27th July 1888
My dearest Carry.
I am disappointed at not getting a letter from you during the past week – particularly as Puss said, she would not then say more, as you were writing volumes.
As yet I have received but three letters from you. I am of course very impatient for news of you all, particularly about Frank, as I dont know if he has gone to Spain, or Buenos Ayres, or is still with you. I am beginning to fear that I may not know before I have to leave for the N.W. Coast 1st August. My last to you was posted on the 24th inst. since then I have written to Jack & I will send Frank a few lines before I leave.
The weather which has been very warm since my arrival, has changed, yesterday it rained a good deal, today it is cold enough to necessitate warmer clothing – On Wednesday Julia gave her annual Sunday School treat – which, I believe, passed off well. I was busy all day, & dined at Johns so I did not see it. I mentioned in one of my letters that Drummond had gone to England. I wonder if you have seen anything of him?
There does not appear to be longer any secret about the Marriage, they say it is to come off after Mr. & Mar. Ward’s return from England. Ward told me they would leave in Oct. Joe also talks of going this fall – but when I dont think he knows. John Zoe & Charlotte are well, the two latter appear to have a picnic or a party every day. — T. Ellis & wife are expected tonight – did I tell you that Miss Chipp is going to marry Walter Dewdney, rather hard on Georgie, as they paid her way from England as governess. Tom talks of taking Georgie for a trip to the north west, Calgary, I suppose, for a rest [?] away from the children. I have only [seen?] the Jenns once I must go there [again?] before I leave.
We ought [?] to be prepared with a marriage present [for?] Green & Alice you had better select them no one knows better how to do this. Get also two prs of Pruning Shears at Carters 137 High Holborn – Size no. 13 price 7/6 each. I enclose clipping from Catalogue. I want one for Harding, the other for myself. I will endeavour to answer your questions, which I omitted in my last. Church matters are easier, & more satisfactory, so I am informed, there is a row going on about the site of the Hospital – nothing yet definitely settled as to when it will be.
I called at Govt House on Thursday Mrs. Nelson & Mrs. Anderson were very kind in their inquiries about you & Puss, Nelson is suffering from Gout & does not often appear, there were very few calling when I was there. The Creases have asked me to dine repeatedly, so far, I have declined. I miss the Bishop and Mrs. Hills very much, the Cathedral is not like itself without them to me.
Joe Matthews called at the office to see me, he asked if you had seen his people. I wish you would make a point of calling to see his sisters more than once. – I have been to see Mr. Chambers at the Hospital, he is gong away very fast. Consumption, brought on by a cold, he cannot last many days. Elwyn is also very near his end, he is wasted to a shadow & wont last long. Alexd Davie is to all appearance also on his last legs – sad is it not.
Victoria looks smaller & more deserted than ever, perhaps because I have passed through so many large towns, they say business is good, & certainly a great many new houses are being built. —
You will, & ought to remember the old willow tree that stood on the road, at the lower end of the F.field orchard. the Corporation fools had it cut down last week, much to every persons annoyance, & my regret, I had a great affection for the old tree. When we meet I will tell you a story about it
—— 30th July
At last I have received your letter of the 2nd inst. posted in London on the 11th – how is this? I wish you could remember. I cant help thinking that you entrusted it to some of the servants & that it was not posted. — after all this long wait it brings me no definite news of Frank, and so I shall have to leave for the North without knowing whether he is going to Buenos Ayres or not – it is madning – how I wish he was coming back to B.C. with a prospect of employment & advancement and if he is going away I ought to have been there to assist & getting his outfit, we shall miss the dear boy greatly. I am greatly afraid you will worry & fret, & though of late I have not been able to help you (you wont let me). I ought to be with you, particularly at this time.
you will soon have Jack to wake you up & cheer you, & I do think he will be a good boy to you, & will assist you, he has promised me all this most solemnly
One of the principal things you have to do is to arrange if possible, where he is to spend his vacations, that is the greatest drawback, try to arrange this, dear one, it will be such a comfort when the time comes.
With regard to yourself & Puss I sincerely hope that you will avail yourselves of every opportunity worth seeing & as to your outfit get whatever you require, the few extra pounds necessary is nothing to the feeling you have lost the opportunity of getting what you require. I never wish to hear you say that you have nothing fit to wear. I say the same with regard to Puss. If you can bring dear Kit back quite well, you wont have remained in England for nothing, it would indeed be a happy day to see her quite restored to health. Get whatever you think we should have for the house. I am staying the night at Pt. Ellice as I expect to leave tomorrow or next day at farthest for the north. You will be sorry to hear that the Sweet sented Verbena that grew under our bed room window is dead – also all the gladioli & all the rose cuttings that you put in. Every person says the cold last winter for a short time, was intense, others have suffered equally – The Ivy on the fence at foot of tennis court has grown wonderfully – you will be greatly pleased at this. the variegated Ivy at corner of house has grown very large & looks well – You should arrange to bring or send out some roses – gladioli roots Hollyhalk roots &c &c and an assortment of seeds and bulbs.
Tom & Georgie Ellis with the two boys are down, she is looking better than I expected, from what I heard. Flow Jenns is positively engaged to marry architect named Wilson, Fisher & Wilson, Mrs. Jenns told Georgie this yesterday.
The “Titania” has arrived at last but as I have to leave tomorrow, I have arranged to store everything until my return (at HBCo) — The “Caroline” has returned from the Skeena, where the army was left to fight the mosquitoes – a great farce & a large expense incurred in sending them.
I will post a Colonist with this with an account of the trip. Mr. Hutchinson paid me a visit today in the office he appeared glad to see me & I liked to hear him talk of old times (he complains of the place being so dull) ——- Mr. Benn arrived today & leaves tonight for Alaska. I called on him at the Driard & had a long chat with him & J.W.T. —- I cannot make out whether Joe & Julia will go to England this year or not, at times he talks as if he had quite made up his mind to go, at others he says he does not see why they should leave their comfortable home at F.field.
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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.