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Your note dispelled the gloom...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Back in May I told you about a couple called Hair Dye and Eyebrows, and promised that I would introduce you to another couple who both went by the name "Canoe." I have no idea why. In any case, here's most of their correspondence (I left out a few that were very short). Unfortunately they are very hard to read, so you'll just have to trust that I've translated them correctly.








Like I said, very hard to read. So here's the text:

Canoe - Nothing yet definitely settled. While my body is here my spirit is with you.

Canoe - One Saturday notice failed. Am full of thanks for your charming letter. Hot, tired, and weary. I long for the time to come for me to be with you.

Canoe - Your note dispelled the gloom. Shall be with you before long. Say four?

Canoe - Look for note to-morrow, same address; did send, also waited; doubly disappointed; don't be alarmed, tried and trusted friend from childhood: triple masked and veiled. H.B., 104 Herald Uptown.

Canoe - Fourth will see me in your vicinity. Want to be with you.

Canoe - Be careful, don't write; don't trust anyone; these continual and numerous agitations do not come from you and positively not from me, for I do not write over six times a year; my name and address are known to you; I have no Post office or other name or address and will not have any; please leave off, for circumstances compel me to take no further notice. Yours respectfully, but resolutely. Canoe.


This is one of my favorite correspondences, although I have plenty more to share with you. It's even made its way into my dissertation for its sheer awesomeness. So romantic! Man I wish I knew what the circumstances were around these two. I assume they're illicit lovers; maybe one of the Canoes is unhappily married and the other desperately hoping they'll end up together anyway. And then there's apparently some treachery going on here - the fake address followed by the blunt farewell...what a mystery!

I don't know what contemporary readers would have thought of this...but I can definitely imagine. It's like a melodramatic romance novel! In tiny tidbits! Love it!!

And speaking of ads that are truly mysterious, here's two more:


"Sadda Rang and Lalla Rang are no heathens. They buy Christmas presents at many a store. G.A.S. Co." and "Bib - Who introduced Windy? G.A.S. Co. did not; nor do the two Rangs know him. Perhaps even his mother does not know he ventured out. Dod."

Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!

©2009 Pam Epstein

4 comments:

DSK June 19, 2009 at 4:51 PM  

I was starting to wonder if you would ever post Canoe, but I'm glad to see it was worth the wait.

Pam June 19, 2009 at 5:03 PM  

I never forgot, David!

Ms Avery June 20, 2009 at 7:15 AM  

How sad. The final one really seems unnecessarily mean ("yours respectfully"?) -- I wonder if one person got cold feet. Either way it looks like someone's heart got broken.

Pam June 20, 2009 at 7:42 AM  

@Ms Avery - you have no idea how many broken hearts I've run across. It is sad.

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