|Title:||Agnes Shakespeare (Nesta), Alberta, to "My darling Mother"|
|Collection||Irish Emigration Database|
|Source||D3590/M/4/1-16: Deposited by Godfrey Higginson Skrine Esq.|
|Archive||The Public Record Office, Northern Ireland|
|Log||Document added by LT, 21:09:99.|
My darling Mother.
This is the letter from Nurse Tyers which I promised
to send you. You will remember that I have seen her
since then in Calgary. It's safer to write on the back
of this, as I can't weigh letters, you know. I want to
tell you that when Walter went into the Stock-Meeting in
High River, he heard there was a P.O. for ÷10 for me, but
as they hadn't so much one in the Office, they couldn't
hand it up till they had sent to Calgary! Quite like old
times, wasn't it? Might be Cushendun and Mary O'Hara.
That woman made a deep and lasting impression on Walter's
mind. However, now you know that it has come safely, for
I presume this is the money you were to send from [Naas?]
and Walter will get it next time he goes in. I have not
heard again from Eckersley, so the marble cannot have
arrived yet. I never expected this long delay; but I am
told the freight-trains from the States are often very
late in spring, and this year there have been awful
floods. We have the most beautiful weather still. I am
wearing cotton frocks, and the country wants rain. The
little birds singing all round the house are a great
pleasure at this time of year. The fly-catchers are the
nicest, I think. The prairie-larks have a very short song,
which they repeat over and over. The buffalo-birds chirp
and call just like starlings. All the hills are so green
and soft with grass. They have not been the least burnt
yet with the summer sun. And the cattle get fatter, and
the little calves are coming now awfully fast, so Walter
is in very good cheer. His summer job of watering the
"posy garden" has begun. I do all my work now with the
trowel and the watering pot May sent me. I don't know
how I ever got on without that trowel before. Billy
comes and borrows the watering pot for his very special
boxes of cabbage and cauliflower seedlings which are
still on the hot-bed. I must tell you Billy requested
Walter to allow him to "run the kitchen garden," that
he might have some out-of-doors work in the summer.
We were very glad. Now this boy has never minded a
garden before, but he is naturally intelligent. Only
you have to give him a first hand in anything he
undertakes. So he first of all transformed the whole
kitchen-garden, (of course it's only a quarter of an
acre) so that he might have fresh soil, and fenced it
in with a close leash fence to keep the hens out.
Then he sowed it all in very high ridges with deep
furrows between, and then, grand climax, he started a
perfectly new system of irrigation. There is a
particular little irrigation ditch, for watering the
kitchen garden; and he arranged it so as to run the
water down these furrows and leave it standing, with
funny little gates that he put down between the ridges.
So far it seems to answer splendidly; and I do hope that
the vegetables will be a success this summer. It's
impossible to start them very early because of the
frosts. We have only had one night of slight frost
this month. The morning after I thought that Billy
looked rather low in his mind. It turned out that
"the frost had knocked a row of beans on him."
Luckily there remain some other rows, planted later.
There is a kind of wild spinach, the wort weed here.
They call it lamb's quarter. We have it now with our
beer - treated as greens. It tastes rather good. I
do so wish that kitchen garden may do this year.
No mail for me yet. I know something has happened to
it, as I have had no letter now for 3 weeks; so I am not
fussing so thinking anything has happened. And Mr.
Waldy will enquire for me again at the [symbol - ranch
bar-U]: as I think he will be leaving us tomorrow, and
coming back again. Best love from us both. I do hope
you got to Lisloughrey, and had a good time there. What
do you think? We have had a house - cleaning!!
Your loving daughter