September 22, 1924 – Letter to Mr. Oberg (unfinished draft)


[Appears to be a draft of an unfinished letter]

Still from Sunapee
September 22, 1924

Dearest Mr. Oberg:

I believe now you have now written to me twice, with no letters from me in between, but I have had many other things I really ought to do, that I have had no time to write letters.

Now, as concerning the mysterious key you sent me. I don’t really believe that it did belong to the ogre’s castle. You see, there ought to be a great strong brass key for that a flexible little thing like that wouldn’t cover an eighth of the lock. But I do think it belonged to something very mysterious–perhaps, to one of the many thousands of side-doors to fairyland.

Several days ago Daddy and I started out with our big khaki tent, the canoe on a trailer, and provisions, to scout out the first grounds of a long trip we intended to take later this year. We started out with the idea of putting in with the canoe at Ossipee River, a river flowing out of the lake, a little way. But upon enquiries, we found that we could put in at the Bear Camp River, a medium river flowing from the town of West Ossipee into the same Ossipee Lake that we had intended to put in at before. So we left the old bus and the trailer at a house in West Ossipee, loaded the canoe, and put in under the bridge at West Ossipee. And right then and there I experienced a sensation that none but those who have been on a river know anything about. The rushing current with its treacherous snags and quicksands, together with the folds made by the current in the gold sand, all hold an enchanted fascination for one.

Before that, on the way up, before we had passed Winnepesaukee, there was a good few of a fairly large section of it, though, of course, nothing more than a little cove in proportion to the gigantic whole. And, across that section were parts of the magnificent Sandwich Range. Before that, I thought I knew what mountains were like, but my wildest imaginations never equaled what then lay before me. Oh, I never saw anything so awe-inspiring as what I then saw.

But to turn to the river again. We made late camp that evening on an island in the river, made an island because the high water from the big rain made a sort of back-channel around it. That night we slept there, and we made friends at the farm-house upon asking for good water for drinking, for we didn’t like to use the river-water because, after all it comes from West Ossipee and, inevitably more or less garbage gets into it. The next morning we paddled the rest of the river, down to Ossipee Lake, a huge one, with very few noticeable coves, really almost round. There we had dinner on a nice beach. That afternoon we headed for the spot where we judged by the map The Narrows were. The Narrows would have been the beginning of the Ossipee River, except for a dam a few miles down it which over-flows it on to the rather swampy ground there there, making a regular water-labyrinth, cut up with coves, peninsulas, and islands. There were only nine or ten houses on it so we named it Lake Solitude. That night we camped on one of the several islands in Lake Solitude. The next morning we paddled down to Effingham falls, where the dam was, and back to the island where we had left our things in Solitude, where we were held up by a shower, and so we stayed there and played games and chattered until next morning, the only place in the whole trip where we slept twice.

[end of draft]

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