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came they would head for the middle of the deepest slough. Jim would stand on the bank and tell those animals just what he thought of them. If oxen could be insulted they should have died of shame. The whole process was highly entertaining for the rest of us, but it always wound up by Jim pulling off his shoes and stockings and wading after them.

The Girl Back Home

I had noticed that as soon as one of our members got things kind of shipshape he invariably made a trip back east on some pre­ text or other and when he returned he was no longer alone. So it was not to be wondered at if some of the boys caught me whittling out chairs and tables, etc., in my spare time, that were obviously superfluous in a bachelor's abode. In '89 I gave the shack a final polish, pulled the door to on its leathern hinges, and hied me south to Hallock, Minn., where the girl I used to know back East, Miss Evaline Latimer, was visiting a sister. We were married and returned to the homestead that fall. Never will I forget that return. When all that a man has accumulated is of the labor of his hands, he has a pride of possession which bought stuff can never give. It was, perhaps, with pardonable pride and with some little flourish that I threw open the door of the shanty. Alas! some stray stock had broken in and trampled everything into oblivion. We have had many a good laugh over it since, but at the time, I must confess, I failed to see the funny side of it.

This country will always owe a debt of gratitude which it can never repay to those women who braved the hardships and lone­ liness of the early days, and it is due to them more than anything else that we have the splendid, virile West we are so proud of today. Raising a family far from a doctor, keeping things going while husband is out on a month's threshing season, and seeing children clothed and fed following a crop failure, are things not to be under­ taken lightly. My wife and I have seen many ups and downs since those days; frost, hail, fire and drought, but looking back over it we can find no cause for regret. Before retiring to Boissevain, in 1918, we were farming 1,760 acres, with the help of four of my five sons.

Old settlers are often asked how they stood the hardships of the early days. In the first place we did not consider them hardships. Contentment is more a state of mind than anything else, and dis­ content usually arises from comparing one's lot with someone else's. We were all poor, hence all healthy, happy and sociable. We had much of interest, such as myriads of wild fowl and small game to hunt, famous old barn raisings, berry picking expeditions and picnics. In winter we would drive miles to country dances behind a team of oxen. When the oldtime fiddlers sawed off the music for a regular oldfashioned hoe down, I believe they gave more real enjoy­ ment than any modern jazz band does when it supplies the racket for the "walk with variations" that we see today. I could get more