March 9, 1909 Kitebrook
Moreton in Marsh
My dearest Robin,
And still it snows! It thawed all yesterday and most of the snow went, but this morning it seems to be starting again. Mr. Barnsley says he shall throw his horses up soon, as it does not seem as though we should get any more hunting this season. I am beginning to look out for a purchaser for mine. I believe we are going to sell them all except the two we drive, as Reggie will probably be in India by next winter and I don’t know what will have become of Geoff–I should think he will be in the work ‘us. He went to Putney about three weeks ago to cram for his army exam which began yesterday and on Saturday Auntie got a letter from him saying he had gone away for the weekend after the first week and had never gone back again. He seems to have been amusing himself in London ever since. He has once more “given up all idea” of the army and means to travel with a friend, I don’t know where or when. He and the friend (a very gay young spark, I believe) announce their intention of coming here on Thursday and request us to scour the country for horses for them for Friday. As it will probably go on snowing it is not worrying us so much as it might in this horseless land.
The friend is coming in his motor and going to motor to the meet at New Barn on Friday. They offer to take me too but I don’t know if I shall dare go. I feel I should be safer with the pony but I suppose it would be too absurd for me to start off at daybreak to drive and the others to follow in the motor a couple of hours or so later!
Everyone in the house has been having influenza, with the exception of the kitchenmaid and myself. The cook also fell down on an icy patch and sprained her foot rather badly; but in spite of “flue”, sprained foot, and toothache she declined to be sent to bed and bravely went on cooking and did most of everybody else’s work as well. The char-woman came to the rescue but got ill at once and had to be despatched home. Everyone has more or less recovered now except the boot-boy, who was the first to start. I spent yesterday ambling about the Coldicote squash court with Mr. Barnsley and Johnny Leigh. The latter was much too violent for me and though I did my best to explain to him exactly where I like the balls and I believe he did his best to put them there, I hardly scored a point. I think he thinks himself rather good, for he said he meant to challenge Mr. Fenwick today. I am afraid pride will have a fall there, for Mr. Fenwick is the best squash player in England. Hilda Fenwick can beat any man about here, I believe.
I wonder if you will get this letter before you start home. The post seems extra erratic just now. I got a letter from you yesterday posted the same day as one I got last Wednesday! [Both Robin–February 16, 1909 and Robin–February 18, 1909 were postmarked February 18.] I expect this is at any rate the last you would get, though I have not heard yet which day you start.
I am so glad the pencil case has arrived. I was beginning to think it had followed the Christmas present. [See Robin–February 18, 1909.]
Have you started building Powell’s little residence yet or does it wait till the autumn? I think Auntie was quite relieved to hear he could scrub floors, etc. She doesn’t at all approve of the idea of me scrubbing anything! It might be an excellent idea if Powell were provided with a nice wife. Is there anyone suitable in Kelowna or do you think he would trust us to select a nice respectable girl to take out with us? You might find out what he thinks about the matter.
Yesterday Johnny Leigh told harrowing stories about the cold and how everything froze except in the cellar and the frost had reached 53º below zero and went in 9 ft! Of course Auntie listened with all her ears and I couldn’t hush him down and change the conversation as the rest of the party would ask him questions. I was quite relieved when he began about the mild climate of British Columbia, only a tiresome cousin of his who grows potatoes at Kamloops had reported 20º below zero which had killed all his fruit trees.
I have just heard of a Captain and Mrs. Bott setting forth for Vernon, which is within a hundred miles or so of you, isn’t it? [Vernon is about 35 miles north of Kelowna.] I don’t know them but I met her sister last summer who seemed rather nice. She came up from Cheltenham to play in the Stow tournament. I always seem to be hearing of people going to British Columbia now. I had no idea it was such a popular spot. Auntie still tries to argue me out of it. She asked me again the other day if my mind was still made up to go out. It’s just as well you are coming back soon or it might begin to wobble, which would be tiresome to say the least of it! I hate having to make up my mind twice. Most of the Dawkins are fearfully undecided and they say I take after them, but it’s not true really. I nearly always know what I want, but if I don’t mind much about a thing I leave it to other people to decide in case they might happen to mind a great deal.
Mrs. Rose is getting up some more theatricals at Bourton at Easter. They are going to do a piece called “The Palace of Truth”. I believe it’s rather amusing–everyone who enters the palace can’t help speaking the truth. Mrs. Style is to be the queen, so I hope the stage will be strong. She went through the floor once at Chastleton House. I don’t know who else is in it, I think she has got some Cheltenham people.
I am going to stop now as you probably won’t get this letter, also I have nothing more to say except that I am looking forward most tremendously to seeing you in about a month.
With my best love,