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Letitia Hargrave1851-08-10James HargraveManitoba, CA57.004871-92.310666My dearest HargraveYour letter of 25th July arrived last night about dusk & the good report of yr health was confirmed by a very stylish document which "Nicol" had the kindness to write me regarding his interview with you in Swampy Lake. He assures me he never saw yu look so well, & altho' the dwelling at St Mary's is under the Fall, still in spite of fogs & such consequences the climate being unquestionably healthy he is confident yu will not loose what yu have already gained on the voyage & that you will be very comfortable. We are all as usual. Dugd 1 bellows Papa glibly enough now, & when I ask him in [the] night when he is roaring, "Where's Papa", he pauses & looks expectantly as if he thought yu were there. We have had a tremendous tooth cutting for 3 weeks past. He has now 7 -- & the last of the milk teeth is on its way. You may believe that he has got them pretty easily when I say we have not seen the Dr since you left us -- Tash & Mary Jane are also going on satisfactorily -- We have positively had only one hot day since the Govr 2 went away & the rain has been unusually abundant. Every day we have many heavy showers -- I had hoped that the ship wd have been here before I wrote -- This day 11 years we landed. It is a large portion of our life.Before Mr Ballenden left York he gave Willie a hint & some thing more that Mrs Wills had not flattered any of us here in her communications to Mrs Colville, & mentioned one thing wch has finished the little deviless in my opinion. She abused the cooking. Mrs C. said she found it better than any where else in the country. Oh said the Doctress, it is I assure you perfectly changed since yu came, every thing is very different -- I vowed that across her threshold I should never step, & she has become dignified since she got a house of her own, & has only returned my visits, so that we meet on the platform where I flatter myself I combine graciousness & majesty in my demeanor. Ballenden wound up his harangue by calling her a malevolent lying bad woman -- The Dr made an ample apology to Mr Clare for his conduct to him wch the latter-- 258 --received with Cockney politeness & assured him he was satisfied -- The first day Clare read prayers immediately after he had begun the Dr & his wife passed the window with a great noise. On coming out we saw them on the launch posting up & down -- Clare remarked to the inmates of the guard room that he wd not have dared to exhibit had Mr Hargve been here. He has never come to prayers since yu left --When I waken at day break it makes me miserable to think that in all probability you are either in yr canoe or preparing to start. I have resolved that on the morng of the 28th I shall feel easy in the conviction that yu are fairly housed. Baby was 11 months old on Friday. I intend if there is a cow on board ship to wean him on the 25th of this month. If there is none I must at whatever inconvenience continue till I get home. He can stand now with a hold of the sofa or chair & looks well -- I wish we were all under your wing again. I shall not enter into my fears & troubles now, but shall not spare you when I get part of my performances in the travelling way over.Willie has been busy with that weariful indent & much disturbed by the bad weather. Every thing has been in readiness for Captn Herd & his incumbrances for several days past. Anderson packed my things. If the hair trunk gets to you before we meet I warn you to unpack the upper half very gingerly as he wrapt some brittle ware in my Fox tail boa wch yu will perceive near the surface. I do not know any thing likely to interest you. Mr Christie sent me 6 musk ox tongues & 2 moose do wch Wm has had packed up in case they may prove a fairlie to any one -- Poor MacKay was very ill while here & his boats were kept waiting at the Pt of Marsh for 2 days, till he was able to set off. He has promised to send me 40 Ermine skins that his wife has, stray ones she had collected over a period of 15 years. I gave him abundance of tea & sugar in consideration of his polite intentions -- No body ever had such a bad pen as mine as it slips about miserably -- I fear yu wd not get yr black inexpressibles repaired during yr very short stay at Norway He & the poor Gombroon did not seem adapted for hard work. At all events I trust in God that you are now well & free from trouble either of body or mind. I presume Sir George is now fairly off -- Mrs Colville shocked me by the information that he has of late had two very severe apoplectic seizures & that-- 259 --being aware that he may die at any moment he had set his family affairs in order before he left Lachine for Moose. I shall add a a little more to this before I enclose it, but thought it best to have it ready in case of accidents. Believe me ever dearest Hargrave yrs mo affecy