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Emma Crosby Letters

[Letter, Emma Crosby to Eliza Douse, August 15, 1874] Crosby, Emma, 1849-1926 Aug 15, 1874

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 P.S. Just received your & my father's from Castleton.<br><br>    Fort Simpson, B.C.<br>  Aug. 15th 1874<br>    My dear Mother,<br>   Again I have an opportunity of sending you a letter.  You have heard pretty frequently from us so far, have you not, more often I might almost venture to say than the daughters nearer by have written you in the same time.  We were not expecting the "Otter" for another week but yesterday she was observed a long way out on her course northward - and will likely be back and call at the Fort by day after tomorrow (Monday).  This hurries us as we had not begun writing.  In the winter, of course, we shall not have communication so often - not oftener than once in two, or it may be, three months.  It may seem dreary then.  I don't know, but now the time passes so quickly, I never feel lonely.  There is plenty to do and to think of.  The school takes up most of the morning, in the afternoon I am alone, but that is my time for sewing & reading and writing &c. and sometimes Mrs. Morrison comes in to see me then.  Two evenings in the week we have meetings and every Wednesday night a few come in to sing.  I find the melodeon very useful on these occasions.  Some of the people - the old ones especially - wish very much to have it in the church for fear they should die without hearing it.  I feel so glad sometimes that I can play at all for these people.  It pleases them however poor as it may be.  Then there is a great deal of visiting the sick and so on.  I wish very often that I knew more about sickness than I do.  The people look to us for advice of course.  Thomas has had a good deal of experience but there are cases where we really scarcely know what to do.  Our pictures are a wonder & delight especially the stereoscope.  The other day I sat by a chief from the American side, one who had been a terror to all about him - had killed two American soldiers at one time.  He was in our sitting room and I was showing him the stereoscope with which he was very much pleased, and he smiled most benignly upon me.  His wife one day took three young girls, cut their throats and left them to die on the beach.  Of course he is harmless & well-disposed now.  A good many strangers like this come to trade and most of them pay us a visit.  We had a very pleasant picnic a few days ago, a few miles away.  We went by canoe, of course.  Mrs. Morrison got it up.  We have had beautiful weather for three weeks, but I suppose it will not last much longer.  Two or three days it was quite warm, that is for Fort S.  Only once was I out without a sha[w]l round me and then I had a pretty warm dress on.  There is no extreme cold either, so we shall not suffer either way.   We get on very well as far as living is concerned.  Venison is our stand by.  We got some beef from the Otter the last time she was here.  Groceries are very high and as we can get them in Victoria at wholesale prices it is cheaper even to send there & pay the freight than to buy here - that is for some things - so we sent for white sugar which is not to be had here, tea, biscuits & some other things.  A lounge came also by the last steamer so we have furniture enough. Indeed a good many things have to be stored away - we have no room for them.  It seems probable now that our house will be put up this fall - the one we are in is required.  My good husband has as many things to think of & attend to now as might do for three men.  A quantity of lumber has to be got out & prepared here for the buildings & the Indians have to be directed & urged on at very step.  What had to come from the saw mill, a schooner has been chartered to bring from Victoria.   Thomas wants very much to write to you - he says there are a great many things he wants to say to you - but really if you know how he has to attend all these buildings, & visit the sick & bear on his mind & heart the affairs of the whole village you would wonder how he ever did it.  Whatever accident or sickness or family or other trouble may occur he has to put right.  But we are happy as can be.  Don't feel anxious about us, we are well, and quite content.  I have a young woman to help me in the house.  She is clean & tidy & does her best, only she has a great deal to learn.  The boy is going to Victoria.  I trust you and my father are well and comfortable.  I think of you so often, and often we talk of you all.  Love to Auntie & Sallie.  I have a lot of shells & moss if I could only send them.  Thomas sends love to you both.  My best love to my father, and believe me dear Mother   Ever your affectionate daughter    Emma

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