May-June 1914 - "I hope you'll always find me thoughtful and tender."
Evelyn to Fred
May 1, 1914 #1
My Dear Rusty,-
This is just to tell you I didn't write last night, I had a very full day. Mother wasn't very well in the morning, and we had a caller just as I was preparing potatoes for dinner. We served in the afternoon, and I went down town and got gasoline. With it and some paint I freshened up mother's summer hat, and then I pressed it and trimmed it.
In the evening we went over to Mr. Clarke’s. It was a meeting of the missionary committee and Mission Study class. We didn’t get our class going last fall, so we’re going to rush it through in four meetings. It’s an easy book - “Up and Down the Pacific Coast” by Dr. Crosby. My, they had a terrible time. Once when he was away on a trip, ten of his children died from diphtheria, and Mrs. Crosby and the other children had it too.
Mildred Johnston wanted me to go to the woods to-day, but I thought I didn’t have time. It is a lovely bright day to go.
When are you coming home. Would you rather have the wedding on the twelfth, so that we can be sure of our visit to Quebec? I won't have more than twenty-six or seven more letters to write. Aren't you glad you won't have to read many more?
Evelyn to Fred
May 1, 1914 #2
My Dearest Rusty,-
Since coming from choir practice, I’ve been sitting in front of the fire, reading Women’s Institute Reports. We are burning wood in our furnace, and papa went away leaving the fire burning up pretty well. We forgot it, and it went out. There wasn’t any wood down cellar, so I didn’t light it, and we are using the gas stove.
I feel sort of discouraged tonight for no particular reason. This has been as Susie calls it, a “crooked” week. I have to take the topic at League Monday, and that always worries me. I thought when I had it a few months ago, that that would be my last here, but they put me on for the first one. I was to meet my partner tonight at the church, and she didn’t come. I’m not going to choir practice after this month, I think.
On such occasions as this, when I am tired and out of sorts, I don't want to do anything but lie in your arms, before our fire. And when you are tired, what will you have me do. Will you lie down, and have me read to you, or shall I sing? I want you so much when I am weary, but I want you just as much to share my energetic moments.
Professor Duxberry is going to be in St. Kitts Tuesday, and I believe we are going to hear him both afternoon and evening.
I have been thinking about Ray [Albright]. He will have to have a frock coat if he assists you, and I can't tell you whether we'll need him or not. He won't want to buy one. Can he get one for the occasion? You are right in saying he cannot help your people. Since he has given his life to the ministry, we should at least relieve him of any financial obligations. I am glad we agree about our fathers and mothers. If you would write to Ora, you might find out if you'll need Ray.
Did you send that book? I’ve been asking for it ever since you said you were going to send it the next day, but it hasn’t come. You didn't say you had sent it.
Evelyn to Fred
May 3, 1914
My Dear One,-
I didn’t go to church tonight. I didn’t feel up to the mark, so I have spent the time working at the topic for tomorrow night. The subject is “Christ’s Teachings Regarding His Kingdom.” It is a fine subject, but like all of them deserves more time than it gets. After I finish writing to you, I’ll work at the Mission Study for tomorrow night.
After I came home from Sunday-school, I didn't feel like going for a walk, and I wanted to be out-of-doors, so I sat outside in the sun. I was reading the L.H.J. in a way, but was really sunning myself. These three days of May have been perfect. Whatever shall I do without May in your country. I'd like to be a blade of grass or a bud on a tree or a bird singing loudly all day long, so that I might get the fullness of the joy of May. No, there is no time like it.
I was thinking to-day of where I'd be were I in Toronto. Do you know where? Up over the hill and around the old Belt Line, coming out in the Don Valley. It's a great walk. How I wish we had been through college together. Perhaps I learned things I might not have learned had we been together then, but oh, there are some things that I wish were not, and I would that you were in my memories of college.
But why lament? You are in the memories of before and after. I was thinking last night about that time we all went up to Campden and coming home you let me drive. It was great that night. Or didn't you like me then? It's rather hard for me to understand when you did and when you didn't like me, for I was always the same. Only when you seemed to take it for granted that I wanted to live a life of my own, I wasn't going to dispute you, though I laughed to myself at your blindness. Why, ever since I was about eleven, I've dreamed of marriage. It rather hurt to have you and Ora talk as you sometimes did, but of course I wasn't going to give up my side of the argument.
...I was thinking yesterday how much fun we can have Saturday afternoons. You're not going to work then, are you? No, you're not. We'll have dinner at noon, and then we'll do as we like all afternoon and evening. Sometimes we'll go out in the country and have picnics, and if Fritz and Elizabeth are good, they may come too. Sometimes we'll have our meals downtown. I get tired of getting all the meals, and if you don't want to be impressed into service your alternative is to eat down town.
Poor dad is worried. Some time ago he preached about the prodigal son, and two brothers were told that he said something that cast a slur on their characters, and they were angry. He doesn’t know what it was, and of course he isn’t such a cad as to say things against anybody from the pulpit. He is very slow to express bad opinions of people, and even when I know he can’t really, he strives to believe in them.
I wish we could grow trees by means of an Alladin’s [sic] lamp, then would I search it over many lands. But you can grow sweet peas out there, I’m told.
Four more Sundays in May! When are you starting for home? When are Fritz and Elizabeth coming? I guess if your spring isn't nice, we had better come east in the spring. Is your summer nice? And your fall? ...
Evelyn to Fred
May 4, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
I’m just home from League. We had to practise a quartette for next Monday afterwards. It was hot in the room, and I opened some windows when I got there but still it was hot. Consequently my head is aching. But we has a splendid meeting. There was a good spirit about it.
...I got two letters to-day, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s. I think it's too funny for anything that we are advising each other about our night apparel. I guess you'll like mine, it comes pretty near to your description. I laughed when I read it, but I wanted to hug you.
I can't say yet about the announcement, I must write to Ora first. I got a nice letter from her to-day. Guess what she has for us. ... She is getting us a lunch set, eighteen pieces in all. She says we're to wait for our real present until we get home, but I'm going to tell her, that if she comes home, she's not to think of getting us a present. She says Art says she's to come, but she doesn't know yet.
He had two babies lately, and if business is good, she can come. I haven’t urged her to come, because it wouldn’t be fair to her, but all the same, I have a hunch that there’ll be enough babies to bring her. They had a slight fire the other day, but it did but very little damage. They expect to get a house soon, are going to trade some lots Art’s father is giving him, on a house. I’m glad Art has started out for himself even if it is rather hard at first. Ora’s a good sort, isn’t she? I’m glad she’s married, for I imagine she’s much more contented than she ever was before.
It’s thundering. It’s rained by spasms and shone by fits all day long. The leaves are out of the bud on our horsechestnut tree.
I guess we'll have the wedding Friday. If you don't get in till Tuesday, I'd better meet you there, as I shouldn't want to be away from home Wednesday or Thursday.
Fred to Evelyn
Wednesday evening, May 6/14
I'm afraid you'll not get a very good letter tonight. I've had an exceptionally heavy day in court and I feel tired. Somehow I've lost my zest for work lately anyhow and I'm longing for the 5th of June. What will you do when I come home from the office, tired and cantankerous? But then, I wouldn't be that way if I had you to come home to. Isn't it strange that I never felt so strongly the need of a home nor the desire for a wife -- no, I'll use your own word - chum - before last fall. Of course before that I often had a vague unsatisfied longing but it wasn't anything like what I feel now. I wonder if being engaged affects all people the same way.
Ever since last summer my thoughts and life have centred more and more around you until now you have become the centre and heart of my whole life. Things are of importance only in relation to you. Do you remember soon after I came back from the east last fall that I wrote once asking whether you cared if I went out occasionally with other girls? It seems funny to me now that I should have asked such a question for now I have no desire to. I want you, and since you can't be here in person I don't want anybody, but oh, my dearie, I do want you so much tonight. Are you thinking of me at this hour I wonder?
I ran over to Fritz’s for a few minutes after dinner and found him again busily engaged in the garden. I chatted for a few minutes with Elizabeth then came back. Last Saturday Fritz and Ford rode out into the country to bring in Ford’s horse which has been out for the winter but they learned that it has been lost since about Xmas time.
The farmer had never notified Ford although the horse has been missing all these months. Ford’s feelings may be imagined, for he thought a great deal of it, apart from the question of its value. He had paid 225 for it.
There wasn’t any letter this morning which means you didn’t write last Friday evening and of course there’ll be none tomorrow so I’ll have to wait until Friday. Somehow I feel sure there’ll be a nice big loving one then.
Have you got your sewing nearly finished? When I think of the work you must have I'm thankful I'm not a woman but that I can buy my clothes. But then I suppose there's some satisfaction in making your own trousseau too isn't there?
But what concerns me most is, - how are you feeling? You haven’t been overworking have you? I’d like to feel sure that you are taking care of yourself and that you’ll be in shape to enjoy our trip right from the start. I do so want you to enjoy Quebec. It’s so quaint and interesting and then it’s part of our own country.
If we are married on the 12th, how do you want to put in the intervening time? You see we'll arrive in Montreal early Saturday morning. I'm not particularly anxious to spend two days in Montreal but I'd far rather spend Sunday there than in Quebec. Of course there's enough of interest in either place to keep us two days. If we were two days at Quebec we could go out to Ste. Anne de Beaupré.
Or, would you prefer not to go direct to Montreal but instead to spend a day in Toronto, or even go around by Ottawa? I don't think Ottawa would be so very interesting at that time, except that it would be nice to say we had seen the capital city of the Dominion. For myself I'd rather go right through to Montreal Friday night, but I want to do what pleases you best, dear.
Must do a little work now.
Your very own "Torchy."
Evelyn to Fred
May 6, 1914 #1
My Dear Rusty,-
I didn’t get home last night until late, and so got no letter written. Mother is going to take this down for me. We expect to go over to Toronto Friday and I have just written the girls about it, as I may stay over Sunday with them, if they’re not too busy.
It rained nearly all day yesterday, but to-day is perfectly grand. Papa has cut part of the lawn. I guess he got tired before he got through
I marked my clothes and bed linen this morning. It didn't take me so very long. How many changes of clothes do you think one would need. The instructions you sent said one after leaving London. I have most of the things suitable. Do you think I need to take my rain coat? I wish I had the steamer trunk several days before we leave. I hate to try to pack in an hour.
Do you want to get the ring at Rynie’s? We could get one engraved at Mr. Smith’s. They do that kind of work very well.
I wish you could get home by Monday. If we have the wedding Friday, you’ll have only two days in which to make all the preparations. I’d like to get our trunk off the day before.
The flies are alive again, the horrid things. There’s one buzzing here, and I’m too lazy to kill it.
I'll write more tonight. I'm going to go and lie down. Good-bye dearie.
Evelyn to Fred
May 6 1914 #2
My Dear Rusty,-
There is a thunderstorm going on, or at least, it has been. It is now almost over. I was busy making a boudoir cap, but I didn’t want to sew on the machine during the storm, and so I wrote a couple letters instead.
Yesterday afternoon the three of us went down to the city to hear Prof. Duxberry. In the afternoon he gave the story of Joseph, in the evening Part 1 of Jean Val Jean, Editha’s Burglar, Farmer Gray, Little Jack Horner, and The Bells. Little Jack Horner is given as Shakespeare, Longfellow, Carlyle, Pope Dickens and Tennyson would write it.
They were all good imitations of the author’s styles, but I think Dickens’ was best. It imitated the description of the turkey in The Christmas Carol. Mother and I intended going up town to shop and for tea, but a lady persuaded mother to go with her. ...
I was going to the dressmaker’s so Edna went with me. I tried on the white and the old rose dress. The white is lovely and the old rose is pretty. I hope you’ll like it. It has the pannier effect, sort of bags at the sides. I wonder why people always say things about people who are going to get married. The dressmaker’s married sister was there and she made some remarks I considered rather out of place, especially to a stranger.
You spoke of a woman who died after a year of married life. There was a sad case in Hagersville. The two had waited a long time, as the man had financial responsibilities which prevented him marrying earlier. She died before they had been married a year, and the child died too. Of course, such cases are comparatively rare, but it is still true that that is the cause of death of the most of married women from twenty to say forty. I don't think you understand how I feel about these things. They seem apart from me. I have for so long put the idea of marriage away, away is the future, that I absolutely do not realize that I am really going to be married. And I don't know that I want to. For the present it is enough that my chum and I are going away on the grandest holiday we've ever had.
I kissed your picture this morning and the name that sprang to my lips was "chummie." And I don't want you to be my husband on this trip - that's too sedate, too businesslike. It's to be a holiday, isn't it? We passed a little restaurant to-day, and I said to myself "What fun to try different eating-houses, and not go to the same one twice, unless we like?" You see, although I am very Conservative, I have moments when I long for a diluted Bohemianism.
As to books, I haven't thought yet, I think I'll get cheap copies, enough to last till we get over, and then we can get some to read coming back. I don't imagine we'll want many.
Allowing four days for seasickness there won’t be much time to read. Aren’t you going to have a grand time while I’m sick I’m going to try the Lake boat Friday.
My ring is shining in my eyes. Soon I'll be shining it in yours.
Your loving girl.
Fred to Evelyn
May 7th 1914
I’m awfully sorry that I forgot to post your letter this morning I was in court again all day and I was so rushed before I went to court that I forgot all about posting your letter. I found it in my pocket this afternoon and I posted it about six o’clock but it was too late of course to reach you by the ordinary usual mail.
You'll get a short scrap again tonight - or I suppose I should say this morning - for it's after midnight now. There was a very extended meeting of the quarterly board this evening at which the usual number of asinine things were done - and a few that are not on the general list. Of course this was the usual routine business, and then on the question of assistant pastorale for next year the board took a jelly fish attitude that was maddening.
I pity Mr Fallis. To begin with, I don't think he is a big enough man for the place. Then if he is to be left without an assistant as some of the board are suggesting, or with a new man as assistant he is likely to have his hands full. Fritz and I led a futile attack upon the apathy and indecision of the majority of the board and about all we got for our pains was a prolongation of the session that threatened to lose us the last car home. Fortunately someone looked at his watch at twenty minutes to twelve.
Another letterless day - but there’ll be two tomorrow. Tomorrow is Arbor Day and a civic holiday. Our office along with others will be closed to the public but the firm will all be back. I can’t afford to take holidays now. June is drawing too close.
Mrs Lowes went away today so Wilson is going to get the tennis court ready tomorrow and I may play a little in the afternoon. The Lowes offered us the use of his racket and everything else that might be necessary. We ought to get plenty of exercise from now on.
Please excuse the brevity, but I must get up early in the morning, so I'll say goodnight now.
Your own Rusty.
Fred to Evelyn
Friday evening, May 8, 1914
This was nominally a holiday - Arbor Day - and all law offices and banks and government offices were closed to the public, - ours among the number. I was very glad because it gave me an opportunity of catching up with some work that has been badly pushed to one side. Yesterday court sat late in order to finish with certain witnesses from out of town so that they wouldn't have to return Monday.
On account of the holiday today the case that has occupied us the past two days was adjourned until Monday. We hope to finish that day. I was expecting another very short case tomorrow morning but learned tonight that it will stand over until some time next week, for which also I am thankful. I was practically alone in the office this morning and this afternoon Miss Lambertson came back and we got a good deal of work done. - was also back this evening for a couple of hours.
Mr & Mrs Lowes went away yesterday so just before and after dinner tonight we fitted up the tennis court. It has never been used and we had to measure it, paint the lines - we swiped some brown paint that painters are putting on the house, put up the net etc. It's all in shape now for a game tomorrow. I'm going out in the afternoon for a while, if it doesn't rain. It looks a little like rain this evening and this is about the time when we may expect the rainy season. Today was a beautiful day - warm and bright - really to nice to spend inside.
This morning’s mail brought your Friday and Sunday letters. I’m so sorry, dearie, that you haven’t been feeling well and that last week was, as you say, a “crooked” week. I’m afraid I am the one who made it crooked for you. Please, please forgive me.
I'm so glad, dearest, that when you feel tired or discouraged you think of me and want me to be with you. Oh, I hope you'll always find me thoughtful and tender. You are my own little kiddie in very truth aren't you? And when you feel tired I'm going to take you in my arms and lay your head upon my breast and then you'll tell me your troubles and worries and I'll kiss them all away. We are going to have a great easy fireside chair and a big chesterfield, and when either of us feels weary we'll turn the lights low and sit or lie in the glow of the fire. And when I feel tired, I'll lie down on the chesterfield and you'll sing some dear old songs and sometimes you'll sit beside me, and smooth my brow with your hand and read to me won't you? Oh. I can hardly wait for the time when we are in our own home.
Once again I have to apologize for my forgetfulness. I did think I had sent that book but last night in rummaging through some books I found it. I was so surprised I could hardly believe my eyes. I am putting it in my bag now and I’ll take it down to the office tomorrow sure. I have never unpacked my things since moving into this house and that partly accounts for my failure to send the book off, but that is no excuse I know.
I’m so afraid, dear, that some time I’ll hurt you by forgetting something. Everybody here laughs at me. I make use of Edmanson and Carson to remind me of private matters that I want to attend to at the office. Once I get to the office, I forget all about private matters. You’ll have to be my reminder, dearie. But I’ll not forget the book tomorrow, never fear.
Judge Beck got off a very good bon mot yesterday. Mr Campbell was cross-examining one of our witnesses about the way a certain threshing engine worked. The witness said it worked well and was a good engine. A previous witness had condemned it and said it didn't comply with the requirements of the Alberta law respecting steam boilers. Campbell was trying to shake our man's evidence when finally Judge Beck interrupted with "What he says, Mr. Campbell is that the engine is a good one in spite of the fact that it doesn't comply with the requirements of the Alberta Steam Boiler's Act, just as we might say you are a very good man, although you might not satisfy the requirements of the standard of the new science of eugenics." The remark had especial point because Campbell is a peculiar looking man. He started questioning on a new tack then.
This is the 8th of May.Perhaps a month from tonight I'll be in Toronto. Would you like to meet me there, dearie? Wouldn't it be nice to spend a couple of hours together around the university and college in June?
Goodnight my own sweetheart
Evelyn to Fred
May 9, 1914
My Dear Old Rusty,-
Such a rush as I've had for the last three days. I'll give you some account of what I've done. Thursday we cleaned up the lawn - part of it, and I went to the city for dress-fittings. My dresses are very pretty and I'm sure you'll like them. I got some lovely frilling for one to-day. After I got home from the city I went to a teacher's meeting and it was late when we got home. Then we had to pack and I got to bed at twelve - I was up at six and yesterday got to bed at twelve - I was up at six and yesterday got to bed at twelve. This morning Ethel, Flossie, and I thought we’d go down and get bargain shoes so I was up at 7.45 6.45. We didn’t get the boots, the others grabbed them. It's 11.30 now, and I’m desperately tired.
We were over at Mr. Moshier's tonight, but he wasn't home. Mrs. Moshier surprised me by saying that Heber was married a couple weeks ago, and that he has been home all winter. She did not say who his wife(1) was and I didn't like to ask her only she did say they were married here in the Church of the Messiah. They went from the church to the train. Oh, I felt rather queer tonight. I went over to get some books I had lent Eldridge, and she took me up to his room to pick them out. It seemed strange to go into a man's room, the room of one whom you have known so well. She asked me if I had one of his pictures, but I hadn't, only a snap. He had one taken for the paper card, she wanted it. Poor lady! I wonder if they have any idea where he is.
Do you remember saying something once that implied that I might think I cared for him. You surely don't think that, do you Fred? The other night I was thinking about him and you, I was inclined to be harsh with him, but I finally gave him all I could in justice, and I wondered how I could have been so blind. I was trying to fit the garment of a beautiful dream on a figure that would not fill it out. I think, yes, I'm sure I always knew that, but I wanted to love and be loved, and I reasoned that I should at least test him. But you said once that we would talk no more of him. I couldn't help it tonight though you are as sunshine to gloom: my life now is bright, but there it was tearful, and fearful.
You think my studies were the cause of my nervous disorder. They likely had something to do with it, but largely the trouble was in my mind. My last year was particularly wretched. I used to cry myself to sleep often. You see, I was fighting a double fight. I was fighting for my ideals versus fascination, and also I was fighting for my own way. I wanted to look forward toward marriage, but I felt then that it was not the thing for me. How far away, how misty, how oh, how unhappy that time seems. I wonder if you know what it means to me to have you, one whom I trust to thoroughly, and higher still, whom I love so dearly.
Yesterday morning there was a B. & G. on the car and mama said “Five weeks to-day, people will be looking at you and spotting you for what you are.”
I have my hat and suit - both a light blue. There was a very extreme suit, a silk one, I sort of wanted, but we thought it was too faddish for your girl.
Soon I'll give you a thousand kisses, and I want them returned with interest compounded every second.
Fred to Evelyn
Sunday evening May 10/14
I don't want to write tonight, I want you here with me before the fire - to hear your voice and to feel the touch of your hands - and lips. I think I miss you on Sundays more than at any other time. Tonight my longing for you is so intense it hurts - it seems almost physical. We've only four Sundays more and then I'll be with you.
Did you like the lesson today? I didn’t like it but in class we had a splendid time and I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed a lesson more. There was the largest attendance we’ve had for some time and there was a splendid discussion. Then too after the session, a lady came up to me and thanked me for the lesson and said she had been helped and wanted to join the class. She’s a newcomer and a very intelligent woman - an ex-schoolteacher. It isn’t often one gets words of commendation and they are appreciated when they do come. They make me think this work may not be in vain after all.
I got up late this morning - but in time for church and Bishop preached one of the best temperance sermons I've heard for a long time. His subject was "interlocking evils" and he tried to show that by eliminating the liquor traffic we'd break the back of most of the other evils that affect society today. The whole service was splendid. I’m sorry to see Bishop leave but he goes to Victoria church next year.
I haven’t been home much today. I had lunch at Fritz’s and after S.S. I went to Singley’s. Roy was there too. We left about seven o’clock. Roy to go to church - and I to come home. I came across the hill and the view down over the city in the valley at the north and away to the mountains on the west was magnificent. It isn’t as nice a May in Ontario but neither is Calgary all unlovely in spring. The buds are swelling into leaves on many of the trees and the leaves are green. There are plenty of crocuses on the prairie and in 10 days or two weeks tulips will be out in the gardens.
I’ve read and re-read your Monday letter which came yesterday morning. It wasn’t very long but it breathed love and tenderness. Oh you have forgiven me, dearie, for hurting you as I did a couple weeks ago, haven't you? You must have or you couldn’t write such a letter.
I'm so sorry, dearie, that I said anything about the wedding announcements. It just seems as if I had been complaining about everything - and you are so different. In everything you are subordinate your own wishes to please me. It makes me feel mean and selfish and I can't bear to have you look upon me that way. Please, please, do things for once as you want them and don't let me interfere any more.
I'll be so glad if Ora can go home. I'm following your suggestion and writing her tonight. You're right, - Ora is a mighty good sort. She has shown herself a true woman and a helpful and resourceful one and Art is a very fortunate man. But I know a man who is far more fortunate still. Guess who? Speaking of Ora and Art, - you have made a most slanderous statement, do you know that? You said Art had two babies lately. How do you suppose Ora would like such an innuendo.
Immediately after lunch yesterday I made a trip over to Elizabeth to get the L.H.J. and I read the lines you spoke of. I had read the whole article before and in the main I agreed with it. I don’t think the blame is all on one side. But if husbands or wives do forget neglect in later life the little acts of love and tenderness that each thinks so important in the early wedded life, I believe it is very largely because they settle down comfortably and securely in each other’s love and think the outward expressions don’t matter.
Let us not do that, dearie. I used to think it was awfully silly for husband and wife to kiss each time at parting and uniting, but I’ve changed my views. In England I knew a beautiful couple past sixty - whose children were all grown up and married and away from home, and they never separated even for an hour without his kissing her good-bye very tenderly. It was no mere outward show, but she was to him still the bride-lassie and he the lover to her. In some it might have seemed mawkish sentimentality but in them it was a beautiful exhibition of true love. Perhaps they went a little too far - but I do want you to kiss me good bye when I go to the office in the morning and to welcome me home the same way at night, won’t you darling?
Oh, I often think of how beautiful it will be to come home - to our house at night with you to greet me and lovingly put your arms around me. No matter how hard the day has been, that will make everything bright. And I do pray my darling that I may ever be thoughtful and tender to you in my acts and shall be in my heart.
So you have decided on the 12th for the wedding. That's good. Now how do you want to spend the time between the 12th and 16th? If we take the evening train to Toronto we'll have time to catch the night train to Montreal, getting there on Saturday morning. Where do you want to spend Sunday? Would you rather spend Saturday in Toronto? We could go up around Queen's Park, and the University and college and perhaps take one of your favorite walks or drives - or would you rather go straight to Montreal and spend the time there?
Whom do you want to assist your father? I have no preference - except that I was just thinking the other day when I was in England with Art Foreman I told him I’d have him marry me if I ever did get married. If you have any preference at all please tell me but if not how would Foreman suit? Now, please remember his name is only a suggestion in case you haven’t any to make, but I want to get whoever you want, - and I don’t want you to do as you have in everything else, - subordinate or suppress your wishes because you fear might not agree with mine, Please!
... How soon do you want my list of people to whom I wish announcements sent? I have it prepared but now and again I think of some one whom I had overlooked. There isn't any hurry about this is there?
Another thing, when I spoke about ushers before, I never even did you the courtesy of asking whom you would like to have. Of course if Ray doesn't assist me I'd want him for one usher, but whom else would you like?
And whom would you want if he [Ray] is best man? If Ora can’t come home and you don’t have a bridesmaid, do you intend to have a flower girl? Or what will you do with your flowers when I need your hand? Had I better get flowers in St Kitts or in Toronto? Ora said they got nice ones from St Catharines for her wedding and they were perfectly fresh, while there’s risk in getting them from Toronto or Hamilton.
If you meet me in Toronto on my arrival could you stay over night? Of course if you did you'd have to bring your mother or some chaperon. I'd guess you'd want to anyhow - or else stay with your friend Edith Adam's. The reason I ask is the train doesn't arrive in Toronto until nearly evening and I'm afraid there wouldn't be time that day to get the ring and do some other shopping that must be done, and there wouldn't be much time to go to Thorold that night and come back again.
Goodnight my darling.
Evelyn to Fred
67 Albany Ave.,
May 11, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
I guess this is the eleventh; at any rate, it is Monday morning. Edith and I are just ready to start out. We have a very busy day before us.
First she goes out to Mary Lowrey’s with some work Mary is going to typewrite for her. I go down town at once, and she is to meet me there at eleven. After an hour’s shopping, we are to go back to Mary’s for lunch. Edith has to get this work at the Faculty building by three; we will make a short call on Drs. Horning and Edgar, then go down town for my hat, and from thence to the boat.
When I got my hat home, I discovered a spot on the front, so I have to take it back to be retrimmed. My gloves split while I was trying them on, so back they go.
Edith Adams was here for tea last night. I am at Edith Phillip's now. We all went to Walmer Rd. Baptist last night, and afterwards walked around and called on Miss Addison, who was glad to see us. We didn't go to church yesterday morning.
The ravine was wonderful yesterday afternoon after a rain. I wanted you with me to see it. I have been having a delightful time with the girls; it is good to have friends, isn't it? But so much the more is it good to have a friend and a lover combined. I shall be so glad to see you, just because you are my friend. Aren't you glad of that? I am. Oh, I love you, I love you , I love you.
Evelyn to Fred
May 12, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
I got home last night without being adversely affected by the sad sea waves. I’ve come to the conclusion that one reason I used to get sick was that I was hungry. I had to stay outside and it was cold; but I went in once and the air was so bad and I felt the vibration so much that I went out in the cold again. I must have caught a little cold, for my back has been aching all day. It is much better now, and pretty soon I’m going to have a hot bath. Then I’ll go to bed and sleep and sleep.
It’s been raining all day; yesterday was dull, and Sunday was rainy. But you ought to see the trees and lawns. Cherry blossoms are out, oh, the lovely things. Our horsechestnut is in bud. Everything is lovely, lovely.
To-day I ironed my embroidered underclothes. The set which took us so long to do is very pretty and I am quite pleased with it. Did I tell you I got my hat and suit, and a dear little hat for the boat and motoring, all of them Alice blue. I got a little book yesterday Pocket Edition of Cathedrals. It will be fine for us. On the boat I was reading Arnold's Essays in Criticism. I got a lot of 15¢ books, and a $1.85 cook book. Which should be better nourished, our brains or our stomachs?
Mrs. Scott was telling us of a place in London where Bob & Edith stayed last year. It is a sort of private hotel, near the centre of the city, very desirable, and reasonable as to rates. I will write to the German’s for the information you wish.
The Glee club will sail June 2, by the Royal George. Either the Courier was wrong or Mr. Edmonson [Roy] was teasing you. Yes, Wray is going, which means that he can’t be at the wedding.
Now, have you decided about ushers? Didn’t you say Hugh for one, or did I want him? I would suggest Noble for the other one. ... Of course, if Ray doesn’t have to assist you, then he must be an usher and Noble may sit down. The reason I suggest Noble is that I think he has the clothes, and I shouldn’t want to make anyone else get them. Now see here, dearie, if you don’t want him, don’t ask him. If there’s anyone you want, I want that one. But outside of him, I don’t know who there is we could have unless you’d prefer Gordon.
In other circumstances, we could ask John, but not for this. Do you know, he seems different lately: more careless and cynical. I am very sorry to see it. Would you like Clarence and Mable invited?
You haven't told me how many announcements you want for your friends. Please tell me at once. I figured out that it would cost about $15 more for engraved than for printed ones, and much as I'd like the engraved for your sake more than my own, I'm not going to have them. You may be glad you're not following your brother's footsteps.
We bought our goods at Eaton’s Friday, using a transfer card. We paid for the things shortly before five o’clock. They paid the express on them, and they got here Saturday afternoon. If you get a trunk there, they’ll express it here, and it would be quicker than for you to bring it.
If you want to get the ring at Rynie’s, when I go over in a couple weeks, I can select the style, and find out the size. I intended to do it when I was over, but my finger was sore and swollen.
Our class reunion is the twenty-third and I shall make an effort to get there.
I had a delightful time while I was over this time. Isn't it nice to have people glad to see you? I went to see Dr. Horning & Dr. Edgar but found neither one in. I saw Miss Wilson(2) though.
Oh, tomorrow I must tell you what Dr. Edgar said to Edith Phillips, or did I tell you? I’m rather muddled.
We were cleaning house to-day. We have a great deal done, on one day.
Evelyn to Fred
May 13, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
I have just finished cutting up grapefruit for marmalade, and here is mother home from prayer-meeting. We didn’t do so much to-day, rested a bit. We ironed and painted some in the bath-room. The paper is dirty so we are painting it. It’s the kind of paper that one can paint.
The book came to-day, the same time as your letter announcing it. I have been thinking what I'll do to you to cure you of your forgetfulness. You are too young to expect to carry a bad habit like that all through the rest of your life. While you are in the process of being cured, I am going to have a memorandum book for you, and before you come home, I'll telephone you to look at your book.
Before Edith Phillips came over Easter, she saw Dr. Edgar and told him she was coming here. Of course he asked about me, what I was doing and intending to do. She smiled a queer smile, and at once he asked the reason for the smile. She told him the rumour, but as it had not been authentic, she would not tell him your name. He did his best to find out if he knew you, but she said she didn’t know, she wasn’t sure who “you” were.
At last, giving up as useless the effort to discover the my future name of my future he said, “Oh, well, she’ll make a charming wife for somebody. Poor dear, I shall write to him and dispel the clouds of ignorance. I was disappointed at not seeing him on Monday.
Sunday afternoon, while the rest were at Sunday-school, I had an interesting conversation with Mrs. Adams. I can best describe her as being mentally alive. She has seven children of her own, and Edith, her step-daughter, so that you may know she is a very busy woman, yet in some way she finds time to study the Woman Suffrage question, and to read Chesterton and the moderns, as well as the ancients.
I have come to the conclusion that the reason I don't get much worth-while reading done, is that I do not select properly. Often I have a few moments in which to read, but because I am tired, I read a worthless rather than a worthy article. Mrs. Adams thinks that a great deal of our efforts should be expended on expression, verbal expression, I think she is right. Were we careful and well trained in our speech, there would be fewer misunderstandings. At any rate we both know the meaning of & the way to say,
I love you.
Don’t forget to send the number of announcements.
Evelyn to Fred
May 14, 1914
We have just had a class-meeting here, and mother is sweeping up the crumbs. Not many turned out, but we had a very good time. We were busy indeed to-day. This morning and afternoon too, Mama painted the bathroom. I baked and went down town in the morning. After dinner I swept and dusted downstairs and got the 2.26 car for the city. I walked from the dressmakers up town, and went in every dry goods and millinery store on St. Paul St. I think, trying to get ribbon, but with a lack of success that wearied me exceedingly. I got things at the grocer’s and came home. After tea mama did the dishes and made sandwiches, while I iced the cake and got the things on the dishes. Now it is nearly 11.30 and I am alone with you.
Oh, my dear one, I am sorry you haven’t been getting Saturday night letters. I never get them, if that’s any consolation. But I know I haven’t written regularly lately. There is so much to do.
Your Saturday letter came to-day. [missing] You poor, poor man! I think I know how you feel about that matter. I am sorry, of course I am sorry but there it is, and can't be helped. You are afraid our children might not have beautiful bodies. Look dearest, don't you think you are a little foolish to worry about that? See what there is to be thankful for. Did you read in the Banner a couple weeks ago of the effects of alcohol on children? See what a heritage we have to give our children! On my father's side, on the Kelly side, the line is clear of alcohol. I don't know about my grandmother's father. Grandpa's uncles, some of them drank, but I don't think his father did. My grandmother's sister, oh, that is a sad story, but my grandmother of course was clear.
And on my mother's side it is the same, so far as I know. And I'm sure you can say the same. Now consider how very few couples, considering the former social customs of our people, can have that to say. And they, our ancestors, are pure blooded. They are not illegitimate, there is none of the dreaded disease which comes from an impure life. Be thankful dear, for what you have, and if you have what does not give you cause for thanks, be thankful that it is no worse.
... There is something so appealing in your letter, it makes my heart ache for you. My dearie, my dearie, I shall soon take your dear head in my arms, and then you'll know, and I'll know, that none of these things matter. Haven't you learned that yet?
It hurt me when you said that you thought my ill-health was coming between our love. Haven't you learned that health doesn't matter to love? It may hinder marriage, but not love, and so with looks. They may be what attracts, long enough for souls to be known, but then though looks may count for something, they are of very minor importance. Do you want me to be honest? Well, I care more how you appear to other people than how you do to me, because I know you, and love you, but they don't so well, and I want them to like you. See?
Please don't worry about this any more, dear one. Honestly, that isn't what bothers me. You never answered the letter in which I set forth my "Causes of Present Discontent." [letter missing] If you only knew how I love you for telling me this, and for caring so much how I shall feel. I'll try to live it to you.
Evelyn to Fred
May 15, 1914
My Dearest Rusty,-
I have just been looking at announcements and invitations. What do you think? As many as we’d want of each kind, if engraved would cost about thirty dollars. ...
But I wish you’d told me how many announcements you want. Never mind, I can get the invitations done and addressed. Do you want one sent to you? Are Fritz’s coming home? Hugh said he guessed they’d have to send them the money if they came, though I’m afraid they wouldn’t be flattered did you tell them that.
I'd rather go to Montreal Friday night. I suppose on Saturday I may be a little tired, so that I won't want to be out all the time. I think I should like to be there on Sunday. But we can decide that when we get there. I told you about ushers, Ray [Albright] and Hugh, or Hugh and Noble [Sharpe]. If Ora doesn't come home, I can stick my flowers in my belt. That would be nice. I think you can get them in the city. I'll order them, I don't want to wait till you come.
Please give me a Toronto address, so that if I can't get them here, I'll send you word. I don't think I'll meet you in Toronto, haven't time. I'll find out the size of the ring when I'm over and tell you. You may do your own choosing of gifts for the men, but I want to help select Mae's and Ora's. I know what to get for Ora. We can get it here. I know how much Art spent on my pearls, and you can get a nice wrist watch on a leather strap, for that money, I did have it in a clumsy leather strap, but now it’s to be dainty, and to show that it’s a gold watch.
I cleaned a china closet, a wardrobe, my dresser and writing table, and made marmalade to-day. Mama finished her job of painting. She did more than I did. I cleaned out two drawers of letters. I came across some of yours written before you came home. Oh, I have numerous things to ask you, about how you felt at different times.
... It's just four weeks from to-day. Are you glad. Good-night, dearest. Sweet dreams. I read that article in the L.H.J. I hope you'll always find me charming as you said I'd be.
Evelyn to Fred
May 16, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
Mother says if she were in my place she’d sit down and write all the time, that we are two of the worst mushers she ever saw. Never mind, it won’t be much longer that I’ll be writing.
Yes, dearie, I should like the trunk as early as possible. You see Mae, Elleda, Aunt E and Ora will be here a day or two before the wedding, and I don’t want my things lying around, and also I don’t want to be bothered packing the day before. There will be enough other things.
When will you come here? You want to go home first, do you? Have you written to Hugh, and the other usher. Of course, it would be lovely for Ora to come home when you do, but I won't see very much of her. However she may suit herself.
I was talking to your Aunt Carrie tonight, over the telephone. Lina [Moyer] is coming home Monday night. Your Aunt Carrie said this about you, that in her estimation you were the next best man there was - I thought that meant a great deal, for your Uncle was certainly a good man. She said you were a favourite of hers, and I replied that I could say the same thing. That made her laugh. She also remarked about it being rather unexpected, that we were very sly, but I told her to lay all the blame on you. Are your shoulders broad enough for that? ...
Oh, I am going to write to Elizabeth, this coming week I hope. Tonight, after our S.S. lessons were studied, we had a little time to rest, other to read, and I to make eyelets. I have this last piece of my set nearly finished. But I haven't a tablecloth hemmed, not a custom made, only one small centre-piece, while two quilts yet remain to be done. You'll likely freeze this winter unless Ora gives up that blanket of mine she has.
Evelyn to Fred
May 17, 1914
My Dear Old Rusty,-
Last night I dreamed we were riding in the train together and I snuggled up close to you and said I liked to travel with you. It won't be long until it will be reality instead of a dream.
Tonight I told Mrs. Clarke I was going over to Toronto for next Sunday. She said, “Well, we’ll have to look into this. You were over there last week. There must be a great attraction over there.” And she smiled thinking of Wray, I presume.
We had two Englishmen here for dinner and tea. Neither had tasted corn, and one wouldn’t even try it. I think I’ll get a recipe book in Paris and one in London, and some day I’ll get a German one. Wouldn’t that be fun?
We were out of school early to-day and Mother and I went for a little walk. Oh, it was a grand day. The cherry and the plum blossoms are out; the maples are red and bronze and green, and the far off woods are softly green. On one lawn, a tall, white robed tree stood out before two black pines. The sun shone so brightly, everything united to make an ideal Sunday. I wished you and Art and Ora were here to see it.
I think we'd better come home the end of May or first of June, but then I love September and October here. I love the summer.
...Mother and dad are going to the Falls tomorrow night to hear Bishop Quayle. I’m not going - but am going down to stay with Mildred Johnston. Did I tell you about her sister Ruth, who ran away just about a year ago? The boy is an Italian, and naturally her people objected to her marrying him. She did it. They had the baby christened in church to-day. I guess the boy is good enough, but he is a foreigner. His people are all Catholics, but he joined our church over a year ago. He doesn’t look like an Italian.
The Johnston’s were afraid the baby would be dark, but it isn’t. Mama said she didn’t realize till lately, what it must have meant to them. She said they couldn’t have been very glad to see their first grandchild. They have been very, very good to Ruth and Joe, but they feel the hurt just the same. Why should it be considered such a disgrace? Aren’t we overweeningly proud of our race? And none of us are pure blooded. Look at me, not a drop of Anglo-Saxon blood in me that I know of - all Irish, French and German. And you are altogether German aren’t you? Isn’t it strange? Latin vs Teutonic, the war has not yet ceased.
Are you going home before you come here? That means that you won't get here until sometime on Wednesday. Are you going to surprise me? That would be fun. I'd rather meet you here than at the station, but I'll come if you want me to.
Good night, Camarad.
Evelyn to Fred
May 18, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
First, don’t you ever think it was your power that kept me from being seasick that time we went over to Toronto. I was over about eight times. I mean I crossed that many times, and I wasn’t sick, not really sick once. And I’ve been over and back once this year safely, and intend to repeat the feat this week. Only, I know pretty well that two hours and a half are enough, quite enough at a time.
I hope you can get a furnished house. I haven’t had time to think what kind of furniture I’d like to have, all I have decided is color screams. But you must use your own judgement. I shouldn’t mind boarding for a while, if necessary. It might give me an opportunity to get some things made. Sometimes when I think of how few pretty little things I have made, I am angry. But I’d rather make them after we’re married than have to wait another year.
Aren't you sick of writing letters? I'm so tired I almost hate the sight of a pen.
Mr. Wilson was here this afternoon and I took a picture of him and dad on the verandah, and a silly one of him and mama in those tall Muskoka hats and dad in his shirtsleeves, Dad had a dipperful of eggs he had just got. They had the cherry tree in bloom for a background.
Three weeks from tonight or tomorrow you'll be in Toronto. But what good will that do me? I don't want you in Toronto. ...
Good night dear one.
Evelyn to Fred
May 20, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
Do you know, I am almost cross at you? Wray [Moyer] was out last night, and according to him, Ray doesn't know that he has to assist in any capacity. How is the kid going to get his clothes? I know I couldn't tell you whether he had to be groomsman or usher, but in either case he has to have the same kind of clothes as you do. Only I do hope he won't have to buy any.
Then to-day your mother was down, and she phoned here after I had gone to the city. I was with her on the car too, and by what I could find out she knew nothing of our arrangements. It makes me so angry sometimes, when I think how long it takes to get your replies to my letters. However, I am going to take it upon myself to write to her, and break the news gently of what Ray has to do. Ora may have said she isn't coming home - but dad sent her a birthday present that ought to bring her. ...
Oh yes, about Mrs. Cuthbert - I think you would be wise to engage passage for the 12 of August. That will give us a trip of nine weeks, more than I expected. Wray said he could have saved us $30 each had we gone with him, but I didn’t tell him you were getting over $30 reduction for each of us.
I think I'd like to join the Cuthbert's for their motor trip through Wales, but that's enough in England. Someone who had been on that trip told Wray about it, and he said it was too systematized - just what we thought about it. Perhaps it would be best to go on the continent with them, yet I sort of hate to. Do you have to arrange for that continental trip now? Perhaps it would be best to go there with them. I don't know their prospectus.
I feel grouchy tonight. I was down to the dressmaker's today and everything was wrong. I bought stuff for her yesterday and it never got there until 3.40 this afternoon, so of course she wasn't ready to fit me to-day. And it takes a whole afternoon to get down. Then the women who were to help houseclean can't come. I don’t know whether to go to the re-union or not. It’s no use saying not to work, these things have to be done.
Oh, I've learned some lessons recently about being prompt in writing. That secretary of ours hasn't sent one word yet when our special car, for the house-party, leaves Toronto. If I go by boat I'll have to go Friday morning. The cheap rates on the train don't start till Saturday. Why didn't they find that out before they made their arrangements? People aren't going to pay full fare on Friday if they can get a fare and a third on Saturday. This is a long list of grouches, isn't it?
I didn’t write last night. Wray was here. I was down at the city all afternoon, at the dentist’s & dressmakers’s, and I don’t know when I was so tired. Oh, it was hot. It was hot to-day, but not quite so bad.
I don't care much if I don't go to the re-union. I'd like to go, but there are so many other nice things ahead of me, that I won't have time to miss it.
Wray said, "Well the next time I see you, we'll maybe be in Europe, and you'll be an old married woman." I don't want to be "an old married woman" and I won't. He thinks I won't be interested in him after I'm married. I told him that was nonsense, but he stuck to it that it was the truth. ...
Evelyn to Fred
May 21, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
I got my wedding-dress to-day. It is really beautiful. I know you'll like it. Mother does, but dad hasn't seen it yet. He just came in. ... I have to go to the dressmaker's only once more, to get my other two dresses. I've spent three afternoons this week going down there. I am pretty tired tonight but not so bad as I have been.
I am not going to Toronto in the morning. I might go Saturday morning if I could get there early enough, that is, if I get word when the thing is to be. I'm pretty sore at not getting a reply to my card. But I think I'd be tired and I know it is really more sensible not to go. Besides I'm afraid mama would overdo herself trying to make up for my absence. She wants me to go. I have so many little things to finish up as far as my clothes are concerned. Then too, I want to sort out & pack my letters. There is a possibility of our moving this year, and I want things of that sort finished before I go away in June. I made out the lists of guests, and there are about fifty, twenty of whom dad is sure won't come. He's quite positive Aunt Em won't be here...
If I don't get to Toronto, you'll have to get some notepaper. I was going to get it this time. We'll need some, rather a small size, like you used to have, to write "thank-you's" ...
Oh, I'm sleepy. Good-night dear.
Fred to Evelyn
Sunday Evening, May 24/14
I wonder if my morning letter [missing] troubled you. I hope not, but I know it is hard to make a decision on such a question on short notice. Somehow I kind of feel that you will reach the same conclusion as I have.
I was troubled a good deal yesterday and the day before but now my mind feels easier. Oh, I longed so to be able to talk it over with you face to face, and now I want to take you in my arms and comfort you. Do you realize dearest that if we adhere to our original plan we’ll be in Montreal 3 weeks from tonight?
What have you been doing today I wonder. Has the day been bright and the air fragrant with blossoms. Oh, to be there in May! It has been beautiful here too only there are no blossoms.
This morning I went to church and heard an excellent sermon by Mr. Powell, the president of the Conference. Conference will be in session here this week. The stationing committee gathered on Friday. There will be quite a large number of old Vic boys here in the city. I saw a few on the street yesterday at a distance but did not speak to George Steele, - he of the “nightey fame” will be here.
Had a splendid time at S.S. this afternoon. It is my last until I return, for I don't intend to teach next Sunday. None of them knew of it until afterwards and many don't know it yet.
I didn’t go to church tonight. Instead we sat out on the verandah for a while. Fritz’s had Mr & Mrs Bob Pearson in for tea and they called for a few minutes chat. Bob very seldom goes to church more than twice a day either. Myrtle Stevens is at Fritz’s too. She came up from Medicine Hat for the holiday.
Myrtle is a jolly sort. But she was telling a very sad thing today. You remember my speaking of Nat McDonald ‘08? For a time he was stationed at Medicine Hat, but for the past year he has been taking post graduate theological work at Princeton or Harvard, I forget which. He was one of the most brilliant man of our year - a born philosopher - rather too eccentric to be a success as a pastor, but a born preacher.
Myrtle said he has been in the hospital for some time with pulmonary tuberculosis and is not likely to recover. He was married less than 3 years ago and they have one child and they are in hard financial straits. As soon as I get a little money I’m going to send them some. At present I’m badly tied up, but I’ll sell something in the next ten days. Nat has a dandy wife and he’s a fine fellow. It’s terribly hard on them.
...I haven't secured a house yet, but I have one on the string. It belongs to Burroughs, a young fellow, formerly of Toronto who is in the law reports publishing business here. They expect a baby within a month or 6 weeks and a couple months after that he wants to take her away to the coast. I'm going to stroll out to look at it this evening.
Miss Rogers and I went over to the house I spoke of. No one was at home, so we couldn't get inside. It looks all right from the outside but is pretty far out. - 4 blocks from the end of the car line near the river. On the way I saw a pretty little bungalow just about our size. It's not far from Fritz's and I'd like to get it but I don't know whether there is any chance or not.
I must write to Ray and Hugh tonight. I guess I’ll write Noble too in case something should happen yet that Ora can go.
Yesterday morning I got two letters, - Sunday’s and Monday’s - but there wasn’t any last night - before I leave I wonder where I'll see you first, dearest. If you can't meet me in Toronto I think I'll surprise you. I want to see you all alone, when there's no one else around. How long before the wedding day are Elleda and the others coming?
Goodnight my own little kiddie,
Evelyn to Fred
May 22, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
You won’t get a very long letter tomorrow tonight, though I may write you one tomorrow on the boat.
...You said in your Sunday letter you thought we’d spend only ten days on the continent. I’d rather spend longer there. If we sail the 16th and start for home the 12th, that gives us about seven weeks over there. I think I’d like at least two weeks on the continent. I must get a little dictionary. Of course we don’t have to decide now what we want to do. I am feeling more energetic these last two days, so I guess I’ll feel pretty well. I always do when there’s any place to go. That’s a peculiarity of our family.
I don’t know whether I”ll stay in Toronto over Sunday. Maybe I’ll come home tomorrow night. I’m afraid it will be rough if I wait until Monday.
Must dry my hair now so good-night, or good-morning, whichever time you get this.
Evelyn to Fred
Thorold, Ont.,May 24, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
... I also wrote your mother, telling what Ray was to do. As soon as I hear definitely from Ora, I'll ask either Hugh or Noble. Personally I'd rather have Noble, but I fancy you don't like him very well. I was very much irritated that you should have left this so long, but when I thought of it, you had asked me about Wray, and I didn't bother answering, because I thought you were merely asking for the sake of politeness, and that you must surely know. So I'm to blame too. When I get cross at you, I begin to wonder if I love you well enough to marry you. It's funny, but your letters that bother me generally come at the end of an annoying day.
Yesterday I got up at six, dressed and got ready to go to Toronto. It was cold and raw and looked like a storm, so papa thought it wouldn't be very pleasant for me to go, and I thought the same. About ten the sun came out and it was a lovely day.
I started to make cookies, and it took me an hour and a half to make them. Don't ever ask me to make cookies. They're the stickiest things under the sun, and because I put enough flour into them to roll them out, they weren't good. After all I'm glad I didn't go, for probably I'd have stayed over Sunday and consequently wouldn't have got your letter until tomorrow.
Oh, I wish you were home to-day. The apple-blossoms and the lilacs are out. It has been a beautiful day. We went for a walk after Sunday-school. To-day was S.S. anniversary, and I got several pointers on bringing up children.
... I should like to get as many things as possible from our own jeweller if you are agreeable. He is a friend of ours. What do you think about a watch for Ora? It would be about fifteen dollars. It does seem crude though, that because Art spent that much on my pearls, you should spend that much on Ora's present. ...
Oh dearie, I'm sorry I get angry with you. I have beautiful theories about how married people should act, but I don't practise keeping the door of my mouth shut enough. And sharp words hurt and scar, don't they? I don't think you're perfect, but I know I'm not, and I wish I were big enough to live above things. I'm not, I get angry at unfairness. I have been seeing, as never before, the unfairness there is in lack of promptness. I am going to try to do things on time, and no longer be a "last minute" one. It's very wearing on other people, very. And I've done a great deal of it, but it hasn't worried me so much as those who feared I'd miss what I wanted. What a sermon I'm giving you. ...
Our housecleaning is done, all but our kitchen, and we're going to get a woman to do that. We expect to finish our sewing this week. Of course, I haven't a tablecloth hemmed, nor towels even bought, nor two quilts made. But they can't be done, so they can't.
This isn't a 'loverly' letter, is it? I'm sorry dear, I wish my speech and letters to you were not unkind. Oh, I do love you, even when I'm nasty. Three weeks from tonight, where shall we be?
Evelyn to Fred
May 25, 1914
My Dear, Dear Fred,-
Were you cross with me or only tired when you wrote last Wednesday? Cause why? Oh, nothing, only that it sounded rather restrained.
I’ve just been thinking that maybe when there’s only one bridesmaid, there shouldn’t be any ushers because they are supposed to stand up in front beside the groomsman. I’ll find out for sure tomorrow. I hope we don’t have to have them.
I wonder what you’ve done to-day? I’ll bet you worked. I did too. We got up early and made a waist for mother. She and dad went to a Ministerial Association banquet. I did a number of odds and ends that I’d been aching to get at. I sat out on the verandah all afternoon.
About four Mrs. Henderson and mama came home. They were hot and we all changed our dresses - the one I had on had a hole in it. Then I showed Mrs. Henderson my “things” and we came downstairs and sat on the verandah and worked. Mrs. Henderson called for work, so she put tags on my stockings and started to hem a tablecloth. We had tea on the verandah, lettuce sandwiches, tea, cakes, cheese, and oranges. After father and Mr. Henderson had retired to the study and I had carried out the “vittles,” Mr. and Mrs. Presbyterian Preacher Smith and children came along, and they were invited in to finish the sandwiches. ...
Mr. Smith asked if it were true that I was going away this summer, and we acknowledged the catastrophe, with smiling faces. Mother showed them your picture, and Mrs. Smith said you were good-looking. I’m going to catalogue the remarks about you. Edna Smith thought you were clever looking.
Over an hour ago I sat down to write to Elizabeth. I got so far as to re-read her letter. Then mother thought I’d better go down to see Miss Kennedy about the invitations. She was showing us some of her mother’s embroidery while her poor beau waited outside. They walked up with us. It has been a beautiful afternoon, very warm though. It rained some this morning.
I wish you were here to enjoy the lilacs and the blossoms, and the tender green trees.It is simply delightful to sit on our verandah. I just said to mama, “won’t Aunt Em enjoy it?” Must go to bed now. Three weeks from tomorrow morning I’ll see you.
Hurrah - for the 24th of course.
Evelyn to Fred
May 26, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
Just a few moments ago, papa got a 'phone message from Dr. Fairfield, asking what he knew about Calgary oil wells. Papa wonders why you haven't sent him word to invest some money. I told him you knew how many dresses I had and thought he wouldn't have any money.
I got my dresses to-day, and I am quite pleased with them. So are mother and dad. ...
I found out about ushers to-day, and we need them. They have to put the people in their seats and then put them in the cabs after the wedding. We're supposed to convey them to and from the church. ... I'll ask Noble to see that the guests leave the house in proper order. You see the parents sit in front and the other relatives in order of relation. We had a letter from Art tonight, saying you had telephoned Ora, but we figured out that she hadn't received the cheque yet, so that likely she'll have a different answer.
I wasn't going to tell you, but guess I will. The announcements are to be engraved, same style of lettering as the invitations. This type is brand new the first time it has been used. Don't you think it looks nice?
I must go to bed now. I'm sorry you're having to work so hard dearest. But it's not for much longer, is it? Two weeks from to-day, I'll probably see you.
Good-night sweetheart. ...
Evelyn to Fred
May 27, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
Only a scrap tonight. I have been about an hour and a half addressing invitations. Papa wants Dr. Fairfield! Mama doesn't. I'd like the doctor, but not her. ... Maybe in the morning the other names will be added. I think there are enough. Papa is sure a lot won't come. I know some won't, but I expect more than he does. I invited your Aunts. I think forty-two or three may come...
Oh. I had a lot to tell you, but I haven't time. I want to get up at six in the morning, and iron. ... We cleaned the kitchen to-day, and mama and I both got an electric [shock] while washing the ceiling. We had hold of the iron water pipes and touched the metal on the insulator. The light was turned off too, at the hall switch. Mama and the woman who was helping us clean, tried to persuade me it wasn't a shock, but when mama got one she knew it was one. I was on a chair on the table, the woman was on the stepladder, mama had the kettleful of boiling water in her hand, when I let out a screech. The woman nearly fell off the ladder, and mama almost scalded herself, wondering what she'd do with me if I fainted and fell of the chair. It was very funny.
I’ll take my camera with me to get a picture of Delew Falls.
Good-night honey. Oh, what time does your train arrive in Toronto? I might meet you.
Evelyn to Fred
May 29, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
... Unlike you, I think ushers should be dressed as such. I'm going to telephone Hugh, to see if he can't get a suit for the day. I think he should. Also, I'm going to write Noble to hold himself in readiness in case Ora should come, and we should need him. I'll write Ray, as soon as I find out what Hugh can do.
Now about the trip. I was away yesterday and had no opportunity to reply. I didn't wire, there wasn't anything I could say that way. I'm afraid you want to go on with the trip, because you don't want to disappoint me. Don't let that hinder you. But I will not consent to you going back under a month. You must go away with me for at least two weeks, so that you can get a rest. You need it and so do I. I wish you'd stop talking about my preparations for the wedding. Housecleaning has to be done, whether one gets married or dies, so for goodness sake, don't say anything more on that subject.
Suppose we stayed home and you made twenty-thousand dollars. We could buy four lots or more on the river, and pay for our house. We could go to Europe next year, and also we could have a thousand apiece for our sets of parents,so that they could have a trip. That would make three trips and our home for staying home this summer.
I’d rather have a big lot and stay home this year, and go next year. But the question is, can you stand it. If you think two weeks of a complete change wouldn't be enough for you, why you must take more. I wouldn’t take 25,000 and have you break down so do what you think best.
I'm in a hurry to get this off on this mail. ...
Fred to Evelyn
Monday Evening, June 1/14
This has been a very good day to me - 2 letters and a lettergram. Both letters are very dear. I'm so sorry dearie, that some of mine lately have not been nice. Oh, I'm beginning to realize more and more that the little things that trouble us don't really matter. We do love each other very dearly, don't we? And what else matters?
How can I thank you for granting my request about the announcements? I can't now but I'll try to when I see you. I like the type very much indeed. I'm sorry there has been a mix-up over the ushers but I guess it will come out all right. Anyhow there's nothing further I can do until I go home. Do you know I'm very glad your are inviting Aunt Carrie and Uncle Freeman, though I hated to ask you to because of the number.
Now about oil, - I rather expected you would wire as you did because in Ontario it is impossible that you could understand just what the oil strike means. Oh, I know it isn't entirely proven yet but enough has been shown to vindicate the faith of the men who have been trying for years to develop the field. Everyone here feels absolutely confident that there is an enormous body of oil in Alberta. Last week's Saturday Night made a cowardly and ignorant attack upon Cunningham Craig, the English oil expert.
The English aren't easily duped and he has standing enough with the English capitalists to cause them to pour their money into this field. If any real competition to the Standard Oil Co arises it will be because of Alberta oil fields and the fact that English capital has got in here first. So I say you couldn’t understand conditions here nor what this summer is likely to develop. And yet taking everything into consideration I think it is best that we take our trip as planned. That will mean borrowing at least 1000.00 but I’m not afraid of that. I expect that another strike will be made before we sail or soon after and so even as another well strikes oil, I'd leave instructions to sell...
Don't you worry dearie about taking a wedding trip on borrowed money. Mr. & Mrs. Clarke again advised me to go, when I was at their place Friday night. I have been thinking you might be frightened on account of the wreck of the "Empress."(3) You aren't are you? Because if you are I wouldn't want to go, but so far as the oil is concerned I believe we had better go, and have wired you so tonight.
Now about your father's investing. I have felt all along as sure of this as one can be of oil anywhere. I wired Dr. Fairfield & Mr Tinlin, but I thought your father likely had his money tied up now and I hated to advise him to gamble in oil, for it is a gamble even yet. But if he wants to spend a little that way he ought to get in now before there's another strike and I've wired accordingly. As soon as the next strike is made there's bound to be a jump in prices. And in one of the wells we're expecting it every day.
I was enquiring about trains today. To save time I'm not going via Edmonton but via Moose Jaw, St. Paul & Chicago. As near as I can tell now, I'll leave here Friday night arriving in Hamilton Tuesday morning. I'll wire you later whether to meet me in Toronto or whether I'll go straight to Thorold. Just think! One week from tomorrow I'll hold you in my arms and press you to my heart and feel your kisses on my lips. It seems too good to be true. I don't think I'll let you know just when I'll arrive - I want to surprise you.
The clipping your mother sent will be true indeed. Then the world, our wedding even - yes everything will be very very far away, but I’ll hold you close, close.
Goodnight my own sweetheart.
Fred to Evelyn
Tuesday evening June 2/14
... I have been terribly unsettled all day about our trip. I thought it was all settled yesterday when I wired you, but after getting your Friday letter this morning I've been thinking that perhaps after all you would rather stay, and I don't know what to think. We have both counted so much on spending our honeymoon abroad that it is a terrible disappointment not to go, but on the other hand it does seem foolish to leave Calgary at a time when people are coming here from all parts of the world on account of the oil strike.
If by going we should miss all opportunity of making several thousand dollars, would we not regret it later! An oil strike comes but once in a lifetime, - very seldom that often and it is almost certain another well will strike oil within the next month, and then Calgary will go clean crazy. Even Mr. Orde my bank manager, who has been doubtful of the oil all along, concedes now that there probably is really a large body of oil here, and he thinks that the chances of making pretty well if one is on the spot are good indeed.
If we go on our trip I'll need to borrow at least $1000.00. Orde will lend it to me all right but that isn't the real difficulty. It is the probable loss of a chance to make money by being on the spot. I don't like to talk of very private affairs but I thought I should get some advice and I have spoken to several, all of whom, except Mr Clarke, have advised me not to be away this summer - Mr. Orde included. Orde has given me good advice before and I don't value his opinions lightly. Oh if you were only here to talk things over. I don't want money or oil to interfere with our honeymoon - but then is it any worse to put off our trip because of an opportunity to make money than because of lack of it? Many people have had to refrain for that reason.
This has troubled me all day and I was going to wire you before tonight, but I don't see what good that will do either. It will only worry you and you have already told me what you think haven't you? I'll wait until I get tomorrow's letter. I went to the P.O. thinking I might get it tonight but there was almost no mail from the east in.
Of couse there is no certainty I'd make much if I stayed here, but I think I would. If we should not go, where would you like to go? To Montreal, Quebec and down the Saguenay? Oh, I'm sorry to worry you dearie. It must be terrible for you not to know what we are going to do.
1. Heber Moshier married Ida Winnifred Griffith, not Dell Flatt.
2.Miss Mary Wilson worked in the office at Victoria College for many years.
3. Fred is referring to the liner "Empress of Ireland" which sank on May 29, 1914. Nearly a thousand passengers lost their lives when the ship was rammed in dense fog by a heavily laden collier in the St. Lawrence River.