WELL, Christmas and New
Year's Day are over once more. We were quite alone on Christmas Day. We
tried to make the best of it, but we both felt rather sad, and wondered what
you were all doing, but knew that you would be thinking of us. We drank your
health in tea. The liquor was weak, but the strength of our wishes made up
for its weakness.
That cutting you sent,
telling how a grocer from London became a flourishing farmer out West in
sixty days, was very amusing but rather tall talk. I wonder how much he got
for writing that letter. I should advise him to go on writing, for such a
vivid imagination would certainly make more at it than by farming.
I have been obliged to get a
fur coat. One cannot do without one; the wind goes through the thickest
ordinary clothes. I had to pay 20 dollars for this coat; it was the cheapest
I could get to be any good. Mabel got her ears rather badly frost-bitten,
but I rubbed them well with snow before she went near the fire, and they are
all right again. I came in from a drive yesterday, with great balls of ice
on my eyes, and I could not open my mouth till I had got thawed. You will
say how delightful when you read this, but I am beginning to like the wild
life; there is plenty of space to move about, and one feels so free. We hope
to get out to the homestead again by May 1, and do the best I can with my
oxen, if in the meantime I am not able to trade them for a team.
I am sorry that our letters
do not reach you as regularly as yours do us. I do not know when to post. I
asked the post people, but all I could get out of them was, that there is a
mail East every day; but that did not help me as to when the steamers leave,
and so I have to trust to luck that our letters will get to you some day.
I went out shooting the other
day ,with young Englishman. We each saw a rabbit, and on my way home shot a
grouse. I cannot say that I enjoyed it, for it was all plodding through
snowdrifts. I want mostly to try a dog I have bought, but, of course, just
when I wanted him, he was not to be found, he had gone for a turn round the
town on a foraging expedition. I do not think I shall go out shooting again
on foot, it is not good enough.
Mabel keeps well and so does
the boy, but he is a terror. We have bought him a sleigh, the perambulator
cannot be wheeled on the snow. We took him out in it this afternoon. He sat
still for about a hundred yards, then he scrambled out and dragged the
sleigh all round the town'; he would not let us help him. It is wonderful
what strength the child has. If he goes on as he is now, he will be a great
help in a few year's time. It speaks well for the climate of this part of