Title: Letter of 4 October 1881 from William Lothian to Peter Lothian
Author: Lothian, William, d. 1930
Source: Archives of Manitoba, MG8 B3, William Lothian
Page 7 of 18


Wedensday [Wednesday] night. Dear Peter I almost thought I would
have to put my writing past for a night. Mr. Murray the
blacksmith has got a haystack 3 miles out & he is going
out to fence it tonight. He had made a kind of bee
of it & most of the boys are away to help him &
I would likely be expected to go also. But there
plenty without me & so I have stayed at home
& will therefore continue my epistle. As I said
I slept well & got up early & fed the pony. Breakfast-
ed about 7.30 & started about 8 o’clock for Brandon
22 miles distant. The morning was bright but clouds
came up all round & threatened rain though it kept
up all forenoon & when night came the clouds were again
scattered & the sun sunk in an almost cloudless sky.
I was little acquainted with the road before me as
I had walked over it before when I had to wade
slues & creeks up to the waist. Now these obstructions
were gone there being no water to pass through.
I had not gone over 5 miles when I overtook a
young man with a heavy portmanteau slung over
his shoulder. He asked me for a ride & I could
scarcely refuse him. He was on his way to Winni-
peg for employment leaving his brother behind him
on the farm. His parents were from Paisley & we had
an interesting conversation all the way. I have
questioned the Ontario people pretty closely
about things in general & they evidently have no
very great love of their prospects below. Farms
have got run out & ⅔ or so are mortgaged & after
vainly trying to redeem themselves they sell out &
come west begin life once more. There is nothing
to be envied in the Ontario farmers’ lot. If you
do see a pleasant homestead & smiling fields of
grain it has been bought with the hardest & roughest
toil which man could have. If it were possible

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