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Lettre de Mary à sa mère, 2 juin 1939.
Lettre de Mary à sa mère, 2 juin 1939.
Yukon Archives: 91/112 f. 4, MSS 365
Instabilité et incertitude

Forty Mile
June 2, 1939

Dearest Mama,

You will see that I am once more back in Forty Mile again, after a most satisfactory jaunt to Dawson and Rock Creek.

The time has been terribly full – and will be so from now on until I can get our things packed and moved from here and I am once more back in Rock Creek for the summer. I don't know how long it will take – but I hope to leave here for good in a couple of weeks.

As you know, I went up to Dawson with Percy, in the mail launch on May 19 when he returned from his first trip after the break-up.

I took all I could with me – things I thought we'd need at Rock Creek this summer – as well as clothing for us both.

It was a nice day – still quite cold in an open boat, though – as there was still plenty of ice along the bars and floating in the water.

We stopped at Percy's place at half-way for a cup of tea and arrived in Dawson at about 8:30 P.M. When I saw the old sky line on our approach I was almost panic stricken – it had been so long since I was near a town.

I hardly knew then that Claude would be there, as I knew he expected to start work at Rock Creek (sixteen miles from town) at any time. I was overjoyed, then – to see him standing there at the dock waiting for me! Bless his dear heart! It was nearly eight weeks since that day he left Forty Mile on snow shoes!

It was on a Friday night and we went right up to the Rectory, as I was invited to stay there with the McCullums.

My trip to Dawson couldn't have been better timed – as Claude was due to start [?] at Rock Creek on Monday – so we had the weekend in Dawson , together.

On Saturday I went to the [illegible] – bought – new dress – visited – had an altogether lovely time running around attending to things. Of course there wasn't [near?] time enough to get everything done – especially as he was invited to a musical affair at Norman's (Claude's big boss) in the evening. My only regret was that I simply couldn't get everything off to you for your birthday now. I had planned to do so – and it would have reached you in time – by air mail – but since I just didn't have time [perhaps?] I could still do it on my way back to Forty Mile.

Claude played the organ at the morning service on Sunday – Jean McCullum was in the choir and Creighton, of course, did the service – so I want to church with little Hugh [?] (seven years old) he was awfully cute.

The rest of the day was one round of calls, callers, and visiting – also preparing to move to Rock Creek.

One of the Company trucks came for us at 8 A.M. and we got off – in good shape – bag and baggage. We stopped [?] at the “ Arlington ” – one of the camps about ten miles out – and had a cup of coffee. I kept meeting so many old acquaintances all the time – it was just grand. Every one was so nice and helpful and gave me such a warm welcome, that I felt like a new person from the moment that I set foot in Dawson .

Our cottage at Rock Creek is really the funniest little place I ever saw. It is a tiny little square building (one room) with a pointed roof – and a jaunty, cock-eye looking stove pipe sticking out the side. It looks as though it were just shared [?] with the rocky bank where it stands.

The ditch runs right in front of it – and one walks over a little bridge to the door. (Seems like Venice .)

Claude had been out several days before to clean it up a bit, as it was pretty dirty – so it looked fine when I arrived. The stove is a little old camp stove – full of bumps all over the top so that a kettle won't stand flat – anywhere on it – but after Twelve Mile, I can use anything I guess.

The Klondike rushes by, in front of us – and at first it sounded as tho it was raining all the time, but I soon got used to it. We never lived along the Yukon before.

We put a tent up for our beds and that helped a lot, for space in the house.

Tuesday was Dominion Day – the big national holiday in Canada – and I think nearly every body in Dawson came out to Rock Creek to spend it there. They all “called” on us and it was very exciting . Of course we didn't have any thing fixed up – didn't even have a tea kettle – a hand basin – a dish pan or a thing – but no one thought anything of it and I didn't care.

Harry Jones called. They have the elite summer home of the place – and are our nearest neighbors. He told me to come up and meet the folks – so we went – and when I saw their perfectly beautiful place – complete in every detail, I rushed back and madly jerked some curtains out of my trunk and informed Claude that I should have no time to do much cooking for a while as I had a big job on my hands “keeping up with the Jones'”, which was very literally true.

Clarence Cregg [Craig?] is working for the company and he stopped by one day. He asked about Hon – as everyone does – but I can't go into all that now – there just isn't time. I'll write Hon, later, about the people she knows. Clarence looks older of course, but much the same. He has two children.

I had decided it would be best to go back to Forty Mile as soon as possible – so that I could pack and send our things – as the water is high now, and the boat can only get in here when it is so. Then too, the folks are all here now to give me a hand at moving things – and they won't be later – when they go to their fish camps. Anyway – now that I know we shall be definitely located at Rock Creek for a few months – I am anxious to get back there and be settled for a time.

Percy was scheduled to make a trip down on June 1 (yesterday) – and I planned to go with him. I arranged to go in to Dawson Tuesday evening – which would give me Wednesday – a clear day – for shopping – and attending to many things regarding the handling of our freight. I also wanted to get something off to Mama.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when Mr. McCullum arrived at Rock Creek on Monday evening (May 29), with the news that Percy was going two days early – and would be leaving at 8 A.M. next morning! (Wednesday)

I had to scramble my things together as best I could – and rushed off with Creighton before I knew it! Of course the stores were closed when we got in – so I could do very little of the things on my long list – though I did manage some of the more important ones. I forgot my walking shoes – so I had to come down in my bed room slippers!

We had a fine trip down – made it in less than four hours.

My first concern was to pack things to send up with him on his return – also to get the necessary mail off – for I won't have another chance to send anything from here.

Now that I have been to Rick Creek – I know just what is most important to send – and it is plenty – so I have been very busy getting it ready.

We expect Percy back any minute now – but all the stuff is down at the dock, so I feel easier.

The S.S. Yukon is expected down on her first trip tomorrow.

I hope to be ready to leave when she comes back (two weeks) tho if I can't make it I think there will be a chance to go up by launch with someone from here instead of waiting another two weeks for the next boat.

Mama – I want to thank you so much for your letter of April 26 – I got it at Rock Creek, several days after my arrival there! From now on you can send our mail to Rock Creek – via Dawson – as there is no use in sending any more here.

I am so glad to know you are well over that nasty cold which set you back a bit – and hope with all my heart that by now you are just fine in every way. It has been a long, trying time that you've been through – and it is just wonderful to be able to feel that by now the worst of it is over.

I am glad you like the photos we sent. Claude has an enlargement of the one of him standing on the hill top with his gun and snow shoes – and really – it has caused a sensation in Dawson . As a study, I think I like it the best of all his work.

I know you'll understand if my letters are choppy for a little while – though I'll do the best I can with them.

I was delighted to hear from Bud last mail – and so was Claude.

Anna and Honey have been darlings about writing. Please do thank them and tell them I promise to answer soon as possible.

There is still time to say Happy Birthday to you again, now – and you may be sure I shall be thinking of you. I'm terribly disappointed not to have been able to send you anything in time – but I'm sure you will know how it was. Maybe later. Better late than never! It has been never with me, all too often, lately – to my very great regret.

No more now dear – except very much love to all of you – a world of good wishes for your continuing improvement and many thanks for your letter. We are fine – could accommodate one of you at Rock Creek this summer if any of you wish to come! It is a grand place – so pretty and restful – so many nice people there.



PS. I don't have time to even re-read this – so please excuse all mistakes.

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