Dawson – September 14, 1926
Dearest Mother of Mine
As usual – your letter is delayed – because there are so many things to tell you – that I (which probably is a bad habit) keep putting it off until I can write a nice long one – however – I’m going to start it right now – and keep on until it is finished.
I’ll write you my news first and then answer your letter – of which I have several – and what dear letters they are!
This is our election day. I’ve been rather interested this year – particularly since I have been able – with so much time for reading – to follow it up more closely than ever in my life. Claude is not very much interested in politics but he’s been born and bred a Conservative and the Conservative candidate- who has been very good to us – Captain Black – the M.P. of several winters – is our very next door and only close neighbor – so we naturally couldn’t keep out of it altogether – though Claude had a half holiday and we spent it out doors – only arriving home about fifteen minutes before the polls closed. We were greeted by Mrs. Black – who advised us that we were the only persons in town who hadn’t voted and that if we wished to, she’d send their car around immediately to take us to the polls. We agreed and so I cast my first Canadian vote ‘all dolled up’ in hiking togs – muddy boots and all.
They are holding a reception next door now – sort of a celebration – for things look very favorable for Mr. Black. We both were urged to attend but I haven’t been anywhere since I’m back and do not wish to start – so I didn’t go – I’m writing this letter instead. Claude couldn’t very well get out of it and I had to laugh at him “fussing and fuming” a while ago- with shaving and dressing for the occasion – he’s there now and probably will get home – [?] better for a cocktail – though it will be the first one he’s had so far as I know since last Christmas.
We had a delightful ‘hike’ to the Dome this afternoon – that memorable spot – to which I walked with my sweetheart when I was in Dawson for the first time – over two years ago now, and I can tell you it seemed more of a climb than it did then.
Saturday – Sept. 18
It’s just a shame – but just couldn’t get at this letter before now – and so much has happened since. Election day is all over. Mr. Black was elected – from the Yukon – but the Liberal party is in so I guess he won’t be able to do much for us in the next four years.
Now, I’ll tell you why I had to put off writing again. Mrs. Burke came up on the last boat and spent several days in Dawson! I was so happy to have her – though she would sleep on the boat and only had lunch with us once- we all (Tidd, Mrs. B. & I) had our meals downtown the rest of the time – to save me. I enjoyed her visit so much – but even the extra exertion of shopping – and being around downtown meeting people I hadn’t seen since my return – made the days very full and I got dead tired by night because I’m not accustomed to the extra exertion.
She left yesterday, however – and so now I’ve settled down again – slept all afternoon and feel real good tonight except for my cough – which bothers me some.
Claude is very busy these days with his photography. He has been doing some wonderful enlargements and I’m studying up on tinting. He has more orders than he can fill and hasn’t even tried to sell them – folks just come and ask him to do them. He loves photography and so is very happy doing it and does not mind the busy-ness.
I received a notice this week of Dr. Campbell’s death – did you know of it? Dear old Dr. Campbell! It took me back to [?] days.
Let me see – I guess I’d better go back to the time I last wrote you – which was – at Ft. Yukon and make a hasty survey – so you won’t miss any of the things I’ve done since.
As I told you then – they were wonderful to me and I have the warmest feeling possible for the folk down there. I left at the end of August and just hated the going – for I feel that I love them so much and they mean so to me – and I love it so down there – and got on so well [?]pically. The boat left at midnight – Mrs. Burke got up and went down to the boat to see me off. The doctor packed my trunk down – on his back – as no one was up to having it. It’s just typical of him – he’s been more than a friend to me.
We had a delightful trip up. (It takes four days – coming up stream). The crew are so nice – just like one big family – and I was taken such good care of by all – you’d have thought they were my own brothers. We got to Forty Mile the afternoon before arriving Dawson – and Claude came down that far – via a canoe to meet me. I don’t believe I was ever so happy in my life as when we sighted him – in the glasses – away up the Yukon – paddling "to beat the dickens".
The crew and passengers were all so interested – and so glad he came – for they know it would please me so much – and I wasn’t sure that he was coming – they were “all set” to watch the meeting – but I fooled them – for the boat landed at Forty Mile to unload some freight so I got off and ran some hundred yards up along the shore to meet him. Bless his dear heart! He looked good to me though he was about ten pounds thinner than when I left home.
Well – we had a glorious evening – Tidd played the piano and we all sat around and talked and I was so happy.
Before my arrival in Dawson, Claude had put a notice in the paper – asking our friends not to call – as I was to be kept very quiet. It certainly scared them off and I think it is just as well – for I do so appreciate the freedom of just being at home with my sweetheart. Dawson for the first time seems really like home. Every one is so good about sending flowers and things – and I know I have their interest – even if I don’t see much of them.
I just love being home again and Claude is happy as a kid.
I no sooner got inside the house that morning (the police boys brought me home in the police car) – than I spied my birthday gifts from home – waiting for me!
Mamma dear! You can’t know how dear it was – and how very much it meant to have them waiting for me! Almost as though you were at our door to greet me coming home! They seemed so much like home – all done up so beautifully and with the sweet messages and everything. Oh I was certainly a happy girl and Claude kept saying – "if they aren’t the greatest people I dunno – sometimes I feel badly – to think that I am keeping you away from them".
Another interruption! We were busy fixing our sleeping tent this afternoon – so I didn’t get more done to this letter as I had planned – but it was a job too long delayed already – I should have been out there several weeks ago – so I’m glad it’s finished.
Major Tilford – the commanding Office of the R.C.M.P – a wonderful man who has spent his whole life in the service up here – came over the trail of ’98 – is going ‘outside’ this week. He and his family will be missed terribly. They live quite close and Mrs. Tilford has always been so sweet to me – has given me so many things and constantly cooked “dainties” for Tidd while I was away – also wrote to me faithfully so I’ll miss her very much – we both will miss them and so will every one in Dawson. They called today to say good bye.
Now – Mother dear – to go on about the birthday gifts.
The little “heart” sewing basket is adorable and just what I needed. Where ever did you get all those dainty little novelties inside? Tidd thought they were the cutest things he ever saw – especially the wax – and the evening bag! And all done up separately! Oh Mamma dear – it was lovely of you and I thank you so much. Thank grandma too won’t you – for her share in it? Bless her – I’m glad she keeps so well.
The candles are very useful (ornamental or other). I put one pair (the blue ones) in our bedroom on the dresser and the other (Rose) on the piano – the others I had [?] [?] – so they came in just right. The lingerie [?] I needed too – Oh – everything was just right. I’ve worn Honey’s apron every day, Anna – her birthday card was so funny.
Every body adores the lamp shades and they are very pretty – I have them on the stand lamps I got from Anna at Christmas time – on the desk – out between them is a beautiful clock – walnut finish – which we just received – a belated wedding gift from one of Claude’s friends. [?] [?] made a very good looking contribution. I use the lamps every night when I write here at the desk (as I am now).
We just been thinking – our home wouldn’t mean [?] much – for ornaments – if it were not for you dear folks – and if it were crammed with things I bought – it wouldn’t mean half so much. The next best to having you. I use something you sent every day – I guess[?] – and it means so much – then – you are so thoughtful with you letters, too – Bless you - & hope you’ll forgive my negligence in this past month – but – honestly mamma – I get so tired I couldn’t write before – but then – I [?] you knew I was alright – because of that wire – and my short note to Honey.
Wed – Sept. 22
Well Mother dear I just surveyed the beginning of this letter and found I spoke of flowers – dear me – that’s a long time ago. They all are frozen now – and it is getting much colder – things freeze outdoors every night now – though we don’t in our tent for we have big eiderdown robes and we like it very much.
I received a nice letter from Papa and one from you about a week ago – I was so glad for him and especially to know that Papa is improving – though I’m so sorry he didn’t gain during his holiday. I’m so glad you could have that vacation and break – with all my heart wish you both enjoyed it fully. But doesn’t it seem nice to get back home after a holiday – and isn’t it just lovely to have Honey with you once more – and to have Bud and Anna come to see you once in a while?
Yesterday was her birthday – Bless her. I wonder if my little gift reached her in time.
Does Papa eat more now? I’m much better, in that respect. They made me eat at Ft. Yukon. At first I just forced it down – but kept on anyway and it got easier each meal. I suppose my “tummy” has shrunk – anyway – now I really get hungry and eat better than I have in – oh – I believe in years. Claude calls me a “little glutton” now!
In one of your letters Mamma – you mentioned something about a wire from Dr. Burke? Did he wire you while I was at Ft. Yukon? He never told me that he did – so I thought perhaps I may[?] read your letter - be sure to tell me – will you?
I just read about the terrible storm in Miami. It must have been terrible indeed – though I don’t know how dependable our news is. Will you tell me about it when you write? If it’s as bad as our papers say I certainly feel sorry – wish I could go help in the nursing!
Do you go out in the ‘Essex’ much now?
I’m thinking our pups had better be “hurry-up-ing” if they want to be in a dog team this winter. They are growing fast but still seem very “puppyfied” to be thinking of pulling a sled.
I wish I had been home to help pick cherries. I wonder when I’ll ever pick cherries again!
I think about Grandma so much – does she still get those dizzy spells so often? Giver her my love – my dearest love will you? Don’t forget.
How is Honey’s leg where she burned it! I guess you’ll think I’m inquiring about ancient history but it’s the first I’ve [?] your letters and every thing you write is of so much interest to me. I just couldn’t get on without your letters – though I am very happy here.
I guess I told you that Claude sent me your letter to him while I was at Ft. Yukon and I showed it to Dr. Burke – it was so dear. Dr. Burke said he thought it was one of the nicest letters he ever read.
I appreciate so much your many kind remarks and wishes for my improvement. They help a great deal – oh indeed they do – and I am getting on fine so do not worry. Claude is an angel and I never have taken such good care of myself in my life. Claude takes better care of me than I do of myself – even so I certainly [?] ‘get on’.
Mamma – I think you have poetry in your make up – I just love to hear you write about the lovely places you have been to during your holiday – you love nature don’t you? So do I.
I wish you could enjoy this country with us – at least in the summer time!
Your last letter is the only one I have received from you since you are home and I was so disappointed to learn that Papa did not gain in weight – Bless his heart – I appreciate his letter so much – tell him I don’t care if it is type written- not even a little bit – it is a letter from him anyway and I’m going to answer it –soon – honest.
Mamma – about every other line in your letters is about Papa – just like mine – about Claude – aren’t husbands wonderful?
You certainly struck the nail on the head when you spoke of Matt’s eyes – they are the most striking feature about him. He is our favorite pup – every body likes him best. He is coal black with a very sleek coat and his eyes are the biggest I ever saw - in a dog. He seems all eyes. They are black too – and the whites are startling in contrast. He has a habit of rolling them – without turning his head – and it is so comical that Tidd always just roars when he does it. He “shows his whites” worse than Honey!
You mustn’t mind this letter – how can I write properly when my husbands is in the same room – beating a drum. It is his newest “musical” instrument!
I remember Mr. Ross (the man who sent you the photos) – very well. He wrote Tidd a nice letter several weeks ago. We are always hearing from – or meeting some one – who ‘heard’ about our wedding – from one of those tourists.
I wish Honey could go to that lecture by Mr. Ross – and talk to him. Please tell her to try to go – for our sake.
How is Mary Kiender[?] ? I had a very nice letter from her by last mail.
Mother darling – it is 9 P.M. – my bed time – so – Good night – a kiss for each one of you from
Your loving Mary.