An American Idyll eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 188 pages of information about An American Idyll.

We made a permanent camp for one week seventy-five miles up the river, in a spot so deserted that we had to cut the road through to reach it.  There we laundered our change of overalls and odds and ends, using the largest cooking utensil for boiling what was boiled, and all the food tasted of Ivory soap for two days; but we did not mind even that.  And then, after three weeks, back to skirts and collars and civilization, and a continued honeymoon from Medford, Oregon, to Seattle, Washington, doing all the country banks en route.  In Portland we had to be separated for one whole day—­it seemed nothing short of harrowing.

Then came Seattle and house-hunting.  We had a hundred dollars a month to live on, and every apartment we looked at rented for from sixty dollars up.  Finally, in despair, we took two wee rooms, a wee-er kitchen, and bath, for forty dollars.  It was just before the panic in 1907, and rents were exorbitant.  And from having seventy-five dollars spending money a month before I was married, I jumped to keeping two of us on sixty dollars, which was what was left after the rent was paid.  I am not rationalizing when I say I am glad that we did not have a cent more.  It was a real sporting event to make both ends meet!  And we did it, and saved a dollar or so, just to show we could.  Any and every thing we commandeered to help maintain our solvency.  Seattle was quite given to food fairs in those days, and we kept a weather eye out for such.  We would eat no lunch, make for the Food Show about three, nibble at samples all afternoon, and come home well-fed about eight, having bought enough necessities here and there to keep our consciences from hurting.

Much of the time Carl had to be on the road selling bonds, and we almost grieved our hearts out over that.  In fact, we got desperate, and when Carl was offered an assistant cashiership in a bank in Ellensburg, Washington, we were just about to accept it, when the panic came, and it was all for retrenchment in banks.  Then we planned farming, planned it with determination.  It was too awful, those good-byes.  Each got worse and harder than the last.  We had divine days in between, to be sure, when we’d prowl out into the woods around the city, with a picnic lunch, or bummel along the waterfront, ending at a counter we knew, which produced, or the man behind it produced, delectable and cheap clubhouse sandwiches.

The bond business, and business conditions generally in the Northwest, got worse and worse.  In March, after six months of Seattle, we were called back to the San Francisco office.  Business results were better, Carl’s salary was raised considerably, but there were still separations.


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An American Idyll from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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