February 7, 1939

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

Yellowknife, N. W. T.

Feb. 7, 1939.

Dear Mother:

We are having an extraordinary long spell of cold weather.  For nineteen days the average temperature at 7:30 am has been thirty three below.  The coldest point read in town was just about sixty below.  It certainly spoils our hockey league too as after three league games it has been decided to automatically cancel all games if the temp is -15 or lower.

Con has played two games to date one against Negus and the other against town and tied both of them.  The brand of hockey is quite good due to the effect of having so many Prairie men up here I expect.  I was a goal judge in the first game and found that standing on the ice seemed much warmer than watching from the sidelines as I did in the second game.  Some of the players had their ears badly frozen and all found the extremely cold air very hard on the lungs.  Con is supposed to have its own minor league and I have turned out for one practice to date.

Eric and I ordered some cheap badminton rackets and shuttles through the company today.  The court is already [sic] for play now but I haven’t seen it in use yet.  I don’t think it will be very satisfactory.

I finally had to have my tooth out.  It had been bothering me for a good six weeks but with an increasing intensity.  It had an abcess [sic] and consequently despite three attempts it refused to freeze at all.  The doc suggested he try pulling to see if I thought I could stand it.  I made a mistake there as he wouldn’t stop once he got a grip.

I have seen the proposed route for the tractor road but as it is nearly all along rivers or across [sic] lakes I doubt if it will ever materialize.  Three tractors went through the ice just out of Goldfields this past week.  They were on their way to McMurray and one dropped into seventy feet of water.  The other two were only in seven feet and so could be salvaged.  However this happens so frequently on the river I don’t imagine the road would ever be a success.  In the pictures I enclose the train broke through just off the island in front of the camp and about 300 yards from my window.  Fortunately is [sic] was very shallow and the engine did not get wet.  The caboose was in a frightful mess and anyone sleeping there would have got a terrible shock as the water is over the lower mattresses.

Our radio operator Bill Fuller got a terribly painful burn through electric shock on his wrist a few days ago.  Tudor had been talking to Howard on the radio and Bill was just reaching inside the transmitter to change a crystal (he does this at least five times every week he says) when he got the shock.  Although he was not grasping anything he couldn’t pull his hand away.  Tudor turned off the main switch on the radio and then the main switch on the room but neither stopped the current though either one should have been enough.  By this time Mr. Howe had come in and he dashed into the next room where the switch for the whole building is located and this cut the current out.  Our office is immediately below the radio room so we got quite a shock when we heard such loud and continued bloodcurdling screams.  Bill said later he knew he was yelling but he was doing this chiefly because everybody seemed to be taking their time although actually they wouldn’t be.  The burn left a dead white mark as large as a fifty cent piece and according to the doctor—quite deep.

I had a little accident which may or may not be good.  One of the miner’s had bought three beautiful cross-fox furs and not wanting to risk leaving them in his own room in the bunkhouse where they might be stolen had left them with me.  At noon the next day I showed them to Fred Walton and when putting them away accidently [sic] stepped on one of the white tips and a tuft broke away and all the white tip was loosened.  I worried about this all afternoon and when I came home I made a close examination.  I found the tip had been sewn on.  The miner said he was glad to know before he had sent the furs out particularly as he had not finished paying for them but I have not heard yet weather [sic] he managed to get another.  For a while I thought I would have to buy it but what would have made it worse was that is [sic] was so perfectly matched with one of the other furs that the trapper had refused to sell them separately.

With love from


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