The Afternoon Was Magnificent

27 Aug


Charleston Lake Inn
Charleston Lake, Ontario
Sep 14 1903

From: William A Gray
To: Ruth (Barrell) Gray

My own dearest Ruthy:

Coming in from the lake at 7:30 to-night, after spending one of the most glorious
outings my life has so far afforded, I found yours and Billy’s letter awaiting me which
appropriately completed the other pleasures of the day. I have just read it a second time
and find it more satisfying than any other incident of the day, however enjoyable they may
have been. Tell Billy he is a very good boy to write me such a nice letter and that the kiss
he sent was a very sweet one. O, how I would like to have you all here just this minute, so I
could give you all the hugs and kisses that have been stored up since I left. Altho Harry
means well, I’m sorry he feels it his duty to have you take care of him during my absence. I
hope the money I left you will hold out for I didn’t calculate upon your having to feed him.

However as you have that rare faculty of meeting most every disagreeable condition with
admirable composure, you will make the best of it and no harm will be done.

Well, to get back to vacation and vacation thoughts, I remember I started the events
of this day in a letter mailed this morning. The day has been perfectly bright, and the lake
like a sheet of glass and the air so clear that one could see large objects perfectly plainly
for many miles. After a breakfast of ham and eggs, oatmeal mush, fruit and coffee, we
started for the landing about 8:30, loaded the boats and shoved off about 8:40. Mr Green
and Doc occupied one and Chester and myself the other. Each boat, of course, having a
guide to row, bait hooks, take off the catch and make himself generally useful. Our fishing
luck was somewhat better than yesterday, as, at the first point we stopped, I caught the
largest Pike taken out of the lake this season, and one of the largest, the guides say, ever
seen. The actual weight of the beast was 11 ½ pounds and he was at least 36 inches long
from stem to stern. He fought like sixty and nearly bent the rod double more than once. 

Will with his catch.

Will with his catch.

When I got him up to the surface for the first time, I nearly dropped dead in fright to note
the size of the monster, as I had no idea I had so large a fish, altho I knew he was a pretty
good one from the fight he made. The rest of my catch for the day was a black bass 1 ½
pounds, an Oswego bass about 2 1/2 pounds and a rock bass about ¾ pounds. Doctor
and Mr Green caught more fish, but didn’t make any “records.” About 12 o’clock we pulled
up to Narrow Island for dinner and such a dinner. I never ate more in my life. I had Rock
bass, black bass, bacon, potatoes, corn, chicken, fried onions, boiled eggs, bread, butter,
pumpkin pie and coffee. I never had a combination in my life that I enjoyed more than that
dinner. After putting it away, and while the guides had theirs, we lay around. Chester and
Doc smoked pipes and slept while Mr Green and I took pictures and shot with the rifle at
any old thing, missing of course more often than we hit. I have a picture of the large Pike,
held out by myself, snapped by Chester. At about 4 o’clock we left the island to take a
hand at fishing again but without much success. The afternoon was magnificent however
and an occasional shot at a heron or a loon or perhaps a crow, the monotony of ill luck
fishing was fully relieved. This constituted the day’s history and the rest of the day I spent
here will be a repetition of this with of course varying luck at fishing.

I know you will be pleased to think that I will undoubtedly benefit by the outing. I will look
forward with pleasant anticipation to the receipt of your sweet letters from day to day. And
now I will say good night to my dearest Ruthy, Billy boy and sister Ethel and after a few
moments of the cool delightful air will go to bed.

With love and kisses, I am forever your own


Guide and brother Walter (on right).

Guide and brother Walter (on right).

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Posted by on August 27, 2013 in Family History


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