I HAVE secured the land I
spoke about previously, and we are going into town in a day or two to settle
the business. It is a splendid bit of land, only separated from mine by the
road allowance, and by and by will help to make a very good farm, for 160
acres out here is no farm at all. I wish I could buy a whole section, it
would be a good investment.
We have got a doctor now
within 6 miles of us—an improvement—and it is said that he is going to get a
store opened, and have a post office. I hope that this is true, as it would
be very handy for us.
I was told also the other day
that the C.P.R. had begun to lay rails from Saskatoon, 25 miles S.W.; if it
is true, we shall have the railway 12 miles from here.
Do not worry about our eating
tinned foods; we do not eat any this year, they come rather too expensive,
and so we follow the Canadian plan, and have porridge for breakfast, with
coffee and plenty of home-made bread and farm-produced butter, salt pork and
beans for dinner, and ditto for tea. We used to have eggs for tea, but we
have three hens sitting, so eggs is off.
I went out shooting this
afternoon with a friend and we got four ducks and five snipe, so we shall
have a finely stocked larder.
You will be amused when I
tell you that we have two lodgers, brothers, who have a claim a mile west.
They are building their shack. They have their meals with us and sleep at a
neighbour's, as we have no room. We did not want to be bothered, but they
had nowhere else to go, so we could not refuse. It gives Mabel more work,
which is the worst feature about it.
Last time I went to town I
got stuck in a mud-hole on my way home, and asked a man, who fortunately
came along, to give me a hand out with his team. He spoke such bad English
that I thought I would try him with my best French. You would have laughed
if you could have seen the man's delight when he heard me speak. I thought
he was going to embrace me. He told me that he came from Lyons and had not
been spoken to in his own language since he came out three years ago. He
took a lot of trouble to help me with his four horses, which with my team
got me clear, after being stuck over an hour. I shall not forget that trip
in a hurry. I had breakfast at 5 a.m. and tea at 6 p.m., nothing between but
two apples, and the worst was that I could not get a drop of water on the
road, either for my team or for myself; besides, I was overladen. I had 700
feet lumber for the well, five bags of oats, and stores. I can assure you
that I was glad when I reached home. The half-way house was full when I got
there the night before, and I had to sleep in the grain shed; but I did not
mind that as long as my horses had shelter.
I am glad to say that the
garden is progressing ; peas and beans are coming up well. My oats are also
promising a good crop, but it is much eaten by the gophers; they are small
animals, but they can do a lot of harm.