Victoria, B.C. 11 Sep 1873 Marcus Smith 4-sides Letter to his wife
Lot 84 in our auction Saturday 5th September 2020

Victoria B.C.

Septr 11th, 1873

My dear Nannie

I returned here about ten days ago from my first trip of the season and a rough one it was- From the head of Howe sound through the cascade chain of mountains- by Daisy and Green lakes and Scaalux river to Anderson and Seaton lakes, Lillooet, marble canon, Hat creek and Bonaparte river, over 200 miles about 80 of the first part without so much as an Indian trail- it was a desperate struggle through dense underbrush and over huge fallen rocks sometimes it would take us half an hour to make a hundred yards and often not more than eight or nine miles in a day- the weather was very warm (August) and the snow melting on the mountains brought the streams down in torrents- you would not have given much for the chance of ever seeing me again could you have seen us crossing these boiling torrents on trees fallen across or by Indian bridges- which are poles tied to the tops of overhanging- or partly fallen trees and fastened to a stump or tree on the other side of the river- I had six Indians with me to carry blankets and provisions- and one white man as Interpreter. Once we could not get over a river at all as we only had one axe with us and had to go 15 miles back to the surveying party and stay  with them till they got up and made a bridge- after undertaking the second part of about 30 miles up the Bonaparte river I went to Clinton to settle a number of accounts- and there my left eye became inflamed- so I determined to come down here for medical advice- by the time I reached here it was very painful and it is well I came down. My doctor says it is severe inflammation of the structure of the eye and for several days he was fearful I might lose the eye- but now it is much better- the inflammation is gone and I can see objects pretty clearly with the bad eye though it is still very weak- I have not been out of my room for ten days- nor read nor written a line (except sign my name to cheques) till today- this letter is the first writing I have done- I am otherwise in good health and ravenously hungry as I came home like a scarecrow but am now filling up- I get two or three letters in the country from you in the last you said you were papering your new house and Roxburgh was assisting you- you also said something about carpets of course you must make the place comfortable without extravagance- thought it is always a difficult thing to decide about carpets. When one buys to sell again- otherwise for where the highest priced are the thickest- I suppose you are into the house by this time and will soon get settled down- from Tom’s description the rooms are of a good size- but should think the house very near the water and on low ground- I hope to hear all about it in your next letter and also how Tom is getting on at his new school- I expect to leave Victoria for the country on the 19th but shall not be much- if any from the wagon road and shall be about lake Lahache so I will get your letters quick- I expect the parties to be through with their surveys about end of October and hope to be home by Xmas I intend to take it easy this year and long for home- but maybe disappointed as I see in the “Standard” a fall survey on Vancouver island is talked of so as to commence construction in the Spring- love to all the little ones and aunt Tish

PS 12th Sep. I very much better almost well MS

Yours ever,

M. Smith