December 1, 1908
Kelowna, B. C
Promise me, Kathleen, if you read this letter at all to read it right through. I trust you.
My dearest Kathleen,
I wrote pages to you the other night and then tore them up because I really don’t know what to say to you. What will you think when you get my letter? It was simply dreadful having to write it but I think I did right to tell you. It seems to me much better that a girl should know beforehand what the man she is going to marry is like, for after she is married she sees and hears much more and finds out that all men do these things, and then it comes as such a shock to them to find out that their husbands did likewise in their youth. Of course it is no excuse to say that all men do these things, but surely you can understand that there must be some very good reason or else they wouldn’t.
I cannot understand how it is that girls can be so ignorant about men and their doings. I suppose you will hate me more than ever if I tell you that a man doesn’t think very much of kissing a girl. In those cases it isn’t a sign of love or affection or anything else, very often just exuberance of spirits or a knowledge that the girl won’t mind (very few men will try to kiss a girl who he thinks is liable to object) and a suitable opportunity.
I expect I am pleading my cause all wrong, but whatever you do don’t throw me over because you’re very angry without thinking it all over very carefully; for after a few years you may find you loved me all the time and by that time you will probably think that you were rather too severe with me. I can’t think, Kathleen, that I’ve thrown away everything I valued and all my hopes just by one period of folly. The punishment seems so frightfully out of proportion to the crime. Men have done far worse things than I have done and have been forgiven. Won’t you forgive me too? If only I could talk to you I shouldn’t feel so hopeless, but I suppose you will think it all out for yourself. If you want to talk it over with a friend don’t hesitate to do so for my sake or anything like that.
You were the only girl I ever loved, Kathleen, or ever wanted to marry and I suppose I shall always love you. You must know that to be true. You must forgive me and go on loving me. I can’t get along without you.
I was afraid when I had written the first page and a half of this letter that you would be disgusted and not read any more and that is why I wanted you to promise to finish it. It is a hateful task to destroy a girl’s illusions and ideals. They always get destroyed in the end, I am afraid, but a man hates to do it and I think I was justified, really. I have tried to do the straight thing with you and there will always be that satisfaction, doubly satisfactory if you forgive me, for I shall be glad, you know.
I must go back once more to something I said in my last letter, which I hate to write about but I think I had better. Do you remember that I said I thought and heard that people had been saying the worst things they could about the girl and me? I have thought a lot about that and now I don’t honestly think they ever said anything of the kind. You can tell from my letters that I have been out quite a lot and lately I went to that whist-drive at the Camerons’ (the Scotch people I told you of) and also the surprise party and I am sure that I should not have been asked to either if there had been the least hint of a scandal. You do believe me, don’t you? I feel that very likely you have lost all faith in me and will believe me capable of anything. I have told you the truth though all the way through, I think, of everything now. You will get my last letter just before you go to Stow Ball and I suppose that will be spoilt for you. I am so sorry about it all, and I think if you knew how unhappy I was, you would take pity on me and forgive me. I have learnt my lesson right enough this time.
I can’t write any more, writing’s no use. I can at least send my love.
Yours as always,