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Canadian Life as I Found It
Chapter XVI June, 1905

I HAVE secured the land I spoke about previously, and we are going into town in a day or two to settle the business. It is a splendid bit of land, only separated from mine by the road allowance, and by and by will help to make a very good farm, for 160 acres out here is no farm at all. I wish I could buy a whole section, it would be a good investment.

We have got a doctor now within 6 miles of us—an improvement—and it is said that he is going to get a store opened, and have a post office. I hope that this is true, as it would be very handy for us.

I was told also the other day that the C.P.R. had begun to lay rails from Saskatoon, 25 miles S.W.; if it is true, we shall have the railway 12 miles from here.

Do not worry about our eating tinned foods; we do not eat any this year, they come rather too expensive, and so we follow the Canadian plan, and have porridge for breakfast, with coffee and plenty of home-made bread and farm-produced butter, salt pork and beans for dinner, and ditto for tea. We used to have eggs for tea, but we have three hens sitting, so eggs is off.

I went out shooting this afternoon with a friend and we got four ducks and five snipe, so we shall have a finely stocked larder.

You will be amused when I tell you that we have two lodgers, brothers, who have a claim a mile west. They are building their shack. They have their meals with us and sleep at a neighbour's, as we have no room. We did not want to be bothered, but they had nowhere else to go, so we could not refuse. It gives Mabel more work, which is the worst feature about it.

Last time I went to town I got stuck in a mud-hole on my way home, and asked a man, who fortunately came along, to give me a hand out with his team. He spoke such bad English that I thought I would try him with my best French. You would have laughed if you could have seen the man's delight when he heard me speak. I thought he was going to embrace me. He told me that he came from Lyons and had not been spoken to in his own language since he came out three years ago. He took a lot of trouble to help me with his four horses, which with my team got me clear, after being stuck over an hour. I shall not forget that trip in a hurry. I had breakfast at 5 a.m. and tea at 6 p.m., nothing between but two apples, and the worst was that I could not get a drop of water on the road, either for my team or for myself; besides, I was overladen. I had 700 feet lumber for the well, five bags of oats, and stores. I can assure you that I was glad when I reached home. The half-way house was full when I got there the night before, and I had to sleep in the grain shed; but I did not mind that as long as my horses had shelter.

I am glad to say that the garden is progressing ; peas and beans are coming up well. My oats are also promising a good crop, but it is much eaten by the gophers; they are small animals, but they can do a lot of harm.

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