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but I don't remember exactly what we had to eat. I recall one blizzard clearly. It must have been during 1888 or 1889. Father caught a ride to town in February with a neighbour. On the return trip they were within three miles of home when they lost the trail. They managed to make their way to Mr. Brown's, where they stayed for three days. Father, who was not strong and subject to migraine headaches, worried himself sick. Meanwhile mother in desperation had considered feeding the bed to the cows. Don't laugh. You see, each fall the ticks were emptied and filled with fresh hay. So you see they would have been quite eatable. Our first stable and hen house were made of straw and sods. Some winters father just fed snow to the stock for a drink. Mother had learned to milk, but father hadn't. In time we got a pony and a buckboard and some pigs.

In the same township there were several other settlers.

George Brown homesteaded the southwest quarter. On the north­ east quarter lived Jack Brown. Bob Heaslip worked the northwest quater. Section twenty-nine was a school section, but Mr. Maxwell lived on the west half of twenty-eight, which is now occupied by Carman Kyle. Section twenty-one belonged to the North West Land Company. We used to cut wild hay on it. The east half of this section was later bought by S. Moore, I believe his sons still live on it. The west half became Mr. Reeke's. Afterwards Welch and Aitkens bought it. They sold to William Horn who in turn sold to Moore. Mr. Houck lived on the south half of section thirty­ two. His sons continued to work it. Mr. Tom Hammond lived east of us and Pringles lived on section twenty-seven. On the south quarter of twenty-seven, George Hammond farmed. West of this on section thirty, Mr. Emerson and Mr. Armstrong.

Our post office, called Alcester, was at Mr. Metcalf's. At first I think we got it at Rayfield.

Mother used to bake bread for the bachelors. She charged one dollar for baking one hundred pounds of flour. Mother learned to churn. She sold butter for fifteen cents a pound during the summer. The women used to pack butter in tubs till the winter time, when they traded it for groceries. Then it cost twenty-five cents. Because it was packed in tubs, and kept for long months, it was never very tasty.

I remember one man who owed father money, but who was unable to pay. He went to town and bought groceries on time. He gave these to father in payment. The poor grocer would have been pleased, if he had known, wouldn't he?

We had only a few acres broken on the homestead. Father worked as a mason and rented the land. He helped build the Anglican Church in Boissevain. He also worked south of town in what was known as the English settlement.

Harvesting never seemed to amount to much in those days. -128-