Well, I am going to bed early, to prepare for a very long tramp to-morrow. I will tell you all about it next time I write,
From Miss Helen Jelliffe to Miss Jane Van Zandt
Darling Aunt Jennie:
As the boys keep on exclaiming in Stalky & Co., I gloat!
I have now utterly and forever become one of those bold females, as your cousin Theresa calls them, who so far forget the refinement of their sex as to indulge in horrid masculine pursuits, and go afield clad in perfectly shocking garb, looking like viragos, to emulate men in barbarous sports. After this open and glorious confession I hasten to tell you that I have actually killed a caribou, and a most splendid one. I suppose that some day my much flattered photograph may appear in an illustrated Sunday supplement, under some such heading as “Our Society Dianas.” I have spent two most wonderful days and shall never forget them if I grow to be twice as old and plain as Miss Theresa.
We started in the early morning. Of course I was awake before Susie knocked at my door, and only waiting for her to help me lace those high boots of mine. She is the only woman I ever knew who can make knots that will not come undone until you want them to. I suppose that it is an inherited trait from her ancestry of fishermen and sailors.
We rowed across the cove to the place where we land when we go salmon-fishing. I was distressed when I saw the size of the packs the men were carrying, for it looked as if they had prepared for an excursion beyond the Arctic Circle, and of course it was chiefly on my account. Susie clamored to be allowed a bundle also but neither Sammy nor Frenchy would hear of it.
“Ye’ll be havin’ ter help th’ lady when we’s on the mash,” Captain Sammy told her.
I discovered later that the mash is really a marsh, or swamp, or rather a whole lot of them. Sammy opened the procession, followed by Yves. Then I came, aided and abetted by Susie, and the doctor closed the imposing line, also bearing a big pack. Whenever the nature of the ground permitted Susie would walk beside me and impart her views. She trudged on sturdily, her feet enclosed in a vast pair of skin boots borrowed from some male relative. The evident disproportion in the sizes did not trouble her in the least.
“I got four pair o’ stockins,” she informed me, “an’ me feet feels good an’ aisy.”
A little later she imparted to me some of her views on the sport we were pursuing.
“Huntin’ is man’s work,” she said, “but I doesn’t say as a woman can’t do it if she’s a mind ter, like anythin’ else. One time I shot me brother’s gun at a swile, and it liked ter have knocked me jaw awry. I had a lump on it fer a week an’ I let mother think I had the toothache. Anyways I scared the swile real bad, an’ meself worse. That time I were cookin’ aboard a schooner on the Labrador, as belonged ter me cousin Hyatt, him as is just a bit humpy-backed. He got one o’ them dories wid a glass bottom, an’ they say his back crooked a kneelin’ down ter see the cod, afore settin’ the traps.”