August 13, 1938

c/o C. M. & S. Co. Ltd.

Yellowknife, N. W. T.

August 13th, 1938

Our brief summer seems to have come to an end already.  There has been a hard cold wind off the lake all day and we are in exactly the same position to resist it as we were last fall as the plumbers have chosen this time to replace all the steam and hot water lines.  Once more we are back to shaving in ice-cold water but I hope it won’t last very long.

Our new cookhouse is nearly finished.  It is built to sit two hundred so in the future there will be only one sitting for each meal except (I hope) breakfast.  The new office is temporarily held up due to a scarcity of electrical fittings.  It is going to be a great improvement on this although it has its drawbacks.  For instance we are wondering where the mail will be sorted and do the pursers of the various boats walk up to the mine to get their bills signed or does the accountant come down.  Things like that.

Did I tell you the M. A. S. has apparently purchased a subscription to both Edmonton papers for practically everyone in camp as they get more for hauling the papers thanit costs to buy them.  No wonder a daily mail service is required.

After a period of temporary shut-downs and minor adjustments the mill is operating fairly consistently and is beginning to deposit a few ounces of gold in the receiving bags.  There is not so very much to see when the mill is operating as the action is chiefly chemical in the various solution tanks but there are a few parts of fascinating mechanical equipment.  In particular is the Oliver filter which is a huge revolving cylinder which has suction on its outer surface at one point in its arc and just the opposite at the other.  Thus it lifts a clay like precipitate from one trough and as it turns over it blows it into another.  I have no idea what happens in the various tanks or at what point the gold is actually separated from the solutions.

The enclosed clipping indicates that all is not well at the Box Property—and I think the clipping is on the optimistic side.  The diamond drill crews were rushed in as the vein is not turning out as good as was expected.  Two of the crews are actually working underground.  Earlier in the year the officials down at Box must have realised the property was not proving up as part of the construction program was curtailed.  Plans for both the apartment house and recreation hall were cancelled.  It is hard to guess what is going to happen there.

We got quite a kick from the rumours of various strikes around here that the papers obtain somewhere.  Lately we saw that C. M. & S. had made a large strike.  In fact two prospectors had found some surface gold showing and promptly staked all the surrounding territory on the off-chance that it might be good.  They had hardly prospected the ground at all but did not like to take the time with so many other prospectors in the bush.

I had a very interesting letter from Mary but the letter plus the tennis photographs did not make me feel very good as she is doing just what I would like to be doing.  I suppose she is at Qualicum Beach now.  Do you plan on having a holiday to the coast this year?

In a fit of extravagance Eric has ordered a Snipe from Vancouver and it should be here in about two weeks.  It is rather late in the season and it will be too cold for sailing soon.  I thought he should have waited until next spring and I would have given
Archie the chance to sell his if he should want to buy Cliff’s Seagull.

Fires have been very bad this last week and the mine was threatened from two sides.  We had about 25 men fighting fire and cutting a protective fireguard around both our mines.  Smoke rolled down over the camp in such heavy clouds that midday almost turned to dusk but recent rains have brought the situation under complete control.

With love from


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