September 23, 1908
Kelowna, B. C.
My dearest Kathleen,
Your letter [Kathleen–September 8, 1908] came this afternoon. I had an idea you wouldn’t stop writing to me, even though I did deserve it. I usually have a pretty good reason when I don’t write, but you don’t want excuses, do you? Very often I cannot get to town to post my letters when I do write and miss a mail day that way.
Our Exhibition and races have been on the last two days and were rather rot. It was very cold for one thing and the races were by no means exciting for another. I showed my foal but didn’t get the cup. It hadn’t come on very much lately. I think it is going to have distemper. Tess and her foal won a second prize. To be honest, I must confess that there were only two competitors, which detracts somewhat from the honour and glory; but as she is by no means a show animal and hadn’t been polished up for the occasion, I am quite contented. It isn’t always the smartest looking that are the nicest to handle in everyday life.
At last the kitchen is finished, except for the water pipes, and it is quite a treat to have a warm room to have meals in and cook in, for it is getting quite cool at night now. Last night it rained here, and there was snow just above Harry’s place. From the sketch I sent you of the lie of the land, you will understand that that means it is getting colder now. [The letter containing this sketch is not extant.] The kitchen is rather nice, I think. I have tried to get it fitted up so that one can perform the necessary culinary operations with as much convenience as possible. We have been cooking in the woodshed I sent you a photograph of for three months now and until this last fortnight I haven’t had a room to use with any comfort. Isn’t it lucky I got it all done in the summer? It was quite by chance I got the carpenters when work was slack, for last year I should probably not have been able to get them at all.
I am afraid I made somewhat of a faux pas when I most innocently suggested that bowling was the weak point in Ladies’ cricket. What is said cannot be unsaid, but enclosed in this letter are my most humble apologies.
Mem. — to be more careful in future.
Harry and I and a couple of others are going to play two more tennis matches on Friday and Saturday at Summerland and Penticton, two towns on the lake here about 20 and 40 miles off respectively. We are going in the launch I sent you a photograph of and are praying for warm weather. It takes some five hours to get there and will be appalling if it is cold.
They are going to do the “Pirates of Penzance” in Kelowna this winter. Do you remember the other one nearly five years ago at Moreton? Your influence was very strong even in those days, as I took great pains to get the seats I did; and I hoped so much that you would come in before your aunt and then you would have been next to me, but my luck couldn’t quite manage all that. I was fairly lucky to find the seats I wanted vacant.
Harry has been here tonight and spent most of the evening writing to Norah. I wish they could get married and come out here next year, or at any rate pretty soon. It seems such rot that two people who care for each other should live some thousands of miles apart when it takes so little to be comfortable out here; and I am sure old Prichard could easily put up the necessary cash if he wanted to. I don’t really see what they can do, as Harry hasn’t got as much as I have, which is little enough. I don’t know what Norah has, but I gather it isn’t enough to make things possible at all, so what are they to do? If Harry’s orchard turns out all right, in four or five years he should have enough, but that seems a fearful time to wait. I would hate to wait for you that length of time. This same old year is bad enough and I imagine it’s going to be more than a year, since you seem to think that we shall play together in the tournaments. Oh, I wish I could get back to talk to you. I always wish that when I write to you, and the time gets closer every week. My wish will be realized soon too.
When am I to come home, Kathleen? I can’t spend too long in England for, as you can understand, I must look after things out here, especially now when it is rather important that nothing should go wrong. I can imagine that a summer in England, which I haven’t experienced for long enough, would be very pleasant indeed, especially if I was “officially” engaged to you, my dear, so that we could go about together without bothering to avoid anybody and I could see as much of you as I wanted. What a summer we will have, Kathleen, for assuredly I shall come back for it and at the end of summer we will be married and you shall come out here for the autumn, which is a beautiful time here; and after that it will always be perfect, for I shall have you, the one thing on earth I really want; for I really love you, Kathleen, though you must be tired of hearing that by now.
I find from your letter that I have to wait some little while yet for your photograph which is, according to you, hateful. If I can find anything at all about it that in any way resembles you you may be sure I shan’t think it hateful; quite the opposite really. I must stop now as it is getting very late and I don’t seem to be telling you anything that’s news. You knew it all before, didn’t you?
Yours as always,