retour à l'histoire principale
Lettre de Mary à sa mère, avril 1939.
Lettre de Mary à sa mère, avril 1939.
Yukon Archives: 91/112 f. 4, MSS 365
Instabilité et incertitude

Forty Mile
Saturday April 29 1939
[year appears to be written in different hand]

Dearest Mamma,

We have had another mail, since your letter of March 14 arrived, but it was five whole days earlier than usual.

Percy arrived yesterday, much to everyone's surprise as he is not due until May 2. We rather expected him early, but not quite so soon.

It is his last trip over the ice, and of course the sooner it is over, the better for him as it is always more or less hazardous at this time of year. The ice is getting rotten, and there is quite a bit of over flow, even now.

The days are so much longer now – and traveling is always much better in the early morning or at night, because it freezes hard enough then, to stiffen up the trail. So he makes long days – and will probably be back tomorrow night.

That cuts our waiting time for this mail about a week short – so I must be hurry-up-ing.

Anna's adorable Easter card came yesterday – also a letter from each of the girls. I am afraid I will not get them answers for their mail, as I have already written Hon – and there are a number of others which really must go. Next trip will be by boat – and there may be some delay – as it depends entirely upon when the ice goes out.

It was good to know, though – so late as Palm Sunday (when Anna wrote) that you were getting along alright – and best of all, that you celebrated the day by coming down to dinner! I'm sure it was an occasion for great rejoicing at “840.” It was unmistakably reflected in both accounts. At this splendid rate, I shall expect to hear almost anything, next – maybe that you are at your beloved washing machine again! Of course I don't mean that – but it will be nice, won't it – even though you have had such wonderful care – to realize once more, the joy of traveling under your own steam. Maybe, to celebrate your birthday , you'll be putting the weight of that foot on the ground – wouldn't that be something?

Well, however you may be spending that day – I hope with all my heart that you will enjoy every single minute. I shall be thinking of you , and wishing you “many happy returns,” you may be sure.

I wish so much that I had a birthday card to send. But it is the same old story – so I need not go into all the dreary details again.

This will probably be the last time I shall ever be so helpless in such matters – so I must look ahead. I did start to make some little thing for you at Forty Mile – but I soon realized that it would be impossible to get it finished in time. Things are beginning to move fast for us again – and the trouble is – I can't seem to move as fast as things do!

With Claude in Dawson – I spend more time writing him, than I can afford – but at best it is a poor substitute for having him here.

Recently I have had wonderful news of him. He has landed a job with the gold company which we – and everyone else – thinks just about ideal. I don't know that it has a special name – but at any rate – his work is to inspect and repair a six mile ditch line. He must patrol it every other day. It will mean being out of doors, and you know what a good walker he is. The work is not hard at all – and the thing he appreciates most is that he will be practically his own “boss.” He is very lucky indeed. Everyone says that for a non-specialist, it is about the very best thing he could hope to get.

I think he had a little “pull” - but mainly through his own efforts. It so happened that while waiting around for “something to turn up,” he met – and became friendly with one of the “bosses.” This was mainly due to their mutual fondness for music. They organized a small orchestra a couple of weeks ago – just for fun – ‘specially so he could be near enough to town – with enuf free time to get in occasionally, to take the trombone in the orchestra! Any way, that is what Claude says.

The Heaths and McCullums have been just wonderful to him, and they are pleased as punch at his success.

They do not have a regular organist at St. Paul 's – and so Claude has been able to help Mr. McCullum out quite frequently. He (Claude) was so glad to be able to do something in return for their kindness to him.

Claude will be provided with a nice little cabin of his own, at Rock Creek (Hon will know) – and all his living allowances will be paid by the Company.

Best of all, Mr. Nordale says that it will be quite alright for me to come up and live there with him!

Now isn't that just grand? Of course, I shall not be able to be there all summer, as I must be here to see after our things, and get them packed – but it makes it so much easier to go at any time – knowing that I shall always have a place, and that I can be with him. The majority of the men on summer jobs must live in the camps –sharing a common bunk house and men's house. There would be no satisfaction at all, in visiting him then. The hours are longer, and the camps are all so far from Dawson .

I expect to go up with Percy in his launch – first trip of the season. This should be some time around May 20 – so maybe, Mamma dear, I can get you a birthday card after all!

I do not know anything about the house yet – but Claude says he guess it is just a summer cottage. Rock Creek is Dawson 's “summer resort” – half the town has cabins out there for the season. I want to go up early – so that I can come down here again and pack anything we may need up there.

I hear that household furnishings are much in demand at Bear Creek – and that we should have no trouble in disposing of our things there. So you see – so far, things are beginning to develop very satisfactorily – and I always did have a lot of faith in a good start!

I have just been re-reading your letter. I should think it would require an awful lot of patience to do all those routine things every day – and I think you will have earned a successful recovery. I guess you can feel yourself getting stronger though, all the time – can't you? In lots of ways, I guess the enforced rest has done you loads of good. Everyone says you seem so much better for it. Maybe when we see you, you will be fat ? Have you been weighed? I guess it would be pretty hard to balance yourself on one foot though – and you couldn't lean on your crutch.

I thought sure I'd hear from Bud on this mail. Why doesn't he write?

I'll bet he's thinking about getting married or something! If such were the case I could understand that he wouldn't have much time to bother about writing to his old twin – but really I am beginning to feel concerned about it. I hope he “ain't mad.”

I have just recently been notified that I have been elected an Honorary Member of the L.G.H. alumnae association – which also entitles me to automatic membership to the state and American Nurses Association. I thought it was just lovely of them to remember me in this way – indeed I don't know when anything made me feel so good. It makes me feel as though somehow I still belong to L.G.H. – and that I am still part of an American organization. I notice that Mrs. Whittaker (Elizabeth Edgerly) is on one of the committees. I must write an acknowledgment soon. They sent me a receipt and membership card – all paid up.

There isn't any special news from here now. You can continue to address my mail here as I can get it at Dawson just the same if I call for it there.

We are bound to have an unsettled summer but I feel quite ready for a change.

Although everyone is very friendly down here – and I know I shall never want for any help, if I need it – yet it is a strange sort of way to live – down here alone with all these old chaps – and I shall be glad to start again on something new – with my Claude.

We can only just muddle along for a while until we know how things are, at the end of the season, and then try to plan for the best we can do. In my calmer moments I feel as Father Tidd says – that “this unpleasantness in Europe will pass away without a war in our time.” But then again – it is hard to always share such optimism.

Mrs. Shulze brought me a duck yesterday. I haven't cooked it yet but it certainly does look nice and it will be a pleasant change from fish.

Well darling, let me say again – Happy Birthday ! – accompanied by love and kisses.

I look forward so eagerly to news of you each mail – and do not like to think about the unusually long wait just ahead – but I always hope that the longer it is – the better the news will have time to be – and so – with many good wishes and dearest love to you all I am as always –


P.S. Tell Hon that I received a bag of Florida sands, tied to a card, from Bob, too – so now we are even.

retour à l'histoire principale