THE mosquitoes are a terrible
scourge, the place at times is black with them, and they raise such bumps.
Then during the hot weather
it is too far to get fresh meat from town, and we have to eat salt pork, and
to depend on the gun for a further supply for our larder. It is wonderful
how clever one gets when the delicacy of one's dinner depends on one's
The prairie chicken is very
good eating; it is somewhat larger than a partridge, but very similar in
taste; then the ducks are small and very hard to get, but if you want snipe
you have only to fire off your gun, and if any are about they come and look
at you, evidently unaccustomed to man's presence as yet.
The rest of the time we have
to exist on tinned foods, and although these do not taste of the tin, they
do not taste of much else.
Our nearest neighbour is 21
miles away, too far for much intercourse, but as we can see his shack from
our door, it makes a speck of interest on the vast expanse of land around
There are some hills about 8
miles away, where there are antelopes and wolves. We have already seen
several of these latter animals prowling in the distance, but they do not
come within rifle shot as yet.
I have dug a well and got
several inches of water at 9 feet below the surface. Very good water it
seems, but I shall of course have to go much deeper before. I can get a
Water is a very important
item here, for tea and coffee are the standard beverages. Beer is out of the
question, it is too expensive; I am getting used to doing without it, and I
am none the worse for not having it; in fact we are all quite well, only my
wife finds the work a fearful pull upon her, although she never complains.