April 27, 1917
As I had promised Daphne, the wildflowers had started to come out. She and Annie went for a walk this morning and they came across a patch of purple and painted trilliums. Daphne had picked herself a bouquet consisting of about dozen Trilliums. I tried not show my horror, as the point of the Park was to protect these flowers, not pick them. Most people, Daphne among them, don’t realize that the Park was established to protect species and give them another chance to survive. Instead, most see the Park as an extension of their backyard and a playground for them to do as they wish. I can’t begin to count the number of campsites left behind with all of the trees hacked down and garbage strewn about. Opened tin cans and rotting fish. When the fish bite, instead of taking what they need for a meal, they fish and fish, stringing up, for a photograph, dozens of fish, which they immediately throw aside once the photograph is taken. I’ve seen it done with ducks, geese and beaver too. Killed for a photograph then thrown aside. I’m afraid that Daphne had the same attitude about her trilliums.
Then there was the issue of finding a proper receptacle to give the condemned flowers some justice. Nothing could be found except a Mason jar. So I whipped out my paints and painted a nice pattern of snow and pussy willows. Although it wasn’t dry, we set the jar in the middle of the dining room table and put in the Trilliums. It made a fine sight, and Daphne was quite pleased at her contribution to the indoor of the Lodge (which is not much to look at).
Daphne’s husband, Robin, was in much better spirits too. The cold fresh air seemed to be doing him some good, and his disposition had improved to the point that he dressed in his uniform before appearing for the day. Why he did not wear his civilian clothes, I don’t know, but I suspect the uniform gave him back some manner of manhood that he’s felt he’s lost because of the consumption. In the evening, just before dinner, he was attempting an officer’s ramrod-straight pose. It looked like aChaplin routine and I smiled.
“Lt. Crombie! Attention!” I grabbed one of my boards and with my pencil I quickly sketched his profile. His uniform seemed bigger than him as he struggled to fill it. It only took me a two or three minutes to sketch him. I gave it to him, expecting a smile. Everyone likes a cartoon of himself. Lismer and I made cartoons of each other and of our friends, always for a great laugh. Well, Lt. Crombie did not like it. One glance and he scowled disapproval. I was put back and without a thought of deliberation, I grabbed sketch back, scribbled over the caricature and was about to toss it into the fireplace when Daphne intervened.
“Tom, don’t do that! I’ll take it” Daphne took it from me.
“Do with it what you like, I’ve done enough for the day.” I gathered my things and went to my room. Enough of trying to please people today.