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Fr Garin to Fr Poupinel, Nelson, 12 February 1864



This letter, written only two days after Claude-Marie’s, and intended for the same sailing, gives Garin’s view of the problem. From his account, the brother’s life in Nelson was not quite as grim as he sometimes paints it. It is to be noted, however, that Garin makes no mention of the spiritual dimension.

The structure of the translation is the work of the translator. There is no paragraphing in the original.

Text of the Letter

My Rev Father,
I have learned that the brother tells you if he is freed from the cooking, he will consent to stay. I believe that the matter is feasible, so that when you come to Nelson, or if you are thinking of deciding the case before coming to Nelson, you can tell him that I will relieve him of the cooking. However, I would wish that you do this when you are coming through Nelson so that there may be an understanding between him and me in your presence, that, if he is freed from the kitchen, he will have to occupy himself in the garden in things which are not beyond his strength and in the church, in training the children, etc. for you know he has a passion for reading, especially the newspapers, and if he was going to spend the time reading that he spends in cooking, that would harm his health more than the cooking.
He is always complaining about the work, but he is in good health, eats well, drinks well, laughs a lot, gets fatter. What more to be desired? You will see for yourself. He is in pain sometimes, I admit. But who is not at that age? And it is not often that I have noticed it; perhaps 2 or 3 times a year. I understand how it may hinder him. I would not however want to make him unhappy. But ask all the Fathers who have passed through Nelson. They will all tell you that I let him too much take it easy. I must make haste.
Your very devoted and respectful servant in Jesus and Mary,
A. M. Garin. SM.

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