Peter to Caroline, Bella Bella, August 20, 1888

Bella Bella 20th Augst.

We arrived here the day before yesterday and as the “Cariboo Fly” was expected, I determined to wait her arrival. Last night I had the pleasure of receiving No 6 & 7 – A long and anxious time I have had to wait for news of you all, and nothing yet settled about Frank, poor lad, it is hard on him. I had a letter from him also, dated 14th July, which I have just replied to.

I must hurry on, & try to refer to the different matters you write about for the “Princess Louise” (at present worth, with a party of tourists) may come down at any moment, & I must send my letter by her to Victoria. You will recognise how difficult it is for me to give an opinion with regard to Spain or Buenos A. but all things being equal I think I would prefer B.A. Of course the distance is greater but if it is for the lads advantage we ought not to let that stand in the way. I am sure, dear one, that it will be a great grief to you to part with him at all, and so it is to me, & it does seem hard that we cannot find something for him to do nearer home. Frank had always shown a desire to work, & if there is an opening for him, we ought not to make his going harder for him than we can help. Should it be decided that he is to go to B.C. I hope he will get there before Mr. Sherman leaves. Sir Michael had indeed been most kind, we cannot but be grateful to him.

I am sorry that you have been suffering from toothache. Dont on any account neglect going to Mr. Woodhouse, & get a thorough overhauling, if not you will regret it hereafter, when you wont have an opportunity of consulting anyone in whom you have confidence. I am also trouble to hear of your disappointment about your things at Boulogne, but as you were on the spot, I have no doubt you will have the alterations made to suit your taste, at least I hope so. Of course, dear soul, go to Scotland if you like, & if all has been done, that you think ought to be by your hostess. I am sure he will try to make it pleasant for you & I hope you will be cheerful and that Jack will behave like a little gentleman above all that he will be good to you. Puss goes without asking, I hope she will try to be very punctual. I have not heard from her for an age & not a line from Jack since I left Queenstown. The presentation is, I hope, doing good, the change to the north will trust be beneficial. What terrible weather you were having. At Victoria it was charming, only one days rain while I was there.

I am sorry to hear about Mr. Wagner I had a sort of feeling last Xmas that all was not well with him. With regard to the maid, Simmonds, you must please yourself, but impress upon her all the disadvantages she would be at, so that she may not say hereafter that she has been mislead. I am afraid she is too good looking to remain long unmarried in B.C. —

I am very glad you have had Frank’s likeness taken get your own, and Puss & Jack also. I dont like the Spanish girl. You dont say when Jack was to arrive? I wish I could see the naughty monkey. Let me know if you think him improved & if he has been working. I must very soon conclude it is getting too dark to write more, & I have not said near all I wanted should I not get this off tonight, I may add tomorrow. Mr. & Mrs. Jackson were very nice to me. I wish you would write to her. I cannot give you any Victoria news. I have been away three weeks & have not received a line from anyone. Joe or John might have written. Remember me most kindly to Sir. M. & Lady Seymour & to their young people, also to all our friends. Keep up your correspondence with Mr. Hughes. My love to dear Kit & to Jack & to Frank (I have just written him) A great deal to the “poor thing” – & may God bless you all

Always your devoted loving husband

P. O’Reilly

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I am keeping well and am getting on well with my work. Th weather has been beautifully fine with the exception of two days rain. I hope to get to the Naas this week & if in luck should get back to Victoria about the middle of September.

The trouble with the Indians at the Skeena is at an end I believe the Army will return to Victoria this week.


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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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