February 21, 1938

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

Yellowknife, N. W. T.

February 20, 1938.

Dear Mother:

What a terrible experience for you and Rip.  I hope both of you have completely recovered.  I had no idea any trap held as tenaciously as that.  I suppose they must be set with a special spanner.

Many thanks for the parcel which came in with Page on Friday.  I like the sweater very much.  As to your questions—I have not yet had to pay anything on the parcels but it is a privilege which might possibly be abused if indulged in too frequently.  So much as I enjoy the Spheres I think you had better not send them on as they are very heavy.  It would be better to send say two at a time addressed as before.  Then they would be slipped into the mail bag and arrive unnoticed, especially as I usually help with sorting the mail.  I am not sure of the air freight from Waterways but from Edmonton is is [sic] 48¢ a pound.

I had the misfortune to freeze my ear this morning.  There was a cold east wind blowing and it must have frozen in under ten minutes.  So quickly in fact that I hadn’t noticed any feeling of chill.  It all happened when I was dickering with three Indians who had brought over three sleighs of moose and caribou.  It was my first occasion in buying meat and not very successful.  Usually there is only one Indian with say six or seven quarters but I had to deal with over thirty quarters, I think our largest purchase at one time.  And there was I trying to remember, as the quarters were thrown into the meat-house, how many quarters each man had, and whether each quarter was moose or caribou and if moose whether hinds or fronts.  Needless to say at the end I was hopelessly muddled and Tudor and I had to come back with pencil and paper and count them again.  Only one of the Indians could write or speak English; the others when signing for their money merely used a cross.

We have been having an influx of salesmen lately, trying to place orders for the spring.  Last night Woods Co., an eastern firm noted chiefly for their eiderdown sleeping robes, showed us a great range of winter clothing, woollen [sic] shirts, parkas, windbreakers, etc.  I suppose if he had been at the end of his run we could have picked up some of his samples at cost but he still had some points to visit.  The second salesman of the evening had a range of canned foods & pickles but that didn’t interest me or anybody else much.  I heard him remark on the pretty glass containers.  No doubt an important aspect up in the far north.

The salesmen have come at a frightfully business [sic] as he is getting out reams of spring orders and at the same time closing off the books for the year.  In fact he worked all Friday night and kept going all the next day to eleven—about a forty hour stretch.  He is going to Box tomorrow where Howard and he are going to plot a few more orders.

There has been a miraculous change in our radio reception.  Last night there were stations all over the broadcast band, where usually there are none.

I thought Archie’s pictures and story of the Princeton meet were excellent.  I hope one day to ski over such terrain myself one day [sic].  I have not used my skiis since Christmas.  It may be better when the snow starts to melt in the spring.

We had a telegram from our California-bound vacationing staff member sent from Las Vegas, Nevada to the effect that he will require a house on his return and for the present a weeks extension of his leave.  It didn’t take him long.

With love from


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