Mom remembered her dad’s concern. She remembers how he put his arm around her mom and told her, “Be careful, Emily.” A last minute encouragement because he was worried about how she would be able to manage the team she was going to be driving. No doubt he knew the road through the valley would prove a challenge.
He had his threshing machine loaded up and the team hitched to it; he was moving it across the border into Manitoba to do some threshing for a farmer there. Mom F, a young girl standing in the yard observing this scene, recalls that her Dad was going on ahead and her Mom would follow him with another team.
The valley of the Assiniboine River cuts a deep gouge along the border between Saskatchewan and Manitoba. On the west side — the side Allen would be going down into the valley — the hill was steep where the road snaked down into the flats. Allen was a good horseman, but it’s not hard to imagine that a heavy threshing machine would be hard to pull down hill. All that weight would want to roll forward and be hard to control, especially on those curves.
How he had it loaded and where he was standing as he held the reins we don’t know, but part way down hill the cumbersome machine started to roll and then tipped over. Allen was thrown underneath it and crushed; his body was taken to nearby Russell, Manitoba and his death registered.
It was November 16th already; someone has suggested maybe during that trip his thoughts wandered to the hunting he’d be doing come winter. But I’m sure it comforted Grandma, and even her young daughter standing near, to know that his last spoken words were concern for her.
Someone has said — and it’s a great thing to remember — we need to keep our parting words kind because we never know if they will indeed be the last we ever speak to that person.