October 14, 1908
Kelowna, B. C.
My dearest Kathleen,
The plasterers have been doing their fell work the last two days and the house is full of broken down plaster like an old ruin; and my sitting room that looked so nice is quite unuseable and will stay so for a week until this coat gets dry and they can put the finishing coat on. They certainly took good care to make no mistake this time and the walls will be hard enough to last an indefinite period.
I took a very good photograph of my sitting room, thereby proving conclusively that I have an open fireplace. I have seen the negatives but the prints are not done yet. I hope you will like it. I am not quite satisfied with the ones I took of the exterior but you shall judge for yourself. I hope to send them next time I write.
We had an exceptionally heavy frost last night and I am thinking of moving in from my verandah, only I have nowhere at present to move in to. Even my dog found it too chilly and refused to sleep on my bed, which was rather selfish really, though I suppose he doesn’t realize that he helps to keep my feet warm. Sleeping out has its disadvantages. Twice in the last week have I leapt from my bed pained and surprised, only to find that I have disturbed the slumbers of a sleepy wasp, which naturally shows its resentment. Equally naturally, I show mine and the wasp has little or no time to boast of its achievement, but it’s annoying none the less.
I am glad your week on the moors turned out such a success and you haven’t come away with the idea that cooking for yourself is quite impossible, have you? I don’t suppose you enjoyed lighting the fire in the morning. [See Kathleen–September 30, 1908.] I rather bar that myself and seldom if ever do so. As a matter of fact, my admirable Crichton does that and I wait till the kitchen is decently warm and there is plenty of hot water and then use it as a dressing room. We certainly do lead a hard life out here, don’t we?
I quite expected your letter would tell me that Geoff had decided to leave things as they are and I still hope to hear that, for surely when he sees you and hears your views of the matter he will see things in a different light. I entirely agree with you that it would be best if you stayed on, even if he does think you’re doing it out of pure selfishness. It is more than likely this is just a passing phase and that in another year he will be uncommonly glad that he hasn’t got rid of Kitebrook. It wouldn’t be so bad if he waited a year and then let it, but if he goes and sells it in a hurry he is sure to be sorry one of these days. I hope it’s all settled by now. Uncertainty is always horrid, I know that myself. I do hate the idea of anything worrying you, Kathleen. Of course there is nothing I can do, but the wish remains just the same.
Our Batchelors’ Ball comes off tomorrow night, I sincerely hope the last of its kind that I attend as one of the hosts; and the day afterwards I am supposed to be playing in a tennis tournament that starts at 9:00 o’clock and is six miles off. If I get there by 11:00 I shall be lucky. Harry is staying with me for the dance and I haven’t the least idea what I shall do with him. Of late he has been sleeping on the floor of the sitting room, but as that is now six inches deep in rotten plaster even that is denied him. I wonder what you will think of dances out here. They are very different to the Old Country ones and we do not boast about them much. Tomorrow night’s dance will be about the swaggerest up to date, about 200 people expected and we go to the hotel for supper, which is quite a new departure. It is some 300 yards from the hall and there will be no moon. However much you may disapprove of my sentiments, I may as well tell you that I wish you were here and could walk that 300 yards in my company. I know you don’t approve of my writing in this strain, but it’s no use, Kathleen, my pretending to be different than I am. I want you very badly and it is a long time now since I spent an afternoon at Kitebrook.
With all my love, Kathleen,
Yours as always,