April 2, 1917
I had meant to write you when I was back in Toronto but my time was taken up finishing my paintings and getting ready to go North. This is my very first letter from up North and I hope this makes it up for you.
I’ve been up here for over a week now and I’m still getting settled in with the Frasers. As of a few days ago, we’re six guests at the lodge. There was only two when I arrived but three more came in a couple of days ago. They came from Ottawa on doctor’s orders. The Highland Inn’s not taking consumptives so Shannon’s making good business by saying his lodge was a former hospital and ready for the ill. Mowat Lodge is for the sickly and the poor artists. I told Shannon that he should add that line to his Mowat P.O. letterhead.
As for my plans, I’ll be staying at the P.O. until the ice goes out and camping afterwards. Judging by the ice, that will be until early May. I’m also thinking about applying for a Guide’s license, so that means I’ll be staying close to the lodge when business comes up. Shannon’s got a good fleet of boats now, and he’ll be ready to hire them out. I’ll be the guide for the parties.
A few days ago I did a good sketch just in front of your cottage. You’ve got a good view from there. I’d say it’s a better view than what you have in the summertime. I checked around the place and it doesn’t look like any animals got in, so you shouldn’t have any nasty surprises when you open up the cottage.
I doubt I’ll make it to Huntsville this spring. But I am hoping you’ll be able to make it up in early May. You should try to make it as early as possible in the month to get some good time in before the bugs get really bad.
Please give my regards to your parents and to your sister. Tell them I enjoyed my visit last Thanksgiving and your family’s hospitality was appreciated. My regrets I can’t make it for Easter, but you’ll be here soon enough and I think you’ll be pleased at the amount of painting I’ve done. It’s hard work each day, but when I see the sketches altogether it’s pretty rewarding.
I’ll post this letter myself at the train station tomorrow. Mowat P.O. has curious and sometime unreliable postmasters.