47 Glencairn Ave.
Toronto 12 Ont.
Monday [10 May 1954]

Dearest Cayke:

You may wonder why the above hieroglyphics should appear in this letter. Well, here's the explanation.

You said in your telephone message yesterday that I shouldn't become so money-conscious. – Lor' help me. I said I had a surplus of fifty-cent pieces around the place and I pitched one at your mother. It hit her, and she retaliated by taking it and biting it so hard that it split a tooth. Then she took the ruptured coin and fired it at a couple of starlings in sheer vexation. No (2) is an attempt to show how she looked when the episode was over – an expression one-half homicidal, one-half suicidal. No (1) is myself deeply penitential, my ears out, my left eye glued over against the nose, my mouth drawn down like a moustache trying to appear villainous but in deep remorse over the loss of the coin. You'll have to come back to set things right because I went into a deep huff, refusing to dry the dishes and so on.

Touching the matter of the hospitalization, don't for a moment think of anything but a private room with all comfortable accessories. Uncle Cal adds his own pressure to this urgency.

By the way he had a good night last night. Dr Norman took us out to the Lambton Golf Club for dinner and such a dinner, such a relaxation! Cal and I took sirloin steak and mushrooms. Egg-plant, a vicious vegetable I indignantly rejected and asked for a double heap of mushrooms. So did Cal. But do you know what happened? Cal was continually directing my attention to things outside the window, notably a rabbit on the lawn. I didn't realize that all the time he was diverting my interest he was helping himself to my mushrooms though he had a prodigious supply himself. There was a near fight over it. However, all quarrelsome feelings were ended when I discovered later that the fun did him so much good and your mother laughed herself almost into hysterics.

So much for the present.

Love,
Father as lazy as ever

God bless you.


hieroglyphics
At the head of the letter are two crude drawings of (more or less) human faces, which have been numbered 1 and 2.

hospitalization
Claire had decided to enter hospital in New York later that year for treatment on her spine, still affected by the legacy of the severe osteomyelitis.

Egg-plant
One of Claire's favourites.