SAGA Document Collection

[Letter, Emily Carr to Ruth Humphrey, 1938-01-31] Carr, Emily, 1871-1945 Jan 31, 1938

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 316 Beckley St   Jan 31, 1938 Dear Ruth Hello. No Letter from you for a spell. I hope it is because you are having one grand time bless you. For us we are in the act of being snowed in. Moist & pretty. It is bed day & starve for me. I have just finished "Dear Theo" Van Gogh's letter to his brother. Such a slow book to read very enjoyable at beginning & end. in the middle I got rather mad it was nothing but a whine to Theo for money, money, after he went mad money did not seem of so much importance, of course the money he wanted to get so terrifically for his pictures he wanted for his paint materials & to pay Theo back but one got so sick of the whine of it the work parts were delightful. It does not give you his end. In ���My Father Paul Gauguin��� it is given differently. Oh these biographies, one feels they are made up for effect mostly by the writers of them -- good sellers -- that's what counts with those who do them. Van G. was a desperately hard worker-- no wonder he went mad ��� selfish on one side, not on all sides of him, poor chap. Well, did you see old Ethel? & have you been sitting on top of banana trees riding on tigers, steeping across brooks from the back of one rhinoceros to another & feeding baboons from your hand? Lots of fun.   To date Jack Grant has not called Margaret came to sup on Wednesday been "fluing" & not too uppish in the stomach yet. She has not written that letter to the "Ryerson Press man yet" truly things move slowly the wheels of literary efforts are heavily clogged -- when Ruthie  returns she will find M.E. to neck burred in msses. Put a match to them my love and send me up in smoke. Wouldn't there be a smell of burnt fat -- most unpleasant -- Talk about burnt -- Our old house caught fire. Wonder if I told you. -- a month back, & there has been fuss over the insurance & what do you think? The old fool who bought it went to A[lice] full of mystery, had a theory that our last tenants had been running a 'still' in the attic of the old house (there was an obsolete water tank up there). Well, the idea of my sister Lizzie, who was teetotal from birth, & Rev. Owen running a still nearly cracked us. The old fool's theory was that these people were trying to burn the house down for fear it would be found out (the still). Well the insurance company tried to make it ���arson��� or is it ���larceny?��� (the old girl being sick of her bargain) & trying to burn it for insurance. But as the old fool had a sick daughter in house, it was not likely she set a match to her daughter & her own self. So they decided It must be A. & I who did it & or that there was several shout of joyful derision. so it was part at 'cause of fire origin unknown' & the insurance forked out. The woman owner is a blight on Alice. She got the premises for nest to a gift. Willie did run a fence so she can't climb through or over with her bundles of grunt but she toodles round the block & sits moaning on A.'s chest which is too gentle acting to bounce her off. -- It is well I live further away. My bosom would be more stony & prickly too. In first place she yelled purple because the agent *made* her insure -- nice mess she'd be in now if she had not insured. -- Half folks is swine ���   I had a beastly 2 hour attack of pain (heart) 2 days ago/. Had been particularly well for 2 weeks. Went to A.'s to supper, and was 'took' as I got out of cab coming home. It happened to be a frosty night & I put it down to the cold air. It seems to have passed off -- thanks be. I stayed in bed next day.   Am getting on with my new yarn at last. It is a lump of incidents description of life in an English San. (I was in one for 18 months) Maybe its dry maybe it's grim. maybe it's no good at all. maybe its worked round the gamut of woes & come out amusing I can't tell. I started its 2nd typing yesterday. Then after another thorough weeding & cleaning. I type it out clean (am through with Chappell.) will get Miss Burns to correct spelling & punctuation & tap it out myself. I really should be able to do that. The last that woman did were full of mistakes. Also alteration which I resented. (Miss Burns having previously corrected for me) and oh the time I did have to wait & wait & wait.   I want this new thing ���Chins Up��� to express the dead level of San. life, the 'sham cheer' on top & always the thing underneath being ignored -- and yet keep up amusement & interest. It's not easy but like usual when I get down to it I fall in up to the neck. Now unfortunately must ���wash��� (person not Chloe). Thousands of loves when exactly do you expect to be (or thereabouts expect to be) in Vic. Again. I think its 10 years since you left. As ever M.E.   Don���t change yourself for foreign parts. Miss Ruth Humphrey   52 Dorp St   Stellenbosch. C. P.   South Africa      [postmarked Victoria, BC Jan 31 1938]

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