Only a Boarder

This is the second article in September of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on September 12, 1909, and is an article bringing to light the experiences of women in boarding houses.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

Only a Boarder

I DROVE her to the station this morning, thus ending a visit beginning with “a week-end.” That is the twentieth century form of invitation to those we delight to honor in our country houses. We used to say, “Come out and spend a Sunday with us.”

I asked Miss Matilda Faden for a week end, then, and when Saturday’s mail brought me a message to the effect that the friends I had expected on the following Wednesday were detained by a case of scarlet fever in the family, I asked Miss Matilda to protract her visit.

She is a spinster of 48 or thereabouts, and I have known her 28 out of the two score and eight years. She was a prettyish girl when I first met her, the darling and only child of well-to-do parents, and engaged to be married to a naval officer. He died in South America the next year of ship fever and Matilda (we had not fallen into the way of saying “Miss” then) lived at home with her father and mother for five years longer.

Then Mr. Faden died after a lingering illness, and it was found that his property was much less than had been generally supposed. The widow and daughter sold the homestead and went into a boarding house. The old lady left the daughter alone 10 years later.

Dubious Comfort.

“And I have been boarding, first in one house, then in another,” said the patient soul to me yesterday, as we sat out the Sunday sunset and twilight on the lakeward veranda. “I shall be only a boarder to the end of the chapter. I cannot afford to keep house, you know. If I could, there is nobody to help me to make a Home.”

She dwelt with a sort of pensive fondness upon the monosyllable.

“You’ll maybe think me foolishly sentimental, when I tell you that I have been homesick for over 20 years.”

“You had your mother after the old home was broken up,” I ventured to remind her.

“Yes; but we were strangers and sojourners, less lonely of heart because we were together, but homeless all the same. The best hotel can never be a home. And we were not able to live in hotels, or even in an expensive boarding house. They may be a trifle more comfortable than those in which I have stayed (I can’t say ‘lived!’). I fancy that the trail of the boarding house is over them all.”

“Do you mean”—in genuine bewilderment I pushed the question further—“that you have not material comforts? Would you mind telling me in what the hardships of the boarder consist?”

Miss Matilda is a good talker and no grumbler. I have never heard her complain of her lot until now, and compassion was mingled with curiosity.

“Haven’t you a comfortable room? Don’t you get enough to eat? Are the people who keep the house unkind to you?” I continued.

She pulled up her light shawl closer about her neck. I had not felt that the evening was growing chill, but she appeared conscious of it. Hers is a comely presence. Her abundant hair is silver gray, her black silk gown and old laces become her well. And she is a gentlewoman ingrain. If there be aught degrading in the monotony of boarding house life, it has never touched her.

“My room is as comfortable in winter as one small register that is ‘well-regulated’ by the landlady can make it. The furnace is ‘banked up’ at 10 o’clock every night, and there is no heat to speak of next morning until half-past 8. When the wind is on that side of the house I am chilled to the bone by the time I am dressed. I heat water over a spirit lamp. I proposed an oil stove once to Mrs. Sharpe. She said it would affect her insurance and could not be allowed. I make a surreptitious cup of tea over my lamp now and then. I used to boil an egg for breakfast. When she found the shell in the waste basket she reminded me that no first-class landlady allows cooking in the rooms. ‘It increases the risks of fire and makes no end of dirt for the chambermaid to clean up.’ She raised the same objection to my reading lamp. I take all the care of it myself, but I offered to give it up if she would let me have an argand burner or a good drop light. You see, the gas is very poor in our part of the town at the best—or so she says when we complain of the low light in the dining room and parlors. I needed no explanation of the dimness in my room after I unscrewed the burner one day and pulled out a wad of raw cotton from the pipe. I had a clean, strong light for two nights. Then she must have found the wad in the waste basket, or maybe the maid reported the increased radiance. For when I came in one evening from a walk and lighted the gas it was as low as ever and the burner was fastened on so tight that I could not move it.

“My eyes are not as strong as they would be if I had not had to write and sew and read by boarding-house gas for so many years, and I did make a stand upon my reading lamp. I use it under protest, and the warning that I would be responsible for any fire that might occur from spill or explosion is drummed periodically into my years.

“Do I get enough to eat? Yes, and no! On Sunday morning we have fruit for breakfast. For the rest of the week there is oatmeal or cornmeal porridge, usually lukewarm. Boarding-house cream is, always and everywhere, skim milk. That goes without saying. If I fancy that ours is thinner and bluer than the average article, it may be that I have not seen that served in cheaper houses. On three days of the week we have salt fish for breakfast. One of these is Sunday, when codfish is worked into balls that are hard, fibrous and briny. On the other three days we have thick slices of bacon, or tough steak and chops. All the tough cuts of the market are sold to boarding houses. You surely know this? The coffee is weak and muddy; the tea is stewed! I could breakfast cheerily upon a saucer of cracked wheat and real cream, a fresh boiled egg, a slice of crisp toast, and a cup of clear, hot coffee. I would not ask for variety in this menu, except perhaps to have fresh berries or a pear or melon—when these are cheapest—substituted for the cereal, and a thin slice of bacon for the egg.

“Now that I mentioned eggs, let me remind you how often you have wondered who buys the second quality. I heard you laughing yesterday over the classification of eggs you overheard a grocer repeat to a customer.”

I laughed now. “Yes, they were ‘Guaranteed eggs, 35 cents a dozen; strictly fresh eggs, 32 cents; fresh eggs, 28 cents; eggs, 25 cents.’ I would not have believed it if I had not heard it.”

“He might have added, ‘Cracked eggs, 15 for a quarter.’ I have seen that advertisement in grocers’ windows. Well, the boarding-house keeper never rises about ‘eggs’! They take no qualifying adverb or adjective before or after them. She buys them by the half-bushel basket. That is why we never have them boiled plain. You must have heard the reply of the colored waiter to an inquiry as to the freshness of the eggs served in his restaurant: ‘Well, suh, I won’t deceive you; but while they is fine for ormerlet and scramble, I can’t consciously recommend them neither for plain boiled nor yet for poached’! Our boarding-house mistress may not say it, but she acts upon his system of grading.

“All these drawbacks to comfortable living the woman (or man) who is a Chronic Boarder knows from experience that she or he must expect and bear with what philosophy may be mustered for the occasion. You may ask why I do not change my quarters? The experience of nearly 30 years has told me that the chances are dead against the possibility that I would improve my condition by the attempt. The stamp of the second and third rate boarding-house is unmistakable. All buy inferior cuts of meat, superannuated fowls, plain EGGS, tub butter, wilted lettuce and cabbage, stale fruits and vegetables and chicory coffee.

“Don’t be hypercritical or overnice! These things must be got off the hands of butcher, greengrocer and huckster. You wouldn’t have them starve? If I were altruistic, I would not grumble because to me is assigned an humble part in the system of domestic and business economics.

The Star Boarder.

“All the same”—dropping the bantering tone suddenly, the pale face flushing under the rush of emotion—“it cuts one to the heart to think how many thousands of women and hundreds of men in the big cities and suburban towns are as homesick as I am!

“Maybe you imagine that landladies (it isn’t often a landlord! They fly at bigger game!)—maybe you believe that they feed their families upon the same fare that we pay for? Not a bit of it! There are choice tidbits for them and for their invited guests—and often for the ‘star board.’ He—it is oftener a ‘he’ than a ‘she’—is pampered privily upon food the hostess reckons inconvenient for those who pay fair prices regularly and get half their money’s worth.

“Did you read that anecdote in the papers the other day of a man who inquired of the aster of a house from the door of which a hearse and a couple of carriages had just rolled away—‘Who is dead?’

“‘Only a boarder!’ was the careless rejoiner.

“That’s what will be said when my turn comes!”

I repeat that my old friend is no pessimist or grumbler. I believe that her experience is that of many, many more than can be imagined by us who dwell in our own sheltered homes, with the privilege of selecting our own food and shaping our environment.

When I was a mere girl I was shocked and saddened by hearing an old spinster say that she had been “homesick for 40 years!” The plaint recurred to me with force in hearkening to the tale of the Chronic Boarder.

There must be another side to this matter. Admitting that what I listened to last evening is true in every particular, the Landlady should have her say.

In conclusion, I throw the subject open for free debate. I shall publish the Landlady’s story as cheerfully as I have written down that of the Boarder. Who will send it in?

Marion Harland

Family Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange

Today in the Dauphin Herald – September 11, 1919

G.W.V.A. Notes

Members of the above association are requested to note that a general meeting is called for Sept. 11th at 8 p.m. All members are asked to make an effort to be present as business of importance will be placed before the comrades.
Arrangements have been made with Wallace Graham for a series of concerts to be put on at the town hall, under the auspices of this association.
The dates are as follows:
The Castle Square Entertainers, Sept. 19th.
The Victorian Serenaders, Oct. 14th.
The Canadian Juveniles, Nov. 3rd.
The Varsity Sixtette, Dec 5th.
The Dixie Jubilee Singers, Dec. 15th.
The Rob Wilson Co., Jan 1st.
All of the above are first ate shows and have been to Dauphin on several occasions and are well known to the majority of the residents here. A start is made on Sept. 19th with the Castle Square Entertainers; it is proposed to have a short dance after the show for which the Castle Square orchestra has been retained. The idea of having these entertainments is to further the possibility of having quarters owned by this association and the support of the public is looked for and counted on in the usual manner that it has always been given.
The dance held on the 8th inst., by the Ladies’ Auxiliary as a success and the ladies are to be congratulated on their venture, which, like the above concert, is to help along the main plan of this association.

Roie Waters Drowned

A sad event occurred last week when Roie Waters, a returned man, was drowned through the upsetting of his canoe on Sarah lake, 10 miles south of Durban. The young man left his home on Friday morning Aug. 28th, and noting was seen of him until his body was recovered by his brother and Constable Tacuik, of Dauphin, last Saturday. From all appearances it would seem that the canoe was overturned on the discharge of his gun and being hampered with heavy clothing he was unable to extricate himself from the dangerous condition.
Deceased was well and favorably known in the Swan River Valley, and also leaves many friends in the Dauphin and Ste. Rose districts to mourn him untimely end.

Fork River

Pte. W. Pruden, lately from overseas, is visiting his brother, O. Pruden.
The station here had a little fixing done last week in the way of a signal and a lamp. It looks as if we were to have an operator. None to soon to suit the public.
G. Scriven, lay reader, who has been in charge of the Anglican mission this summer, will preach his farewell sermon in All Saints church at three in the afternoon, Sunday, Sept. 14th.
The Returned Soldiers’ Committee will meet in W. King’s office at 8 o’clock Saturday evening, Sept. 13th. All members are requested to attend as there is business of importance to transact.
Two elevators are now in running order.
The rain at the end of the week held up threshing for a few days.
Fred King caught a large rat in a trap on his farm. This is the first rat seen in this part of the country.
Some small minded persons, for the want of better employment, on Saturday night last decorated one of the church doors with rotten eggs. Such happenings are a disgrace to a community and the culprit should be apprehended and dealt with. This is not the first occasion such rowdyism has happened.


Mossey River Municipality, Sept. 6.
Harvesting grain is practically over around here. Possibly a few have not quite finished stacking yet. Some have already threshed, mostly from the stook; the stacks can wait until later if necessary. This has been a nice week for threshing. Pokotylo’s machine seems to be the only one working just around here. John is quite an enterprising fellow and is deservedly popular. The prevailing price for threshing here seems to be 8 cents a bushel for oats and 12 cents a bushel for wheat. Although the farmers around here had more land under cultivation this year than last the average yield is not so good. The rust did considerable damage, especially to the wheat. There seems to be a pretty good yield of vegetables this year, though in some instances not quite so good as last year.
The Fork River Agricultural fair, which was advertised for Aug. 15th, but postponed on account of heavy rain that day, is now advertised to come off on Friday, Sept. 26th, in conjunction with the Boys’ and Girls’ club fair. An interesting feature of the fair will be a baby show. Two prizes are offered—1st prized $10; 2nd prize $5. There ought to be a lot of entries here, I wonder if Frank and the wife will show the big boy who arrived last week. It is to be hoped the weather man will be in good humor and favor us this time.

Today in the Dauphin Herald – September 4, 1919

Barn Burned

Early Sunday morning last the barn on Chas. N. McDonald’s farm at Gartmere was discovered on fire. When the alarm was given the fire had made too great headway to be got under control and the structure was soon reduced to ashes. Fortunately there was no live stock in the barn at the time of the fire, but harness and other articles that were in the building were burned.

The barn was erected last summer at a cost of about $6,000 and there is $2,5000 insurance on the building and $1,000 on the contents.

The origin of the fire is a mystery.

House Burned

Norman Beyette’s dwelling at Listowel was burned early Monday last during a gale. The contents were also destroyed. Mrs. Beyette and little daughter had a narrow escape, being in bed at the time and made their escape through the flames.

The Frivolous Type of Bachelor Girl

This is the final article in August of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on August 29, 1909, and is an article on how young women will regret their summer fancies when they realize how shameful they are acting.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

The Frivolous Type of Bachelor Girl

IN yielding to the request that I should write down the title of this week’s Familiar Talk just as it stand above, I yet enter a protest against the term “Bachelor Girl.” The phrase has leaped into general use since a college course has become almost an essential part of the scholastic career of the young girl of the period who assumes to be really “educated.”

Lexicons define “bachelor” thus:

In modern use, a person who has taken the first degree (baccalaureate) in the liberal arts and sciences, or in divinity, law or medicine.

Slipping the finger further down the page we come to:

Bachelor—4th def. A woman wo has not been married.

In illustration of this fourth definition we have a quotation from Ben Jonson:

He would keep you (a woman)

A Bachelor still, by keeping of your portion.

No. 4 then, justifies us in widening the scope of our title. In treating of the bachelor girl we will not confine ourselves to the college graduate, albeit I believe the (to me) objectionable phrase was originally framed to apple to her alone.

Why do I dislike the term? Because it smacks of a certain “smartness”—a swing and dash—that accords but ill with my ideal American girl of high (that is, refined) degree—a Daisy miller with a flat cap atop of her sunny curls and an academic gown draped coquettishly about her lithe figure.

This, I contend, is not our normal girl of the better class. We meet scores of the type I have in mind at watering places, seaside hotels and on ocean steamers.

“Personally Conducted.”

I crossed with one of them last summer on the homeward voyage from Cherbourg. I knew her by name and what were her antecedents. She comes of excellent lineage; she was well educated in private schools, although she is not a college graduate, and has the name at home of being a decorous gentlewoman.

Without making myself known to her, or that I was cognizant of her social station and environment, I watched her and give other girls as well born and reared as herself. They were “personally conducted” by a staid sinister who earns her living by taking parties of girls abroad. She was an indifferent sailor. The sextet of “buds,” as I heard them call themselves repeatedly, were without exception “jolly tars.” That was another of their sayings.

Chance Acquaintances.

While the nominal chaperon lay back in her deck-chair and dozed or lazed with closed eyes the bachelor girls promenaded the deck with youths, not one of whom they had ever seen prior to the voyage; ran potato and egg races in the “events” that diversified the monotony of steamer life; played shuffleboard and bet upon games, and contrived in these and countless other ways to keep the eyes of the whole ship’s company fixed upon them and the wits of several hundreds of men and women on the qui vive, wondering what “those girls would do next.”

I am no prude, and I dearly love to see young people merry and vivacious. A bright young girl, with her life before her, in full flush of springtime, rejoicing in health, hope and happiness, is one of the loveliest things in God’s creation. It is not a hundred years since I, too, was in love with the wonderful new life bestowed upon me, and eager to extract all the sweetness “from every opening flower.” I have brought up girls of my own, and joyed in their pleasures, sympathized in their perplexities, and delighted to life their burdens when the privilege was vouchsafed to me. When I cease to feel with and for them may my right hand forget its cunning!

But—it jarred had upon what the “buds” would have derided as antiquated notions of propriety to hear from the men of the party that the sextet, having gone to their staterooms and presumably to their berths under the convoy of the duenna at 10 o’clock, shortly thereafter reappeared upon deck, radiant with the triumph of outwitting their guardian, and forthwith proceeded to light cigarettes and, with then between their cheery lips, to resume the interrupted promenade of the deck in company with their newly-made acquaintances.

It was more than a jar—it was a hard shock to see the bachelor girl lie back in her deck chair next day, yawning between her laughs, that she “was sleepy after last night’s carouse” (they had supped with their escorts at midnight) and that she was “bent upon catching forty winks.”

Kids and Lambs.

Motioning to a lively college boy whose name she had never head three days ago to take the chair adjoining hers, she raised her parasol to screen them from the sun, and the two remained in the semi-seclusion without moving or speaking for half an hour.

“Fast” and “immodest,” do you say? I have been assured since, by those who know her well that she is neither, by a girl of clean heart and life, and, when the summer pranks are over, as well-mannered as your daughter or mine, my dear Madame Critic.

I have been the pained witness of like prankishness in summer hotels.

Our B.G. would tell you, in summer, that she is “out in a bat.” She varies the expression, but not the deed, by saying that she is “in for a lark,” or maybe “a bender.” All winter long she was a bondslave to Conventionality. Young blood must bubble, and if it riot sometimes under the influence of holiday freedom and fresh air, who can blame her? It is as natural for the summer girl to defy rules and to flirt with any convenient man as for colts and lambs to gambol when given the run of the pasture.

Again I say, I grudge her no recreation and frolic that come well within the bounds of propriety. I am willing to acknowledge her kinship with the kids and lambs so far as animal gayety goes. Scamper and gambol are innocent within certain limits.

A gentle, white-haired matron who had been a belle in her day, and who has brought up a family of young people of whom any parent might be proud, voiced my sentiments when she murmured in my ear, as the strings of deck-walkers frowned or grinned in passing the tableau of what I overheard a foreigner sneer at as “a new edition of Paul and Virginia,” to wit, the couple secluded by the parasol.

“Poor child! If she could only know how grievously ashamed she will be to recollect it some day!”

I would have her from the “grievous” reminiscence if I could. The most interesting blend of “bat” and “lark” and “bender” is too dear a price to pay for the loss of self-respect that is bound to follow the frolic which transcends the limits of maidenly modesty.

If that reads like the alliterative cant of a hypercritical dowager, sketch the deck scenes, including the stolen strolls and cigarettes and the midnight supper, to your own mother when the summer madness for fun at any price has passed from your brain and let her pronounce judgment upon it. Ask her what she would have thought and said had she stumbled upon the daughter of her next-door neighbor, as I happened upon you last month, when you believed yourself and your partner in the last waltz to be quiet out of sight of all except yourselves, in the corner of the hotel veranda, and you lighted his cigar, giving it a pull or two with you own lips before putting it to his. He kissed the tip of the weed, as in duty bound, and proceeded to suck complacently upon it.

You “had forgotten the silly scene?” You will recollect it, and not with a laugh, when you would lift unpolluted lips to the true man who reverences you too sincerely to let you forget what is due to your womanhood.

Don’t I know that it was “in the merest fun” that you let that Harvard boy clip a stray lock from your head the day you were climbing the rocks in the Maine woods, and your hair got caught in the underbrush?

He promised to wear it next his heart for the rest of his life, and that it should be buried with him in the same place. He probably had robbed eight or ten other heads with the like promise. You never saw him until this summer, and you do not expect ever to meet him again. “Summer flirtations don’t count.”

Nor does it “count” with you that you have lowered the lad’s ideals of womanhood, and coarsened his thoughts of what “nice” girls will do and permit. Familiarity of speech and license of touch are sure breeders of contempt, be the season what it may.

The eldest of the Bulwer writers said something that cut itself into my memory when I was a merry rattle of 18. It has served me many a gracious turn since then:

There is no anguish like that of an error of which we are ashamed.
Truer words were never penned.

Would that I could bind them like an amulet upon the mind and conscience of our Summer Girl!

Marion Harland

Brevities for the Housekeeper
Concerning Peppers
Family Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange
Possibilities of the Breadbox

Today in the Dauphin Herald – August 28, 1919

G.W.V.A. Notes

(Contributed by J.M. Chalmers, secretary.)
Members of the above association are asked to note that the regular meeting called for 28th inst. Has been cancelled. This is owing to the fact that threshing operations make it pretty nearly impossible for the majority of the comrades to attend. In fact, at this time of the year it is hard for any to attend. The next meeting will be held on the 11th of September and all the members are asked to make an effort to be present as business of importance will be placed before the comrades.
The rooms are proving their use these days. During the month of July some 250 comrades slept in them and this number will be exceeded during the present month. We have within the past two weeks had a large number of comrades from the east looking for work in the harvest fields and on threshing gangs and the fact that these men are able to put up in these rooms until they have been placed has been a boon to mauy, and the manner in which they have expressed their appreciation speaks well for Dauphin.
We are informed that Comrade G.F. King has been notified that he is to be presented with the Military Medal, earned whilst he was in France by the Prince of Wales during his visit to Winnipeg. This will mean another parade for George, but he will doubtless endure same in consideration of the fact that by doing so he is giving a boost to the Vets of Dauphin, to say nothing of the town in general.

Verdict in Favor of Mr. Grenon

In the suit of the Armstrong Trading Co. Ltd., against T.P. Grenon for possession of the property known as the Commercial hotel, Winnipegosis, has resulted in favor of defendant. Mr. Grenon’s counter-claim for rent was allowed. Bowman, McFadden & Caldwell represented Mr. Grenon and a Winnipeg firm the A.T. Co.


The ladies of the Woman’s institute entertained the children of the town at a picnic at the beach on Wednesday Aug. 20th. Races and games were the order of the day, for which prizes were given and a beautiful lunch and parcel of candy to each child. After having a good time they were taken home in cars by the Misses Grenon, Dr. Medd and Mr. Bradley.

The Amateur Nurse

This is the fourth article in August of the School for Housewives 1909 series published on August 22, 1909, and is an article containing pitfalls of the at home nurse. A professional nurse knows how to get things done, but they don’t have the tenderness of family or friend.

Transcribed from the Sunday edition of the The Buffalo Sunday Morning News.

The Amateur Nurse

THE trained nurse is an 19th century product; at least, in the United States. And, despite the beneficent change she has wrought in the sickroom, we cannot disguise from ourselves the truth that there still lingers in the minds of some sane and broad-minded people a certain prejudice against her and her methods. So strong is the disfavor with some that the nurse is occasionally obliged to lay aside her uniform and feign to be a neighbor who has “just stepped in to lend a land with the nursing.” It is maintained, and not without reason, that the very sight of the cap and apron is a danger signal to a nervous patient. She must be very ill, or a trained nurse would not be engaged.

She is an expensive luxury, urge other protestants, to say nothing f the tyranny some of the guild exercises over the whole household that is so unfortunate as to need her services. I could fill this and 20 more pages with authentic anecdotes in support of this objection to the sisterhood and not exhaust the stock at command of memory.

These and what may be cataloged as “sentimental reasons” incline many families to dispense with the salaried ministrations of the trained nurse and to depend in illness upon relative, friend or neighbor, who nurses for the love of the calling or for the patient and those to whom the sufferer is dear.

A Critical Patient.

Since I began this paper, what I reckon as a happy coincidence brought to my study a young kinsman recently recovered from a somewhat serious attack of illness. Knowing that he had been nursed by a favorite maid of his mother, who had begged for the privilege by virtue of her long residence in the family and natural aptitude for nursing, combined with experience, I catechized him upon the subject in hand.

I have had trained nurses in several previous illnesses,” he testifies. “Two were methodical and perfunctorily attentive. I recognized myself as a part of the machinery of which they were the motive power. They were quietly despotic, taking absolute obedience on my part as a matter of course. If I were cross, it mattered nothing to them personally. After representing professionally that excitement would raise my temperature and retard recovery, they disregarded ebullitions of tempter and lowness of mind. It was like being in a refrigerator. No. 3 of the becapped and beaproned sisterhood was tart to activity if I ventured to demur to any of her measures. She dragooned my poor mother and scolded the servants and raised a tempest in a teapot generally in the well-ordered household. I got well as fast as possible to get rid of her.

Methods of Her Own.

“Recollections of her reign were my chief reasons for seconding Mary’s petition to be allowed to take care of me in this last attack. She is a watchful and tender nurse, and it sounds horribly ungrateful to criticise her methods—bless her old soul! But you want the truth, you say.

“In the first place, she set the room in order for a siege by arranging the medicine bottles and boxes, etc., upon a table not far from the bed, and in full sight. The table was spread with a clean napkin, renewed daily, and the bottles and boxes were in straight lines, the biggest in the middle and graded down to each end. I used to lie and stare at them and wonder which was which and wish they had not a sort of fascination that forced me to look at them. My professional nurses kept all the paraphernalia of medicines, plasters and the like of out my sight, and, I think, out of the room. Mary poured out each dose at my bedside, counting the drops audibly. I never knew how much I had to take or anything else about the stuff until the trained nurse had spoon or glass at my elbow. It was administered silently, the glass of water hat was to take out the taste was held to my lips and the thing was over. May ‘wondered if ‘twasn’t about time to take that next dose,’ or that ‘bothering alcohol bath,’ or ‘wasn’t I hungry and couldn’t I think of something I should like to eat?’ or ‘was the room to light?’ or didn’t ‘I think that I could sleep if she read the evening paper to me?’ There was a story of a murder that might interest me. Or, ‘Wouldn’t I like to have her read the report of the big football game??’

“I couldn’t hurt her feelings by saying that she reads badly and that I should certainly jump out of the window if she tried to ‘render’ the sporting page. So I pretended to be sleepy, and she darkened the room until I could just make out the outline of the awful array of bottles and boxes on the stand (she never threw one away) and I could hear her ‘sh-sh-sh-ing’ the family out in the hall for the next hour, and croaking under her breath that ‘poor dear Philip has dropped off to sleep and musn’t be disturbed upon no account whatsumever.’

“She asked the doctor in my hearing one day ‘if he didn’t think that sleeping so much was a bad symptom?’ and I burst out laughing in her face. That was another difference between her and the trained nurse. She either retailed the account of symptoms, temperature and other features of the case audibly to him in my presence, or, what was worse, she took him to the far side of the room and imparted them in a sepulchral whisper that made my blood run cold. The trained nurse passed over her chart silently and out of my sight, and, while the doctor read it, busied herself quietly and naturally about my bed that I might not notice what he was doing.

“I used to wish I could beg Mary not to lean upon the footrail of my bed while she talked to me or watched me eat and drink. She always took her stand there and crossed her arms upon the rail, her eyes fixed solicitously upon me, and chattered in an undertone, as in a death chamber, after she had made my bed or given my medicine or bought in my meals.

“Don’t forget to speak of these meals. She cooked every mouthful I ate with her own hands. She is a capital cook, and her entreaties that the doctor would allow ‘the poor young gentleman nourishing and tasty food, were heartrending. I detest that word ‘tasty’ as violently as you do, and she was positively addicted to it. When she had wrung from the worried practitioner permission to broil an oyster or roast a squab or toss up an omlet or stew a sweetbread or some other ‘tasty’ treat for me, she made hot haste to get it ready, and would let nobody else bring it to me. For luncheon the first day I was permitted to touch meat after the fever went off she brought a big tray and placed it right beside me, cooing over me as a robin who brings a particularly fat slug to her nest.

“The sweetbread was the piece de resistance, but in case ‘the poor dear young gentleman might not relish it,’ she flanked it by a poached egg—‘poached in cream, dear, to make it real tasty’ a plate of creamed toast, one of thin graham bread and butter and one of dry toast, for my choice. Then there was a cup of tea and a crisp stalk of celery, ‘just to chew and put a taste into your mouth.’

“I had had the grip, you know, and may you know, too, that it is accompanied by dumb nausea, indescribably distressing. I did my best to eat a bit of the sweetbread, and tried not to see that loathly poached egg! It almost broke her heart, I am sure, but she thanked me for saying it was ‘nice’ and hoped my appetite ‘would come up soon.’

Kith and Kin.

“She asked me 40 times in one day, ‘How are you feeling by now?’ and 27 times, ‘What would you like to have me do for you, Mr. Philip, dear?’ I counted them all. Somehow, I couldn’t help doing it. The nervous fret brought up my temperature and she assured the doctor that I had been kept perfectly quiet all day and had not been allowed to speak a word.

“I feel like a cad in telling you all this, auntie, although you say it may be pro bono public. My own blessed mother could not have nursed me more tenderly. I suppose it is not to be expected of human nature that a professional nurse could engraft tenderness upon skill and tact. The kindest-hearted woman alive has not tenderness enough to go around a circle of ‘cases.’ It is inevitable that the skilled services they render at so much ‘per’ must be more or less perfunctory. I wonder if it is an impossibility for the mothers to resign the care of us in sickness to hirelings, to study the methods by which they supplement the physician’s efforts in our behalf?”

I give the take as it is told to me. If I might add anything to the true narrative of the stalwart six-footer, whose present condition may be part owing to the faithful nursing of the devoted amateur, and is undoubtedly due in a large measure to subsequent toil in garden and field, in what one of my boys once pined for when ill in the city, as “a whole skyful of fresh air”—if I might, I say, supplement his graphic report, it would be to substantiate the claims of the trained nurse upon our confidence by asking mother and Mary must feel on behalf of the suffered be not one element of her success? Her perspective of the case in hand is not blurred by loving dreads and her judgment is not weakened by personal partiality for this particular Philip above a dozen other boys who have grip or measles or typhoid.

The cool common sense that withholds the surgeon from operating upon wife or child or mother indisposes the amateur of nursing ne of her own kith and kin, or one in whom her professional interest may be colored by affection.

All the same, mothers and Maries may learn much from watching the ways and means of the professional nurse.

Marion Harland

Family Meals for a Week
The Housemothers’ Exchange

Today in the Dauphin Herald – August 21, 1919

Movement to Dam Mossey River

A movement is on foot to have the Dominion Government build a dam on the Mossey River on Lake Dauphin. This year the water in the lake is at its lowest point, and navigation for even small boats is almost impossible. The hay lands are to be reclaimed the depth of water in the lake has to be greatly increased. By building a dam the water could be raised several feet which would permit of navigation and increase the productiveness of the hay lands by hundreds of thousands of tons.

Nat Little Writes About France After War

Mr. and Mrs. Nat Little, of Fork River, are touring France. Mr. Little, in the following letter, describes, in an interesting manner, has visit to the battlefields:
To fulfill my promise to you I write these few lines on my trip to date. After seeing Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales, these countries having been described so often there is no use repeating. We crossed from Folkestone to Bolonge and on to Paris, said to be the most beautiful city in the world. We made Paris our headquarters, going out to some one of the battlefields each day and returning at night on account of there being no accommodation in the country. We have been over every battlefield except Ypres. Tourists will be allowed into Belgium some time in August. All battlefields look alike—nothing but ruin and destruction. Artois and Arras, were first visited on account of the valiant part taken by our Canadian soldiers. We crossed from Arras to Lens by motor and on foot, following Vimy Ridge, and passing through Souchez, Givenchy, Carency and Mount St. Eloi, or the remains of these places. On the ridge a large monument has been erected to the fallen Canadians.

Little Black Crosses

Soldiers’ graves are everywhere, many of the little black crosses bearing no inscription and having only the hero’s helmet placed on top to show his nationality. German prisoners under French guards are busy collecting these scattered bodies and placing them in cemeteries where the shell holes and trenches have been filled it. Everywhere are piles of barbed wire and dumps of empty shell cases round the gun positions. There are camps here and there, pacing sentries, heavy motor lorries carrying rusty guns and Nissen huts. On top of the slope are lying several belts of German machine gun ammunition and a vast stack of cartridges, undoubtedly a well chosen nest for some Hun sniper.

“Booby Traps” Numerous

Dugouts are intact, but the tourist is advised not to touch anything, for not all the “booby-traps” have been discovered, and there are still “duds” and grenades lying about. The whole area is dotted with shell holes and trenches, and the very ridges seem to have been blown away. But where are the places themselves? If you did not read the tragic epitaphs written on some of them you would pass without notice the grave of what was only a few years ago a happy cluster of houses and blooming gardens nesting around a church.
Some cities had 30,000 inhabitants and more; nothing now remains of them. Is there any possible future for these towns and their fellow-sufferers? They say it would cost $1,250,000 to clear out the ruins of each town. Let it be added that there are in these ruins 100,000 unexploded shells, and that according to recent statistics one out of ten is sure to burst in the hands of the workers! A thousand accidents have already occurred in the past few months. After the terrible loss of human life in France is it wise to risk new ones for such a doubtful result? Would it not be better to build a new city close by and leave the ruins as a terrible avenging witness of the war German willed and waged.
German prisoners—fat, sturdy and rosy-face are standing in line and hand to each other quietly and methodically bricks from the rubbish heaps. A Frenchman in our party, his hat at the back of his head, suddenly raised his clenched fist and said, “Ah, ces bandits de Boches!” The Germans answered this outburst with an expressionless animal stare, but I perceived just an ironical twinkle in the eye of a feldwebel (sergeant).

Threshing Commenced

Threshing operations have commenced in all parts of the district. This is the earliest on record for threshing. The grain is in good shape for the separator. The returns in some parts are larger than were expected, although it is too early yet to form anything like a correct estimate a to what the yield will be. The grade is not expected to be very high on account of the unevenness of growth.

Fork River

Mr. Gilmore, of the Canadian Northern Townsite Co., spent two days here with the intention of putting ore of the townsite property on the market. Fred Tilt has been appointed townsite agent.
Miss Ina Briggs has returned from her holidays and started duty as teacher of the Fork River school on the 18th inst.
Wheat threshing has started.
The Agricultural Society’s exhibition was postponed on account of the heavy rain on the selected day, Friday, the 15th. The show will now be held on the same date as the Boys’ and Girls’ Club fair, which date will be announced next week.
Rev. Harry P. Barrett, rector of St. Paul’s church, Dauphin, will hold holy communion and baptismal services in All Saints’ church at three in the afternoon of Sunday, August 24th. All are invited to attend the services.
Mrs. Terrin and children, of Dauphin, spent the week-end with Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Bailey, on the Mossey.