By Dr. David Jones

The fledgling province of Alberta used to be neck-deep in difficulty. The cost of the Peace River nation reached dangerously too some distance, the southeastern dry belt disintegrated in drought, colliers agonized over existence and limb, and males of the fabric have been stretched to the verge of collapse. the subjects of adversity and victories of the spirit draw jointly the tales of standard humans in early Alberta.

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Extra info for Feasting on Misfortune: Journeys of the Human Spirit in Alberta's Past

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Now Donald Albright was a very honest man, but interestingly, he deemed punctuality a form of honesty. It was a small but significant sign of how pervasive the concept was in his mind. At any rate, when time came for Eileen to marry, Donald just had to tell fiance Bill Ross—honesty demanded it—of an old family taint, genetic, lingering, and in the works, as it were. And Eva's recurrent depression was not the primary evidence, though Donald must have counted it. The defect was on Eva's side all right, but its manifestation was more serious—the "confirmed" lunacy of an aunt.

The parade of inexperience creaked westward almost without dust or notice, for some swore it was not moving at all. Inching four miles a day, it took a month to reach Sunset Prairie! Incessant rain was partly to blame. Fording the swollen Kiskatinau River, the party lost three horses including the community stud. After the crossing, they camped in a mudhole. Out of feed and with only bushes to tether the horses, they allowed the livestock to forage freely. When the settler-apprentices awoke on the morrow, the beasts were gone, having easily reswum the river in the night without the handicap of human guidance.

13 Not long afterward, he joined the Canadian armed forces, now at war with Germany. The enlistment pleased his father who knew that soldiers were protected from predatory creditors and that Bruce might better settle accounts while in the service or after. Likely, Bruce would have enlisted without the thought, but when he was killed, Donald assumed a measure of guilt. 14 Devastated by the loss of the one she was most able to love, Eva was inconsolable. And grief strained every discomfort. Donald fell into his work, meanwhile, running himself ragged.

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