On Board The Sir Jas. Douglas
Seymour Inlet Queen Charlotte Sound
15th Augst. 1888
My dearest Wife.
I must have a few lines ready to send you when an opportunity offers, when that will be the Lord knows. It was a very great disappointment not getting my mail at Alert Bay but I wont write more about this at present.
I continue, thank God, quite well and am getting on satisfactorily with my work from present appearances, I expect to get back to Victoria in about a month – say this day month – but at the Naas River I may be detained, they are a troublesome lot.
Your birth will be a month from tomorrow – God grant that you may be spared in health & happiness, to our dear children & to me for many years to come — I want you to get something – Anything you like and let it be a present to the “dear old thing”. Enlist Kits services in procuring this commission and dont hesitate to buy whatever you fancy most. – I wish I could be with you, but you will have Kit, Jack, & perhaps Frank – And I hope sincerely, where ever you are, that you will spend a very happy day.
In my last No 10, posted at Alert Bay, two days ago, I sent you a list of Roses, bulbs &c for the garden, I dont pretend it is complete – get whatever else you think we want – buy a double supply of Hyacinths & Gladioli. – I also sent a list of things for Mr. Green – they ought not to give you much trouble, as they can all be got at Walker & Halls, and at Goode’s, Audley Str. Get them as if for ourselves, get the discount off – Freight to be paid on delivery. Send invoice for Custom House to me. This will give you a chance to send any little thing you like – say a present for Flow Jenns, & a set of Fish Knives & forks for Mr. Green &c &c for these latter get separate bills – they need not be included in Invoice sent to Beeton.
I think I forgot to tell you that my silk umbrella, which I know was left in the press in dressing room, is no where to be found, & all the old umbrellas have disappeared. My best one, however, with black handle is safe; it might be well to buy a good strong umbrella – to be sent with any things you are getting or in Mr. Green’s box.
Did I tell you that I paid Mrs. C. Ward $32 = for attending to house – her husband was very ill. I did not see her except for a few days after my arrival. Lizzie I have not seen which I thought strange. Hick told me she was in town. Smith the Baker sent in a bill for $81. Altogether there was a larger amount due than I had any idea of. Some I have paid, other I will leave until I hear from you.
I called to see John, & Mary Sullivan, Mary looks old & miserable. John can move about with comparative ease -; they enquired for all, but of Frank they wanted to talk the whole time. Mary told me that neither she nor husband liked Grace, but that Frank had forbidden them to say a word against her, as she had been his best friend when alone in England.
I went to the Cemetery – The Grave looked better, it is never nice as it should be but I am sorry to say, the marble is worse then ever. We used to think the drops from the trees stained it, I dont now think so, as under the arms of the Cross is the worst & blackest part of the whole. You might inquire if the marble can be cleaned?
With regard to Jack. I wish you would make a rule of getting him to read aloud to you for a short time each day. I think he will read well, if he will but practice, & no one can assist him so much as yourself. I have now something to send you, if I get a chance.
[written vertically over beginning of letter]
There is not, I think, anything certain about your uncle going to England this year. It certainly would not take much persuasion to induce him to remain where he is. Be sure you write very fully of your doings, and a great deal about Jack. I hope he will be good friends with the young Seymours, and very polite to Sir M. and Lady S. I think Kit might write more frequently. I write at length to you. Were I to write to her I should have to repeat what tell you but I always answer her letters. Does she practice her music?
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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.