SAGA Document Collection

[Letter, Emily Carr to Ruth Humphrey, 1938-03-20] Carr, Emily, 1871-1945 Mar 20, 1938

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 March 20 1938   What a *grand* bouncing letter from you -- it was splendid of you to tell me all about it -- beasts, country, sky, soil color, mountains, people and all, even ���Grandpa Beau��� from Brighton. The spaciness red earth -- blue mountains sound lovely. From your letters I picture them all, but I longed to cuddle the lion cubs & comb the mane of Papa Lion. How queer they don't attack. I've heard them roar in the London Zoo -- whole souled roar, intriguing because so full.   You felt there was at least one creature that could express his *complete* feelings without any petty self-conscious mincings. Read in paper today of a lion carrying away a woman -- old beast, only two teeth (lion). He dropped her & she recovered was *only* frightened. Only scared. Can't you feel yourself in his hot mouth, wondering which spot of you would be his first mouthful? The day before he���d (lion) eaten another woman. They shot him (lion) -- and all the while here was my Ruth meandering in and out, missing their tails by an inch. Sorry there were no giraffes. There's a group of five or six in ���Field Museum��� -- even stuffed they thrilled one. Margaret was coming to supper that very night & we read your letter with great interest. Also the other one you wanted me to read to her. She had not been for ages & we had a nice evening together.   well, one month of the 2�� left for Africa had gone when I got your letter, so soon you'll be moving on. -- soon after you get this. I'll air it so it will get [there]. Yum! Yum! those figs & grapes. I'm very fond of that long green trellis in Christina's garden, I like her house too & the garden is luscious. Goodness, I hope you get decent accommodation on the long trip, it is so long to be miserable if you are miserable, and then my dear I don't like the Russian idea much, even if their leather does smell so delicious, and their little ladies' cigarettes do come in the most intriguing boxes. A girl in England had a lover name of Carr. He was so charmed she had a friend same name he sent her double boxes so she could share & once he sent me a whole box on his own tho' I never met him.   Been to A[lice]'s first Sunday for 3 weeks. Last 2 or 3 days are *much* better back to where I was retreated. We've had *frightful* [underlined eight times] weather, bitter explosive wind, hail, sleet, rain. 2 of my love birds died on me just because of wind, the others are in the kitchen, fighting in stuffy cages, because the outdoor aviary is too cold. And before this came on us we were almost in Spring.   Read Margaret 'Chins Up'.) Said she liked it, but you know things don't plop in that sort of still water, they gurgle round & round slowly till they reach bottom. Now you -- I know if you liked it didn't. M. says she has to *see* the words too, & will read it later. She could not have read my copy as it then was, but I wanted to get her reaction as a *whole* without interruption to see if it *held together*. She says Dr Pierce, ���Ryerson Press���, says he's coming   out in a few weeks & hopes to see us. So far the M.S. has not returned -- I have expected it daily.   No Jack grant did not come. Old Carin [??] (Pardon Miss Janetta Carin) gives out you are very bored with Africa ���- fed up ��� pining for home. Old fool. Margaret said it again & someone else before. Well they ought to read your letters, bursting with enthusiasm. I rather quail when I think of you back -- flat as a busted balloon, dreaming of Africa & hobnobbing ,with Lions & Hottentots, ripe figs & ostriches' tails to be had for the picking. Louise went to Papa & Mama on the farm. Other sister away, someone had to keep them. Flora Scott her successor is a nice little soul. -- slower-more refined -- but I like her suit & quail when she finds it 'lonesome'. She comes from a large family who live other end of town.   I endeavour to be companionable, but what is a 'crocked hag' when youth thirsts for youth. She has a lover, a fisherman, who hits Vancouver occasionally. At present her family are fermenting -- working up to a brother's wedding at Easter. Now I must stop. he's out & there is snow on the Sooke Hills so naturally it can't be warm till that goes. Probably finish in bed ���- starving -- Monday.   Monday it is & night coming. Have really *lazed* all day: -- naps -- this morn, a small write, just a practice in my 'odds book' A[lice]'s been in but brought no news -- mostly but not *entirely* fine -- 'a fire in bedroom -- no visitors -- reading Woollcott's reader story 'My Little Boy' not *entirely* to my liking. What an awful performance it must be raising youngsters unless you just let them go. Hill them once, like potatoes & let nature do the rest. Seems like that kind get on just as well too. All this fancy raising does not seem to have much result -- such a lot of words, & then look what they *do*? When it comes down to rock bottom, the old tried discipline did count. It counted because we honored the examples now there is so little in some of the loose homes to honour. So much selfish pleasing of oneself & so   much laziness unless the rush is for pleasure. ,No I see or hear nothing of Chapple am struggling with my own type. Going to conquer it or bust. I can *never* overcome spelling, that's a *brain disease*. Simply can't tell sound or learn, too old. The entire family Joseph, Chipmunks, dogs them me in bed. I was distressed to think your ploughing through 4 of my letters at one mail. I suppose it will be writing to London again before long. -- That sea how can you bear the anticipation? But our organisms are diverse, all arranged for the best, no doubt. Millions of love. Yours, M.E. [postmarked Mar 21, 1938, Victoria BC]   Miss Ruth Humphrey   52 Dorp St   Stellenbosch C.P.   Africa


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