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Canadian Life as I Found It
Chapter XLV November, 1907


WE had a lot of bother over the threshing; I could not get any of the machines to come to me, so in the end I had to go out on a threshing gang with a team, so as to get a man to pull in to me. I started last Tuesday on the gang, and they came and threshed me on Friday, but when they had only 8 acres left to thresh, the machine broke down; however, they patched it up and managed to finish me on the Monday. I can tell you that I was not sorry to see the last of them; it is no joke having to feed eighteen horses and the men to look after them. As for me I have been up every morning at 4 a.m. and have not got to bed till ii p.m., and now I have to go up to the boys with two teams, to help them with their threshing, in return for their help.

They will be through on Wednesday probably, and then I shall start teaming my grain to town. I shall have to go to Saskatoon after all this year, but it will not take me long; I shall take one team and then my other one will meet me half-way with another load. I shall change horses and go back to town with it, and so on till all is teamed. I shall start, all being well, on Monday morning, but I do not expect to reach home again till Saturday; a week on the road all the time is something to look forward to!

The wheat has turned out better than I thought it would; it is frozen and has shrunk, but still it is not a bad sample. It yielded 23 bushels to the acre; it ought to have gone 30 if it had not been frozen. The oats went 44 to the acre instead of 50; it is rather disappointing.

I threshed out 444 bushels of oats and 8io of wheat. The threshing bill comes to 77 dollars, so when all expenses are met, there does not remain a very large percentage for the poor farmer, unless he has a great deal of land under crop, and neither fire nor frost destroys it, for one has both of these enemies to contend with at times. The weather is fine, cold morning and night, but we have not been obliged to set the heater going yet.

We had a surprise visit from the S---- 's. We had unfortunately just finished a nondescript meal, breakfast and dinner combined, to save trouble, as my wife was very tired; but of course she had to begin all over again and cook another meal. She has been kept pretty busy, on the go all the time, and I have to be up at 3 a.m. to-morrow to get to the D----'s. I shall be glad when all is finished and we are on our way to England, home, and beauty, not forgetting a good glass of English ale.

Now about Mrs. H---- and her son, I shall be delighted to answer any questions, but I cannot take young H----. All my plans are made for next year, for I must have help all the time, as I shall have 150 acres in crop, and I mean to break up the quarter I bought.

The railroad is being worked at hard; it is said that in thirty days it will be in working order. What a change from the utter isolation when we came out in 1904.

November 14. I have been much worried. My crop, as you know, was badly frozen, but still I thought that I should be able to get rid of it. Well, I started to team it. I took in two loads and got only 33 cents a bushel for it, and that after a lot of trouble ; then I took another and got 30 cents. At present no one will take any more frozen wheat. If I had known the bother I was going to have with this wheat, I would never have gone to the expense of having it threshed. It is going to be a bad year for farmers, a good many I am afraid will go under ; the banks are very close and will not lend money, and even if one tries to sell horses or cattle, you cannot get half their value; no cash is to be had, there is none in the country. Elevators are closing down for want of money to buy wheat. Any one with large capital could buy any amount now at very low rates.


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