[Harold Town?], Interview with Elva Henry, Nov. 15, 1973
Says she can’t add anything more than what Mrs. Fisk and Mrs. Tweedale has said, because for one thing, she never knew Tom. Her husband, the nephew doesn’t remember ever meeting him.
Said that Mrs. Tweedale has become rigid in her beliefs about tom and has got to the point where she’s holding him in a sacred light. She claims, he was a man and he had faults like every other person, but Mrs. Tweedale will not recognize this. (The number of times she has said to me that she thinks Tom is near perfect as a person.) Fraser also held Tom in very high regard. George Thomson would not and then “tick her off” (Margaret) for being so steadfast in her high opinion of Tom. […]
The husband said that George Thomson’s son – always referred to as George The Second in the family – said he felt sure his father considered Tom drowned accidentally. Brings up the fact that everyone seems to have overlooked, that Tom had sprained his ankle a few days prior to the time of his death and George Thomson feels that he missed his footing getting out of the canoe and hit his head on a rock and died. As for the line around his ankle, the son said his father had mentioned to him on a number of occasions that he figured Tom had probably tried to bind it up somehow with the fishing line – which would account for the neatness with which it was wrapped around his ankle. There seems to be no dispute about the fact that it was wrapped about 16 or 17 times around and very neatly done.
Mrs. Henry was not terribly enthusiastic when I called her on the phone, saying primarily that she didn’t think she could add much and made a point of saying, who was the author. And mentioning Joan Murray, that her book would be out in a year. Not as strong as Mrs. Tweedale, but indicating that a lot of negative things have been said, there has been no sonsultation with the family – as in the case of the Little book and the CBC television piece – and they wanted to be sure that anything that was written from now on would have to be the truth. […]
Says she thought that Tom probably had a good friendship with Winnie Trainor, that he’d been used to girls at home, having sisters, and that it would be natural for him to like her and her family. She said people around Algonquin (notably I think she’s referring to people Ottelyn Addison has met) said Winnie Trainor was a very nice person, but they all admitted that after Tom died, she did go a little strange. […]
Said that Ralph’s daughter, Mrs. Ruth Wilkins in Seattle, has been a friend for years of the girl that was supposed to have laughed at Tom when he proposed, which was what made him leave Seattle. She says that the girl just giggled “at the wrong time” as girls will and Tom was, as it turns out, irreparably wounded by this and left town. […]
She said that she thought people liked Tom because he was fair minded, easy to chat with and to visit with, said a number of people who met him said this.
She said that if he didn’t like someone he’d walk out of the room. Which is what he did up north whenever Martin Bletcher came into the room. […] She didn’t know whether or not they had argued, as reported in Little’s book, but she doubted it, in view of hearing that Tom just got up and walked out of the room when he came in it. Said that when the Bletcher’s first came to Algonquin they flew an American flag and Mark Robinson said they could do that but that must fly a Canadian flag as well. For the longest time there still was no Canadian flag and Mrs. Henry tells the story that one morning Tom had his field glasses and called someone over to show the tiny Canadian flag on the flag pole now and he was enjoying it immensely. When asked directly if Tom put it there she said she didn’t know. She said that Dr. Harry Ebbs was very upset about Little removing the body from the cemetery […]
Mrs. Henry says that Mrs. Tweedale gets things all mixed up. Cautioned me to double check things she said to me, as Mrs. Henry has noticed in the last little while that her memory is not as reliable as it used to be. […]