February 1914 - "I'm so tired of writing letters, and you seem so far away."
Fred to Evelyn [Calgary]
Sunday morning Feb. 1/14 #1
My dearest Evelyn,-
Another month started. It will not be long until we're together again, will it? More than half of the time of separation is past and I'm hoping that in about four months from today I'll be on my way east.
I didn't get any letter yesterday morning nor did I post one to you. On Friday evening I took the 6.05 train for Lethbridge, arriving there about midnight. It was practically impossible to write on the train on account of the rough track and besides I was discussing business matters all the time with 2 clients who accompanied me. The time was very short and I had to do a little work in Lethbridge after the train arrived, so it was about 1 o'clock when I went to bed. I thought I'd get up in time to write a short letter in the morning either before or after breakfast. But I didn't get up until 8 o'clock and from that time I was as busy as I could be until train time in the afternoon with only half an hour for lunch.
The results of the day's work were very satisfactory. There were two actions one of M. Rumely Company, and the other for the Manitoba Engine & Pump Co. Ltd. In the first case I had to examine one witness for discovery. In the other- 3. The result of the first examination was that the defendant in the Rumely action consented to judgement without going to trial next week. In the other case a settlement is likely. When I left to catch my train the manager and of the Co and the defendants were talking things over and seemed almost agreed upon terms.
I had thought I'd finish my work in time to catch the 3.30 train for Taber, which is only about 35 miles east. But I didn't finish my last examination until a few minutes after the train pulled out. If I had gone I would have been compelled to leave at 3.30 this morning in order to get back to Calgary today, for only one train runs on Sunday and if I didn't return today I wouldn't get back until tomorrow noon. I had to be here for tomorrow morning. ... I enquired if there was a freight train I could catch, but there wouldn't be any until late in the evening. So I decided to come back to Calgary on the next train at 4 o'clock. I was sorry for I had counted on going to Taber. Then I tried to phone your Aunt Em, but couldn't get the line before my train left.
I guess after all it's best I couldn't go for I hadn't entirely rid myself of the cold that started last Tuesday, and on Friday night the car was alternately so hot and draughty that I caught a little more, and it wouldn't have improved by staying up late last night and then getting up at half past three, and waiting in the cold for an hour and a half at MaCleod this morning where there's a change of trains. As it was I got home last night by half past nine.
Went to the P.O. and got your Tuesday letter then came home, had a hot bath and a good big glass of hot lemonade before going to bed, and I felt much better this morning. Of course I haven't been really sick, but a cold is a nasty thing and taking it this way in the beginning I'll be rid of it by tomorrow.
For the past few days the weather has been very warm again, but it's a little colder this morning and snowing. The grate fire looks about as cheery as any place. ...
Haven't shaved yet and it's nearly dinner time so must go and get "spruced up." Will write this afternoon. Am going to post this for the 2.30 train.
Your own Rusty.
Fred to Evelyn [Calgary]
Sunday evening Feb. 1/14 #2
My own kiddie,-
...Tonight there were only 3 of us for supper about the usual Sunday evening number and we had boiled eggs, toast, fruit and cocoa. Do you like those things dearie. For me they make an ideal Sunday supper.
So you have been watching the English pictures in the Globe from time to time? I have been cutting some of them out. Oh, I do hope we can go this summer. Like you, as soon as I saw those Devon pictures my mind began our itinerary. I haven't been able to decide whether I'd prefer to land at Bristol, and visit Devon and Cornwall first, and return by way of Liverpool, or whether to go via Liverpool and return the other way. I would like your first views of England to be along the route I took in 1907. Especially, if we go in June, for I think that way you'll see the beauty of the June roses at their very best. Wouldn't you like to return by a different line from the one we go over on? You see there is no reduction on a return ticket so we may as well have as much variety as we can.
My idea would be to choose between the C.N.R. and C.P.R. boats. The former ply between Montreal and Bristol and the latter between Montreal and Liverpool. Except for a new boat on the Cunard line, the C.P.R. & C.N.R. - i.e. the Empress of Britain and the Empress of Ireland of the C.P.R. and the Royal Edward & the Royal George of the C.N.R. are the best boats sailing from Canada. Of course all the Montreal boats call at Quebec and my idea would be to go to Quebec by train and spend a day there before embarking. I wouldn't want you to miss Quebec.
I don't agree with you, darling, about going on the boats that have no first cabin. There are two disadvantages. They are slower - take at least a couple days longer each way, and our time on the other side will be short enough at best. To say nothing of the possibility of seasickness. Then too in my opinion, the service on these smaller boats is not so good as the second cabin service and appointments on the larger boats. The only advantages I can see in the smaller boats are a saving of $3 or $4 each way in fare, and the sense of satisfaction at knowing no one on the boat is travelling in a better way than ourselves. But as for myself this last wouldn't influence me at all. Oh yes, - there's another possible advantage of the smaller boats - they are less likely to be crowded. But I would by all means choose the larger better boats.
A couple days ago I wrote to J.K. Ockley '09 who was in our party in 1907, asking him for the name of the landlady in London. I have forgotten her name. Unless we stay at hotels - and I don't want to do that because we'll get better accommodation, and for a good deal less money at other places, it is necessary to have letters of introduction. A letter of introduction in England is the open sesame which no one should be without. There'll be enough things we'll have to do without over there, dearie. For one thing you'll not find bathrooms everywhere as we have them here, nor running water in the bedrooms. Just the other day I was talking to someone - Mr. Black, I guess - who said that even now the Cecil Hotel in London is without these modern conveniences, but hot and cold water is doled out to the bedrooms in jugfuls.
Tomorrow Heber leaves for six months in the hospitals of London. He has just been appointed head of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta at Edmonton. This is an excellent thing especially for one so young. He gets a good fat salary, with a private laboratory and four months leave of absence with expenses every summer to study in the hospitals of the big cities of both continents. His salary starts immediately, and as I've stated above he'll have 6 months in London. Last week he told me about the offer, but he hadn't decided that day whether he'd accept or not, though I was pretty sure he would. I was to go out to dinner with him before he left but I don't know now whether I can or not. If I had felt more "ernstig" (serious) I'd have had him up here today for dinner.
No wonder you don't know what position I took on the question of Canadian nationalism. My own mind isn't settled. At first I was strongly opposed to Ewart's idea and like you I have always had visions of a great British Empire, but the more I study the question, the more doubtful I am of its practicability. One thing is certain Canada has advanced beyond the colonial stage of development and no status is tolerable that does not recognize her absolute local autonomy and her equality with other portions of the Empire - the British Isles included.
Now it seems to me the difficulty is not so much from Canada's side as from the British Isles. Their statesmen of both parties always have taken the position and they still maintain it and emphatically affirm the absolute necessity for its continuance - the position that all questions of foreign relationships must be controlled exclusively by the government of Great Britain and Ireland. Now that amounts in effect - however we may disguise the fact with verbiage - to an insistence of the subordination of the outlying portions of the empire to the parent nation. There can be no British Empire on such a basis. Canada will insist upon representative government in all its branches. It seems to me people talk blindly and foolishly of the great British Empire without a full knowledge or recognition of the facts of the situation. But I don't want to discuss this further tonight. Anyhow my own mind is not settled - it's merely alive to a few of the tremendous difficulties in the way of our Utopian dreams. Personally I wish the scheme could be worked out, but no solution of the problem has been offered yet by anyone, - least of all by the Chamberlain or Wilner parties.
Have been reading King Lear for the first time. May go to see Mantell play it on Tuesday night. Now am going to have a big nights sleep. Goodnight my own sweetheart.
With love and kisses from your Rusty.
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 1, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
Aren’t you tired of getting short letters? I’m tired of getting them at all. No, I won’t stretch the time of writing past June. My reason is purely selfish. I don’t get time to write to anybody else. I was going to write to Annie to-day, but I wrote to Ora. Of course I had to study my S.S. lesson and my E.L. speech. I read two stories after S.S. and then dad came home with Mr. Steadman who stayed for tea. He has company again. Mr. and Mrs. Johnston but I’m staying out in the dining-room. ...
I'm getting a cold, almost the first this year, and I'm going to knock it endways. My nose gave me a great deal of trouble tonight in church....
Oh dear, one letter's all I can write in one night. I want to lie down and have the lights off, and have you talk to me. The lights are so glaring, they hurt my eyes. A cold so often settles in my eyes. In the fall of my last year at college, I got a cold just as I was preparing for an exam in summer reading I couldn't read so Mae read to me while I lay on my face on my bed. And is it strange to say that I often dozed off and heard the life of Hamilton as from a great distance? In the spring too, I got a cold. Oh, I am always angry when I think of that, because it was my own fault, so obviously. And I know that cost me my first class honours.
Last night I finished a little embroidery and mama kept teasing me about whether you'd like it or not. I said I wasn't doing it for you, it was for me. I expect to go down to the city tomorrow afternoon with mother and get some lace and some stuff for quilts. That sounds like business, doesn't it? You can't back out now, or I'd have to give these things to the poor.
I am glad you appreciate your mother so much. You have opened my eyes to her and to mine. My mother has done things she hated all her life, that she might give us what she didn't have. I think she will be more alone than your mother, because her evenings will be so lonely, and evenings count most, don't you think? ...
I do hope that this week I can be at home and get something done. When I am teaching it takes mother all her time keeping the house clean and getting the meals. She knows I am very tired and so she waits on me. It is wrong for me to let her, I know, and yet I do it. But I got ahead of her yesterday and did the sweeping.
Tonight in church I was just pretending we were spending Sunday night together, and oh, it was so much better than this. I was also thinking how different I felt from last year, how happy and contented and glad. Nothing to feel blue about, but everything to make me glad. That proves that I love you, doesn't it my own sweetheart?
Company's gone. So good-night.
Fred to Evelyn [Calgary]
Monday evening Feb. 2/14
... You needn't worry about my going out and leaving you alone, dearie, I'll be so glad to stay at home nights that the danger is more likely to be I'll not want to go out enough for you. The house is delightfully quiet now. If only you were here, we'd turn off the lights and sit together here before the fire and you'd tell me all about your plans for our home. Oh, how lonesome I am tonight for a kiss and a nice comfortable hug from you sweetheart!
Had a nice letter from Ora today. I guess her friends will get lots of letters now. After having the daily habit for so long she can't break off all at once. Of course you hear from her frequently and you know that she is pleased with Strathcona. It really is a very pretty place far prettier than Calgary, but I think, dearie you'll like Calgary too. Ora said the day she was here "Well, if Non can't be contented here, she wouldn't be anywhere.
I still had a few remnants of my cold this morning, so didn't go down to the office until about half past nine. I didn't intend to stay all day but after I got started it seemed impossible to get away. Anyhow I felt better this afternoon and tonight my cold seems quite gone. As a matter of fact it wasn't very bad as a cold at any time. What I needed more than anything else was rest, - and I had a generous portion of that yesterday.
About half past five Heber called at the office to say good-bye. He’s quite a friend of our office - particularly of Smith and Jackson. The he and I went over to the Hudson’s Bay for tea. Now the time to leave has come I think he really hates to go.
Finished reading King Lear tonight. Think I'll go tomorrow night to see it played. It is frightfully tragic and sad in its ending isn't it? I can't say I like it as well as most of Shakespeare's plays, but it gives splendid scope for a good actor doesn't it? I also started to read Cymbeline. I never read it before and was very much surprised at finding Cymbeline to be a man's name instead of a woman's. Have you read it?
Poor dear little kiddie! I just know the teaching has been too hard for you. Such a class as you had last week is too much for anyone and I'm glad you haven't been teaching today. Friday was your last until some one else gets sick, wasn't it? I'm going to pray for good health for all school teachers in the vicinity of Thorold.
Your really do want to be married in June don't you sweetheart. In today's letter you seem to be saying to me that you want it then, but you've sometimes said to yourself it would not be until Fall because you were afraid it couldn't come off in June. Am I right? Not long ago Mr Carson said to me, "I used to look upon married life as something nice to look forward to, but I had no idea how it changes a man's life. I realize now that I never really lived until I was married." We want to really live as soon as possible, don't we dearie?
Your loving Rusty.
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 3, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
... To-day papa was at Welland, and he's so mad tonight he can hardly talk straight. I'll send you the paper so you can see what care has been taken to have enough irregularities to upset the Election if the 'Wets' lost, which of course they did had they played fair. The man who is to be tried on Thursday is a poor drunkard, a fine specimen of what they can do for a man. Dad says the whole thing is so utterly rotten he hates to speak of it. To-day the meeting was called, and within three hours of the announcement the Baptist church at Welland was packed with men from all over the county. ...
The other day mother said "I'm so glad Art and Fred are both Liberals." I reminded her of it to-day and asked her why. She said "Your father would find it hard to like them if they weren't." I grinned and said, "Of course it doesn't make any difference to you." Oh, no," she answered. For whether you know it or not, her people are all Grits and Baptists. And I too am glad you are a Liberal. Dad and Uncle Webster used to scrap over Grandpa’s political religion because he was such a stubborn Grit. So it isn’t unnatural for me to learn that way, is it?
But honestly, when I have studied history, I have been thankful that I was a Liberal. Of course the party isn't perfect, but since the disruption of the old Whig party and the formation of the Reform or Liberal party, it's policy has been one of which we may well be proud, and some of the men it has produced are worthy of our highest honour.
I'm sorry you hurt your wrist. But weren't you careless to run in front of a freight train? What if you had fallen in the wrong place or had been unable to rise? Are you going to keep me alarmed for your safety? No, I won't scold you, but do be careful of yourself for me.
I had a letter from Hazel Farley. She may come up at the end of the week. Had one from Elleda too. I told her some of the many nice things you said about her and she answered that a year ago she was sorry for you, this year she was glad for you, and so she couldn’t but be nice to you. She gave me some good scoldings for the way I treated you a year ago and naturally I got rather sore. She is enjoying her work immensely and is getting along well. She says her course has been delayed only ten years.
That was good of you to give up the presidency of the club for my sake. I've just been thinking how things are coming my way. I always longed to be into politics and now maybe you'll let me pull a wire or two, when you get to be premier of Alberta. Say, won't we give it to the Tories then?
Good-night my own dearie.
Fred to Evelyn [Calgary]
Wednesday morning Feb. 4/14
King Lear was such a merry old soul, with his madness and slayings, and hangings and tearing out of eyes etc., that for sheer frivolity he could hardly be beaten. And the entertainment was of such a pleasant, tickling variety that Mantell and his company really could not send the people home until the whole evening had been spent. From 8.20 until 11.35 we were treated to a production of one of Shakespeare's most tragic plays.
I had never seen King Lear before and while the play was almost too tragic for comfort, as an exhibition of good acting is was splendid. It is almost too sustained and there is absolutely nothing to relieve the tension. Even the fool in Lear is heavy and lugubrious and there is absolutely nothing in a lighter vein to relieve the strain. But the acting of Mantell was magnificent. The whole play is arranged for the glorification of the chief actor. Every scene but one ended with Mantell the central figure of the stage, and these closing scenes were wonderful.
I went stag last night with Allen and McNaught and we took seats in the gods for .75¢ each. We didn't care for appearances, being unaccompanied by ladies, but we didn't expect to find such a mixed crown as surrounded us. The second balcony in Calgary doesn't compare at all with that in a Toronto theatre. There, the second balcony is the refuge of the gum chewing, peanut-eating, riff raff of the stage patrons. Here the second balcony is as clean and respectable as any part of the house. And we were in good company. Directly behind me was Prof. McDougall of Calgary University - and his wife. Not far away sat a newly married young lawyer and his wife. And so on.
One thing that must impress a stranger visiting a public gathering in Calgary, however, is the indiscriminate assembly of extremely diverse classes. For instance last night I noticed in one seat, two Greeks, 2 Canadian girls of very good family, a mulatto, and a couple Italians. Many other races were represented within a very small radius. This is one disadvantage in taking seats anywhere but in the best part of the house. I wouldn't want to take any lady unless I could afford the better seats for this reason.
As you may guess, I didn’t finish this today at noon. I’m sorry for I wanted to post it on this afternoon’s train but I had a sudden call to the court house at two o’clock and had to break off. I intended writing last night but it was too late when I got home.
For the past two days the weather man has gone into cold storage. Thermometers differ so much it is difficult to know how cold it is but when I came home about 10 o’clock one ther 3 thermometers registered -15, -23 & -26 respectively. Added to the cold, there was a north wind blowing this morning - something that rarely happens in cold weather.
When I came home “Beauty” and Miss Rogers were enjoying the grate fire, and I joined them with some oranges and apples. Such things are never half so enjoyable as on a cold or stormy night, are they?
Work has gone all askew at the office this week. It seems utterly impossible to accomplish what I want to. I like to be busy but it is annoying to plan a day's work and then have new things come in to prevent your doing anything you have planned. And that happens so frequently with me. I'll be glad, dearie, when I'll have you to talk to me about other things and take my mind off my work. Oh, how I wish you were here tonight!
You had a glorious victory in Welland for the cause of temperance, didn't you? I would have thought Welland about one of the hardest counties to tackle in the whole province. Abolition of the bar will mean a lot for Welland and Thorold. How soon will it take effect? It's refreshing to see the strides the Temperance cause has taken in Ontario especially to one in the west. I don't think the cities here are as bad as the cities in the east, but the country places are awful. And it is hard to make any headway because there are so many foreign born who have to be educated away from the use of liquor. However a start is being made anyhow. So you were only fooling about teaching until the end of June and you really are counting on getting married then.
A couple weeks ago you asked me whom I wanted invited. I was about to reply that so far as I am concerned I didn't care. From a strictly selfish standpoint that is true. I'd prefer not to have a crowd at all - just our own immediate families, but I guess it wouldn't be fair to you would it? I guess a man's and a woman's points of view are dramatically opposite on such questions. But then a man shouldn't have much to say about the wedding should he? It would be neither good form nor fair to the woman for it seems to me that this is essentially one time when the woman's wishes should be the only ones to be considered.
And so, dearie, since you are going to have some other guests than our own families, I suppose in decency some of my relatives should be invited, shouldn't they? I haven't really thought whom I'd like. If Fritzes are home I'd like them, but they may not go east until later in the summer. What would you say to inviting one cousin out of each family? But now I think of it - there aren't any cousins anywhere within reasonable distance except the St. Catharines folks. I really would like Aunt Emma and two of father's sisters - Aunt Barbara Albright and Aunt Sarah Sherk - They are all alone in the world - haven't families of their own around them, and I guess they'd appreciate being invited as much as anyone. What do you say? I'll have to think this over a little, and will let you know more definitely later. There's no hurry yet, is there dearie?
It's nearly tomorrow once again. I meant to read some law but guess I'll go to bed instead, wouldn't it be terrible to have no bed to sleep in a night like this?
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 4, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
No letter came to-day, but I wasn't surprised, knowing that you intended going to Lethbridge. I hope your wrist is better. You should not have used it when it hurt. Mother was at prayer-meeting tonight and I wrote one and a half letters while she was gone. I wrote Annie Price a good long one, and Edith Adams a shorter one. I have eight or nine yet before me, not have-to-write ones, but want- to-write.
I didn't send you the paper because to-day's Globe had all that the Welland paper had, and you'd get the Globe before you would one I sent you. I guess everybody is pretty mad. The one man they arrested has his trial tomorrow and everyone is awaiting it with keen interest. Father said that there were twenty men who voted in that D.R.O's ward who will swear that they voted for the act. That is what his signed statement said, but the declaration he made to the Returning Officer said only eight for the act. This of course, turned the vote the opposite way. The way things have been handled shows exceedingly great carelessness or else very evident design to leave a way open for crooked work, or for upsetting the election.
Father was away all day and Mother and I sewed. About five o'clock we went out for a walk. We went up to the home of those English people - the ones who didn't have a bed, and then we went down town. We got back just at six. After the dishes were washed I stamped some cotton for embroidery. Tomorrow afternoon is Missionary meeting, and as mother will be away, I'm going too.
I'm going over to Jean Mawdesley's. She's the girl whose mother died last fall. I've been promising to go over so long and never got there, so I hope she'll be home. She is engaged to a fellow here who, according to Mr. Steadman, is a mutt. This is what he did last week. He took another girl to a dance in St. Kitts last Wednesday and went to another with her on Thursday. Of course, Jean doesn't dance. Isn't that a nice way to act, when his own girl lives right in town? Mr. Steadman says he always tells you all his affairs. I feel sorry for Jean if she marries him, and sorry for her if she doesn't. She’s given up a great deal to stay at home and help look after her two nieces after their mother died. Now their father is re-married but the girls still live with Jean and her father. I think she deserves a better chap than this one.
When I see what sort of men other girls marry, I feel profoundly thankful at my lot, and wonder why I am so blessed. Edna Austin used to say that one out of every ten women who married drew a blank, and maybe it’s true only they’ve too much pride to show it.
I am not only proud of you dearest, but I feel so absolutely sure of your real goodness, that I never feel afraid for myself.
Your own girl.
Fred to Evelyn
... Mr Clarke leaves for Ottawa tonight to spend the rest of the month in Parliament. I've been at the office going over some matters with him and came back only ten or fifteen minutes ago. Most of the "boobs" are out but Miss Rogers is hemming the eternal pillow cases.
“Beauty” is writing letters, Ray has disposed his six feet plus in a sort of suspension bridge fashion from one big chair to another. I’ve had to partially displace his feet to get a place to sit. I’m becoming an adept at improvisations and am using as a table one of the numerous picture books that abound in our house. I started out with a concentration of heart and mind that would do credit to the most ardent wooer that ever lived.
But to add to the manifold distractions of the company a large plate of oranges and apples has just arrived amid whisperings of cocoa and other good things to come. Do you like fruit at night before retiring? I usually eat an apple or an orange - sometimes several and when I'm in a particularly persuasive mood I try to prevail upon Miss Rogers to make cocoa. I hope you like cocoa, dearie. It's not only appetizing but wholesome and I do feel I need something to cover up my spare and Cassius-like frame.
Are you still worrying about my fatness? Am I to reply to your reproaches by the retort courteous? Or, am I to maintain a strong silence as befits the nature of one who must fast perforce? What about you own avoirdupois, sweetheart? If I remember right, last fall you told me your clothes were beginning to tell you that you were still growing - east and west -.
I'm seriously contemplating taking another course of treatment for my hair. I've made spasmodic attempts for the past two months to repair nature's ravages, but my efforts lack continuity. Miss Rogers carefully prepared a bottle of olive oil for me. I've used it twice and occasionally I give my head a dry rub but I'm afraid my treatments are too desultory to be very beneficial. I think kiddie, I'll make you my hairdresser. How will you like that? I've been agitating for a long while over a lot of pleasant offices I can get you to perform for me - with your ladyship's gracious permission. How do you like the idea of being my valet-de-chambre?
This letter has been quite Shakespearian hasn't it? - Much Ado about Nothing? It's the reaction from the affect of the tragedy of King Lear. Even your prosy Rusty has his gay times occasionally.
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 5, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
... I don't want to write, I'm too tired. I've been reading and sewing a little tonight, and have written a couple letters, one to T. Eaton, and another to Reg Smith. I got a letter from Marion to-day. She’d had one from Reg in which he said I didn’t respond, even to a card, for obvious reasons. Well, I sent him a Christmas card, and have been intending to write ever since last June or whenever it was he wrote to me last.
Marion expects me to get down to business for she sent me the recipe for a dessert. She also sent along most elegant drawings of it, so I’m sure I’ll be able to make it right. I wish we were going to live in the same place. And that if Sue and Hazel could locate there too, I tell you we’d have some times. You wouldn’t be allowed “in” on our doings. Because we can go skylarking some times.
I always laugh when I think of one time five of us undertook to go to the Walker House for dinner. There were several terrible mishaps before we got there, and Marion and Sue were eating each other’s heads off. Strange to relate, I wasn’t to blame that time. I was ready early. But of course Hazel, who had met us down there, blamed me, and I wouldn’t tell her any different, I felt virtuous in my innocence. Marion, Sue, and I took a ferry trip over to the island after dinner and got home about nine o’clock. Then, of course, we had to get in, if possible, without the Dean’s seeing us. If we’d been on any spree, we used to skin in and get undressed. Sometimes we’d get our lights off, if we knew the Dean was coming.
Oh dear, I don't want to be here and you there any more. Aren't you getting tired of it? I want to sit on your lap. Oh, shocking! My dear girl, don't you know that is very immodest? And he no relation to you? Ah, well, I don't care for proprieties in this case.
... Miss Kennedy wanted me to go to the Falls skating, but I was too tired. I said, "I suppose she'll meet her fellow when she gets down there." And mother said "If yours were waiting at the other end you'd feel more like going." Well, he is at the other end, and I don't want him there, I want him at my end. What do you suppose he thinks about it, my lawyer man?
Your own girl.
Fred to Evelyn [Calgary]
Friday evening Feb. 6/14
My own dear Kiddie,-
I got two dandy letters today, - Saturday’s and Sunday’s. ... I think I can always tell, dearie, when you are tired and overworked by your letters. I’m glad you haven’t been teaching this week. Even if you do have to work hard and have petty little annoyances at home it’s easier than teaching, isn’t it? And even if you did have a cold last Sunday you felt relieved that your week of teaching was over, didn’t you.
Isn't it strange that we should both have had a cold at the same time. Mine didn't amount to anything and I'm in fine fettle again. I do hope yours was soon killed too. Your mention of the mud and sleet made me shiver. We don't know what such things are here. I've not seen a sleet storm since I came, and mud except in spring is almost unheard of. Even then isn't anything like Ontario mud. ...
Now for some of your questions. It's a great temptation to tell you that I've fallen a victim to the tango and have become an ardent follower of the dances, but honesty forbids. I've always had the same idea about dancing as you, dearie, that I didn't want some other man's arms about the woman who would one day be my wife. I've never been able to rid myself of an aversion to dancing as it is generally done, because it seemed to me immodest, and to tend to arouse the sexual passions. I know lots of people who dance say they never think of such things but I can't see how any normal man or woman can dance some of the modern dances and not have their sexual passions aroused. In fact it seems to me that's the real reason for the existence of some of them. And so I've never learned to dance, and have no desire to do so.
All the same, I do think that some of the old fashioned dances are modest, healthful and pretty, and I've often wondered how much of my dislike to dancing generally is due to prejudice and how much to real reason. But irrespective of whether I dance or not, I don't refuse to go out of an evening merely because dancing is the chief amusement. I've never gone to a ball or a public dance, though I've had plenty of invitations and I've not often been at private dances, but I have occasionally. I have always find there are a number who don't dance at all or very little and are glad of an opportunity of sitting out dances. And so at Robertson's function. Dancing wasn’t particularly because he is one of the firm. Would you not want to go in such a case?
But don't you fret sweetheart about your "hampering" me. You know very well that I'll never look upon my wife that way whether we disagree in our opinions or not. I'm glad you are strict about these matters. So many of the girls nowadays are not. Perhaps I'm mistaken but I believe the girls are more to blame than the boys, don't you?
No, I don't go to League. Haven't done so for more than a year - except once or twice. I used to be president here, but I quit because of differences with Mr Marshall & Bruce Hunter. I've never seen any reason for going back. I do feel the need though of attending a mid-week service and I'll be glad to attend prayer-meeting with you. I'd rather do that than go to League. The League meetings seem insipid- not so real as the prayer meeting I know I'm not doing what I should in these ways. I know it isn't a good reason to say I simply can't bear Mr Marshall - I should go anyhow but I simply don't. When you are with me though, I'll be better. Now will you be like me when I say you are better than I am, and that you're my inspiration and guiding star?
Your worshipful lover.
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 6, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
... I didn't go to choir practice tonight because I've been having a cold and my voice is hoarse. Moreover, I have a sore ear which seems to get worse when I go out in the cold. ...
Tomorrow afternoon my little cousin, John Fairbanks, is coming out from Ridley College.(1) I don't know what to do with him when he comes, except feed him, and you can't do that all the time. I'll have to meet him because dad has to marry a couple. It has snowed hard to-day so there is no chance to take him skating. All I can think of is to take him around to see the town. Maybe he'll be interested in the canal. That's generally our salvation when it comes to visitors. Then it has to be explained just how a vessel passes from lock to lock.
I got your Sunday letter tonight. I won't quarrel with you over the ships, because I know nothing about them. ... Your plan for a day in Quebec suits me perfectly.
I was saying to mother that I wished she were going too. It doesn't seem right for me to go away with you, without her along. I have been thinking that it won't be the easiest thing in the world for us to adjust ourselves to each other. We have been apart for so long and have been together such a very short part of our engagement, that I for one, am afraid I won't look on you as my husband. Now, I know I am expressing myself badly. What I mean is, that if I saw you often I'd get actually used to the idea of marrying you. Now, it's a mixture of a dream and a theory; sometimes it seems scarcely real, and in very truth, it certainly is not tangible.
But to go back to England. What's been puzzling me is how to get clothes washed. For one certainly couldn't load up with fresh clothes. And if one is moving around, how in under the sun, can one keep clean? Or is it necessary to stay long enough in some places, to get "red up." I wonder where that word hails from. Art had a good boarding-house in London, No. 5 Torrington Square, London W.C., I think it was. There were a lot of Canadians there who were studying something or other.
Heber certainly has a splendid chance to grow with the University, hasn't he? His father and mother will be very proud of him. Do you know what his father told me last winter? I was asking him how Heber was getting along and this was his answer, “Oh, he has a fine office, beautifully furnished, and a growing practice he’s getting along splendidly,” then he paused, and his voice saddened as he added “in one way, in one way.” I felt very sorry for him. I know what would give him more real satisfaction than the knowledge of Heber’s material success, although he will be wonderfully pleased at that. He is a splendid man. He inspires one’s confidence, and keeps it too.
Do you wonder how I know him? Well, when I was at college, I was greatly troubled over several things, not my own affairs - but others. And I didn’t know how I ought to act, to do the square thing. And so I consulted him. I didn’t give him any names, of course, but I just put the questions before him. And he was so kindly in his treatment of me, and so honest in his solution of the problems, that I have always since had the deepest respect for him, coupled with a great deal of downright liking.
I had a good time to-day. I made pies and tarts this morning, and mother swept. This afternoon and evening we sewed. We were going calling, but I thought I'd better stay in and then it started to storm. Mother's going to make bread tomorrow so we'll have fresh bread and buns. Like 'em. Well, you won't get these.
You haven't spoken of Fritz and Elizabeth lately. Why? Are you afraid to talk about them anymore - to me? You needn't be. I can keep still when occasion - in the form of you, demands it.
Goodnight my dearest. I wish you weren't so very far away. Why, I forget what you look like. I'm going to get very sick so that you'll have to come home.
Fred to Evelyn [Calgary]
Sunday morning Feb 8/14 #1
My dear Elnora,-
As I didn't write to you yesterday, I made an extra effort to be virtuous this morning - arose at 8.30. Had a bath, a shave, and breakfast, swept the sidewalk, and lit the fire and now I've the time to devote to you before church. I'm not sure yet whether I'll go this morning or not. I'm going to Wesley church tonight to hear Professor Bland of Alberta College. . I have to prepare my S.S. lesson yet too. Last night there was a mild chinook and this morning is glorious - bright and clear and fairly warm. When I got up it was just zero. Now it is ten above. You have no idea, dearie, in the east what such a day is like here.
Spent half an hour at the steamship ticket offices making further enquiries about routes rates and accommodation. I was advised to go by the Atlantic Transport line from N.Y. to London. They run a number of small boats that carry only one class - first class - to the number of about 175 - and nothing else but freight. The fare is about half way between ordinary 2nd & 1st class rates. One always has to dress for dinner and there's a certain amount of formality but the crowd is usually one of the very best - principally American college profs. and people of similar tastes.
The great objection from our standpoint is the slowness, - 10 days is the usual time from N.Y. to London and with our limited time I think it would be foolish to spend the extra 6 or 7 days on the water, especially as you may not prove to be a very good sailor. Besides I'd far rather sail from a Canadian port, wouldn't you, sweetheart? I have no very keen desire to see New York, but I do want you to see old Quebec and to have the voyage down the river from Montreal. It would be seeing a bit of Old World on this side of the water and apart from its charm for its own sake such a trip thrills a Canadian with pride in his country.
After leaving the steamship offices I wandered down town through two or three book stores. My objective was the purchase of Peloubet's Notes (2) but instead of accomplishing my purpose I was led astray by some worldly literature - Life, the Philistine,(3) The Ladies Home Journal and a cheap edition of Ian Maclaren's Afterward, which I picked up on the bargain counter at the Hudson's Bay.
... I was back at the office by 3 and worked from then until 5. Then I left for the organ recital in Knox Presby. church which is given every Saturday afternoon from 5 to 6. I've not attended one yet, but they are very good and I've often intended going. On the way, however, I met Fritz and Elizabeth and they asked me to go out to their place after dinner for a taffy pull. I accepted. Then, as I knew I'd get no further time to work in the evening, and I had to look up some more law for a case in chambers tomorrow, I turned my back on the organ recital and returned to the office. Worked there until 6.30. Thence home to dinner. After dinner, read Life and "The Jam Girl" for an hour. The Jam girl is really interesting isn't she? After that I brushed up a bit and went out to Fritz's. It wasn't a regular party - only Mr. & Mrs. "Pat." Roy [Edmanson] and Miss Whittleton, and your humble and adoring servant. The taffy was great. We cooled it on the snow and it was just as good as ice. ...
After the taffy was gone - about ten o'clock, the ladies went into the living room, and we stayed in the kitchen - to wash the dishes. Fritz suggested a game of five-hundred. Pat's eyes twinkled - he's very fond of five hundred - and Roy was instantly enthusiastic. We four hadn't had a game since 1912 when we all lived together at 934-6th Ave. W. We used to play quite often there, and usually Pat and I were matched against Roy & Fritz. So we left the dishes to dry in Nature's way, and we sat down to the dining room table and played for an hour while the ladies gossiped. Frightfully bad form wasn't it? But the ladies seemed quite content, and we had 3 corking good games. Pat and I won every trick. Elizabeth doesn't play much and Fritz likes a game occasionally. It was like a bit of old times. Do you object to cards, dearie? I'm not a card fiend, but I like a friendly game now and then.
We left Fritz's about 11 o'clock. Then I went down and got your Tuesday letter. Your last four letters have been dandy ones - more like your old self than for some time. I was going to write you after I came home, but instead I sat down by the fire and read The L.H.J. until 12.30. I always like "The Ideas of a Plain Country Woman," don't you? There's so much sound common sense applicable to every day life. I would call her experience the romance and glorification of the common place. It seems to me she idealizes the common every day things - and that's what makes life noble and beautiful. If we can't take the common things of common life, and make ourselves happy and useful in the common prosaic spheres, we're not likely to have much happiness are we? If we can't go to heaven now, we can at least bring heaven to us, can't we?
Dinner gong has just sounded and I'm at the end of my tether anyhow, so this is all until this evening.
Your man Rusty.
Fred to Evelyn [Calgary]
Sunday afternoon Feb 8/14 #2
Ma petite chèrie,-
I have about twenty minutes before supper. I meant to write as soon as I came home after S.S. but I read for a few minutes ... For the first time in months all the fellows are home for Sunday supper. Usually there are only 2 or 3. In a way I'd rather be alone, but it's kind of nice too. While I'm writing, Wilson is playing the piano and he and Mack are singing old familiar hymns with Miss Rogers joining occasionally from the kitchen. I don't think anything can make Sunday more Sundayish than good hymn singing. I'm looking forward to the time when you will play and sing for me. Sometimes after church we'll have a few good friends in for a short time won't we? But I don't want all Sundays taken up that way, do you? I want you all to myself some Sunday evenings. Oh, if they were only here now!
Had a good lesson this afternoon, though there weren't quite so many out as usual. The class is going to have a banquet on the 24th. I don't know whether it will be much of a success, for most of the members are past middle age and I don't imagine they are of the sort that would put much life in an affair of that kind. But you can't always tell.
Last night I was reading in the Journal "How May A Girl Know?" It isn't the first time and I've been very much interested to know whether the supposed answers are the real experiences of people or only made up. Then my mind naturally turned to you sweetheart, and I wondered how you knew. What would your answer be? Have you any doubts left or are you really positively sure? In a letter the other day you said it frightens you to think of getting married because you can't undo it. It is an irrevocable step isn't it? But if one is sure he or she is being married to the right person, the very irrevocableness should cause joy instead of fear, don't you think?
So you are buying and making things now, are you dearie? Perhaps I've given you a wrong impression of my ideas along this line. I do like to see a woman care about getting some household and personal things ready before marriage, and I love you the better for wanting to make them yourself. I think with you, that they would not have half the value if purchased ready-made, either to you or to me. When you are making them you must be thinking that you are doing it for me, and after we're married when I use or see them I can't help but think of the dear loving thought and work that you put into them for my sake. No, no, dearie, I'm only too glad you want to get some things ready - not because I want the things for themselves, but because of the thought that is behind them.
The reason why I've talked and written so much against them is because I didn't want you to overdo yourself and work harder than you should and then suffer for it afterwards. I have seen cases where a wedding was a terrible strain for the whole family. Everybody slaved and worked to get together a lot of things and to have a big spread at the wedding and the bride had made herself nearly sick so that she couldn't enjoy the things for a long while after, but spent the whole of the honeymoon and a long while besides, recuperating from the effects of the overwork before marriage. It seems to me that's worse than foolish - it's a sin. I never thought you were foolish like that. dearie, but I knew you hadn't been very well and I was afraid you'd underestimate your strength and overdo yourself. But I've learned my lesson - now I see that my attitude has really seemed like a lack of trust in you. I didn't mean it that way of course but it must have seemed so to you.
Please forgive me, darling, and I'll try not to say anything about your overworking again. I know I can trust you, and that you will not sacrifice either your own or your mother's health in your pre-nuptial preparations.
You certainly have been having an exciting time in Welland. What is the final result? According to the newspaper reports, - maybe they weren't final - Welland went dry. Do I understand that the "wets" are trying to upset the vote? I suppose in any event there'll be an airing in the courts. But whatever the result, it must be a triumph for the Temperance cause, for Welland is one of the last counties most people would think of as going dry - what with its factory towns and its proximity to the border. I should have thought Fort Erie, Bridgeburg, Port Colbourne, Niagara Falls and Welland would have given overwhelming majorities against local option. It must have been a great fight.
Have just come home from church. The service was very long but the sermon was excellent - a missionary sermon. Prof. Bland came to Alberta from Montreal. ... a very good preacher and a holy looking man. He has such a nice face - thoroughly good looking and strong and tender. When he was preaching I thought of you dear, I always do when I hear anything really good and uplifting. And then my mind went back to the L.H.J. question that I was talking of before supper, and I asked it of myself. Here's the answer - I know you are the right and only woman for me because I can never think of you in connection with anything impure or low or base, but I always unconsciously turn to you whenever I am stirred to my best manhood, and my thoughts are fixed on high and noble things.
You always touch my life on the heights and no good thing seems complete without your presence. You are necessary to me for my own highest development. Isn't that a pretty good and convincing answer to the question? Now mind, this isn't the reason why I love you, - merely the testing reason why I know I love you. I don't love you merely because of those things - that would make love too cold and calculating and mechanical. I don't know why I love you and I don't care. The only reason I can give, and it is sufficient for me, is because you are you. Good or bad, that's my love's logic.
Have you read Van Dyke's little poem, "The Echo in the Heart?" Here's part of the last stanza and it puts my feeling in words better than I can do
"I can't explain the art
But I know her for my own,
Because her lightest tone
Wakes an echo in my heart."
When I started I meant to write this full sheet, but it's pretty late and I haven't written home yet, and I must tonight. Besides I've written pretty small and so there's a good deal in these pages and this is my second to you today. Elizabeth said I should tell you to skip me one day and write to her. I have to convey the message, but I don't want you to obey the first part of it. With my whole heart's love.
Your own man.
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 8, 1914
My Dearest Rusty,-
I didn't feel like writing last night. I was tired and lazy I guess. Sometimes I feel too homesick to write, and once in a while, I let the mood rule me. I'm so tired of writing letters, and you seem so far away, and so strange sometimes. I'm a very great deal like a cat, I like to curl up in front of a fire, and be comfortable. Then I'll purr. Only I can't be comfortable without you. The only consoling thing is that it won't always be thus.
Will you please, once in a while send me a tremendously 'loverly' letter? I suppose you'll retort that I might set the style. I guess our letters don't always just fit the other's mood. But I suppose they are the best that can be done. Sometimes, though I get angry when your letters end up with something about kisses, It seems as if they always tail. And then, it's so inane to read about them. I've just been laughing to myself over this paragraph. If you could get a more contradictory one anywhere I'd like to see it. I have a sore ear and cold pimples on my face - very symmetrical one over each eyebrow, and I'm generally cantankerous. ...
My cousin John came out yesterday afternoon. He’s a nice youngster. I expected him to be pretty well spoiled. To-say was our Communion Service, and it was pretty long. So mother told him he didn’t have to go to Sunday school. He told her this was the first time he’d ever been in a Methodist church, and he concluded that it wasn’t so monotonous as the Anglican.
Mother made bread and buns yesterday, and I offered him [John] buns when he got here, they were just out of the oven. Strange to relate, he decided he could make away with them. Now, I must go and make some cocoa.People came in after church, and I have to go to bed now for we have to get up early in order to get John off on the 7.30 car. I was going to tell you a few things in many ways. What? Nothing but that I want you so much and am so lonesome for you.
Fred to Evelyn [Calgary]
Monday evening, Feb. 9/14
I don't know whether my Tuesday letters reach you on Saturday or not, but to make sure, I'll treat this as my Valentine letter. Oh, if I could only hold my dear little Valentine in my arms instead of having to write! Do you know I can't remember that I ever sent a Valentine before. This year, dearie, I wanted to send you roses, but I don't know the name of any of the florists in Thorold or St Catharines so I've written Hugh to select the best he can find and send them to you. ... My very best love goes with them. I myself would go too if I only could. But I couldn't find words to tell you my love anyhow, perhaps the sweet fragrance of the flowers will speak for me better than I could for myself. May every wafted perfume whisper words of love and tenderness, and as the petals softly brush your lips may they tell you that you are sweeter and fairer to me than the most beautiful flower that grows, there's none that can compare with my own dear little Irish rose.
This is Canada Forward Club meeting night but I didn't go. I had a frightfully hard day and I wanted to stay at home and rest a little and read some of my back law reports, and write a couple other letters. I haven't had much chance to be quiet yet. At dinner Tait announced he was getting up a sleighing party, and wanted us all to go. He has engaged a big sleigh and the sleighing is fine - the night warm and moonlight. It is an ideal night for a ride - and I've never been for one in Calgary, but it doesn't seem right without you darling. There are some very nice girls and fellows going, but I know some of them are going for what they call a "lark" and I don't like that kind of fun. I guess it will be a little like the sleighing party you went with last fall. So I didn't go. Neither did Roy. We both settled down - he to study and I to write to you, when some of the party called and in common decency we had to entertain them while the rest of the boys were getting ready.
There was some talk of the party coming back here after the sleigh-ride for a dance. It sounds ungracious I know, but I hope they don't for I want to go to bed in reasonable time and get some rest. I know some of the people very well and they would think it inhospitable of me not to stay up in my own house. Just the same I don't intend to. I'm going to be out twice this week as it is, tomorrow night at Mrs Brown's - where my other little kiddie - Donna - lives, and on Thursday night at Mrs. Oaten's. Mrs O's party is in honor [sic] of a bride Mrs. Charlie Williams formerly Miss Philp of Hamilton. Two in one week is quite enough gaiety for a staid old man like me, isn't it, honey?
I've been reading the Globe's account of the Welland temperance vote. Isn't it a shame? I hope the Temperance party sticks together and fights the battle through.
My December University Magazine didn't come until Saturday. Do you like it? I've been wondering, dearie, what periodicals you'd like for next year. All I subscribe for now are Toronto Sat. Night and the Univ. Magazine. There are some others I'd take only we get them at the house anyhow. When we have our own home, I'd like the Globe, the Guardian and you'll want the L.H.J. of course. What other suggestions have you? I'd like either the Library Digest or the Review of Reviews or both. Are there any that I have mentioned which you'd leave out. There are a lot of magazines I'd like but it seems almost impossible to get time to read many and I think I've already got in a very bad habit of "skimming" through things.
Have you kept up your French and German? I've been looking forward to your taking me out of my rut. Oh, won't it be great when we can have whole evenings together for reading. But we're not going to have much silent reading are we? The only sociable way is to read aloud as you will have to
Your own true love.
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 9, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
This is a cold snappy day. I haven't been out yet, and have been trying to persuade myself that it's too cold to go to League. You see, I have a cold, which is taking its revenge on me by coming out in little pimples, particularly in and around my right ear. It's rather painful, decidedly unpleasant, but nothing serious, because mother's cold did likewise, and it's all gone now. But however, I decided that there was really no reason why I should stay home, except that I don't want to go. Sometimes I wonder what is the use of going when I feel like this, but I generally go. I guess I'm getting too lazy to move out of my tracks. There's a surprise party tomorrow night, but I don't want to go. Oh, it's too cold to go, and it will be late when I get home, and what's the use? The game isn't worth the candle. I often make myself get out though, because I don't want to get to be too much of a stay at home.
Mother and father got up early this morning, to get John off. I didn't get up then. I have to confess to being absolutely lazy in the morning. It's so nice to yawn and stretch and turn over in a nice warm bed, and not get up. Of course this doesn't appeal to you. You were born energetic. Well, don't plume yourself being so then, because you didn't have to work to get it. I may add that you'll need all your energy to get a certain lady, whom you have engaged for cook and general manager, up in the morning in time to get breakfast. Ah me! I guess I'll enjoy my liberty while I have it.
Mother and I have been sewing to-day, and our efforts seem to be meeting with good success. I told her last night I didn't want to go away and leave her. I know I'll miss her more than I did when I went to college. We're more companions now than we were then, and, maybe it's partly because I'm going away, she spoils me dreadfully. It would make me absolutely selfish in a very short time. Ora used to take me to task principally for not getting down early in the morning - but mother puts up with me. Now if you wrote me a scolding letter I'd be as mad as hops at you, yet I know perfectly well that it wouldn't be undeserved.
Our Temperance victory is not yet assured. But there has been crooked work - decidedly so. The trial of the one District Returning Officer is postponed until Saturday, when he will appear on two charges, graver than the first one, which was dropped.
It's time to get my face cold creamed, my hair brushed up (that never takes much of your time does it?) and a goodly supply of wraps on me. I am going to hear about Thomas Crosby.(4) I must write to Ora when I come home, so you won't get any more tonight. Oh, I feel sorry for you all night.
Goodnight, my dearest one.
Fred to Evelyn [Calgary]
Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning
[Feb. 10 or 11 1914]
It's half past twelve, so you'll not get a very long letter. As I told you last night I was out this evening at Mrs Brown's. I think I was invited principally on Donna's account, and as luck would have it, I was kept late at the office tonight and didn't reach my destination until after half past eight. Donna had gone to bed but she heard me come in and Mrs. Brown brought her downstairs for a little while. She's a sweet little thing, though I fear in a fair way of being spoiled. Please forgive me dearie for touching again on a subject that is distasteful to you, - but I couldn't help for longing tonight when I held Donna in my arms, for the time when I could hold our own little daughter close to my heart. I never used to care for little children but somehow a change has come over me lately. Mr Brown had an engagement elsewhere and I was the only man. The only other guests were a widowed sister and another married lady friend of Mrs Brown's. We played bridge for a couple hours then had a delightful little supper and chatted the rest of the time.
Before refreshments we were joined by a Miss Bowes - one of Mrs B's nieces - and a friend of hers. Miss Bowes in a Calgarian - born and bred. Tomorrow she leaves for a couple month's visit in Ontario. Did I wish I could go along? I'll let you answer that question, sweetheart.
As I said the other night I enjoy a game of cards occasionally but it does seem silly to waste as much time over them as so many women do nowadays. Tonight the ladies were telling about bridge parties - afternoon and night. I should think they'd get sick of the very word.
So you are getting tired of writing letters. So am I. It wouldn't be so bad being far apart if we could only see each other once in a while. Dear little kiddie! You don't want to sit on my lap any more than I want you there. Do you know, I'm often glad you aren't big. As it is, you're just a nice armful and unless your views are different from mine, one chair is going to be enough for both of us a good many times.
Have you been thinking any more about the house question? The more I think of it the more convinced I am that it will be best to get a furnished house for the first winter. I believe there will be lots of opportunities before the summer is over. The worst of it is, the best chances are never available very long beforehand, but people take the notion suddenly that they want to go away. Not many houses will be available for the winter before I go east, and of course I want to have one arranged for before I leave. However I'll keep my eyes open after the first of April and I think I'll be able to find something that will serve as a temporary nest for my little songster.
Later we'll have fun feathering our own real nest won't we?
Goodnight dearie, or is it good morning?
Fred to Evelyn
Your Friday letter came today. I do hope your cold is better. You haven't been troubled very much with colds this winter have you? ...
... I learned today that the chief amusement the other night at the sleighing party was tumbling each other around throwing boys and girls from one end of the sleigh to the other. Of course, they stumble and fall upon other people, and you can imagine how much modesty there was! Why will men and women have so little respect for themselves as to do such things!
There was one girl, a visitor from Brantford, who they say frowned on the whole thing and thought it was terrible. She wouldn't join in such vulgar horse-play and was accordingly voted a "stick." Thank heaven there are a few "sticks" left in the world. I used to think boys were worse than girls in such ways but I'm beginning to think there isn't any difference. It lessens one's respect for womanhood to see young women carry on as do many do nowadays. I am so thankful dearie, you are not of that sort. Why can't girls see that the only way to win men's respect is for them to respect their own bodies and not expose them to indelicate handling by the other sex, for these same men who vote girls good sports don't really respect them but look to those who are truly modest and womanly when they want wives.
Went out to Fritz's for an hour after dinner tonight. Elizabeth is the greatest woman to hug the hot air register I ever saw. Their house always seems warm to me, but she's generally on the floor beside the register when she wants to be really comfortable and informal.
Are you afraid there aren't any laundries in England, dearie? It is a little awkward sometimes when travelling to get laundry done satisfactorily, but it isn't necessary to wait a whole week at one place. Commercial travellers have to reckon with this all the time. My plan would be to make some place headquarters say for a week, but even if we don't do that we can get laundry almost anywhere. When I was on the road I used to get it back in the cities on the same day as I sent it. You have to pay more to get it done so quickly, but it can be and is done all the time. But you'll find, sweetheart, that even at best, travelling has its inconveniences. I guess that's why so many people advise against wedding trips, for often the wife hasn't travelled very much, and when one misses little things one has always been accustomed to, there are bound to be occasions for little jars. I've knocked about so much I know pretty well what to expect and put up with. But we'll not worry about these little things.
How is the sewing coming on - and the cooking? Are you running the culinary department again since you have quit teaching? And how is the camera working? Have you taken any more pictures? Are you really forgetting what I look like? I guess I'll have to "sit" for a picture. I don't like having photographs taken but I've promised you one haven't I? I've had a nasty day. Wish you were here to kiss the cross wrinkles out of the brow
of your old man.
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 11, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
Mother and father are at prayer-meeting, and I’m all alone. When I am alone, mother told me not to answer the door. Just a little while ago a man came and rang and rang and rang both bells. I let him amuse himself and then he went away. I don’t care who it was. This is a lonesome corner and there are too many tough people around to take any risks. I’ve always been afraid at night ever since Charlie Brine frightened me so. I’m not so much afraid just to stay alone, but I don’t like going to the door. Sometimes drunk men come and I don’t like meeting them.
I didn’t write yesterday as you have doubtless observed. I expected Edna Smith out for tea but she didn’t come owing to a bad sore throat, as a letter to-day explained. I went to meet three cars; when I got home, dad was making sandwiches for the Men’s Bible Class Social, and as he had four loaves of bread to make up, he wanted my help. We had a great time getting them made. He used too much butter, I cut the bread too thin, and he couldn’t get the slices to match at first.
However, we got through at five o’ clock. Then I had to make candy for the surprise party. Did I tell you about that? It was for one of the S.S. girls, who is going to train for a nurse. I didn’t want to go, and thought that Edna’s coming was a good excuse. But as she didn’t come, I had to go. I made fudge and put almonds in it. I’m not supposed to be adept at making candy, I make it so seldom, but this was fine. Some day I’ll make you some. And after that I had to cut up a grape-fruit for some marmalade I’m making. That took me until after six, so that by the time I’d had my supper and got dressed it was time to go. There were only ten who went, but we had a good time, ever so much better than if there had been boys there. It sort of reminded me of a “feed” there was so much talking and laughing. We played Jenkins and another game and told stories. We got home just at twelve.
This morning I got up at twelve. Mother said to tell you that, and she thought it might make you decide to leave me at home with her[e]. My face is getting better, but I’m not going our tomorrow either, and give it a chance to get well. My ear bothers me at night and I told mother I was afraid it was a cancer. She had a good laugh over that. It’s nothing but a cold that has taken that way of shewing [sic] its cussedness. But, as I said before, it’s getting better.
... I've been thinking about attending dances when one doesn't dance, and I don't like it. You'll probably think me strenuous on this point, but it seems to me that it isn't any place for those who do not approve of it. I'm sure I shouldn't care to go if I didn't approve of dancing.
... I'm sure mother and I will be very glad to go up to your mother's. Probably we can go at the end of March. By the way, you owe my father a letter. I don't know whether he'd ever written you a thank-you or not, but I'm not his boss, but I'm trying hard to be yours. No thank you, you're not going to get me roped into any promises of what I'll do for your comfort or adornment. On the contrary, I expect you to wait on me. And I'm pretty good at getting my own way. So you may just as well begin attending to your hair at once. ...
Do I like cocoa, and oranges? Try me and see. Guess what we had for tea? Creamed chicken on toast. Does it sound good? It tasted better.
Now I must write to my brother and sister.
Good-night my dear one.
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 12, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
The doctor has just gone. My ear was bothering me, so dad had him come up. The rash is weeping eczema which is the result of a cold, but I wasn't treating it right. So I'm glad he looked at it. We had some ice-cream and so he got that for his pains. He said I'd better not go out where it would get cold, and he gave me some salve. And I can't wash my face much either.
... We are going to have roast chicken for dinner and oysters for tea. I don't like oyster soup much but I do like fried oysters. To-day I made some amber marmalade and it's the prettiest stuff. And tastes? Awful good. Ask Miss Rogers if she knows it. It's made from a lemon, an orange, and a grapefruit, and is ever so much better than plain orange marmalade. ...
... I was alone and the bell rang. I was more courageous tonight because I had the chain on the door. When I was unfastening the lock, a feminine voice spoke, and I knew who it was. It was Ethel Upper, and she and I talked for a while until mother came. She got them ice-cream, and then the doctor came. I didn't used to like this doctor, or rather, thought I didn't, for I didn't know him. We were talking about the comparative happiness of rich and moderately situated people. He was telling what he'd do if he were very wealthy, he'd travel and study and make experiments. What would you do? I'd go to Oxford for a term, Paris, and some German universities. And I'd travel too.
But what would you be doing? That was what I used to plan. Surely you wouldn't want to stay and 'law,' would you, if you could travel and study? Of course we'd want some place where we could come "back home." But I can imagine a most delightful three, four or five years we could spend poking around Europe and Asia. Wouldn't you like to go to India? I don't want to go to places and come right away again. I'd like to live in them until I caught their spirit.
So you are afraid you are lacking in imagination! And you think you are prosy! And you want me to help you! You appear to think I have a large share of imagination and romance. I don't see much of it hovering around, but what there is, is yours.
Oh, I can't write Mother and father are talking about some poor people, and of everything else under the sun.
My dear, I wish you were here, or that I were there. But February is almost half gone. It seems scarcely possible, does it?
Fred to Evelyn [Calgary]
Friday evening Feb. 13/14
My dearest Nora,-
How much can I write in an hour? It's just nine o'clock now and the fates have decided that at 10 we are to have cocoa. All are out but Roy, Carson, Miss Rogers and I. The first two are studying Miss R. is embroidering pillow cases as usual and I have been dreaming of you and wishing you were here to talk to instead of being away off so I had to write to you.
Before going upstairs for my writing materials I proposed cocoa at 10.30 Miss Rogers agreed to make it but suggested half an hour earlier as she wanted to go to bed at 10. I flipped a coin to decide between 10 and 10.30 Miss Rogers won. Do you like cocoa dearie, and will you make it for me sometimes in the evening?
I didn't write last night. Didn't get home until after one and though I did sit down to write, I changed my mind and went to bed instead for I had to get up early this morning to make some last preparations for a case this forenoon. I thought I'd have time to write a little this morning but the case didn't end until one o'clock. Then I had an examination this afternoon and was our of the office on a couple other appointments so that my time was pretty well taken up.
I have been out so much during the past two weeks - in chambers and on examinations etc that my work has got into terrible shape. Consequently I gave orders yesterday to Miss Woodlock - our telephone girl - that she was not to call me for anyone but that I would be out to everybody and would not answer telephone calls either. People could leave their numbers and then if I wanted to call them I would. Of course some clients don't altogether like this but it's the only way to get work done. ... I used to be afraid of offending them and so would see anyone at any time. But I've got over this and have learned that they respect you just as much and more - if you run your own business.
I was supposed to go to Mr. Oaten's for dinner last night, but I telephoned my regrets in the afternoon when I saw that I should be detained late at the office. I went in the evening however. There was a nice little party. Elizabeth used to talk about lack of culture in the west. Well, how is this for a crowd? Mr & Mrs Charlie Williams, she is the new bride - formerly Miss Bessie Philp of Hamilton - a talented pianist, and he is one of the baritone singers in the city: Mr. & Mrs. Geo Coutts - both of '07 Varsity; Mr. & Mrs. Norman Weir. He is a brother of Gordon Weir of Toronto '08, Mr. & Mrs. Wilbur Homer: He is the baritone soloist in Central Meth. Church and used to be a teacher at the Toronto Conservatory of Music; Ray Edmonson, and Miss Whittleton: Miss Whittleton's cousin, Miss Johnson: Miss Wilson, the soprano soloist at Central, - formerly of Whitby; Miss Dingman formerly of Toronto and a Vic. specialist of '08; Mr. Alexander, - and ardent music lover and your own humble worshipper.
Fritz and Elizabeth were invited but she felt too tired. Mrs Oaten had a reception or afternoon tea or something in the afternoon and Elizabeth had helped to pour tea. We had some cards and a lot of splendid music, of course. That's the kind of evening I like - when there are congenial friends and good music. We always have lots of that at Oaten's.
I was surprised to find recognize in Miss Dingman a girl who took a few lectures at college in my first or second year. She is the daughter of A.W. Dingman the managing director of the Calgary Petroleum Products Co Ltd. the largest of the oil companies - the one that struck a flow of oil last fall and in which I bought a little stock. Mr Dingman had been here for some time but the family didn't move out from Toronto until last October. I never knew Miss D. well at college - just met her once but I recognized her as soon as I saw her. We had a good chat over old times. She's a very close friend of Professor Wallace's family. In fact I think she is related, and she knows most of the girls of '07, '08 & '09. I had to take her home.
The party broke up about a quarter after twelve. ... It was a glorious moonlight night - not too cold - and I wished oh so much, that you were with me and that we could walk home together as Mr. & Mrs. Williams did. They had a chance to catch a car but she wanted to walk.
The choir's concert is to be on March 14th and Estelle Carey is coming again. Mrs Oaten says she is to be married in June, so this will probably be her last appearance in Calgary as Miss Carey. Did I tell you that Mrs. Oaten - the elder - thought I went up to Muskoka last year to see her? Because I was friendly to her when she was here a year ago, some people immediately jumped to the conclusion that she was my girl in the east. People do like to talk when they think they have a clue to some person's private affairs.
How is you cold, dearie? I'm so sorry it is dragging on so long. Tell me, do you want me most when you feel ill or when you are well and the world seems bright? My poor little lonesome kiddie! You aren't any more anxious than I am for the time between now and June to fly by. Never mind. This is almost the middle of February. 2 1/2 months out of the year are gone. Why are you afraid we'll find it difficult to adjust ourselves to each other? Don't you think it augurs pretty well that we have been able to get along thus far without a real scrap, when we've had to rely upon correspondence for our communication? It's so much easier for misunderstandings to occur by correspondence than when people can talk things over face to face.
Oh, I know, that in every case of marriage there are bound to be differences of opinion and differences of taste which must be adjusted and possibly there'll be little jars when we are together all the time: but I don't think we are likely to be worse off than the majority, I believe if we start out with the idea that each will have to give in to the other sometimes and put up with some things he or she doesn't like, that we'll find the path of married life not only happy but free from jolts and jars. We both love each other very dearly and truly. That's enough, sweetheart. Let us not worry about the little things.
Cocoa interrupted and afterwards we talked for a long time. It's now nearly midnight.
What do you call a tremendously 'loverly' letter? Haven't I written any yet that would qualify for that class? Oh, I know what you mean dearie. I've felt just the same way lots of times - yes, all the time. It isn't letters that tell about people or things that I care for most, - just those that are full of love. That's what you want too isn't it ? Well, no letter is big enough to tell you of
the love of your Rusty.
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 13, 1914
My Dearest Rusty,-
... If I weren't writing to you I'd be sewing a top on a quilt which we made to-day. We made two, and they're both very pretty; one is pink and one is blue. We didn't get started until after dinner. ...
Did tell you about Ray’s opinion of love which he was expressing at New Year’s? He was saying that being in love with just one person was nonsense, that it was as easy to fall in love with one person as another, and a great deal more to that effect. He was at Aunt Carries’s New Year’s night and was setting forth his opinions before Lina, her friend Gertrude Patrick, your Aunt and Stan Lovelace. Stan hardly spoke a word, he just gazed at Ray in amazement. Later it appeared that he thought Ray was my fiancé (let me pause to remark that I’m glad he’s not) and he thought that was a very queer way for him to talk.
...I really intended to write to Elizabeth soon, but I don't seem to get caught up. I'm so far behind now that I can't get much worse. I can't write more than two decent letters a day, and often when I get through writing to you I don't want to be bothered writing to anyone else.
Your Sunday evening letter came at noon. ... You seem greatly interested in "How Should One Know." Well, I suppose how one knows that one wants to marry another is really founded on the next generation. If a woman knows that a man is a man she could want for the father of her children, she knows she wants to marry him. For you see dear, she never could think of that with ease or happiness, if she did not love him. But one might love, and not want to marry for various reasons, principally for physical reasons. That is not answering the question "How does one know that one loves?" Your answer is very beautiful. I would I could tell you how it appeals to me. It is the same with me. How do you know that you breathe, or that you live, that you are happy or sad? Why you just know. And how do you know you love? When you find someone with whom you don't feel lonely, who answers your moods, who completes or complements you, why than you know. How can you show that you know? It doesn't take long does it dearie. I wish I could show you in a tangible way.
Fred to Evelyn
Tody it "chinooked" in real earnest and it has been so warm that an overcoat was a burden. Such weather, while not as enervating as it would be in the east, nevertheless takes some of the ginger out of a fellow.
After lunch today I had a pleasant half hour with Madame Belmont, manicurist, dermatologist etc. For some time I've been intending to go back to scalp treatment but didn't take the plunge until today. Formerly I went to the Misses Hauser, but I thought I'd try a change. Madame Belmont is more exclusive if one can judge from her prices. $10 for 12 treatments with extra charge for "dope" shampoos etc. I wish, dearie, for your sake I could coax back to life some of the glory that has departed but I haven't much hope.
Perhaps I can prolong the life of what is left. If I can do this I'll be glad. No woman likes to marry a bald man, does she? I don't know whether to be hopeful of Madame's treatment or not, but it is very pleasant to take and makes the scalp feel much better afterwards. She gives half hour lessons and for a while I'm to go twice a week, - Tuesday and Saturday. I'll report from time to time of progress is being made. If I'm silent you'll know my worst fears have been realized.
Perhaps the rubbing made me sleepy, - it always used to do so. At any rate, after leaving Madame's I felt too dopey to work so I came home and slept for an hour. Then I went to the office for a while and at half-past five went with Campbell to Knox church for the fag end of the organ recital. Nearly all the music was of a soft subdued kind - very pleasant and soothing in moderate doses, but hard on the nerves when taken as a steady diet. Nevertheless I enjoyed it very much for a change. This evening there were nine for dinner. Tait brought up a friend, and Fearman unexpectedly came into town. If Percy Carson had not gone out there would have been 10. How would you like to cook and "general manage" a gang like that?
... I wonder if you got my Valentine roses today. I was thinking after I wrote Hugh that he might possibly be away and then you might not get them in time. I do hope you did. I received your Valentine this morning. It is a dandy, and I'm glad to think the final sentiment is none the less true because illustrated in a rather graphic fashion. Your mother sent the other card didn't she? At first I thought it was you but then it looked like her writing. The initials were not very plain. I also got a third Valentine from my little friend Donna Brown. If you jilt me I'll always have her to fall back upon.
Isn't the cold gone yet? It seems to hang on for a terribly long while doesn't it? I never like to hear of a cold settling in the eyes or ears. It's so liable to leave permanent injuries. How are the small pox marks? Are they disappearing.
Had a letter from Margaret today. Since the first of the month she has been in the medical ward and the change from the tubercular is most welcome. It must have been a regular inferno for her during December and January. Her work is not quite so heavy now and she says she is really beginning to enjoy it.
I saw in the Express that Mabel Buck was home from Toronto - ill. Apparently the work was too much for her too. Must go down to the office now for a while.
Goodnight my own kiddie.
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 14, 1914(5)
My Own Dear Valentine,-
I wish you could enjoy the lovely flowers Hugh brought out this afternoon. ... He couldn't get nice roses so he brought two huge bunches of lilies-of-the valley which I love. I never had enough of them before, ... Do you know that of late I have been revelling in the thought that I'm going to make you love me more than you do. Yes, I guess I'm insatiable on that score. It was a dear letter I got from you to-day, the one you wrote last Monday night. I'm so glad, so glad my darling, that I have you, and you have me. Sometimes I compare myself with myself of last year, and, oh, what a difference there is.
But often when I think of what I used to be, I feel that I do not care so passionately about some things as I used to. And I sometimes fear that you think of me as I used to be, more than as I am. You think I am good, but my dear, I don't believe I think about it as much as I should. My habits are formed, and because of that I do things I might be too indifferent to do if it were that I were beginning again. At other times I think that as a little girl I was much too serious and mature, and that now I am having my little girlhood.
For one thing I am heartily thankful, I am seldom dull. I have so many ways of working and of amusing myself. And when there's nothing else to do, I can either think or dream. That is very fine when one has to wait for a train - Now my dreams are sure of a reasonable amount of fulfilment, and my thoughts can go forward. They used to go around and around one cruel theme, and there was never but a vague way out. And you have changed all this. No, I can't say that. But you came and filled my heart when it was empty and tired. It always had been that way, always longing for an "unknown of quantity," but sometimes a heart gets over weary. And when its "quantity" is found, and the labour is over, there is rest and rejoicing. ...
I am so glad Wray [Moyer] is going west this summer. I'd rather have him there than Fritz, except that he hasn't a nice wife. But I do like Wray so very, very much. I guess maybe I'd have married him if I hadn't got you. Of course he doesn't know this and it is just as well not to let him know, lest he get conceited.
You yourself said he’d make a better man than Fritz. Tonight Hugh said, “Well, he’ll keep Fred hustling to keep ahead of him. Fred may be a better lawyer, but he hasn’t the business ability that Wray has. And when he was at Collegiate, we never dreamed of him going to college. But for some unknown reason he decided he would go, and then he got down to work.”
I couldn’t help laughing, dearie, at your letter yesterday. You were talking about the things I’m making, and about how when you used them you’d think that I made them for you. As it happens I don’t imaging you’ll be using these things very often.
And say, I haven't got fat, so you can't throw that up to me. I was weighed at New Years, and my weight was the same as last summer at Bala, I think. Anyway, you'll like my clothes, and I am going to hem some tablecloths for you. Tell me, does Miss Rogers intend to run a hospital? Why is she always working at pillow slips. ...
Ten o' clock. Must work at my S.S. lesson.
Fred to Evelyn
My own dear kiddie,-
I'm always glad when I can write the first or the fifteenth of the month. It seems then as if another definite period of the time before June has been passed and our wedding day seems so much closer. Only three months and a half yet! Are you nearly ready, dearie? How would you like it if I should unexpectedly come down to Thorold and carry you off before June? Would you refuse to go? You need not worry about it, I'm only too sorry to say there's not likely to be a chance. But I am counting on leaving here about the first of June, so that we can be married before the tenth. How will that suit you?
I meant to write a good long letter tonight, but Percy Carson stayed in and we talked for a couple hours - mostly about marriage. His wife's death completely upset him and he has never been to church since. He told me tonight that it shook his faith to the very foundations. Unlike many others he didn't immediately fly for refuge to any of the many cults and 'isms' that abound nowadays, but instead he is just waiting - hoping that his faith will return. And I think it will. Meanwhile he goes about his every day affairs without giving any indication to the ordinary observer of the conflict that has been and still is going on within.
Every time I've talked with him on the subject of marriage, he has minimized the dangers and difficulties and emphasized the unity and real harmony that is likely to exist. He says he thinks both men and women contemplating marriage are unduly afraid that there will be differences hard to reconcile, and that it will be difficult to adjust each to the other's ways and habits of thought, while as a matter of fact, if husband and wife truly love each other, initial adjustments are the most natural thing in the world. In spite of the fact - so often lamented by you - that we have seen so little of each other since we became engaged, I think we really know each other far better than most couples and I'm not afraid, dearie, that we'll find it hard to adjust ourselves to each other. Down in your inmost heart, you aren't either, are you? I suppose every young couple thinks their case is unique and will be different from the ordinary, but really, I feel so absolutelysure. Once you asked me how I could know I was a Christian and was going to heaven. I don't remember what my answer was, but if it was true, it must have been that I could not explain, - I just felt. And so is my reason now. I can't explain the reason why I feel so sure. I just do, that is all.
This morning there wasn't a sermon - just a talk from Rev C.F. Hopkins the missionary in the Peace River District who is supported by Central Meth. church. It was wonderfully inspirational to me - not because of what he said nor yet of the way he spoke - but because the self-effacing, self-sacrificing, earnest and sincere nature of the man was revealed in everything he said. The old Ontario heroes of the saddle-bags had no harder lot to bear or more difficult work to do than this pioneer missionary of Alberta's great Northland. He didn't talk about himself - nor very much about the work he was doing - but principally of the work to be done, - and we could only read between the lines to get some idea of the tremendous work he is doing in the Peace River country.
Eleven years ago he came to the Alberta Conference fresh from ordination. Then suddenly his wife died and everything turned black before him. But he fought and prayed and finally came out victor and volunteered as a missionary to China. But he wasn't to go to China. He met Mr. Kerby, and one Sunday after church, one young man W.G. Findlay, now a member of our choir, followed Mr Kerby into his study and offered to give $60.00 per year toward the support of Mr. Hopkings as missionary at Athabasca Landing. (At that time the Peace River Country was almost unheard of and Athabasca Landing was the outpost of civilization, one of the wickedest places this country has ever seen.) A few other young men followed Findlay's example and before the week was ended 15 young men had subscribed $60.00 each.
This was told us this morning by Dr. Kerby, who rose in his pew after the sermon and pointed out Mr. Findlay in the choir, to the latter's no small confusion. Well, this was the beginning of Hopkin's work. After establishing a splendid cause in Athabasca Landing, and building a fine church there, the work opened up three years ago in the Peace River country. The rush of settlers to that part was just beginning there. Some suggested that Hopkins had had enough of pioneering and that he deserved a change, and numerous invitations were given him. But he thought his experience at Athabasca Landing might fit him better than anyone else for the still newer work and so he volunteered and was sent. For the first year he slept in a bed only twice - nearly always in the open under a waggon, or rarely under a tent, sometimes with the thermometer 50 below zero. He has built two churches - mostly with his own hands. He has now 4 regular charges and his pastorate extends over a territory about 75 miles long and 30 wide. ...
Hopkins has never married again. He has done all his own housework and besides has kept sort of open house for travellers. Last year he baked more than 1600 lbs of flour into bread, which will give a little idea of the number of hungry mouths he has fed. His is a practical Christianity that is surely winning the people. Let me mention one instance of real Temperance progress in the west. As yet no license has been allowed in any of the Peace River 95 per cent of the settlers, and the great Peace River country is still a haven of refuge for scores who are fleeing the influence of strong drink. This is the kind of empire building that Hopkins is doing.
Talk about heroes of the cross. He's one if ever there was one. Now he is taking his mother - past sixty - along with him to keep house. Dr. Kerby suggested a donation for his mother and himself, when immediately Hopkins jumped up and said he didn't want any money for himself but he did want it for a new church. That's the kind of man he is. Well more than $300 was given on condition he kept if for the use of himself and mother. He has no furniture in his parsonage except what he made himself, but I guess he'll use it for others just as he has his whole life. That's the kind of thing that inspires me, and makes me think what a mean selfish life I'm living.
Oh it was great this morning. On the other side of the platform was Dr. John McDougall, one of our pioneer missionaries, grey bearded, grey headed son of Dr. George Mcd, the pioneer Methodist missionary to the west. What a link of past to present! When Rev. John McDougall first saw Alberta, where Calgary now stands was more wild and new than the country where Mr. Hopkins is now working.
Oh, if only you saw the west. You’d be thrilled by the wonder of the conquest of the great new land. And the real conquest that is worth while is being won by such men as C.F. Hopkins as he rides up and down the vast prairies of the great northland. That’s what keeps Christianity alive and grips the heart of the people.
I guess I'd better stop or you'll think I'm going to become a missionary and carry you away off where you'll have no nice warm bed to "cuddle doon" in but where you'll have to curl up like a squirrel in very truth to keep warm. No, I'm not going to do that, but I do hope sometime, dearest, we can camp out in the open in the vast new places for a month or more. Are you shivering at the thought? You needn't. I just know you'd enjoy it and it would bring the roses to your cheeks and make you full of the abounding joy of life.
This has been another perfect day - warm as a May day. We flung wide the doors and windows and this afternoon the whole city was out taking the air. I haven’t seen so many autos or baby carriages for months. It really was too nice to be inside. Nevertheless I had a fairly good class at S.S. and enjoyed the lesson very much myself. I don’t know what the class thought.
This is fairly long after all, isn’t it? I’m still longwinded when I get started.
Didn't get a letter last night. Will there be two for me in the morning? I wonder.
Your own Rusty.
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 15, 1914
My Dearest Fred,-
Will you mind very much if I don't write such a very long letter. I had to practise after church, and I'm rather tired. No, dearie, I don't think I want Sunday company very often. I'm afraid we'll be selfish that way, and won't be thoughtful enough of people who haven't any homes. I'll tell you how we'll do about our S.S. lesson. We'll begin to study it on Sunday, and we'll do some every day of the week, either morning or evening. And unconsciously, we'll find ourselves thinking of it, so that when the next Sunday comes, we'll know something about it. It seems to me we ought to be able to go to three services and not be tired out. I don't know whose the fault is, I guess it's mine. It is hard work interesting my boys, but they are worth it. They want me to go skating with them on Saturday out at Beaver Dams, but papa says it isn't safe, and that I can't go. If only there were a rink here we could have a skating party and then come here afterwards. I have another scheme in mind which I shall initiate next Sunday.
Papa is very restless. Mother is reading, as you may deduce, I am writing, and he sits doing nothing. ... When you were at college, did you have 19th Century Poets, Page edition? And have you the book yet? I never got it, but I wish I had. There are so many poems in it that I love. There was one of [Matthew] Arnold's in The Globe yesterday, "Strew on Her Roses, Roses," that I remember so plainly hearing Dr. Edgar read. And also there was one of Yeats that he recited one night he was at the Hall. He had heard Yeats recite it himself and he did so with his hand waving rhythmically. Did you used to enjoy hearing [him] read English poetry? Or didn't you have him for that? ...
I read one of [John M.] Synge's plays last summer Riders to the Sea. It seemed to me very realistic, very commonplace, and very tragic. It brought very clearly to my eyes the poor Irish folk, their poverty, and their sorrow. Does the Irish nature appeal to you? I think not so much as the Scotch. But I think Highland Scotch are very much like the Irish. ...
I did hope to get a few minutes to read to-day. After studying my S.S. lesson I have had time to read a few pages of Josephus, the Onward and write to Ora and you. I used to have more time on Sunday. I wonder what makes the difference.
Fred to Evelyn [Calgary]
Monday evening Feb 16/14
My dear Elnora,-
It's eleven thirty. Have just come home from the Symphony concert. I had intended all along to go but Saturday one of the fellows from the Young Mens' Club called me up and asked me to take Miss Wilson, the soprano soloist to the annual banquet of the club tomorrow night. Miss Wilson is to sing and no one had asked her to go, so I offered to step into the breach, though as a matter of fact I had not intended going.
Well I didn't want to be out two nights in succession so I decided to cut out the symphony tonight, and do some reading. But this afternoon Mrs Clarke phoned me and offered their seats - (Mr. Clarke is in Ottawa) You remember Mrs C. was good enough to make me the escort once last fall when her husband was away.
I sent her a pretty nice plant at Xmas and she thinks she must do something for me in return. She couldn't go herself tonight as she didn't want to leave the baby, so I asked Connie her step daughter. Connie is a nice enough girl, but very young - about 19 - and I'd much preferred the company of Mrs C. - and infinitely more - that of - oh well, you know whom. But it was awfully good of Mrs. Clarke to offer the tickets and I couldn't do anything else.
I'm not musical enough to report in detail upon the concert, but I am musical enough to have enjoyed every bit of it. The orchestra is one every city might be proud of and is already gaining a reputation more than local. They had as assisting artiste tonight, Mme. Rider-Passort. I never heard of her before but reports say she is one of the outstanding pianists of America. ... she's by far the best I've ever heard. It was almost magical, the way her fingers could fly over the keys and her playing wasn't mechanical in the least. There was a delicacy and sympathy of touch that made you feel she was a true musician at heart. Only one thing was lacking to my complete enjoyment and that was your presence, dearest. Won't we have great times next year attending these and similar concerts?
There wasn't any letter this morning, and I was beginning to feel worried lest your cold had got worse and you were too sick to write, for I hadn't received a letter Saturday night either. But this afternoon your Wednesday letter came. There must have been a delay in distributing the mail from the east this morning.
I'm so glad your cold is getting better, dear. I used to look upon colds as a sort of necessary evil. It seemed as if everyone had to have at least one cold in a winter. But I've changed my opinion. Whatever may be the normal condition in the east, I don't think a person who takes good care of himself should have colds out here. I'll be glad when I can have you under my care. Look after you? Why of course I'm going to look after you. If only I could do it now.
Fred to Evelyn [Calgary]
Tuesday evening Feb. 17 1914
Once again it's a pretty late hour to be starting a letter - a few minutes of midnight. The banquet wasn't too long, it broke up at about 10.30 but Miss Wilson asked me to go in for a short time, which I did. She lives with a brother whose wife is one of the best pianists Calgary has. She doesn't often play in public because she has a little baby and all the housework to do, but she is keenly interested in everything musical and is a very interesting conversationalist as is also Miss Wilson.
It's nice to meet people who have other thoughts besides pink teas, dancing and bridge. I learned tonight that Miss Wilson came originally from Fenelon Falls and knew P.J. Knox very well. Knox started with '08 Vic but dropped out a year and finished with Varsity '09. He's now practising law in Hamilton. For a time Miss Wilson taught vocal at O.L.C of which she herself is a graduate. Later just before she came to Calgary she was soloist in Bloor St. Presby. church in Toronto.
Had a good time at the banquet. I arranged the seating so that Fitch & Miss Fraser, Mr & Mrs Oaten, Fritz & Elizabeth and a couple other people we all knew quite well were all at our table.
The speeches were of a uniform excellence and not too long. One in particular - the reply to the toast to the Ladies by Miss Pattie Aylwood - who is also a grad of O.L.C. and at present teaching under Mr Oaten - was without any exception the best I ever heard. It was clever, witty, and yet sweetly serious and delivered in a most pleasing, unconscious manner that captivated everyone. She decidedly made the hit of the evening.
Besides the toasts there were a couple of songs, a violin solo, and a reading. Elizabeth tried to get them to put on an impromptu toast to the about-to be-weds. Last winter there was one to the newly-weds, to which Ford and Fritz had to respond. I wasn't there, being at that time on my back in the hospital, but reports say that both were covered with confusion. Elizabeth thought she'd wreak her vengeance upon my unoffending head this year, but her scheme failed. Guess I'll quit now and go to bed. Will finish in the morning.
Good night my own little sweetheart.
It started to snow last night and is at it yet, quite like an Ontario day with large light flakes falling and the earth completely covered. There air isn't cold either.
Have just read for the third time your Friday letter. Do you know dearie, you write much nicer letters when you aren't teaching. You're at your best in the home. Do you remember a letter you wrote a long time ago from Hagersville in which you said you seemed able to do things about the house better than anything else and you were complaining because you didn't see what else you could do well? Now you know full well, dearie, that I don't want you merely for a "housekeeper and general manager," but I've often thought of that letter and been glad that the home instinct is so strong in you. And it shows in so many different ways. I'm glad you are clever and able to take your part in outside affairs of the world, but I don't think I could love you with all your other qualities if you were not a home woman. For after all, "Home-Keeping Hearts are Happiest." ...
Must get to work now. I've locked my door to have privacy for this bit.
Your own lover.
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 17, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
I have just time for a mere note, and to begin, I must say I'm sorry I forgot to post your letter at the usual time yesterday. As I was going down town, I didn't give it to papa, and then went off and forgot it myself.
Yesterday was wash-day. We had company for dinner. After which meal I had to go to the church. It was five when I got home, pretty tired. I had a little rest, my supper, and went back to the church and worked till 11.30. This morning naturally I felt spry as a spring chicken and arose before ten. We are going out for dinner, so that's why I am in such haste. Mama wanted me to take this along to write at the place where we're going, but I refused.
I expect Edna Smith for tea, but I'll make time to write a decent letter. This is two scraps for poor you.
My flowers are lovely yet,
Fred to Evelyn
It's 7.30. Have only a few minutes now as I am to call for J.M. Carson and we're going to the office to look up some law on a case for next week. But I'm making use of the odd moments as I may be very late getting back.
The same light flakey snow has continued all day. It is so nice and comfortable looking - warm and yet not soft enough to give one wet feet.
Harold Smith called yesterday. His wedding day has been changed from fall to March 11th. I saw the announcement the other day in the Banff society news but thought it was a mistake. But it isn't. Here's the reason: The Canadian government is planning an extensive exhibit of Canada's water power at the Panama Exposition to be held next year in San Francisco, and Harold has been appointed to take charge of it. This year he will be busy organizing the work, travelling from one end of the country to the other with headquarters in Ottawa. Next year of course he'll be located for the greater part of the time at San Francisco. This is quite a boost for him, but it quite altered his personal plans. He had expected to be in Banff again for the summer. Instead he'll be on the road most of the time. He left yesterday for Vancouver and will return to Banff in time for the wedding on the 11th. Then they go to the Maritime provinces for a few weeks. Her house was there originally and so it should be a fairly nice wedding trip for here, even though Harold will be busy most of the time.
It was on account of his moving about so much this summer that they decided to get married now. Of course she had wanted a longer time to get her things together, but Harold says she didn't object to the shortening of the time. Would you, dearest, in similar circumstances?
I'm glad you had a nice visit last Friday at the quilting bees. How many quilts and towels and things have you got ready by this time? Are you trying to out-Ora Ora in the matter of towels? Speaking of towels, there has been a shortage at the Hermitage ever since I came here, and yesterday I led an insurgency meeting which resulted in the purchase of two dozen new ones. Of course these are supposed to be furnished with the house, but there haven't been enough, and if there's one thing I like it is clean fresh towels. I do hate to use a soiled one. I do hate to use a soiled one. At Singley's (boarding house) we each used to get a clean towel every day and bath towels whenever we wanted them - and it didn't seem right to come down to two a week. I guess we'll not quarrel on this point, will we dearest? For I guess you are a stickler for clean linen, aren't you?
So you are trying to be my boss, are you? I haven't observed any objectionable features to your attempts as yet. But your mild reproof for my failure to write your father thanking him for his Xmas gift is certainly deserved. I've been intending to write for more than a month, and I'm really ashamed of myself. I guess I'll have to neglect the daughter one of these days and write to the father instead. How will you like that? I haven't answered Ora's letter yet either. Oh I'm longing for the time when I'll not have to write letters. I tell you what I'll do. When we are married I'll make you official correspondent for the family. Motion's carried unanimously, for you see if you are boss you have to preside at elections and can't vote except in case of a tie. How do you like that?
Did I tell you I've started treatments for my hair again? Have had 2 spasms - one last Saturday and again on Tuesday. I'm to go twice a week for a while. It's very pleasant treatment to take. Do you say you'll not help me? Then I'll go to a nice looking woman down town, like Madame Belmont to rub my head. If that doesn't make you jealous, you haven't any heart.
I hope you can go to Beamsville for a visit. Had a letter from mother the other day in which she said she was expecting you before long. It will be terrible, though, about the end of March on account of the mud. The end of March! Just think! Our wedding day will be only two month's distant then. What day of the week, and what part of the month, will suit you best, dearie? I hope it will suit you about the eighth or ninth of June. If I leave here on June 1st that would give two or three days before the wedding. And I want to get away as soon as possible if we go abroad.
Goodnight, my own kiddie.
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 18, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
Mother says you are getting more of a treasure than you thought, as my cakes get better the more I make. I’ve made one and the other is nearly done. I told you, didn’t I that we are to have a ten cent Ladies-Aid tea tomorrow, and I have to make the cakes.
I didn't have time to write last night as it was 11.30 when we got home, and I was very tired. It seems as if I’m that way most of the time. I really get discouraged sometimes. It seems so silly for me to be tired out by a little walk.
Yesterday I went from Mrs. Millar’s, where we were for dinner, to the station to meet Edna Smith. She went home at nine-thirty and then we went down to Johnston’s. We had to go, as they’d asked us for tea. I’m a bad stick, I don’t like to be our late at night. In an hour I’m going to the [Niagara] Falls. Lizzie Kennedy asked me the other night to go. Some lady down there asked her to bring me down for tea, and then we are to go to hear ex-policeman Brown at Lundy’s Lane. Dad said they wanted to get us straightened up before they started on the masses. ...
This morning the snow and frost made the trees very beautiful, and mother suggested that I go down to Goose Island, and get some pictures I had wanted all winter. So I took the 9.30 car, expecting to get back at 10.10. But the car came when I was away over on the canal bank, so I had to get the next one. It was very beautiful, also very cold. My hands and feet hurt so that I almost cried and cursed the thought that started me off. Then I got gloriously warm and I laughed. I wallowed, that's the word, around in the snow and burrs, and got a couple pictures. I hope they're a success. I took one of our house and one of the street after I got home. It was a fairy world this morning but the trees are quite bare now.
Must take my cake out and ice then both. They’re going to have fudge icing. Good? I can write a little more while the fudge is cooking and the cake is cooling.
... There were a lot of things I wanted to talk to you about, but I can't think of them now. Poor old dear, you're getting pretty bad scraps from me this week, aren't you? I haven't used my camera much because winter isn't good for pictures, unless the snow is especially pretty. To-day was lovely, but it's about the first. The sleighing is fine, smooth and hard, and so level, scarcely a drift any place.
My candy seems done, so good-bye for a day, my dearest one.
Fred to Evelyn
Calgary, Thurs. noon
n.d. [? Feb. 19, 1914]
My dearest Evelyn,-
Just a short note while I'm waiting for lunch. Last night I was busy preparing for a couple of District Court cases today.... I felt too tired to write last night. When I quit work - it was very late. ...
Do you know, dearie, I like very much to have you do as you did last Friday - start a letter if only to tell me that you love me, when you know you'll not have time to write much. Isn't it strange that I should want you to tell me this repeatedly? I used to think men took such things more or less for granted and that is was only women who wanted to be assured and reassured that they were loved. Of course I know you love me. How could I help feeling sure of you after all the delightful letters you've written? But just the same it's nice to be told so, and it will be nicer still to be told by your own lips. Your lips can tell in more ways than one and I think I'll prefer the way that doesn't need words.
Now I suppose you'll say you want me to tell you how much I love you. How can I say anything except to repeat over and over again that I love you more dearly than any other person under the sun and with the whole strength of my being? You are the only person I've ever loved or ever can love in the way I want to love my wife. I'm so glad dearest, that I've never had an "affair" with anyone else, but that you have won all the love I ever had.
I think I designedly kept it for you ever since I first knew you in Beamsville. I never was exactly a hermit until recently - but I always avoided becoming very intimate with any girl - except one I told you about this summer - because I didn't want to share any of the love which I wanted kept for my wife, with any other person. That's one reason I had very little to do with the girls when I was at college - notwithstanding the sweater episode. By the way, that sweater is lost I haven't had it since my last year at college.
If only we were in our own house now and I were going to sit down to lunch with you in a few minutes! Will you be cross with me if sometimes I'm hurried for lunch? The time is often very short and the hour more or less uncertain - varying from 10 minutes to half and hour. Of course I'll try to be more punctual after I'm married, but at best lunch is rather uncertain. Sometimes one has a case in court or in chambers or a conference with a client which can't be broken off at a moment's notice.
Must go now. Bye-bye sweetheart.
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 19, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
This has certainly been a busy week. I don't know that I've had a chance to sew, except a little on Tuesday. Oh, yes, I darned a sock to-day. I don't like to be so busy and out so many nights. It's too much of a drain on one's strength. I'm afraid you'll have a very unprepared bride next June. I do care, but I'm not going to worry over it. It's your fault. Most girls have some warning beforehand, and they begin to prepare against an evil day. But when one is taken by surprise. Oh, yes, this is the place to laugh.
Our tea was a decided success. We got two dollars, for an outlay of about a dollar. That's making money fast, isn't it? Did I tell you what we were going to have to eat? Fruit salad, orange, bananas, pineapple, jelly, and whipped cream hot buttered toast. That was first. Then next came tea, chocolate cake, wedding cake, and fancy biscuits. It wasn't a real tea, the ladies sat down and had a good time. Some of them brought their sewing. There are a nice lot of ladies here, and some of the oldest ones are the nicest. That's right, isn't it? ...
...Sometimes I wish I knew more poetry. The other night I was wishing that I knew more poetry and so I thought I’d start learning it. I was amazed that I learned it so fast. Ever since I heard that poem I’ve had a recollection of bees and their humming, and a place of peace. The other night, Sunday, I got out one of my college books and was reading some of Rossetti’s, Morris’ and Arnold’s poems. Then I pictured you and me, stretched out on the ground, on some sunny hill, reading their poems. Do you enjoy theirs? I do very much, what I know of them. You know Rossetti’s “The Blessed Damsel,” don’t you? I think it is very beautiful. The way Dr. Edgar read poetry enhanced its beauty to me, and I find that the poems I like best are the ones I have heard him read.
I have been thinking about playing cards. I don't play, and I don't think I shall. I used to when I was a youngster. One summer up north I learned, but then I stopped. And I can't feel right about playing, so I think it's best not to outrage that feeling. It has meant very much to me as a child, to refuse to play. Now, I am used to it, and why should I have spent all that courage for naught.
I heard ex-policeman Brown last night, I wasn't greatly taken with him, partly, I must acknowledge, because he carries his nationality with him. I never liked evangelists. They used to make me uncomfortable, now they find me very critical. I don't like ex's. To redeem a bad life is a great deed, but to keep one pure and good from the beginning, seems to me much more worth while. But it doesn't appeal to people so much, because it is less spectacular. ...
My dearie, you misunderstood me if you thought I didn't like you to talk about children. What made me angry was that you spoke as if you expected them so soon. And I don't think that's fair. I don't think you meant it that way either but I was in a quarrelsome mood, and you got the benefit of it. Really though, I think we are less likely to quarrel at long distance than at close. Now, for instance, suppose you make a loud noise when you eat, which you don't. Well, I can't hear you. Or suppose I am slow about getting up in the morning or getting ready to go some place. You don't have to wait. See my point, which I assure you, is very well taken?
Will I make cocoa for you? Yes, but I'll make it at my own time, You said you asked Miss Rogers to make cocoa at 10.30. She agreed to at ten, but you flipped a coin. Well, just that last action would make me angry sometimes. 10.30 is late to be making things if one wants to go to bed early, it is anyway. You are a night-hawk and aren't any criterion, so you should let other people have their way - if they're normal. I'm normal, therefore you have to give me my own way.
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 20, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
... Your nice long Sunday letter came this morning. I read mother the part about Mr. Hopkins, and at once, she wanted it to read at the Missionary meeting. At dinner I told dad about it, and he wanted us to read it at League. Shall I read the whole thing?
This morning I went down town. It was beautifully bright and clear, but pretty cold. But of course I didn't mind the cold. Had it not been for my nose and the rest of my face, I should have thought it was the middle of July. I think it must be the dryness of the atmosphere that makes the cold so unnoticeable. ...
When I was down town I got a printing outfit. Mr. Smith hadn’t as yet developed the pictures I took the other morning. He said he was afraid they wouldn’t be any good, because he tried some, and the light was so hazy that the scenery and the sky were indistinct. In the spring I’ll have some fun. Mildred Johnston and I are going out to Delew Falls then. I should like to try some pictures when the leaves are just coming out on the trees.
You seem very anxious about my cold. It’s better, and my ear is well, but I still wear a veil. It’s a white one, and I tell you, I look very beautiful when my face is well covered.
I made a nice apple pudding for dinner. I’m getting so conceited that I’m not afraid any more, of not being able to manage the meals. However I don’t as yet, think I know all there is to know about cooking or about the right kind of things to eat.
Sometimes I think about what some girls give up for the man they marry, and I can think of nothing I'm giving up, except my 'ain folk,' and every girl must do that, and my trees. Aren't you a little afraid that I'm going to marry you because I want to marry somebody, and you're the most promising specimen of masculinity who had presented himself? Wouldn't it be awful to feel that? Especially if one really loved another and got a simulated love in return.
There, it's 3.30, and I must dress and go out for my supper. I have a new collar and some cuffs to wear. The question under discussion is, shall I wear my ring? There'll be four or five girls there. Guess I will if it's only two and a-half months till June.
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 21, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
... I guess I'll write just a little and then go to bed. I haven't done half what I intended to do tonight, but I seldom do get done all I plan. I read the paper instead of the "Life of Thomas Crosby," and I practised hymns instead of doing embroidery. For the last two Sundays I've had to play the opening hymns at Sunday school, and I thought I'd get accustomed to playing.
Miss Fitz. was up tonight. They haven't a teacher for Mr. Woolley's place, and she wants me to take it if they don't get anyone. She said Mr. Myer said I was quite capable of doing the work. I told her that if they couldn't get anyone else I'd go until Easter, but no longer. She wants me to go till the middle of June. I should have told her I wanted to go away visiting. I do too, to Hamilton and Brantford, and we were planning it for the first week in March.
By the way, if you see Miss Carey, as quite probably you will, for my sake, don't tell her anything. Dell may have told her of our engagements, but I’m not anxious for the connection to know my affairs. I haven't told my real friends that we expect to be married in June, and I think they're the ones who should be told first.
I had a long letter from Edith Simons to-day. Do you remember her? She lives at Hagersville, and is a distant relation. It’s rather funny to me, the exalted opinion of me that she and Mae hold. And to myself I seem a different girl from the one they think they know. Also, dad had a letter from Aunt Laura. She said that since Jean came home she’s been making them use two forks, Minto, the younger girl said, “I don’t like so much style. It makes too many dishes to wash.” We make trifle pudding our of stale cake, custard, bananas and any other kind of fruit we want to use. I like it very much. Jean served it up one day with the remark that she had it here and Uncle Archie said he was expecting something like that.
It’s really interesting, and proof of her real dearness, to see how much papa’s nieces and nephews think of mama, almost more than her own do. Mama always takes an interest in the Collver kids, and they respect her remarks. I guess sometimes it makes Uncle Archie sore, thinking that she is criticizing him. He’s her cousin, so it’s all in the family. But he is awfully slow. He tries to do things about repairing the house, but he seems to go at it the wrong end first.
I'm not going to write any more. I'm going to bed in decent time. It's passed ten and I have a bath to take. My flowers are nice yet.
Fred to Evelyn [Calgary]
Sunday morning Feb. 22 1914 #1
My dearest Nora,-
You'll think I've been very neglectful in not writing either Friday or yesterday. I guess perhaps you weren't expecting a letter Friday. I had thought I might get time to write a little before I went out that evening but I was kept very late at the office and though Roy and I didn't leave the house until 8.30 I couldn't work in the time.
Roy was worrying terribly about the ordeal. It was the first real "society" function he had attended in Calgary. He was worrying because he doesn't dance and was afraid everyone else would - and because he was afraid he wouldn't know anyone. - (He had never met the hostess) - and all sorts of things. I wasn't frightfully keen about the affair myself because I knew there would be a lot of real social butterflies, whom I wouldn't care a rap about, but I always look at these things in a more or less philosophical way once I'm in for them. There's no use worrying then.
Well, we had a very nice time. Mr & Mrs Hutton are charming host and hostess. At first it seemed as if the whole crowd was strange but later several people appeared whom I knew. I knew nearly all the men and about nine or ten of the girls. One of the guests of the evening in whose honor the affair was given is a Miss Wigle of Windsor who is visiting at A.H. Clarke's. Miss Clarke was there of course - the one I took to the Symphony last Monday. Miss Wigle is a very fine girl. Fortunately, she and Miss Clarke wanted to go home early - and so Roy and I seized the opportunity of being their escorts and making our escape at the same time. Even at that we didn't get home until two, but we left the first of the whole crowd.
The supper was the best I ever sat down to, and I was very fortunate in having as my supper partner, Miss Boardman a stenographer in Mr Hutton's bank. She's a great friend of Mrs. H. and an exceptionally clever and nice girl - no social butterfly - but a girl with brains and sense. We had a very nice time together. And so it was all evening. There was a large enough crowd that any two or three people could get off by themselves and enjoy themselves without breaking up the company. Consequently I managed to find congenial spirits and, as I said before, had a good time.
Just the same, dearie, I have no desire for high society. It dwarfs people's souls and makes them selfish and little. They are so busy with the artificialities of life that they miss it's true meaning. I couldn't help comparing you sweetheart with a lot of the women there the other night, and oh, I am so thankful that you are as you are, good and sweet and pure with true womanly modesty and refinement. I can't see how men can be content to marry those empty headed, blasé society women. No wonder there are so many unhappy homes. Such a woman can't make a home. In the morning her thoughts are of dress, in the afternoon it's bridge, and at night it's bridge again, and dancing. What an empty round!
Sorry this is such a scrap, but must go to church now.
Fred to Evelyn [Calgary]
Sunday evening, Feb. 22 1914 #2
My own kiddie,-
It's nearly ten o'clock. I had expected to get started earlier but after church one of the ex-hermits Mr. Pegler, - and his wife came in for a visit. No one is home but Tait and myself and in common decency I had to help entertain them. ...
After church this morning I went out to Fritz's for dinner. Presumably I filled in the time while waiting for dinner by studying my S.S. lesson. In reality I buried my self in the L.H.J. I see the centre of gravity in the "How Can I Know?" problem has shifted from man to woman and in this issue there is what purports to be a fatherly letter of advice. I hate such a form of didactics, don't you? It always seems so childish to me to have such things put in the form of a letter from a father or mother. However, I suppose the form shouldn't detract from the substance. ... But I'm losing interest more or less. The fact remains that I am absolutely sure of you, dearie, so why should I be concerned with the question from an academic standpoint?
After S.S. I felt a wee bit sleepy so I lay down on the couch and slept until supper time. After supper I searched the house from cellar to garret for Roy's volume of Page's Poets of the Nineteenth Century, but I couldn't find it. ... I wanted to look up that poem of Arnold's that you spoke about. No, dearie, I never bought this book, though it was used for Pass English in my final year. I've often been sorry I didn't for there are so many beautiful things in it that I want. I thought you would have it, but since you haven't we'll buy one shall we not. Yes, I had Prof Edgar for English in my final year. That was really the only English of my whole course, excepting "In Memoriam" in the second year, that I thoroughly enjoyed. If Dr Edgar had been head of the English department I would have taken Honor English for the whole 4 years. I did take it in my first year but dropped it because it seemed a waste of time, and some of the lectures conflicted with those of my course .
This evening I read a couple of articles in the December University Magazine, - one by Leacock on the value of a college education - an excellent, really brilliant advocacy of a university training for boys who intend to go into business and a short article by Andrew McPhail (6) which is really a warning to the Liberal party in Canada. It is called the "Hell of Difficulty." He points out very clearly that as I wrote you some time ago, there are really only two courses open to Canada from the standpoint of nationality. (1) Closer union with the mother country which necessarily involves sharing her burdens and representation in her councils: and (2) Complete independence. No middle course is any longer possible. McPhail always writes interestingly and generally convincingly. He is a keen student of public affairs, had the courage of his convictions and writes lucidly and forcefully. Then I read a criticism of Marjorie Pickthall's, Drift of Pinions I have been intending to buy this for some time but haven't done so. Have you read it, dearest? If you haven't I'll get it and send it to you. Oh, won't we have great times reading together? We'll read aloud. It's the only way to read poetry it seems to me.
I'm so glad, dearest, that you have had a university training and that you are fond of literature and everything beautiful. And the best of it is, it hasn't spoiled you for other things. That's one trouble with Elizabeth. It seems to me she lays too much stress on the purely academic intellectual side of life, without translating culture and intellectual appreciations and aims into the practical every-day existence. For after all we have to live - yes, exist, - and the cold stern facts of existence must be faced. And I don't think it's fair to Fritz that she should spend so much time reading Ibsen or Tolstoy - good as such reading may be, that she robs time from looking after him. No man wants a wife to be merely a housekeeper, but a man has work to do during the day to support the household, and he can't do his part well if he has to get his own breakfasts in the morning, or to come home from work tired at night, and be expected to help get the meals as well. It's one thing to do it but it's another thing to be expected to do it.
I'm glad you liked the flowers so much. It was very good of Hugh to be so careful about executing my commission. But I guess he told the truth when he said he was glad to do it. I know one man who would give a good deal if he could have taken Hugh's place on St. Valentine's day. ... So you are going to make me love you more than I do. Well, I'm not going to object: if you don't surfeit, it's certain that I shall not. It seems to me as if I love you now with the whole strength of my being but yet I do believe that when I get to know you better I'll love you even better than I do now. It seems to me that always follows from true love. If love is the highest and best kind it will grow every year and every day. It's only the false love that is nothing but physical passion, which doesn't grow after. True love one the other hand should grow after marriage - all through life.
Tomorrow night there is to be a banquet at Central Church given to all the men. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss church affairs generally. Then on Tuesday evening my S.S. class will hold a banquet. I was told today that I must give an address. It was sprung on me suddenly. They might just as well have told me a week ago. As it is I have nothing prepared. Will have to take some time tomorrow night after the meeting at Central. Brownlee, a former teacher of the class, is to speak too. ...
Like you, sweetheart, I'm getting tired of writing. I wish you were here instead. With all the love and longing of my heart, I am always
Evelyn to Fred
Sunday p.m. [Feb. 22, 1914]
My Dear Fred,-
... Well, this week is filled up too. I thought I'd stay home and work, but here's what I have or am going to do. Tomorrow, League and practice for a mock trial, Tuesday at home, I could go to two places, but I'm going to stay here, Wednesday - Falls, skating, Thursday, choir, sleighing party, Friday choir practice. I'm a mutt I guess, but really Wednesday's amusement is the only one which appeals to me at all, and I shouldn't go then, only I've promised to go several times and something always prevented me, and if I don't go they'll think I never meant to go at all. Besides, I want to show them how well I can skate. ... I like to skate with strong skaters, but with weak ones - it is perfect agony. Stan Laird is a dandy skater. We used to have some great old times on Little Vic. I think we skated together every time we were both on the ice.
Skating makes me think of Gordon Manning.(7) We used to skate together occasionally and he use to be always teasing me about being so small. Finally I got sick of it and I retorted that I was as big for a girl as he was for a man. I guess it made him kind of mad, for someone told me later that he bewailed his lack of inches. At any rate, he didn't tease me anymore.
I had a good time in my second year, did you. I went to all the Rugby games, went tobogganing and skating and enjoyed myself every place I went, I guess. The first year I was out of college, I missed everything pretty badly, but never as much as I thought I should. And now Well, you couldn't hire me to go back except until May. But not next year. Are you satisfied with my change of heart? How does Elizabeth feel about it by this time, I wonder? Must now go to Sunday school. Shame on me, but I don't want to go.
We got along very well to-day, much better than last Sunday. I don't know why, but the kids appeared more interested. ... To-day they were asking me what the holy ghost was. I was trying to explain that it was God's spirit, which He sent to those who loved Him. One was of the opinion that it must be nearly all gone. At best, we must have but a vague idea of what it is, but to try to explain the hazy meaning to boys of eleven or twelve, takes all one's ingenuity and brains.
You asked me about magazines one day, and I don't know whether I answered your question. I like Everybody's magazine very much. There is some club rate for it and two others that might suit us. Art is going to tell me what they are. We don't subscribe to the Journal. It's 15¢ a copy and $2.00 a year. I don't care so very much for it, though I suppose I'd miss it if I didn't have it. I scarcely ever read the "Country Woman" any more. I got tired of her, so often it seemed that she was writing to fill a page, rather than because she had anything to say. I've done what President Falconer(8) one night warned us against - reading the easy things. It's so easy to do it. When one is tired, any sort of heavy reading is too much, and one can get mental, as well as physical indigestion from too many knick knacks instead of plain living.
You wonder why I'm waiting until I come to you to commence the good way? For the simple reason that I sew nearly all the time I'm not writing or working. I scarcely read at all. On Sunday, when I used to have a pleasant time, I'm busy all the time. I've read part of the S.S. papers and now it's after five. I'm to blame myself though, because I don't select enough, I read anything my [eye] rests upon. I don't think skimming is a bad habit. Plenty of things aren't worth even that. ... Of course, when one reads for enjoyment of literary values, I think one should read carefully and closely.
You know so many young married people stay at home a great deal I've been wondering if the reason often isn't that they've "gadded" so much before their marriage that they're glad of a change. We don't want to be stay-at-homes, but we do want an opportunity to give our minds a little exercise, and to enjoy ourselves quietly. I have no sympathy for the craze for going some place, the terrible restlessness that takes hold of some people, so many. I have been thinking that it would be nice to have one evening set apart when we can hold an informal reception. Naturally I think of college students. I know how I should have enjoyed such an affair as I'm thinking of - mutual friends probably some new people, music and good reading - poetry or prose. I wonder why there isn't more reading aloud as a mode of entertainment. ...
It's cold to-day, but not dull. I'll be glad for the summer. Have you ever pictured our meeting next June. I wonder if your picture's like mine.
Fred to Evelyn
Monday Evening, Feb. 23/14
We had a splendid banquet at the church this evening. More than 175 men sat down to supper which was provided free by the Ladies Aid. There were several short speeches interspersed with two male choruses by the male members of the choir and a couple of solos. While the S.S. orchestra of 7 pieces rendered music all through the supper and two or three times afterwards. The immediate purpose of the banquet was to generate enthusiasm and get advance subscriptions to the anniversary fund. Next Sunday is anniversary Sunday and $3,000 is wanted. $1,500 was subscribed tonight. Not bad for hard times, is it? Especially when you consider that for all purposes last year the general congregation raised over $20,000, exclusive of several thousands of dollars given by two or three men to missions which doesn't find its way into the reports.
The special preacher for next Sunday is Rev D. Rice of Detroit. Have you ever heard him? He is reputed to be one of the best preachers in the M.E. Church north of the U.S. Last year we had Bishop Quayle of Minneapolis.
After the banquet, which ended about 10 o'clock, I walked over to the telegraph office with the Oaten's. Wilfred sent a wire to Estelle Cary giving her the date of the choir concert, - March 24th.
Then they walked home with me and I brought them in and showed them over the Hermitage. They said some very nice things when they saw your picture - the one in your graduating gown. I told them about a week ago of our engagement, and they are looking forward to the time when you'll be here, dearie. I do hope you'll like them for they are very good friends of mine.
Haven't done anything yet at my speech for tomorrow night and I'm going to be so very busy tomorrow there'll be little chance to do anything then.
I'm anxious to know how your pictures turned out. It seems so funny to hear your say you can't get good pictures as a rule in winter. Here it doesn't make much difference when you take them. I guess it's the difference in the atmosphere.
Poor dear little kiddie! I'm so sorry you feel tired so much of the time. Do you know I have an idea that I have a cure for that tired feeling. I'm not going to tell you now for fear you'll think I'm scolding or preaching, but I used to feel the same way so very much and I've learned how to prevent that feeling. Don't you laugh, sweetheart, when I say that I have learned how to take care of myself and I know that my better health the last year or two has been due very largely to the observance of certain rules - chiefly of diet - that I've imposed upon myself, - rules that I've learned from my own experience. There's such a satisfaction in knowing one has good health and reserve strength and I'm counting, dearie, on helping you to grow strong and healthy and happy.
I wish I could have had a piece of your cake. I don't eat cake as a rule, but I would yours. Tell me, dearie, don't you like the making of things?
Did you have a good time at the Falls? I never saw the Falls in winter. It must be a glorious sight. But won't you be glad to see the snow go? Today has been very mild - quite like a Spring day and it seemed to say so plainly "June is coming. June is coming." I wonder if you are counting the time as much as I am. Only about 3 months more of letter writing and then there'll be real kisses from
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 23, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
I have just completed filling two fountain pens. I’m going to make you fill mine for me, or I’ll use yours, which I believe will suit me better, for mine is worn with age and toil. No siree, you’re not going to to make me write your letters. I can’t get my own written and have just been counting on getting rid of writing to you, in order to treat my other correspondents fairly. No, you have to write to your father and mother and sister and brothers, and I to mine. I don’t say that I won’t take a turn at yours myself, but that’s in no way to affect your writing. You can’t “rush” your bills through this parliament, move, second, and vote all yourself. there must be ample time for discussion, which will give me a chance to air my views.
We had fresh eggs and toast for tea. I told mother I knew of someone who’d enjoy himself if he were here. Of course she couldn’t guess to whom I had reference. She said maybe Elleda would find the eggs flat. She said she thought that about Glanford eggs after she’d been eating New York eggs all winter, and she arrived at the surprising conclusion that N.Y.’s just couldn’t have been “strictly fresh.”
So you want to know how many quilts I have. I told you - two and I'm going to make two more. Once you inquire I'll give you a full inventory up to date. Six blankets, one of which Ora 'cabbaged'. I think I'll tell her she's to give it to you at Easter. Three pillows, two tablecloths, six table napkins, 12 dish towels, 7 kitchen towels, 3 guest towels, 3 bath towels, four good towels, one bed-spread, two pairs of pillow-cases unmade, two cushions, one more started, I guess that's about all. So you hadn't better take me now, or I won't have much to start on.
But you see, mama wouldn't start me till after Ora left, and I've been teaching two weeks out of the six. We're going to send for cotton sheets tomorrow. Mother said to wait to get good tablecloths until we knew if we were going to England, for everyone claims you can get such fine ones there. She asked me the other day how I'd rather she'd spend forty dollars, on furniture or china. Of course I said china. She can make a nice lot for that.
You ask if I'm going to out-Ora Ora. Not on your life. She spent most of her earnings from three and a half years work on her "lay-out" and trousseau, and she had that much time to be making things. And for a year and a half mother and I were lending a hand. As for me, I made a little money and spent most of it on Muskoka and having my neck pulled. And I had five months for preparation. But I know you don’t want me for the “things” I have, only I wish I had more to make our home pretty. I guess I’ll have enough to start us though. ...
I had to stop to go to League. Afterwards some came up to practise the Missionary Mock trial. After we finished we had cocoa and cake, and they have just gone. Mr. Steadman, the jeweller, helped me get the things ready. I didn't like him much when he first came, but he's a very decent fellow. The topic tonight was about training and safeguarding children. He said there, and to me afterwards, that he thought a great help was for the parents to have confidence in their children. He said the fear of hurting his mother kept him from wrong more than anything else. And he's been in rough crowds, in a bank in Porcupine, seven seasons in camps, besides other places. He says there's a great improvement in the "dry" camps - a better class of men come.
These tips are fresh. The rest are faded.(9)
But my love hasn't, has yours?
Fred to Evelyn
Wednesday morning Feb. 25/14 #1
Once again a short note on the morning of the day after. The banquet didn't last so very long last night, but I suggested that the men wash the dishes and after that I had to go home with the janitress who lives in another part of the city - and so it was rather late when I got home after all. One of the ladies told me that was the first time the men ever helped wash dishes in that church. At Central they generally stay to assist after such a function.
Victoria Church congregation is composed principally of working people. Perhaps that is the reason they eat so much. I don't think I ever saw women eat so much heavy foods - meats - pies etc, -as last night. But they are all very nice people just the same and we had a good time.
Brownlee, the class's first teacher was there and in his speech he told of the time when we were on the road together and in order to save the price of a meal, ate some of our samples. That seemed to amuse the people very much. Did I ever tell you of our financial straits on our trip west? A dollar looked pretty big in those days.
I wish you could enjoy the beautiful weather we are having now. For the past few days there has been a feeling of spring in the air and it is delightfully warm. You are making fun of me dearie, for saying you don't feel the cold here. Well, there is no use retorting for you wouldn't believe me anyhow. You'll have to come and find out for yourself. But I just know you'll never get that cold - painfully cold-feeling you had the other morning when you went to Goose Island for pictures. You may freeze here but you are fairly comfortable during the process.
I'm afraid you'll not get my Monday letter on time. You know we have a mail chute along the elevator shaft. Yesterday the postman found it had clogged and yesterday afternoon they were clearing it out.There was mail in it from the day before, and of course my Monday letter which was put in the box yesterday morning would be among the number.
Sorry, kiddie that this is such a scrap, but I've been awfully rushed. Must go to lunch now.
Ever your own Rusty.
Fred to Evelyn
Wednesday evening, Feb. 25 1914 #2
My dearest Evelyn,-
I wonder why you don't like this name. You don't object to my using it once in a while, though do you? Will you feel slighted when I tell you I had gone upstairs to bed about five minutes ago and then changed my mind and came down to write to you?
After dinner all the rest of the household, including Miss Rogers, went out. I put some more coal on the fire and settled down in front of it to read the February University Magazine. My eyes felt heavy but I went through a couple of articles - in particular a very interesting one by Andrew McPhail on "Some Aspects of Feminism."
I think I have asked you before whether you have read much of his stuff. Scarcely a number of the Univ. Magazine comes out but has some article by him and it's always worth reading. So is this one, though I'm pretty sure, dearie, that my little suffragist wouldn't agree with his views. Contrary to what I should have expected from him, he apparently is not much in favor of votes for women. He doesn't oppose them on the grounds usually taken but chiefly because the agitation for the ballot represents merely one phase of a movement that is derogatory to woman's truest development. He is opposed to the present phase of the feminist movement of which the suffrage question is an incident.
I agree with him in the main but I can't say that I do in the details - the suffrage question for example. After reading a couple articles, I began to feel sleepy so I turned off the lights and stretched out in the big chair where I alternately snoozed and slept until 10.15. ...
Did you read my letter at League, as an example illustration of the principle of Christian love? I can't remember must how much of what Wray would call “the soft stuff” was in that letter, but I venture to say that if you read it aloud from beginning to end, the people would be more surprised at your not wearing your ring than at your wearing it. Don't you wear it all the time now, dearie? Somehow I kind of wish you would.
By the way, Miss Burwash was reminding me today of a remark I made to one of the stenographers about 3 years ago about the silliness of writing every day. Now I think of it I did have some foolish ideas in those days, didn't I?
I'm glad, sweetheart, that you are getting “conceited” as you say about your cooking - not so much for my own sake as for yours. I haven’t been afraid that I wouldn’t fare all right, but I know that it will trouble you more than it will me if you find things don’t “make” right after we’re married. It isn’t work so much as it is worry that makes things hard, and confidence born of a conscious ability to do things right will rob even housekeeping of some of its terrors.
How many other letters do you write a week besides those to me? If you write to very many people I don't see how you possibly find time. I simply "cut out" all others but to you, and home.... I can't in all fairness spend more than a certain amount of time for letter writing. Outside of the office work there are a lot of other things I have to do and I don't want to cut down my writing to you, so I simply let all others go by the board. In one way it's nice to keep up a correspondence with friends, but I've decided long ago that I can't do it without other things suffering.
I found Page's Nineteenth Century Poets this evening and read Arnold's "Strew on Her Roses, Roses." It is a beautiful bit isn't it? No, I haven't read a single thing of Yeats that I remember, though I like very much the poem you gave in your Thursday letter. Like you dearie, I often long to know more poetry, but unlike you I find it very difficult to memorize now. It used to be so easy, but now my memory simply won't work right. I tell you what we'll do. We'll have memory contests, just you and I, and that way we'll learn a lot of things we want to know by heart. Perhaps too it will help my memory so that it will come back. Aren't you a little afraid to marry such an old stick?
Today I wrote for The Drift of Pinions. There was only a very small edition published. I hope I'm not too late. Now I must to bed for keeps. Oh I'll be glad for the time when I'll not have to go alone.
Your own Rusty.
Evelyn to Fred
Feb. 25, 1914
My Dear Rusty,-
I got no letter written yesterday. I did have a few minutes but instead of writing to you, I read a story and warmed my feet. It was the funniest day, yesterday, only that the things which made it odd were sad. Father is away now. Before we were up yesterday , a girl came to tell us of the death of her cousin. She had not been gone long when a woman came to tell us that her little son had died from the effects of burns. She wanted the funeral Thursday, but we couldn’t say what time dad could go, because the other people had not said when they wanted theirs.
So mother had to go way over there to find out and then down to phone to papa. She went about noon, thinking to find him some place then, and it was after one when she got home. Mrs. Baker had been here about an hour in the morning. She had got into difficulties over a waist, and wanted some help from mother. We were just eating dinner when Mildred Johnston came to get me to help her make out an address for Mr. Woolley. I had thought we were going calling and told her to come early. She left about four.
I had to go to the Mission in papa's place so I had to study something. Mr. Wilson was in about three to see if anyone were coming. I said I didn't think it was right to close it (there hadn't been any service for two weeks) so I went. ... Then I had got started to study when Mr. Woolley came. He wants me to teach tomorrow and Friday for him as he is moving and couldn't do it on one day. He said they hadn't any teacher yet and that Miss Fitz. was depending on me. He gave me a few pointers about the work, and I liked him better than I ever did before. Then after that I had to dress, eat my supper, and study some more. I told and read about Thomas Crosby and his work among the Indians, and showed them the pictures which are very interesting.
My pictures of last week were quite a success. I'll send you some as soon as I find time to print them. I have one of each but I'm going to send them to Elleda. Saturday is her birthday and I’m going to try to get time wedged in to write to her. Had a nice long letter from her last night and it wasn’t her turn to write. Also I had a letter from Edith Adams. She said Noble told one of the girls of my engagement, but said that he didn’t know who the man was. Isn’t he a fibber. He knew I wasn’t publishing agent, but he couldn’t resist telling part of the news.
We are now going to Mrs. Baker's and tonight I'm to have my first skate in two years.
Fred to Evelyn
Friday Evening Feb. 27/14
My own dear kiddie,-
...Did I tell you about my bet with Miss Rogers on the February meat bill. Last month’s was the highest for a long time, but this month Percy Carson presides at the table and, knowing his fondness for meat, I offered to wager at the beginning of the month that notwithstanding the short month, the February meat bill would be a larger one than has been. Miss R thought me an easy mark and so the odds were fixed, - a box of chocolates to a necktie. And I have won. With one day’s account yet to add, we’ve already beaten January’s record by more than half a dollar.
I’m intensely curious to see the wonderful creation that is to be presented to me on Sunday, but Miss Rogers is keeping her secret well. She says I’ll have to wear the thing to church. If I only announced this beforehand I’d have a larger class next Sunday than any number of banquets can induce. And I’m adorning myself in other ways.
Just now my head looks very much like a cat that has had a recent bath in the rain water barrel. My scalp treatments are becoming more and more heroic and if next June doesn't provide you with a husband + hair, it will not be the fault of your worshipful adorer - or Madame Belmont. I took my treatment tonight after dinner and after getting the usual rub, dope, and electric vibrations I had the crown of my head plastered with a bluish-greenish yellowish, amber, mauve, scarlet oh, what other colors are there anyhow? - pasty salve, guaranteed to do anything the poor sufferer wants most. I came home with a handkerchief on my head to prevent my hat from getting so much on it that the down would start to grow on it. I've been an object of beauty you may be sure. Luckily nobody has been in except Carson. If you want to do me a very great favor, dearie, you might make me a nightcap. If I don't wear something on my head at night there'll be grief in the housekeeper's heart when she sees the pillow cases in the morning. I don't know how many of these applications I'll need. This one is to last until morning. I'll have to get up earlier than usual to wash it off.
I'm sorry, kiddie, that I didn't write you last night. Thought then I would this morning but couldn't make the time. I wonder what kind of weather you have been having for your sleighing and skating parties. Here it has been beautifully mild. Last night I came home about midnight in our auto, and it was as warm and balmy as in May. ... We haven't had any fire in our furnace today.
I didn't know, dearie, that you didn't want our engagement known. I've already told the Oaten's and perhaps they have told Miss Carey. If not I'll tell them not to tell. I'm sorry if my having told them displeases you While I haven't directly told but very few people here, I've made no secret of it and lots of people know or guess I'm going to be married this summer.
Goodnight my own sweetheart.
Fred to Evelyn
My own dear kiddie,-
... Just think! Only 3 months until June. When I think of the work ahead of me it seems impossible to get ready by that time, but I've determined to let nothing stand in the way if I can possibly help it. Does it seem a long while to you, dearie? Some time ago I asked you to let me know what date would suit you best. I guess you've forgotten to answer. The reasons I want to know as early as possible are - first on account of arranging booking dates for the boat in case we go to Europe. In June the boats are so crowded that it is necessary to speak and engage passage a long while ahead to get choice of accommodation, and in many cases it is necessary to do this at least six weeks or two months ahead in order to make sure of getting passage at all.
So you see, dearest, I'd like to know your wishes as soon as possible, for I want to have these matters arranged in good time, so there'll be certain to be no hitch at the last. I hope I'm not buoying up your hopes too much by talking about our trip for there is a possibility yet that finances may not permit. At present my available cash resources are $500 less than nothing, that being the amount of a note which falls due at the bank on Tuesday. But I have pretty good grounds for thinking that the money will be forthcoming and in any event it is necessary to make preparations a good while ahead in case we do go as we are planning.
Your letter with the flowers came this morning. I'm glad they stayed fresh so long and that you liked them so much. Has my love faded? You ask. I don't think, dearie, you need an answer to that question. I wish there were new ways of telling you how much I do love you. Perhaps there are but I am not clever enough to know them so I can only tell you again and again in the same old way that you are the very dearest in all the world to me and that I love you with all the love of my being. If we were only together the "same old way" might be pretty satisfying after all, don't you think? Lip-language can be very convincing if used in the right way - and I'm convinced there's a better way than in words.
Have I pictured our meeting next June? Yes, sometimes, but I guess not as much as you. You know I've told you I lack imagination and so I guess I don't visualize things as much as you do. I just long for you and look forward to the time, knowing it will be happy and sweet, but I haven't drawn many pictures of it. It satisfies me to think that you will be with me, and I don't give very much thought to the details of our meeting.
Tomorrow is the big anniversary day at Central. ... I'm going to Brownlees' for tea after S.S. so will not likely write till after church tomorrow night.
Evelyn to Fred
n.d. Postmark: Feb. 28, 1914
My Dear Fred,-
No time yesterday, and so I'm getting this off on the afternoon mail. Am writing this in school. I'm thankful to say, I won't have to teach any longer. Last year I'd have been glad of the chance, but this year is different. It seems rather extravagant not to want to teach, but I want to sew. I'm paying pretty high for the sewing, n'est-ce-pas? N'importe.
Hazel will come to teach if she can get the position. I expect her this afternoon. Will write tonight.
Evelyn to Fred
Sat. 2. p.m. [Feb. 28]
My Dear Fred,-
I thought I'd have a chance to write but none has shown up. Now we are hustling to get ready to go to the city. Hazel came yesterday afternoon.
I'm sorry I haven't had a chance to talk to you, but now life will be easier. It has been a hard week, but I don't feel very tired.
With my best love.
1. Ridley College, private school for boys, near St. Catharines.
2. Peloubet's Notes [Boston, 1905]; a commentary on the teaching of the Gospels for all grades of Sunday School teaching.
3. Fred may be referring to The Philistine. [East Aurora, N.Y. : s.n.], 1895-1915. "A periodical of protest". Printed every little while for the Society of the Philistines and published by them monthly.
4. Rev. Thomas Crosby. 1840-1914. Author of Up and Down the North Pacific Coast by Canoe and Missionary Ship. 
5. Valentine/Postcard enlosed with this letter.
6. Andrew McPhail. 1864-1938. Physician; man of letters; professor of medicine; soldier. Received degrees in Arts and Medicine at McGill University. Medical officer in World War I.
7. Harold Gordon Manning, Victoria College, class of 1909. " ... few have guessed the sure and trusty aid which all branches of our college life have received from him."
8. Sir Robert Falconer, President of Victoria College.
9. Evelyn enclosed pressed flowers in her letter. They left a stain on the first page.