Caroline to Peter, Victoria BC, August 20, 1892

Source Unknown
Found in PEH Transcription Collection

No. 4
20th August, 92

My dear husband

You will be greatly surprised and disgusted when you see the date at the top of this sheet, so I will at once explain that why I have not written. I have had a very sore finger (the thimble finger) and have been obliged to keep it poulticed. I think a thorn or splinter under the nail is the cause. it is decidedly better and is now wrapped with lint and oitsilk so that I am able to hold my pen. but it has been I assure you a trial of patience. I managed on Monday to send Frank a few lines, I had fortunately written the greater part of my letter to him last week – I sent him 1/2 sheep & sack of vegetables also 2 cakes by the Maude & this morning I got the enclosed from him, I send it on as I know you will like to have it. I will make a list of what he wants me to do & try to get a Chinaman. I am sorry to learn that he has not been quite well & is suffering from a cold. Very many loving thanks for you two letters one from Clinton, & one from 150 mile. You will have learned that Mr. Henry C. died on Monday at 6 P.M. I sent up all the things you told me to, & Saunders assured me they went on Sat. night so I hope they were a comfort at the last – I wrote a few lines, with difficulty to Mrs. Henry & begged her to let me know if I could be any help to her. so far I have had not answer but I will write again, this finger has been a great drawback to me, as I should like to have been able to tell you from day to day what has taken place =

I am sure you will be greatly surprised at the contents of the letter I am sending you from Mr. Stanhope you remember that I told you I dreaded the return of the Flagship lest he sh[oul]d make our dear Kitty in any way remarkable but I did not for one instant imagine he was really in love with her. It is extraordinary that you should be away at the time this happened! I will try to tell it circumstantially. On Sunday I felt sure she expected him but he did not come, he was engaged on board. Monday Mrs. Snowden asked P.+J. them to go to tennis & stay to supper, they went & ? was there staying Tuesday we went to Sir M’s & while there he came to me & said your son John has asked me to dine with you tonight. I must not omit to say that Kitty told me that he asked her (when at the Snowdens) when he might come; so we talked it over & thought it better for him to come Tuesday than Friday which w[oul]d be his last even[in]g. Wednesday & Friday Thursday he was to dine with the Admiral & officers, and with the Wardroom the other. Well, he came to dine Tuesday, we had a quick dinner & afterwards we all played ? together & I thought it would be all right, but before he went he asked if he might come the next morn[in]g & see if the plums were ripe, &c. I still did not anticipate any serious result, & we said yes. he came, & she went out with him, & they stated some time. They went down the lottrail, & there he asked her to marry him – They came back & I saw at once something had occurred but I took no notice & he went away after he had gone she told me but said she had not accepted up; yet she asked him to come the next day to tennis for the last time & he replied “yes! of course I’ll come & Friday too if you like” On Thursday he spoke to her again & she then said decidedly that she would marry him =

of course he thought it was all right and before he went he asked if could speak to me – I said I would rather he would do so the next morning and whe he came just after breakfast I saw him in the drawing room. he went straight to the point & said “What would you think of me for a son-in-law?” I was very nervous but I tried to say What was right having prayed to our Heavenly Father to help me. I told him we knew nothing of him, and that it was a great surprise! he couldn’t understand it, he said for he had been in love with her for a very long long time,=before he went South last year! I told him I would pledge myself to nothing without your knowledge & approval! & that he must write to you. he seemed very much moved when he said that he was so fond of her. & that he had tried to go away without speaking, moreover that that he is not wealthy & not in a postion to marry until he had been to England & seen what arrangements he could make

I spoke about his family & s[ai]d we w[oul]d not like her to enter one where she w[oul]d not be well received. he s[ai]d that was impossible & so on for she was everything that c[oul]d be desired &c &c – after this, he started for Esquimalt to make a farewell call on the Admiral, & asked if might come back to luncheon but he did not return till the afternoon & when they went out again, & as he tells you all did not go so smoothly. I confess to you that I think she does not know her own mind! & how can anyone know it for her! I am frightened to say anything one way or the other as I would not influence her choice. I think she ought to, she must decide for herself. He has behaved very well – by his letter to you he has stated the case as fairly as is possible – oh! how I wish you had been here for I have no confidence in myself & I know I am biassed by his love for her. Of course you will have to write to him, but as I told him it might take a long time you had better wait till you get my next letter, & I will try to make her write to you and tell you herself what she thinks about it. She told me that he had frightened her by saying that he would return before long accompanied by his brother and marry her. He asked me if there was a prospect of our going to England soon also if he might write to me & if I w[oul]d write to him, & tell him what his chances were! Of course I tried to do the right thing towards both. Time only can prove how it is to end. She continues to tell me that she likes him that she doesn’t think him too old, &c and yet she was disappointed that she did not feel more happy when she said she w[oul]d marry him now do you understand that why that was!

I think I do, but you tell me first what you think: it does seem very hard that we cannot talk this over together: Will it be difficult to answer his letter. it is a very gentlemanly honourable one, he said to me it was of no use entering on business / money / subjects unless he was assured that she was going to marry him, if she would he thought he c[oul]d make her comfortable & happy! Poor Kitty is terribly exercised about it all you know that expression she puts on! I told her this morning to try to cast off her trouble for a day or two. now he is gone she will have leisure to think it over, & weigh the for & against, she does not like to leave her home to go among strangers, and yet it w[oul]d not be right to encourage her to lightly reject the man who so evidently devoted to her, & tho’ I daresay you won’t like me to say so, who occupies such a good position: of course, should the marriage take place you will no doubt make an effort to give her a portion that could be settled upon her at her marriage. He told her that he might be appointed to the Royal Yacht, but he is wonderfully free from pretension, & does not seem to think about rank, just as you say L[or]d Listowel was: of course I like that in him, but I have tried not to express any opinion about him! for she often says “you know, Mother, you “said so & so” – I have tried to tell you all I can at present, & will write again about it, when I know more about her feelings, provided I can find out.

Yesterday morning just before Mr. or sh[oul]d I say Capt. Stanhope came the telephone informed us that Mr. & Mrs. Ellis were at the “Dallas” & wished to come see me. I felt it necessary to say I was engaged but this morn[in]g Kitty drove there & brought Miss Wade & Elsie. Mr. & Mrs E. have driven with Violet, to Lock End & to the Ward’s camp, & Vi is to be left there for a day or two., Tom and Georgy are coming to dinner, they want a private confab with me, Miss Wade says, I conclude to tell me of Eileen’s affairs “oh! ‘tis love, ‘tis love that makes &c” you know the old saying – of course, I shall not mention our own excitement in that line =
When I got this far Mr. Vowell arrived with his packages of contributions for the bazaar and, & Puss returned with Miss Wade was anxious to go on the Arm Mr. Vowell & Jack took them and they had a very pleasant row up to Craigflower. Tom & Georgy…

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This collection of letters has been digitized from an earlier transcription project and is for informational purposes only. This transcription has not been verified against the originals. Researchers interested in these letters should consult the original documents housed at the BC Archives.

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