The old red blood count has not gone up yet so still have to stay in bed so another laugh for you if you can find it.
Your Uncle Will [William Boyce Thompson] and I put on our skis at the old Boulder Chief mine to go to the Basin to spend Xmas in Butte. A young Swede came down with us to get his mail and for the rest of the men.
Early in the p.m. he started back with a half pint in his pocket up the mountain. He had to climb 4,000 feet in five miles. It was a very cold time, even for Montana.
It was so cold that W.B. and I waited in Butte longer than we wished. On our way back to the mine we were crossing an open space in the timber and saw something below the trail like a ski.
We uncovered our Swede.
Next day we got a toboggan. Hell of a time getting him down the hill — legs and forearms frozen in every direction.
We put the body on a counter in a store, next to the stove to thaw him out, so as to ship east on the train.
Blankets were over the Swede, Arms and legs let go with noise. Store was emptied in no time flat by Bennie Sullivan and Johnnie Quinn.
Editor’s Note: The proceeding slightly edited story, written by J.E. Thompson (1875-1950), was taken from a collection of letters, the so-called “Deathbed Letters,” written to his son, William Boner Thompson, shortly before J.E.’s death.