Henry B. Joy to James Joy

Cameron House

Fox & Smith, Proprietors

La Crosse, Wis.

Oct. 27, 1887

Dear James

Your letter from Tomah rec’d. You were kind in offering me your house to make myself at home in & in making such arrangements with Billy. The evening after you left I saw Henry Bennington, who talked in such glowing terms of the hunting north on the Valley Road about 25 miles from the line that I had made up my mind to go up there unless I heard from Harry King. Billy said he would go also and be gone on a hunt during next week. Accordingly having decided to stay I went in on the ridges in west with Billy & Jack Plunkett on the following day, that is yesterday, and watched the ridges while they stopped the dams. I did not see any fresh tracks all the way to Billy’s lowest dam—Even across Billy’s marsh to where the heavy timber used to stand there was nothing worth following. However there were 3 tracks made on Billy’s ridge probably the night after the day of our hunt, all going north. After eating lunch Billy showed me the direction of Shra’s Store from his lower dam and said I might run across a shot if I went thro’ that way & as I wanted the mail I started— I suppose I went across sixteen— Well on the way I came across two tracks which we had probably scared up by our racket at Billy’s shanty— I followed them awhile but they were running like smoke before a gale so I left them and got across to Shra’s about 4 P.M. with out having seen anything else new. The mail contained the letter from you and also the one from Harry King.—Well, I crawled home pretty well tired after my walk across the marshes & took off my boots, brought some wood, built a fire & got comfortably settled to read my letter & yours, about 5 P.M. Reading yours first, that is the one from Tomah, I thought I could not do better than accept your kind offer to stay in R.—a while longer.

I tho’t of you & Emilie in the caboose the evening after you left & I was right lonesome for a short time, but I turned to Roe, who always helps me out—How did you come to know Braddock after not seeing him for nearly 20 years?—Yes, the calf arrived safely—I drove the team & Billy, with Jack McGlynn & some one else handled the calf and a very lively time they had.— That afternoon while standing near the deer pen, the buck made a run at the fence and I had a lively time to keep him in. He broke the fence pickets like matches & got his head thro’. I think he would have given me a lively time if I had been alone, but I held his horns so that he could not back or go ahead till Billy came with a club and so discouraged him from making any further attempts at escape by thumping him on the head that he finally quietly retired. Billy hit him hard enough to kill a cow, but he apparently enjoyed it until he got a settler between the eyes that made him silly. (Positively ill.)— After reading your letter I turned to the one from Harry King, scarcely hoping to find that it contained such good news for me.—I enclose the letter.—I decided to try and go that night so I set to work and before Billy got home was ready to go to the train—Billy was somewhat surprised but we got to the old depot and rode up to the Junction with a hand car & I got off all right— Billy is going to send you my guns & bird. I boxed them all before I left & told him to send them to you, as you said something about Fred’s being away & as I had not heard from him I tho’t that it might be very likely as this is about his time for going east, I believe.

I forgot to tell Billy about the express charges on my guns & so if you will fix that I would be much obliged.

I got into LaX at 8.35 this morning after spending the nite at the Sherman House,– many thanks for pointer—and as my train west, or rather down river, does not leave until 11.30 I have gathered in the city & tho’t I would drop you a line about my plans, or rather actions, as I have no what Mrs. Shelden calls plans.—I left R. in such haste that I am travelling in disguise, for I am in western costume. My dress suit, you know.

I don’t know what my address will be in Denver any more than I told you, but will let you know promptly—Please let them know at home, as about one letter at a time is my capacity. Tell them I am having a good time and so far I have been very well accommodated with fresh air & exercise—

Hope Emilie has recovered from her cold. I know she would like to sit by the big fire & get warm. No one will miss the open fire more than I, especially as, after I decided to stay I took the ax and finished splitting my pine wood.

Love to all. I will write father at first opportunity. Tell him I rec’d his letter, & hope to meet the bride in ’Frisco. Hope mother will not do too much in preparing for the Eldridges.

Your affte Bro,

Harry

If you have read all this you have my sympathy. I presume that if the train did not go for another hour I could work in 3 or 4 sheets more—This is the longest letter I ever wrote—Make note of it.—

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