February 22, 1909
Kelowna, B. C.
My dearest Kathleen,
I think by now that you will have got my letter saying I have every intention of coming back in April. I hope you’re feeling just a little pleased about it, because I certainly am. I am slowly getting things all cut and dried, that is as far as plans are concerned, but of work itself I can’t do very much at present. I have given the Thompson boys the contract of putting up my hay for me. They are exactly the people I wanted to take the job on. They have worked here for me haying each summer so know exactly how it’s done. I was lucky to get them. I am trying to sell the house I have in town now and if that goes I shall be able to pay off all my bills and still have some to spare. I didn’t get my hay all sold this winter, which was rather trying, but I would rather keep it than sell it too cheaply; also if I don’t sell it now I shall have it to sell next fall, by which time I expect to be very, very broke after an idle summer in England with all sorts of odds and ends to buy. Next summer, Kathleen, gives promise of being all that I can possibly wish for. I can imagine nothing better than spending the summer in England engaged to be married to you and then marrying you at the end of it and coming out here. As a matter of fact there is one improvement and that is getting married first and spending the summer in England afterwards. That I fear is unlikely. I don’t think I mind whether we are “officially” engaged or not. I shall take every opportunity of seeing you whenever I can and if we do meet at a dance I shall take all the dances I can persuade you to give me, and if the dowagers wag their silly old heads, they must do so. No one can stop me marrying you now except you yourself, and I don’t think you will, consequently I am beginning to feel very elated. Honestly, dear, I feel happier now than I have ever felt in my life, and you’re the cause of it all. It won’t be long now before I tell you so.
I went down to the Mallams’ for the weekend. He had some fresh records for the pianola and I was rather disappointed in them. They have a circulating library for records down at Victoria and apparently not a very good one, as Mallam sent a list of sixty and got very few that he asked for and in their catalogues I couldn’t find half the nice things I expected. The only way to get them is to buy them (the good ones) outright in New York. Did I tell you that Mallam’s is the same make as yours except that it is piano and pianola combined. I believe they are the best. It is a great scheme of yours to bring the one you have out here. I think our letters crossed saying it was imperative we should have one. I don’t know how pianos stand the sea voyage but out here thy are somewhat expensive. Mallam’s pianola-piano cost £180 and a piano here costs about £100 and then it’s a cheap one, so I imagine it would be best to buy the whole outfit in England and ship them or it out here with the curtains and furnishings I hope to buy if I can induce you to accompany up to London sometime and do some shopping. Rather a fearsome ordeal, but if we can get in a theatre or two it wouldn’t be so bad. I know I should feel like a lost sheep if I got into Maples’ or somewhere with the idea of buying curtains and furniture that didn’t clash too much. We shan’t have to buy so very much furniture as we shan’t want an awful lot, but such things as winter and summer curtains (does one have two kinds?), rugs, and all sorts of things that you know more about than I do had much better be got in England and sent out here to await our coming. I believe the best way to send them is by sailing boat via Cape Horn, as that saves nearly all the railway journey and when you start to send much by rail out here the cost of the article is as nothing compared to the cost of sending it.
Tomorrow night I go out to dinner with some people called Carruthers. Why I don’t know, as it’s a house I never called at and have only met Mrs. Carruthers quite recently although she has lived here about three years. I couldn’t refuse though, as I pleaded former engagements to the first two dates offered me. Without being offensive, I couldn’t refuse the third suggestion. I don’t at all approve of going to houses unless I know the people very well but when that is accomplished I rather like going out, as you may judge from my letters. My capacity for small talk was always a minus quality, and I know nothing more paralysing than a dinner party. On Wednesday Harry and I are going down to another show, a professional one this time, which may possibly be good but I doubt it. Next Saturday we go to the Cleminsons’ and come back Sunday this time, now that work has started again.
I have been clearing off the rubbish from the ground that will one day make a tennis court. I hope to get it ploughed up this spring and this fall I hope to level it. It would be great to have a good tennis court on the place. You and I will play Norah and Harry. Do you think they will ever get fixed up? I wish they would. N. is your friend and Harry is mine and it would be fine if we were all out here together. We shall have to send for Norah one of these days, I expect when Harry’s fruit trees start to bear, and she can be your lady help for a while and I will sit at the front gate with a gun and keep Harry off each day till Norah has done her allotted work. I wonder how she’d like the prospect. I am afraid I am much too selfish to want anybody else in the house just at first, but Harry’s trees won’t bear for another year or two so there’s no hurry.
No more news.
Yours as always,