Brickbats and BOUQUETS

July 1 1933

Brickbats and BOUQUETS

July 1 1933

Brickbats and BOUQUETS

He Knew Norbert Welsh

I have been rather surprised that, in relating his experiences to Mrs. Weekes, Norbert Welsh omitted any reference to Sitting Bull, who, after the Custer massacre in 1876, fled north with a number of his warriors, locating at Wood Mountain, and in 1881 came with a number of his band to Fort Qu’Appelle in order to lay his claim for a reservation in Canada before the Marquis of Lorne, Governor-General, who arrived at the fort in August. Mr. Welsh told me that he and other residents, unhitching the horses from the marquis’s carriage on his arrival, drew it into the courtyard, where a number of Indians from the File Hills performed the curious buffalo dance in his honor, arrayed in complete head skins of those animals.

In later years I frequently saw Mr. Welsh and. realizing the importance of preserving a reliable record of early conditions in the West, had partly agreed to spend a few days with him at Le Bret and write up his experiences. I could not find time to do this.

When I last saw him in 1922 he was stone blind but his recollection of past events was very clear and distinct ; and I am indeed glad that Mrs. Weekes has been able to make this contribution to the early history of life on the great buffalo plains.—W. T. Thompson, D.T.S., Cranberry Portage, Man.

Those Buffalo Steers

Trailbreaker takes up the cudgels for Norbert Welsh in the matter of “buffalo steers.” Trailbreaker is not the only one living who, as he says, saw' buffalo in thousands and hunted them for food and covering. The w’riter saw in 72-3-4 and 5, thousands upon thousands of them living, and thousands of them killed; lived and hunted with the Metis Plain Hunters and their friends the Plain Indians, and never did I ever hear the ghost of a whisper from one of them that they had ever known or heard of such a phenomenon. He says they were not common. He is absolutely right, they were not. but are a figment of a very fertile imagination. He puts forward the ingenious theory that the animal when small suffered from the attack of wolves. Bunk! Wolves, when once they got their fangs into a buffalo calf never stopped to consider the law of “sterilization of the unfit” we read so much about, nowadays, not on your life.—John A. Kerr, Perth, Ontario.

Hunted Buffalo With Norbert Welsh

I was very much interested in “The Waning Herds” as I knew Norbert Welsh very well indeed. I bought my first buffalo runner, a half-bred blooded horse from him. and hunted buffalo with him along the South Saskatchewan in the fall and winter of 1881.

Some of the critics should remember that he had probably very little idea of the area of an acre; and as he was eighty-six years old when he told his story to Mrs. Weekes, his memory was no doubt failing.

In those early days I spent some years on the plains, and met with many of the experiences of which he spoke.—C. A. E. Shaw, Keremeos, B.C.

There’ll Be More

Just a word to let you know how thoroughly I enjoyed the story “False Colors,” by Captain Dingle. Having read his many Í stories in the Saturday Evening Post, and I two of his books, I consider him the best j writer of marine stories. I hope that you j will be fortunate in securing other stories, or articles, from the same writer.—Thos. H. ! Curry’, Halifax, N.S.

A Fine Picture of Calgary

I cannot allow Mrs. McCordack’s protest about the Calgary article to pass without a protest. I, too, have been a reader of Maclean’s for more years than I remember, and have admired it for its real Canadianism and its advancement of Canadian writers, especially those who give us Canadian history, humor and reminiscences. We need more of these than we have ever had.

I would put Mrs. Price’s article on Calgary in the same class as Mary Weekes’ “The Waning Herds.” It is a fine picture of Calgary, written in a fine breezy style, redolent of our beloved West. I am always admiring women or men who have the ability to give us these word pictures which are so entertaining and instructive and of our own land.

I regret that Alberta has lost two of such writers in Mrs. Price and Mrs. McClung. I hope Maclean’s will give us more of such literature.—Western Woman from Alberta.

Approves Calgary Article

Having made my home in Saint John, N.B., for about twenty years, I cannot understand why Maclean’s should call them Reversing Falls, instead of the Reversible Falls.

On the other hand, we cannot agree with the brickbatter who says the article on Calgary is all wet. It is Calgary down to the ground and every time we think of it we smile, for we are having a slight oil boom here now and your author got the spirit right to a T.—F. Brown, Calgary.


The Story of Calgary

We wish to thank you so much for publishing the story of the early days of the City of Calgary, written by Mrs. Price. It took us back in memory to the open doors and “honest to goodness” hospitality of the people. We trust to hear again in the near future from the author.—Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hinniburgh, Vancouver.

That Ingrowing Fence

Picket fences are usually erected more for ornament than for use, but the one shown on your front cover of June 1, must be a utility fence only, or else must be admired from inside rather than from the street in the usual manner. No other reason can I see for placing the pickets on the fence from inside rather than outside.

Maclean’s Magazine is gradually being introduced into our community, which is largely Scandinavian, and the chief reason for congratulation is that each new subscriber intends, after a few months’ reading, to keep the magazine permanently in the home. The articles are the strongest attraction, particularly those dealing with economic and political questions.—-I. Hallman, Dahlton, Sask.

True to Life

I would like to congratulate Macleans and also the author. Robert Welles Ritchie, on the new serial "Czar’s Gold.” I was in Vladivostok during 1918-19, the time of the setting of this story, and can vouch that the incidents and descriptions of characters and political intrigue are absolutely true to life. I know that many of my late comrades of the Canadian Expeditionary Force to Siberia will, like myself, once more in fancy be walking the streets of Vladivostok, smelling that indescribable Oriental odor, hearing the many rumors about the Czar and his family not being murdered, or his jewels, etc., being shipped to Allied care at Vladivostok. A medical relief train we sent to Omsk was actually credited with

bringing back the Czar's gold, and I was shown the building it was reported to be deposited in. I have seen the refugee scene, at the Trans-Siberian Railway Station exactly as described in the first installment of the story’. Poor homeless outcasts, herded like sheep, sleeping anywhere, and here and there a decidedly cultured family aloof from the rest but unmistakably suffering from hunger and privations. I could tell much more about the Bolsheviki régime, Kolchak’s White Army, Semenov’s Army, but I feel sure any actual facts I could tell now, are going to be gradually revealed as the story’ progresses. I can almost imagine some of my Siberian friends looking at me through the lines of the story, so true to life are the characters. Once more, congratulations on such a story centred around actual facts.—A. J. B., Ex-Sergeant. C. A. M. C., Siberia.

Claims Tides of Fundy Are Well Known

Being from Noel, N.S., I read with much interest the article, “Tides O’ Fundy.” I would like to ask the writer why he chose to write on such a big subject with such a small store of facts. Many times a thousand people have heard of Noel and its tides. In Alberta alone there are that many who have been there, and many thousands who have heard about it, and this is across the continent.

As to Noel itself, each of the surrounding districts could boast of 100 population, while Noel itself would be termed a town in this province. Why does he call it “forsaken." with its master farmers, flourishing creameries, active lumber business, apple orchards, etc.? Also every house, built in the stirring shipbuilding days, is occupied. Isolated? With its regular service by railway and water? When it fills up every summer with tourists?

I would suggest that the writer of the article should try “walking across." He will find out how contrary to fact his article really is, and at the same time prove to himself that the inhabitants are quite intelligent enough to understand the “cause and effects” and know a “little more than the mere readers of his article.” Notwithstanding the unfortunate article under criticism, I am a great admirer of Maclean s Magazine, and hope that some time I’ll read another article on the “Tides o’ Fundy.” —R. McL. O’B., Ft. Saskatchewan, Alta.

One of the Necessities

May I express my satisfaction with your magazine. The fiction is clean and readable, the special articles in almost every case well written and instructive, and the other features up to a very high standard.

Like all farmers, I am feeling the pinch of hard times and have been forced to curtail expenses. I have dropped several magazines this last year or two. but must always be able to rake together sufficient coin to keep Maclean’s coming. -C. S. D., Ayers Cliff, P.Q.

Clear and to the Point

I wish to congratulate you on the publication of Hon. Mr. Drury’s article on the economic situation. In my opinion he is the first man who has w’ritten anything on the subject which really shows the basic cause of our troubles. He shows a real grasp of the situation and his reasoning is clear and to the point.—K. D. Johnson, Lethbridge.

It Was Really an Optical Illusion

My sympathy goes out to that poor chap on the front cover of your May 15 issue. It’s bad enough to be bunkered: but when

one is armed w ith a wrong-handed club-!

Well, we’ll leave it to some of the oldtimers to supply the appropriate language. A right-handed player with a left-handed niblick—it just isn’t done, old bean !

But these little slips will creep in. And Drury’s “Depression” story, with its promise of more to come, is worth the price of admission. I like Maclean's.—D. R. D., Owen Sound, Ont.

Prison Reform Needs a Push

Your varied stories and articles make the reading of Maclean's an adventure which we always enjoy, but I must comment on your “Beating Back” by Ex-Convict. Surely such publicity through your valuable magazine will help better the conditions of those unfortunates, of whom we cannot hope to make better citizens unless they are dealt with as human beings with intellects, not as animals. So many of us in comfortable homes forget the plight of the other fellow. and it is such articles as this that make us realize that “Prison Reform” in Canada needs a push. More of such articles will certainly help.—Louise Deane, Calgary.

A Vivid Article

My interest in “Beating Back" w’as aroused by the writer’s vivid description of his experiences. I have read the article tw’ice, also talked to my friends about it, and they have bought copies. I do want to congratulate the author upon the excellent manner in which it is w’ritten.

I should also like to commend you for publishing it. I feel it conveys in an intelligent and restrained manner facts regarding the penal system in Canada which should be widely known.

Will you please convey to the author this slight appreciation and sincere good wishes for his successful re-establishment in civil life.—G. W. Jones, Ottawa.

“Beating Back”

I just w’ant to tell you how pleased I was to see the article “Beating Back” in your recent issue. I don’t know w’hether you were trying to do a piece of human kindness or to get something vital for your magazine when you arranged for the story, but you have certainly accomplished both. I hope that organizations as well as individuals will do some “studying on it.”— E. C., Toronto.

A Vote for “Cup Racer"

Some of the brickbats have driven me to such a state of exasperation that I simply must write on behalf of the author of “Cup Racer.” More strength to the writer of this truly magnificent story. In all the years I have taken Maclean's you have never published a better one. To be sure. Madeleine may have been a rather weak creature, but w’hat would you have her? Pick up your Old Testament and analyze some of its characters, and I think you will find that none of the characters in "Cup Racer” were half as bad as some who lived in the ancient Bible days.

“Cup Racer” is the most human story I ever read. Not one demoralizing feature about it. The writer certainly has the ability to create atmosphere, and some day j he will be a leader in the literary world. May we have another such story soon?— Sourdough Jack, Castlegar, B.C.

Reciprocity Treaty of 1911

Regarding the letter from H. K. W., Stanstead, Quebec, who seems a little hurt at Grattan O’Leary, the Reciprocity Treaty of 1911 had a clause providing for its abrogation on six months’ notice being given by either party, which I would judge was as near being “at will” as is approached in treaties.

Anyway, it was that clause which induced me to change my allegiance as a red hot “Grit" to an equally firm Conservative. It too clearly put the reins into the hands of thé Government of the more populous country, as against the smaller population.

-Colin J. Stather. Toronto.

The Best Magazine Published

I have been a reader of Maclean’s since 1912, and think it is the best magazine published in this or any other country. My business takes me all over Canada and Newfoundland, and I buy it at the newsstand rather than wait until I get home. It is Canadian. It is British. It is clean.— Robt. White, Toronto.