Kathleen to Caroline, London, January 11, 1897

A1E Or3 Or32 File XI

Recd 31st Janry/97
Mrs. O’Reilly
Point Ellice
British Columbia

14. Augusta Gdns
11th Janry 97

My darling Mother

I have to thank you for a dear long letter it is so good of you to write so much to me. I wrote to Father on Saturday & I always seem to be writing notes. they laugh at me about it here. but people in England seem to be always writing to one. The weather has been very wet & foggy. I intended to return to town, when I received the enclosed note from Mr. Stanhope and I answered him that I was here if he would come down that my cousin told me to say she would be very pleased to see him. I did not tell dear Father this on Saturday as I did not know what the answer would be & I did not expect Mr. Stanhope wd come. You know I wanted to see him but I thought it wd be very awkward if he called at Bailey’s & the two uncles and Josephine & Charlotte were all there. I received an answer that he w come on Sunday & lunch if he might – returning by the boat train in the afternoon & coming by it in the morning (it is very fast & the only one on Sunday) Carry was very nice about it & was very anxious to have a nice lunch it appears she had heard about Mr. Stanhope from Aunt Julia. I did not know she knew! the Admiral thought it the most natural thing that he should come to see me as he is going abroad & knew us all in B.C. so I did not feel as nervous about the visit as I was afraid I should. I went to Church with the others & sat at the back & brought Baby home before the sermon – as it is always too long for her. We got back here just before Mr. Stanhope came he was very nice & pleasant looked older, very thin & his beard much greyer than it used to be but I thought he was very nice. He inquired particularly for you and Father & wanted to know why you did not come to England. He asked about people & everything in B.C. told me he had been very ill for two months in Scotland – a nervous breakdown after the Admiralty work & had been obliged to have perfect rest, but was feeling pretty well now. It was good for him to go to sea so he volunteered for a ship & only had choice of three. China, East Indies, or the “Melita” at Constantinople he chose the latter as if there is any fighting; there is a chance of promotion. After we had talked a little while I proposed to walk on the Lees & meet the others, so we issued forth with Baby, but only met Aunt Em who was introduced, & then went off to find the others, we came in to lunch, which went off very well. I was so thankful the Admiral was quite well. he liked Mr. S. very much. he knew some of his people & says he is a “perfect gentleman”. After lunch we walked again on the Lees & down to the boat train. Mr. Stanhope said he thought he wd write to you & tell you how he thought I was looking he told me I was just the same but thinner. He said you ought to come to England with Father & let Jack take care of the Greenhouse & the Garden! He said he wished I had come a year ago instead of now that he hated going to Constantinople but there was no help for it now. He leaves on 20th goes by sea from Liverpool & said he wd not have thought of going without seeing me.

Carry wants to go to town to the dentist this week & I want to go up with her as there are some things I want to do and Mr. Stanhope has asked us to go to the theater with him on Saturday. He asked me if I wd go to lunch with his Mother 26.Egerton Gdns. & I said I did not know her & he said “Oh ! I’ll ask her. I told her I was coming here today to see a B.C. friend” & he made us promise to let him know where we will be in town. for I must tell you Uncle John & Charlotte left the hotel on Saturday for Walton. (I did not know they were leaving so soon) and Uncle Joe & Josephine are expected here today – he has taken rooms for a week it seems rather contrary does it not? I shall have to break it gently to him that I am going to town with Carry. I am afraid he will be jealous, as he always says I belong to him & was specially confided to his care by my parents. We shall not I think go to town till Thursday as the play Violet acts in comes off on Wednesday evening,& Carry specially wants to see it, & besides it wd not do to go away directly Uncle Joe comes. And I should so much like to go to the theater on Saturday. I have really seen nothing so far, in London, but have had very nice time down here. Mr. Stanhope said he remembered I had been promised a dinner at the Bachelor’s Club & he was sorry he could not take us there as he had taken his name off, some little time ago. It does seem strange that he should have been ill when I came to England & that he was up in Scotland staying with a cousin who has ten children and was awfully good to him & my letter which I wrote 2nd Dec. & addressed to the Admiralty was sent to his club where they kept it. I think he said he had not answered Jack’s letter as he was ill and not able to choose the clothes for him & did not know what to say. He said he did not like to write that he was laid up & then I heard it here fr. Capt. Dicken & I wrote & asked him about it wh. letter he did not receive till a few days ago. A strange coincidence do’nt you think so? I was very glad that Sunday was not a wet day. it was very foggy over the sea & muddy under foot but the sun was shining thro’ the fog & it is wonderfully mild, not like winter. I hope you have not had more of that cold weather dear Mother & that you are all keeping quite well I am so glad to hear that you are taking care of yourselves you must continue to do so. I am always fearing you may be ill & want me. Tuesday morning Uncle Joe & Josephine did not come yesterday but have written to say they will be here by 1.O’Cl. I have to post this by 11- The young ones have all gone off for a bicycle paper chase Violet is one of the hares. Carry & I did not go as it is very muddy which makes it dangerous on these smooth roads bicycles are apt to skit. I have not told you Mr. & Mrs. Hutchison came to stay in Folkestone from Sat. till Monday with the Harry Machesons, who have a lovely house & are very nice. Mrs. M. asked us to tea to meet them & we had a very pleasant visit. Mrs. H. said she was so sorry she could not have asked me to stay with her Mother while they were with her at Hythe, but they go to Chatham today, where he has an appointment. He said he wd have come to see me before, but when I met them on Monday, I said I was going back to town. He said he had written to you for Xmas & he asked me lots of questions about you all & everyone & said he had never had such a good time in his life as at Esquimalt. I think he is disappointed not to have been promoted. I could not see her very well as she is suffering with her eyes ยท& wore black glasses. They both called on Sunday afternoon, but we were all out it was rather rude of us, as they had asked if we wd be in. Yesterday I had to pay visits with Carry people have been so good in inviting me out. carry says everyone says “I hear you have such a nice girl staying with you, do bring her to etc.” We went to a roulette party the other day it is the fashion here. I do’nt approve !do you? I wd not stake more than a shilling & won several, we played for two hours & for the last spin I put on all my winnings & lost every penny so the gamble cost me l/p some people lost a good deal. very stupid & wrong, I think. Post time. Much dear love to all

From you loving Pussy

(*1) – 2020 – This letter is also part of the O'Reilly/Stanhope Correspondence

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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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