October 4, 1908
Kelowna, B. C.
My dearest Kathleen,
I don’t think this house will ever be finished. It should have been done by the end of last week but now it turns out that we shall be lucky to get settled in another three weeks. The plumbers, while putting a pipe through the kitchen ceiling, knocked down a few square yards of plaster; so I started investigating a bit and find out that nearly all the plaster was badly mixed and is no good. It looks all right but crumbles at the lightest touch. I interviewed the man who was responsible for the job and he has got to take all the plaster off again, except in three rooms which happened to be all right, and put some fresh on. It is no end of a job, as it will take some days to scrape all this rotten stuff off and get the lathes clean for the next lot. He was distinctly upset at having to do it but there was no loophole of escape for him, it was so obviously bad. It is rather annoying for me too, as I had just got things cleaned up and was comfortably settled in again and now we shall have to move the stove out again into the summer kitchen and generally get back into our former state of not knowing where anything is. It is rather lucky in some ways. If the plumbers had not knocked a hole in the ceiling I should never have found out that the plaster was bad until in the course of a year or so when it started to fall down; and by that time you probably would have been a sufferer too, so I am glad it happened now.
I got some of the lawn seeded down yesterday. It is horribly late in the year but it was no good doing it any sooner as, until the plumbers had fixed up the water supply so that I could sprinkle it when necessary, I should have been dependant on the rain to get it to grow and you cannot depend on that out here. If the frost doesn’t become severe too soon it will do all right and then get a good start in the spring. I am afraid the rest of it will have to wait till next spring to get sown as there is quite a lot to do to it first before it is ready and so many things crop up that have to be done at a certain time that the poor lawn gets put off; although I am much keener on that than I am on picking apples and building fences etc., which is what is going on now. I took some snapshots of the house the other day. They are not finished yet. If they are any good I will send you some, but possibly they won’t be, as it was not a very good day for photographing.
I never got my letter last week. I shall expect a particularly long one this time.
I went to a party the other night and we played games and pretended not to be bored. Somebody luckily upset a lamp in the middle of a particularly dull guessing game, which caused quite a commotion and brought the game to an end. All thanks to that person. I am beginning to hear rumours of hunting, as that Mr. Eustace called to see Daph having heard of a horse that might suit her. It won’t be long now before you will be hard at it again. I wish I could be home this winter. I am beginning to count on next summer quite a lot. If the weather behaves itself and it doesn’t rain all the time I can imagine that we shall have a great old time, but a still better time afterwards when I get you out here. I am looking forward to that, if you only knew how much!
Our Batchelors’ Ball comes off in about a fortnight. I suppose I shall dance to the “Merry Widow” played vilely and wish myself back with you all the time. There are certain dance tunes which are associated with you which always make me feel rotten when I hear them out here. I want to go home at once and dance with you
I hear Mr. Hewitt is engaged to be married. [See Kathleen–September 18, 1908.] It must create quite a stir in a neighbourhood and give the dowagers lots to talk about. I don’t think I envy the girl, whoever she may be. I suppose Mr. Scott will follow his example and look further afield
I must stop now, as it’s getting very late and I have to be busy tomorrow and take a wagon load of fruit into town. I have turned all my horses out in the big meadow now and it won’t be so easy to get the two I want in again in the morning, as they are both hard to catch and refuse to be beguiled by oats.
Yours as ever,