Works in the Herald 1934

Fourway Farm,
2nd November, 1934.

Dear Ab,

We was glad to get the good news in your last letter, and your ma and me, after talking it over, has decided that it is a matter for fambly rejoicing.

We was glad also to know that all things considered the city is still having a pretty good if hectic time.

Well, up in these parts the farmers has took to wandering about like they had lost somethnk, and when they meet they look at one another with a kind of dum wonder as if they got idears they aint all there and aint none too shure wether the other feller is or isent.

Be that as it may, wot I want to get at is that if this here rain dont let up soon the mind of the farming cumunity genrally will start growing a blue mold on it if it aint alredy.

It seems somehow, centerys and centerys ago there was a time when farmers used to say they wanted rain. They even used to go so far as to ask the parson to pray for it.

Well, it do seem like the Almighty has been sort of catching up on back arears lately and taking the opportunity to answer a lot of ancient prayers in one hit like.

Be that as it may, we aint complaining. Far from it. I have now saw your centenery and your ma has witnessed your centeenery and, while giving you all doo praise for poles, pilons, flags, floodlights and all other festive falderals, we got to own to ourselves there aint no place like home when it is in the country.

Here I am, sitting at me back door writing this letter on the end of a fruit case, looking over the fresh green fields, monark of all I survay, farm and fitments, including first and second mortgage. And everywhere I look there is somethink worth looking at.

I got to own now, Ab, that it was a pretty shrewd move on my part to finly give in to your ma years ago and with great reluctince let her have about an aker of good arable land for what I called a non-paying flower garden.

There aint no such thing, Ab. Any garden as is a garden pays for its keep and a bit over in kindness, and a queer sort of content that was one time a closed book to me and most other hard headed sons of the soil.

That double row of rodydendrums what your ma planted from here to the cowyard is fair laughing their heads off with red and white and pink and purpil. The genisters and the geeums and the collibines is giving loud cheers, and the panseys is smiling in the soft rain.

Looking at these laughing flowers, Ab, sort of makes me think how there must be a awful lot of joys and jubilations on this earth what a old fool like me could get dead cheap if he only knowed where to look for them. Books, frinstance, what I have started to cotton to lately.

But here I am dribbling on about this and that when what I started this letter for was to say how glad we all are that your employer has seen fit to rise your salary by ten bob a week.

That ten bob extree gives me a lot of joy, Ab, and I would be still joyfuller if I knowed for certin you was worth it.

I dont want to be grudging in my praise, son, but you see I know your employer, Mr Sprague, pretty well. And so I ought to considering he holds the second morgidge on this farm. He is that rare bird in business life what don't let his commercial instints interfere with his nateral humanity, and that makes me a little bit sispicious.

Why, when I was in town he tried to argue me into paying lower interest. He done his best to persuade me, which only goes to show you what kind of man he is, because he won.

Be that as it may, I got to own I have no reason to belive you ain't worth this extry ten bob. And I got to own, in spite of all me complaints and criticising, that this is first fall to you, lad. And if you can score another you win the match, and your old man has got to own that in your own line you are a better man than he is, which is saying somethink. So here's hoping.

Love from all at home.

Your aff. father.

Herald, 3 November 1934, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003