I HOPE that you will like the
photos I am sending, and that they will counteract the bad impression the
other ones made upon you. You can show these as of a settler's home after
two years' occupation. The one of the house represents the back and the bow
window side; in the distance you can see the barn. Inside the fence are
flower beds all round the house. The man ploughing is myself. It will give
you a good idea of the prairie, and how the land is turned over. The middle
horse is the colt I bought last fall; he is now just five years old. I broke
him in and he follows me about like a dog; the one in the furrow I bought at
the same time, the other I got this spring. They are all working well. The
furrow I am in is 650 yards long; good exercise, is it not?
Up to the present I have now
42 acres ploughed, and I am going on breaking as long as I can, but
unfortunately I shall have to stop soon, as I must cut my hay before the
spears come into it. The oats are looking well; a record yield is expected
this year in the North-West. There has been no frost and plenty of rain; in
fact, we are getting rather too much just now.
We are sorry that the first
photo of our shack gave you such a shock; it certainly does look rough, and
I must confess that we are glad to have a better dwelling-place now. The
first one was taken from its worst side, and was never intended to include
the shack at all, only the cattle and pony. Seeing what it was, you will not
wonder that I did not dare face our first winter in it; but there are
hundreds out here who live in places no better than that first one.
We are expecting soon to put
out tenders for the building of the school-house. I do not think that there
will be much delay now. The railroad building is also going on fast, both
the Grand Trunk and the C.P.R., and the town north of us is progressing too.
There is a still bigger rush
out here this year than last, people going even 175 miles from town; these
are principally from the States. Land is going up steadily in price round
here, it is selling at 13 and 14 dollars an acre, and very little left to
sell. I wish that I had a whole section instead of only half of one; it
would be very valuable, as what I have is thoroughly good land, and if I get
a chance later on of buying more, I shall certainly take it.
We have had very bad weather,
wet and cold; it has cleared now and it is fine again, but the mosquitoes
are getting unpleasantly lively.