Stony Creek, Ont.,
Oct. 25, 1915

My Dear Fred,-

Mother and daddy have gone to a tea-meeting, and Ora and I are writing to our respective beaux. To-day has been warmer than yesterday, which was cold for all its brightness.  The dahlias are frozen.  I hope the nasturtiums last until you get here.

...The choir leader was just in to ask me to sing at church but I refused for my voice has gone back on me, and I'm not going to get up and try to sing when I can't do it, though I wish I could do it.

...I’m very sorry to hear what you had to say about Mr. Oaten. I cannot understand Mr. Cushing taking that attitude when I know what he himself said to Dr. Kerby, as reported by Dr. Crawford. I think any one ought to expect to get last year’s salary before new teachers were paid that of the present year. It’s too bad Wilfred didn’t break loose last spring.

If you are coming east, dearie, couldn’t you look up that business for Mrs. Bell? I think I put that letter in one of the left hand drawers of the secretary. ... 

I'll not likely write tomorrow as I'll be away all day. Mother has been making up my red dress to-day, and it's going to look lovely. It is the one I'm having made out of my old evening coat, but you'd never know it. So you are lonesome for me? It won't be long before we see each other again, sweetheart.

Your wife.




Fred to Evelyn 
[Calgary]
Sunday evening, Oct 26/15

My dear wife,-

Today is mother's birthday and I wrote her a long letter this evening at the office. I am home now, and as it is rather late you'll not get a very long letter tonight.

Last evening Coutts and I went to drill. Afterwards I stopped for a cup of cocoa but I didn't stay late for I felt tired. The officer's school started last evening and about half of the best of our company were at it. We had the culls and a number of raw recruits - and a correspondingly poor drill. We were disgusted.

Mrs. Bell was here today and the house looks habitable again. She does go through a pile of work and when she leaves the place looks almost like home. I came home for lunch today because she was here. She cooked potatoes & cabbage & fried a couple pork chops. We also had celery and pineapple. I have been making inroads upon the canned fruit since you left - I have eaten a jar of raspberries one of white cherries and I am not using one of pineapple. Then too I am at a jar of peach & plum jam. 

Mr. Bell is still working in a threshing gang near Irricana,(8) and appears to like it very much, says he is getting good treatment and splendid board. Mrs Bell is anxious though because he hasn't been paid all his wages. He has sent her only $9. She says "Jim's too easy" Her cold is quite gone and she seems well. She doesn’t like Mrs Cowston - says she’ll not go there again - because she worked as hard as she could but couldn’t suit her.

Oh I have found a new place to eat - introduced by Fitch, - the Empress cafeteria. The dishes are clean the food well cooked and reasonable in price - and there is only white help in the kitchen. I usually go there for lunch - Have roast beef & potatoes, - 2 slices of bread & butter & baked apple with cream for 25¢ Not bad is it? One does not have many dishes, but the main thing is the food is good. I wouldn't mind changing though for some of Mrs. Albright's meals. Are you still having a good time? Must go to bed now so goodnight sweetheart

Fred.




Evelyn to Fred
Stony Creek, Ont.,
Wednesday, Oct. 27. [1915]

My Dear Husband, -

Ora had a letter from Art to-day. He had been up by the big guns, seeing them work, and having their working explained to him. He says the people go on working as usual, harvesting their crops. The chickens roost around the big guns, and if one get too noisy they move to another. I couldn't make out exactly what he was doing. He went some place two or three times a day to look after some men, and he had a fine horse to ride.

Yesterday we went to Dundas to see Mabel Buck, Daddy took us out and came for us and brought us into Hamilton, where we did a little shopping before going out for tea to Mrs. Webster’s. Laura Dymant, her daughter was at Faculty when I was in Toronto, and as our mothers were friends, we became acquainted too. She was going to be married last Christmas, but the boy went to the war.  He is in the transport office at Sandgate. ...

I keep wondering if you are coming home. You will not have long to stay, if you go home with me dear. ...

I expect to go down to Beamsville next week. How I wish you could be there with me! Since getting your letter of last Friday, [Oct. 22] I understand why you want especially to come now. I am glad you wrote me frankly, dearest. It is rather strange how nearly I had arrived at some of your intentions, though you had said practically nothing about them to me. Do you not, in the face of this, think it would be wiser to stay in the firm, even at a slight sacrifice?

I cannot discuss your letter to-night, dear. I will tell you what I think when I see you. What you said was not unexpected, except the part about the ministry. I was just wondering to myself if I was glad or sorry about that. Of course I am not glad if you think you did not do right, but I am afraid I was rather tired of parsonage life and parsonage furniture and parsonage salary, which is what did not attract you too, isn't it?

To-day mother offered to get me a return ticket if I'd stay a month longer, but I said I wouldn't and Ora said she knew I wouldn't. Maybe I wouldn't have come at all if you had opened your heart to me sooner. If you're coming, I'll surely know soon.

Goodnight my brave true man.




Evelyn to Fred 
Stony Creek, Ont.,
Oct. 28, 1915

My Dear Sweetheart,-

I wasn't going to write at all tonight, I have been so lonely for you, I didn't feel like writing at all. But Ora has written her daily screed, and so inspired me. ...

I got no letter to-day, so concluded you were busy Saturday. I hope you were having a game of golf. I was expecting a letter, telling if you intended coming east, and half expected that you might arrive tonight, your own dear self. But now it’s after ten, and I’ve given up hope.

...I almost decided to go to Toronto this afternoon, but I was hoping you might be coming home and that we might go together. Also I felt too tired and stupid to go. I don't know when I'll get there though and I do want to go over before I go home. One of the reasons I wanted to come home was that I wanted to go to Toronto. 

We have company, Mrs. Tom Bell from Glanford and Mrs. Holbrooke from Springvale. I was speaking to her about the Testers, and she remembers both the men very well.  Dearie, have you sent him that five dollars yet? Really, I am ashamed of that being left undone for so long.

Oh, I wish I were home again with you, but I will be soon, won't I? Two weeks from tomorrow night. I hope you've sent me some more money. I need it.

Your only sweetheart - is that true?




Evelyn to Fred 
Stony Creek, Ont.,
Oct. 29, 1915

My Dear Fred,-

... I was very much disappointed on receiving your letter [missing] to-day, to know that you are not coming east. If you do not come home, when and where are you going to take your holidays? You know you promised me that you would take some. I had a letter from Elizabeth to-day, and she said you told her that I might be staying longer than they expected I would. What gave you that impression? I am not going to stay any longer, since you are not coming home.

The second detachment of soldiers went through to-day, on their trek from Niagara to Toronto. Yesterday the people decided to give them something to eat, and to-day I guess the whole town was out to see them eat. The rear got most of the grub, those nearer the front not getting much as it was all gone by the time the other soldiers were passed. 

A couple little girls did manage to come up to those who so far had got none, and were immediately surrounded, but a non. com officer came out and made them go back to their own side of the road. Then they called to the little girls to take the cakes over to them and they walked over. One little girl had a plate of good cake and was at once surrounded. The men were taking the cake from her, she holding it out for them, when she turned her head around and called out to us, "Shall I give it to them?" It was very funny for she couldn't have helped giving it to them, for they already had it.

Old Mrs. Holbrooke, aged eighty-four went out to see them, and moved among them, giving them good advice. It was a credit to the men to act the way they did to her, not a disrespectful word did they say, and she talked to quite a number. Mother was looking in a camp kitchen and she said she wanted to see too, so a big, tall officer came and helped her up to see inside. This same officer was talking to the small boys nearly all the time they stopped. The little boys were funny. They fell in and marched along with the men and I heard one inquiring "How do you like this place?"

I do not expect to write tomorrow as I am going to Hagersville. So I'll write a double dose on Sunday. Oh, if you haven't sent me money please do.

With lots of love,

Your wife.




Evelyn to Fred 
Hagersville, Ont.,
Oct. 31, 1915

My Dear Fred,-

Two weeks from to-day I'll be home. I wonder how you feel about it. Will you be glad? I do not know as yet when I shall leave, but if I come back via Chicago, I shall probably arrive in Calgary about 4.40 Sunday morning. The ticket agent said they could change my ticket free to the North Shore route. I may do that, as it would take less time, only it isn't such a nice trip. However I'd be more likely to get in with someone I knew.

...I’ve found out where J.V. Mackenzie is - at Montreal with the Princess Pats, waiting his transportation to England in a couple weeks. Bruce Robertson from here is also with them and he is home for his final leave, so he told us that J.V. is with them. He has recently been on the Ottawa Journal, and quite a number of the boys who were living at the University club have enlisted together.  Guess what from Bruce says, he is the same fellow as regards girls and ? Do you know Buck Moore? He was in Europe, reporting war news and came back and enlisted in the P.P.C.L.I.

Ora and I came up here last night with Mae. Daddy and mother brought us up to Hamilton ... We visited the shops and then went up to call on Jen Davey. The doctor(9) is at Boulogne, head of a unit at a casualty clearing station. She says she expects him home in the spring. I sincerely hope she does see him, but for my own part, I think she is extremely optimistic.

Did you tell Elizabeth about the Ladies' Home Journal? She wrote me such a nice letter, but I have no time to reply to it. Say dearie, please do not you meet me with a moustache. I do hate the things so. ...

Your loving wife.



Endnotes

1. Probably refers to the Calgary Exhibition.

2. Mayo Clinic, the medical centre at Rochester, Minnesota.

3. Laura and Elmer Wright were friends of Fred and Evelyn. Elmer graduated in Dentistry at Toronto in 1911. He was in the Dental Corps and stationed at the camp at Bramshott, England for part of the time Fred was there. Evelyn and Laura remained good friends when Fred and Elmer were overseas.

4. Everett Fallis, the son of Rev. and Mrs Fallis.

5. The Dardanelles operation, begun early in 1915, was an unsuccessful attempt by Anglo-French warships to force a passage through the Turkish held Dardanelles Straits.

6. Evelyn is most likely referring to the Battle of Loos which took place in September, 1915. This was one of the pivotal battles of World War I in which a Franco-British attack was unsuccessful in breaking the German front.

7. Burial place of Sir Isaac Brock who was killed during the battle of Queenston Heights in 1812. The monument commemorates the British victory over the Americans.

8. Irricana, a village approx. 35 miles NE of Calgary.

9. Possibly Dr. James Edgar Davey, University of Toronto, M.B. 1902. Went overseas in April 1915. In that year he served with the No. 2 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station.

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