SAGA Document Collection

[Letter, Emily Carr to Ruth Humphrey, 1938-01-14] Carr, Emily, 1871-1945 Jan 4, 1938

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 316 Beckley St., Jan 14 1938   Dear Ruth   Now with your long lovely [letter] red hot in my hand I'm going to write & write & write. You dear thing. I began as soon as New Year came to begin to count off months till your return -- I hope you'll give yourself every day and every experience & every sight you can. but gee! it will be very good to have Ruth back. To say anything -- drop it dead -- for two months and then get the answer which seems like half a life after makes one want to dance on their hat.   That heat must be fearful. I couldn't stand it but the country must be grand and big & glorious and I'd love the blacks when I lived in San Francisco. I used to sneak off to the little nigger church which scandalized my family. Did I abuse you? I'm a low toad. The post is a fraudulent contraption to which King George should be ashamed to lend his face. Letters higgledy piggledy their way from S. A. as if they walked & had no compass. Over and for all about that devil D���Soniqua. I *was* without a copy. Your old copy did eventually turn up from S. A. Blackwood s copy was returned to Miss Ruth Humphrey 316 Beckley they say last last May but I have never heard sight or sign of it. Now I have Eyres' copy so am O.K. and dear ?? thing. There never was a rough draft you remember I wrote the final of it in bed on & you never kept a copy.   I got whole bunch of your letters two weeks or so ago. One a day - the first last & the last first when they came I wept over my snippy crossness, for once you got started you have been a brick at writing.   ���Centurey Time��� got home again. I have not sent more because moving round as you are now its a bit hopeless & I think you should be free of such things on your holiday. I'll have 'M.Ses'. sky high for your return. That is if I don't quit. Nothing doing about sending the Dr Sedgwick bunch to 'Ryerson Press' they want an accompanying note from Margaret who has been ill. Hope to see her next week. Poor Margaret. Sometimes it seems as if she not physically fit to hold up that big library end. She looks so frail and is such a dear. Miss Chappel has been ill. I had made up my mind to give her the glass eye. She was so rotten over the last typing and I was just fed up. However the poor thing was sick at Xmas (flue). Edythe Himbroff promised soup & stuff I made to take it. She is quite near & had Pa���s car. However *she* fell down on the promise & Mrs C. phoned in a funk [??] phoned furiously. It got there in end after a good deal of waste wrath all round. Mrs. C. was dreadfully sorry for herself; had fought with her sister so she did not come from Van. She���ll be ringing up one of these days but I���ve lost patience with the poor thing. Am not going to have her do any more typing. The last was so unsatisfactory. I���d rather struggle with it myself & be quit of her. She is a ���moaning sponge.���   I do hope you see old Ethel Fall in Johannesburg, though I know it���s a pest looking up people���s friends when traveling. Ruth you must be getting *fat* wouldn���t I roar if you came back with a ���corporation��� like mine. No I would not I don���t want my most every such a thing. I have interested in a bath room scale and am rightly trying to reduce ��� but the dr. will not let me either starve or exercise tho he admits I be much better without the fat. I am such a dump to carry 186 lbs.   I've had a deluge of books -- good ones. Yours -- a subscription to Marionette which is so handy for Louise. got a grand book made me feel I was in Africa *with you* by Ian Sanderson. All about wild life in jungle -- "My Father Paul Gauguin", a life of Van Gogh (present from Seattle) a ���book of Surrealism��� and yesterday a load of magazines. Its hard to get time ��� I���ve been writing heavily too ��� sweating blood over a group of sketches about the sanatorium in England where I was ill for 18 months ��� going to be a dud perhaps but teases & teases me to have a shot at it. So there I am digging into my vitals and fishing out long forgotten scraps of fun and melancholy mixed & through it all trying to weave birds and more birds which were the salvation of the place. The heavy part is the people for at the time I did not want to be bothered with them. They bored me so I did not bore into their meanings. Their surface is clear as yesterday beyond a few that I *was* fond of I detested the bulk of the bunch & kept to myself as I look now they were a brave bunch, all tubercular and skimming along on the top of the deep say thing they were facing.   Only a few more weeks of beloved little Louise my heart sinks but I have come to the conclusion everything even a change of maid has a purpose & teaches you something. Alice is pretty good in eye behaviour. She has a bad cold this minute. Has more children again which always makes her happier.   I hope Jack Grant does come and will be nice to him for your sake if he does.   Why did it you pinch a baboon when you saw them. Ruth leading a baboon on a string to college ha! ha! and how grand that your are bringing a giraffe. I spose you'll have to have a collar *built* for him.   The chip monks are ducks no end of fun.    This letter looks puny compared to yours but my writing is smaller & my words not so fully spelt  and you have the whole of Africa to put in yours & me 5 tiny rooms only.   How the world any one can plan an itinerary with days & all always overstrips my highest imaginings. I've got to have the places under my feet before the next leap.   Be good dear thing -- fatten on -- and store experiences. Do write those childhood home days some time. You'll find it such fun.   As always, M.C. Miss Ruth Humphrey   52 Dorp St   Stellenbosch. C. P.   Africa      [postmarked Victoria, BC Jan 15 1938]


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