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Canadian Life as I Found It
Chapter XXXIII November, 1906


I HAVE been hauling a load of wheat into Saskatoon for my neighbours. They had two to haul, and so I took one; but we had a bad time on the road. It had rained heavily the day before, and after being on the trail all day, we had to sleep on the floor at the half-way house, rolled up in a horse-rug. One of my horses had got a touch of rheumatism, so I had to put my third horse on to come to town. He is not used to the road, and is very slow compared to the others. I hauled 51 bushels—a heavy load to haul 45 miles. I had my oats threshed out; they gave 378 bushels—not bad from 7 acres. The thresher put through 318 bushels in 42 minutes, that is going some, is it not? The threshing bill is just under 20 dollars, our school taxes over 25 dollars, and to improve matters coal is now 16 dollars instead of 8 a ton, so the extra draft came in very useful.

We had a concert in the school-house on the 9th. My wife was asked to be on the committee, and she could not well refuse. It took quite a lot of arranging to get it up well. However, it turned out a great success and was much appreciated.

A neighbour had friends staying with him. One turned out to be a good pianist, the other sang very well. Two young girls gave a dialogue, which Jack reported to his daddy as a very pretty catalogue! A very fair gramophone selection and a violin well played completed the programme.

We had "Soldiers of the King" in the first half, and the "National Anthem" to finish up with, as it was the King's birthday. After the concert was over, sandwiches, cake, tea and coffee were handed round, and then dancing began. It is the first bit of gaiety that we have taken part in since we came out, and I think that we rather enjoyed it, but we should not care to begin again often; the Western dances are very odd, and end in a regular romp.

Jack was four years old a few days ago. He was delighted with all the pretty things sent him. Daddy also brought him a mechanical Indian from town, which was a great joy. Mummie made him a cake, and as we had roast beef and baked potatoes, it was quite a birthday dinner, and the wee laddie quite realized that the honours of the day were his, and went to bed saying he had spent a happy, happy day. He says the quaintest things at times. During the heat I had often to run after' him to make him put on a hat. He must have heard us talking of the danger of sunstroke if one went bareheaded, for one day he took a cloth and covered his horse's head, explaining to me that he was afraid the horse might get a sunset!

We have been putting up storm windows to our bed and living room; we have got a nice rug, and warm felt shoes for us all, and a rocking-horse for Jack, who has been longing for one so long, and has written various scribbles to Father Christmas to that effect.

We may manage a proper kitchen table by and by; at present we have a few boards nailed roughly on to a post.

I ran a rusty nail into my foot the other day, and have had to have the doctor; but I am glad to say it is all right again, although still rather tender. My wife has had a bad time of it I am afraid, for she has had to look to everything, as I for several days could hardly get across a room even, without the aid of two sticks. I suppose the pork diet heats the blood and causes small injuries to bring about disagreeable results at times. We shall be glad when we can get on to a more wholesome diet.


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