Realized $1,210
C.P.R. Engineer’s Office Kamloops 26 Dec 1884 Marcus Smith letter
Lot 81 in our auction Saturday 3rd September 2022

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               Canadian Pacific Railway

         Engineer’s Office Kamloops BC

                              Dec 26th 1884

My dear wife

                     Your letter of the 6th instant together with those of Lettie & Clarice reached me here only on Christmas eve – the mails being at present much deranged through the stages not connecting properly with the steamboats & trains – nevertheless the letters were only the more welcome as they made Christmas less lonely – I dined with Mr & Mrs H. J. Cambie with several other acquaintances and had a most excellent dinner and pleasant evening – Cambie has built a frame house on an acre lot about a mile and a half from this village and is only into it a few weeks. It is roomy and comfortable and altogether — lot included – only cost about $3000

Mrs Cambie is still nervous from the shock she got three years ago – thrown out of a buggy – and a good deal bothered with Chinese servants – cannot get a good cook under $40 a month and board

In Victoria they can now be had for $20–

The two eldest daughters are shooting up to big girls bright and active are taught by a governess in the home

We had fine weather up to the 14th inst. when it became very cold from zero to 30° below continuous for 10 days Christmas day was mild – but it is beginning to get colder again – One night it blew a hurricane from the north and our boarding house being a new frame house unfinished the cold was fearful there was ice on my beard and eyebrows in bed – My suit from Toronto arrived only three days ago – it was therefore lucky I had my dark blue best winter suit with me – It is very provoking that though I write the tailor that the suit was for country wear in winter and should be roomy and of heavy cloth the coat is the worst I ever had from him – it is so tight that the upper front button does not reach within an inch of the hole and I can only button it by great straining while the lower part is so cutaway that the lowest button does not meet the hole within 7inches and the sleeves don’t reach the wrist joint. It is in fact a coat for a dude wearing stays to walk King street and show 2 inches of the wrist band cuffs of his shirt – The coat is smaller than that I had made up for Tom three years ago, but the cloth is good and I must give it to Tom. – I should have sent it back only for the expense – It is more provoking that the last two coats made for me are almost too large so that tailor must have taken the measure of six or seven years back. However I telegraphed Mr Lynch to ask you to send my heavy overcoat when this comes I shall want nothing more for a year – except a pair of wrist cuffs – I cannot find those I had last winter in Ottawa and cannot get any here you may send me a pair by parcel post – The flannel night shirt came in well and I have two good cotton ones almost new ——-

I can hardly advise what to do about renting the house another year – it will hardly pay the landlord to spend half a year’s rent in putting in a new furnace if he is going to sell the house – Unless you can get a very respectable convenient house for $200 a year – it is not good policy to comedown in status. till we are obliged to do so – although I expect little or nothing from the Govt in any case – they cannot or will not give me any superannuation allowance – the only thing they could do if they wished would be to make me consulting engineer at a reduced salary – meantime I should like to hang on here another year – as I made a purchase of some land near Coal Harbour some months ago – which is now declared to be the terminus and next summer there will be a boom when (if I am here) could be sold at a good profit – Tom has also some – but it will be hard for me to remain – I am only placed here to do little or nothing so that Onderdonk may make a lot of money – and Schreiber and Trutch are acting as meanly as possible –

I have no assistant and they ask me to accept the bare office room and allow nothing for fuel light or attendance – now wood by the time it is cut up costs $10 a cord and fir wood at that – besides light and some one to clean up the office will cost me $20 a month during the winter months – that was the rent allowed for the office, but I am now going into a building owned by the Domn Govt for which there is no rent to pay I proposed to take the $20 a month make all repairs find fuel &.c which Trutch does not want to allow me so I shall write to the Minister. (Pope) about it —

I am glad Tom sent a present to the girls – I was afraid he was too selfish – but he has a good many hospitalities to give to officials passing up and down the line so he cannot save so much as he might do – Say nothing to Ethel about her leaving school at about one year present – I am glad Arthur is getting on so well – I shall write to him as soon as I get into my office – stove and furniture are on the way – I suppose both he and Ethel were with you at Christmas – but love to all.

                        Yours truly

                             Marcus Smith

P.S. Another mail has brought Lettie’s

photograph very good.                                        M.S

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