Works in the Herald 1935
EPISTLES TO AB - A DOMESTIC DISCORD

Fourway Farm,
22 February, 1935.

Dear Ab,

I am awful sorry I aint got anything but a bad bit of news to send to you this week. And it is so bad Ab., I donít hardly know where to begin.

Be that as it may, you will praps remember that during the week we had one pretty cold sort of a night so your ma and me decided we would have a bit of afire in the front parler.

Now me and your ma, Ab., as I have told you time and again, have now put in close up forty three years of marrid bliss without one cross word betwixt us Ė or we had up till that cold night this week.

Well, I was going to light the fire but your ma says never mind she would do it. Well, Ab., you now what women is with fires.

She jist jams hark a newspaper flat on the bricks in the fire place, shoves a hanful of sticks flat on top of that and then packs the whole lot down tight with three heavy back logs and shoves a match to it.

Stans to reason no fire like that aint going to burn Ė no draft, no vent, no proper layout no nothing. And so I points out to your ma reasonable like. But she ups and sorter snaps at me that she has been lighting fires for over fifty year and she donít need no man to teach her.

Well, Ab, I kep me head and never said nothing but a few pinted remarks on the theory of fires, including updrafts, downdrafts, droring power and cetry.

But your ma is still bridling a bit, and how men thinks they know everything. So I just laffs short like and says that she is a pretty good hand at smoke anyway.

But your ma jist pokes at the smoking room with a poker and tells in plane langwidge to shut up.

Well, Ab, I aint going to dror no harrowing picher of the seen what insood. You know yourself that every single tree on this here three hundred akers was burnt off by my own hands, and me never botching a fire wet or fine. So some of the things your ma said sorter stung.

Next thing I know we was both standing up and saying things we had kep bottled up for near harf a senchery, and next time I looks at the fire and its going reel good Ė jist a freek fire, Ab, thatís all.

Well, the up shoot of it is your ma aint said a word to me since excep that she is going down to town a Saturday.

What Iím afeered of, Ab, is that she is going to see a loyer and you know what that means.

Well, Ab, I want you to be sure to meet that train and do what you can to make your ma see reason.

You will do that for your old man, wonít you, Ab?

Meantime me and your brother Joe sends our love.

Your aff. father.
JAS. JAMES

"Den"
Herald, 23 February 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005