March 14, 1909
Kelowna, B. C.
My dearest Kathleen,
I meant to have written before but couldn’t manage it somehow. I shouldn’t have been able to get the letter posted if I had, so it didn’t make much difference. My surprise party went off rather well and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves. There was rather a scarcity of girls but that didn’t matter as some of the men didn’t dance. Sixteen people came altogether, but the engaged couples didn’t turn up. Even then your little room was always occupied. Being short of lamps, I put a candle in there and shortly after the dance started I thought I had better go up and light it; and when I got there, two glowing cigarette ends showed that the room had been discovered all right, so the candle never got lit at all. The veranda made rather a good sitting-out place too, but had it’s drawbacks as pretty nearly everybody brought a dog and these would chase each other round and round in the mud, which is distinctly bad just now, and then seek repose on the sofa or rugs which I had put out there.
I was rather pleased with the look of the house when it was all lit up. I hadn’t seen it like that before. One could never dance very many people in the sitting room because the fireplace sticks out too much, but we can have lots of fun by getting a few people in and having small hops every now and then.
Everybody brought something with them, either sandwiches or a cake. One man brought a bottle of sherry and another a dozen hard boiled eggs, for which he got well laughed at, though when supper came there was quite a demand for those same eggs. Unfortunately, nobody brought any cups, consequently most of the men had to have their coffee out of tumblers, but those things are details. Old Mrs. Thomson chaperoned the crowd and didn’t suggest going till 4:00 o’clock, which was very good-natured of her as she didn’t dance or play bridge. I know that part of the time she went up to Mallam’s room to see how the baby was getting along and took the opportunity of having a good sleep. How many chaperones in England would like to do the same thing if they got half a chance.
On Friday I went down to the wharf at South Okanagan and a whole lot of us turned up to greet Barneby and his wife who had been married that morning in Vernon and come straight down on the boat. We bought up all the rice at the store down there and gave them quite a dose of it and incidentally put some in every trunk we could find and wired a string of old boots behind their buggy and generally did our best to make them feel quite at home.
I wonder when you’ll marry me, Kathleen–May, June, July, or August. You little dear, I’m just longing to see you again, and if I don’t convince you that the sooner you marry me the better it will be, it won’t be for lack of trying. I am getting most awfully impatient now and wish I was started, as then all the time I shall feel I’m getting nearer. As it is, Saturday week seems a long way off.
I hope to be sending you one or two more photographs that I took of the house when the snow was still here on Wednesday, if I write again as soon as that and I probably shall.
With lots of love,
Yours as always,