Kamloops, B.C. 6 Oct 1885 4-pg Marcus Smith Letter to his wife
Lot 69 in our auction 11th February 2023
Kamloops B.C Oct 6th 1885
My dear Nannie
Sir Charles Tupper Schreiber & party came by the Northern Pacific Ry to Victoria thence on their way home by the Canadian Pacific they arrived here on Saturday afternoon (3rd inst) two days before I expected them They left in half an hour and I accompanied them as far as the end of the track, about 100 miles – where they took horses and waggons to carry them over about 40 miles – the gap – to the end of the track from the east – our train waited there two hours when the Governor General and his party arrived on horseback (over the said gap) from the east – the two parties crossing each other on the way. – I returned with the train and Governor’s party part of the way here when they took a steamboat on the Lakes and arrived here next morning – I came all the way by train – I was introduced to the Governor and some of his suite – he is a very pleasant man to talk to – more than one would expect from his quiet reserved manner. – he said he enjoyed (roughing) the journey very much. I gave him a map and a good deal of information with which he seemed pleased and said he hoped soon to see me in Ottawa – Sir Charles Tupper was very cordial but there was not much chance to talk within the train on business surrounded as he was by so many people –
besides I thought it best not to say anything as it is supposed he came over with Schreiber and others to whitewash Onderdonk and look after his own share of the spoils They have made a mess of the work since I left by trying to “scamp” it –
so great masses of the slopes of cuttings – which I had ordered to be taken off were not done and came down last winter covering the track and costing probably $60,000 to clear away. Besides I don’t think Peterson would recommend his Company to take over the line as it is now – So that altogether Onderdonk & Co are in much trouble and should begin to find out that honesty is often the best policy. Schreiber was far too civil and never alluded to my letter protesting against the way Onderdonk was scamping the work
I recently had in charge – The truth is they are about to perpetrate a big fraud on the Govt and are afraid of me – so that if I get anything from them it will be from fear – But I shall go direct to Sir John for anything I want.
I thought I might get home by the end of this month – but the tracks won’t be joined before some time in November and there is a lot of work to do yet so that Schreiber does not know what to do about it. However if the Company go on to finish the work they will not be able to work longer than Dec. So I expect to be home for certain at Christmas most probably before – Tom went down last week to work for Cambie near New Westminster so that he will not be home before Xmas On my return here I found your letter of Sept 22nd – enclosing a nice letter from Clarice for which you will thank her from me.
Transcribed as written