Letter to Angus McKay from C.P. Miller:
Letter reading "Hudson's Bay Co'y La Pierre's House McKenzie River Dist. N.W.T. 30th May 1888 - My dear Angus, Your letter of the 15th Decr '87 came to hand on the 1st of May '88 and although the steamer will not be at Peel River for over a month yet, still as I shall soon be crossing the mountains to that place and be pretty busy while there, I must try and answer your very welcome letter now. I am rather down in the mouth just now, owing to having starvation as a very close neighbor, the dogs have had no prey in nearly a week and my servants are living on what they can pick up in the Indian camps, as for myself I have always so far managed to get three meals a day. The reason of this failure of provisions is that the spring has been very backward and owing to the ice still being stuck in the river, the Indians are as yet unable to reach here with their skin boats, however I expect it will only be for a few days or so that we shall be short, as I understand the Indians have plenty of meat, but it is playing the deuce with a lot of five young pups I have, I am sorry to say. I am at present trying to kill time by learning "Pitmans" system of shorthand, and I have no doubt I shall succeed if I only keep at it. The novels you kindly mentioned sending have not yet received, but they will no doubt come with the steamer, as Mr Camsell wrote me that the packet was too heavy to be able to carry any parcels. You say this must be a queer country, with the sun never setting for six weeks, and you are right it is a very queer country and only fit for its aboriginal inhabitants, and not for people of white blood, but you make a mistake, the sun is seen for six weeks in the spring and almost vice versa in the winter. So you are seriously thinking of getting married. Well done you, and you are quite right to do so to, if you can manage to get hold of a respectable sort of creature. I tell you what Mr. If I could manage to get hold of a decent looking girl, with a little education, I would get married tomorrow, if I had to marry myself which is very likely, as the nearest clergyman is 80 miles across the mountains at Peel River, but as for taking a Loocheaux squaw, bah! I would just as soon marry a whore. These Indians beat everything. They have no more shame or pride (pride of the right sort) than a prostitute who begs a shilling at midnight from you on the street, under the threat of covering you with foul language. We have had a very severe winter indeed. I crossed to Peel River with the packet with dogs, and the morning I left that place to return here, the thermo was 62 below zero, we were two nights wind bound at the foot of the mountains, and there we were stuck, in an open camp with the wind covering us with drift snow and driving the smoke in our faces, add to this that provisions now out owing to our detention, and you have an idea of what freighting in winter is sometimes like in this country. Good by and when you go (if you have not already gone) a wooing way you meet with full success, is the sincere wish of Yours Sincerely, C.P. Miller"
385 Corr - CP Miller
Univesity Library, University of Saskatchewan
1 physical item; 25.5 x 20.5 cm, folded in half
La Pierre House
Watermark reads: "Alex Pirie & Sons Stony Wood"