October 14, 1937

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

Yellowknife, N. W. T.

Oct 14 /37.

Dear Mother:The weather has been comparatively mild the last few days and perhaps the freeze up may be delayed for a while.  However we are only reckoning on two more outgoing planes—one tomorrow and one the next, although the mail carrying Canadian Airways planes expect to fly until the 20th or thereabouts.  I have been over town twice this week after supper to get the mail.  On each occasion it was too dark to get a very good impression of what the place is like but it has changed a great deal from what it was like earlier in the year.  It now has a store complete with glass windows and showcases.  When I was there the place was swarming with disreputable indians [sic].  I laughed when one young buck asked for some cigarettes and the store-keeper said “How old are you?”  I don’t know whether he was serious but it seemed very out of place and made the Indian laugh.

The first time I was down it was very cold and calm and when we got into the boat to come home there was a very thin lair [sic] of ice on the bay.  Lately it has been very rough on the lake and so there is no chance of ice forming.

Our boats all managed to get in—three of them in as many days.  The one to get here first had not been in before and was extremely small.  It was built on the same lines as the “Prospector” but only had a crew of 3.  It had got caught in the storm on the lake and so it is quite remarkable that it manged to get here at all.

Some Indians came into the office today trying to sell some very neatly made fur-trimmed mukluks.  (Mukluks are knee-high moccasins usually artistically decorated with fur or colored cloth.)  They were asking $8.00 for a pair which is not very unreasonable but Eric managed to reduce the price to four dollars before deciding he didn’t want them.  I have already bought some moccasins from the commissary.  They cost $1.50 and don’t look as if they would be worth any more but still they are the best thing for winter in this country.

I had aletter from Dick today with some news of the fraternity etc.  They seem to have thirteen in the house again.  I din’t think the new house would hold that many.

I also had a letter from Peter Murdock enclosing forms for a non medical certificate for the insurance.  I expect I can disregard them and get the proper exam although that won’t take place until the doctor gets his equipment set up in the new hospital.  I hope that won’t be too long to wait although there is evidently some rush if the policy is to be dated at my present age.  Peter also suggests that a payment on the policy would be a very good idea.  Am I right that you are going to look after this for a while?

Thanks so much for the subscriptions.  I have already got some of the Couriers.  I saw in the one that came today that Peter Mallam had lost a race against one of the DeHarts horses.  I remember him talking about the challenge when I was home in the spring but never thought it would ever take place.  Incidentally Peter doesn’t appear to have finished writing that letter yet.

I don’t know where Yellowstone River is but Yellowknife Bay is on the north east coast and is a good sized indentation.  If your map is fairly old look for Ft. Providence which was across [sic] the bay from us.  The new Ft. Providence is at the other end of the lake so don’t be confused by it.

Our sofa and arm-chair have arrived and are temporarily installed in one of the bed rooms.  We also have our two electric calculators for the office which are great to work with.  The cancellation of my transference to Giant is a very mixed blessing.  Over there I would have had a much more varied and responsible position.  There are so many men here now that I am kept busy all the time doing nothing but timekeeping and payroll which is hardly what I want.  I will forget all my accounting.

With love from


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