March 11th 1914
Dear Father & Mother.
It's Wednesday before I've got my letter written but [I] guess it is better late than never.
Sunday was a glorious day. We were all out to church in the morning. That is, Uncle Bert, Aunt Jean, Lottie and I. In the afternoon it was so nice that Auntie told me to go down and get the big car from the garage where it had been stored all winter. I did so and we were all out for nearly two hours. Just around town as the roads in the country are too bad yet.
Then in the evening Auntie and I went down to church again. Mr Whiting is certainly very popular. He had the church packed to the doors and lots were turned away so they say. We all like him very much. He is a real good preacher but not as good a pastor as Mr Adams. He has been up to the house a couple of times, once lately while Auntie was sick. But his place is in the pulpit. However he is a good sport.
So when I got home from church I was too tired and sleepy to do much writing.
Monday night I was down to a meeting of the officers of [the] 90th Regiment and it was quite late when I got home.
Last night I was down to a dinner given by the "Business Mens Club" at the Fort Garry Hotel. The hotel is a dandy. Best in Winnipeg by a long way. Heard an address by Sheldon, of "Sheldon Business Methods" fame. He was very good. You have probably heard of him. Tonight I have free so I came down to the office to do a little work and am writing a little too.
Both of your letters arrived in due time. Glad to get the news from home always. Father told me quite a lot. I did not mean to ask for any information regarding financial affairs of family, but as you have told me I will be mum on the subject.
Now about my policy loan for that was what I wanted it for. Some year or year and a half ago I foolishly perhaps and perhaps not, put my name down for some shares of a mortgage loan stock company. At that time my expenses were comparatively small. When I was in Room 313. Well lately they have made a call and also have called for all arrears. Had times been good I could have made the grade quite easily, but not being so good I found it was going to pinch me a bit. I went to my lawyer about it and he said I would have to pay them and when I said I had insurance, he said to get the money there. I asked him about the stock and he got busy and made enquiries. As a result he found that they were a going concern, although not listed on the local market. He also found out that they had paid shareholders 10% dividends last year and that they had returned 20% into the capital stock of company. So you see they made 20% rather 30% on money invested. That is quite easy out here as they buy agreements for sale at a great discount. Similar to the business conducted by Mr Halstead in Toronto. So on the non-arrival of the policy, and as the money had to be put up, I have made arrangements to do so out of my bank account. I can do this alright although it has left me a little tight. This, however, I do not mind as I believe the stock to be a good investment. So that is why I wanted my policy sent out but I will get along without it now.
Thanks very kindly for the offer from you both for funds but I can get along O.K. and it was not for current expenses at all.
The people are talking about going out to the farm about 24th of May. Lately I have been doing a little figuring and a lot of thinking.
In the first place I do not figure on taking any holidays this summer. The trip to and from the farm will be outing enough for me. But I do not much like the idea of making the trip in a stuffy and smoky car every day. Last year the roads were not very good and we had to go by rail most of the time. But last fall they spent a lot of money on road[s] and this year it ought to be in splendid shape. In the first place the time table does not appeal to me. In order to get home for tea I have to leave my office at ten to five to get the 5:30 car. Then if I miss that, I have to eat down town and get the 6:30 which gets me home about 7:30 P.M. If you do eat and miss that you have to wait 'till 11:30 P.M. which would mean home at 12:30 A.M. This is bad.
Secondly there is the financial end. Buying the tickets at a flat rate the best you can do is 25 cts each way. 50 cts per day. Then there is street car fare - 10 cts. And if you eat down town another 40 cts at least, which is equal to a 25 ct meal down east. The only exception is Eatons and they close at 5:30 P.M. So you see that [it] figures out at about 50 + 10 + 40 which is $1.00 a day. Well, I figure that if I had some kind of a motor or vehicle I could have an hour longer at the office, avoid a ride in [the] street car, and still be home for tea. Now I am sure I could run a motor-cycle or a runabout for a lot less than that and still be money in pocket by virtue of the fact that I would have an extra hour at the office and I could work for the people from Eatons in that time and make quite a bit. Then too there is the fresh air and outdoor exercise which I would derive. If it were not so far I would get a bicycle but 18 miles of a wheel after work and before tea would not be just the thing. Then too if I had a little hobby like that I would cut out the smoking, which I do very little of, and which is just a hobby with me. Taking it in all these lights I think by the end of the summer I would be a great deal better off physically and financially. Now having to put up my money for stock has rather knocked me out on the proposition but I believe things are going to brighten up and I may still be able to carry out my plans. What do you both think of it [?].
Uncle Bert hinted once or twice that it would be nice for me if I had something in that line as it is not always convenient or possible for me to stop work when he is ready to go even when he does drive his car. Although he has been very good and calls me up when he is ready to leave. But he likes to get away early in the summer time when they are not so busy.
I am very anxious to be with them at the farm this summer because it is a great privilege and they are both so good to me. Aunt Jean treats me like one of her own always.
I am telling you all this but I hope you won't think I am grouching at the times or anything like that because I am not and am quite happy which ever way they go. However I would not like to go ahead without letting you know about my plans.
The people at the house are improving, Auntie is quite well again. Ruth is nearly O.K. and Alfred was downstairs yesterday for first [time] in two weeks. The nurse left Sunday afternoon. I am O.K. as usual and hope you are all well. Thank Aunt Lizzie & Elizabeth for kind regards and return same.
Lots of love for both & Alfred
Your loving son