November 18, 1908
Kelowna, B. C.
My dearest Kathleen,
So you like the views of the house, I am so glad. [This reference and others below are to Kathleen–November 6, 1908.] I know you would like the original but I was rather doubtful how the views I sent you would strike you. When the house was being built I thought the north side, which now looks the best, would be plainest of all and puzzled a lot as to how to improve it; but it has turned out all right after all, which was more or less pure luck as I chiefly went on the convenience of its interior arrangements and hoped for the best as to its appearance outside. It really is a pretty place in the summer when all the trees are out; and in the winter, like most places, it is certainly rather bare; but you will be happy here all the time, unless I am entirely mistaken as to what constitutes a girl’s happiness.
Kathleen, if I had had any idea of what a year’s separation from you meant I would never have agreed to it, though I don’t see what else I could have done. I get the most awful blues sometimes, things I never used to have, when everything seems wrong and unsatisfactory; and then I get a letter like the one I had today saying that you are “absolutely content” with the prospect in front of you and then everything gets all right again; but never again, Kathleen, shall I be parted again like this. I really couldn’t stand it. This country is a great place for a man without a girl and who has got his girl with him, but it’s no place for a man with his girl on the other side of the earth. You are my girl (you have been that in my mind for certain ever since the Heythrop Ball) and when I come home again it will rest with you only to decide when you become so in reality, for there shall be no more puttings-off by your relations with the advisability of waiting a little longer, and I am sure they will try and do that. I have every intention of bringing you out here before it gets too late in the year, say sometime in September, and I hope to come home early in May at the latest and if I can’t persuade you to “name the day” in three months, there will be something radically wrong somewhere. I have hopes of not having to wait so long as that. When I left you I thought this year would go finely, seeing that there would be you at the end of it; but I was quite wrong, as I might have known, for to be separated from one’s girl is bound to be far worse than to be separated from a girl who possibly but most improbably might become one’s someday.
Tomorrow I am going to the Mallams’ for the weekend. I haven’t been for quite a while. We are going down to Peachland, a little lake-shore town, where Mallam is playing in a football match and I may have to play myself, though I sincerely hope not, as I know nothing about the game except what I learnt at the game I played in that I told you about. [See Robin–November 4, 1908.] Harry is going to play, he is quite good at it. (I know you don’t like repetitions of the same word too often.) [Robin had ended the previous sentence with the words “the game”, then crossed them out and written “it”.] On Sunday we are going duck-shooting and I am sure we shan’t get any. I seem to be a regular Jonah where shooting or fishing expeditions are concerned, for though I have been on several I have never seen a good day yet. I shall finish this letter when I come back.
Monday. I was quite right about the duck shooting. We got nothing except one mud-hen, which is no use for anything. [The bird referred to is probably the American Coot.] There weren’t enough launches out to be any good. We hoped to have five or six out altogether so that we could corner the ducks up, but only three came out and though we chased a flock of about 200 duck from one place to another, they always got out of the way without coming near us.
I found they had a got a team together to play football without calling on my services, but I went down the lake with them and watched the match, which wasn’t very exciting as we got beaten 7-0 and we rather expected to win.
We have had quite a lot of rain for us lately, quite like England. I wish it would change!
The show I told you about was quite good. Certainly the waxworks were a great improvement on Mrs. Rose’s. I was quite mistaken about “Kitty Clive”. I have certainly never seen it before. It is practically a duologue and was very well done.
I hope your horses have quieted down and that you can hold them now. It would not be advisable to charge into the middle of Lord Willoughby de Broke’s hounds at a critical moment. I expect if they get enough to do they will be more tractable.
At last I have got a front door on the house. They put it on on Saturday and I can really say, except for what I have to do myself, that the house is finished. They also put a shelf up in the kitchen while I was away and it seems to me absurdly high. I am sure you won’t be able to reach it.
I don’t think much of the paper-chasing season here. I think the last one came off last Saturday and as my horse isn’t sound yet I couldn’t go, so I only get two days this season. The country is getting too fenced in. It is hard to find anywhere to go, as most of the fences here are wire or else some other unjumpable material.
I think November is about the worst month here, too much dull weather altogether. I much prefer it when the winter comes properly and even if it’s cold it is usually beautifully sunny No more at present. I am afraid it is over a week since I posted my last letter.
Yours as always,