Peter to Caroline, Point Ellice House, Victoria, September 19, 1888 No 15

Point Ellice
19th Sept. 1888

My dearest Wife.

I could not manage to write to you yesterday as I intended – neither have I written to Frank it is a hard task for me to write to him, but I will do so today or tomorrow & will enclose it to you to forward. —- I am troubled at having scoulded poor Jack for not writing to me – for I now find that he has written. I recd two from him today – they had been forwarded up the Coast & were returned by the Bowscowitz, so I must put myself straight with him. Neither of his letters are dated, but he repeats in each that I promised him a pair of Slippers, & gloves covered with bear skin with the hair on. He certainly should have good warm easy slippers strong & with heavy soles to wear in his study & a piece of Carpet or mat to put under his table also loose warm gloves – fur on both if you can get them – I have never seen Bear skin gloves or slippers – I promised him a deers head for his study which I will send when I get an opportunity.

You have not sent any orders about the house. The sinks are both out of order, & should be have new zink linings. The Kitchen, pantry, scullery – China room &c should be cleaned the wood painted & the sealings whitewashed. Let me know what you wish done in this respect. Hick has just brought me in a beautiful lot of Roses I wish I could hand them over to you & Kit – though the latter did not often supply me with a button hole.

This is Wednesday – I posted my last on Monday. I will try to account for myself since then. Monday called at the Wards, all out. Mrs Ward & Alice in attendance on young Mrs. Drummond who is, they say, very ill at Mrs. McDonalds boarding house, her husband has left for Chilcotin supposing she was all right but they telegraphed for him to return. Paid Charles a short visit, he is much better to look at has more colour & has grown stout for him, he talks better more fluently. Mrs. Charles & Mabel were there, they all inquired kindly for you & Kit. Dined at Fairfield. Mrs. Preston is staying there, she looks well considering all she has gone through. Joe & Julia are well they wrangled in a most edifying way. He talks of going to England with the Wards but from some of his observations, I hardly think he has made up his mind on the subject. I walked home. Joe accompanied me to Pandora St. The walk was a little too much but I am not the worse. yesterday I walked to the office & went a good deal about town. Paid duty, freight & storage on goods per “Titanic”. Bucket is to bring them out this morning. In the evening 5 O.C. called to say goodbye to the Pearses, they leave tomorrow, & intend to sail in the Umbria – 29th inst. they were both, I think, glad I called were very pleasant, & she spoke nicely of you Kit, & Frank. she always liked Frank. You cant think how well your ferns look, & she is very proud of them particularly of your baby plant which is now a fine large one. She had them packed, & ready to be sent here, she says they could remain, but the Dumbletons, who have taken their house wont undertake the conservatory, & she is sending her own plants out to be nursed. On their arrival in England – they do to her and will then go to London & she says she will try to find you out, I hope you may see them.

Dined at the Wards. I got there at 6.30 – they were all out at Mrs. Jacksons last tennis party for the season. Only the family at dinner, but before we left the dining room A Mr. Barkley (some connection of Mr. Diggler) arrived, he prevented my hearing the gossip which was prepared for me. Alice is I think hurt that Kit has not written to her, she is looking very well, & Nelly has much improved – she is stouter, & better looking than I before gave her credit for. They pressed me to sleep there but I left soon after 10 & reached home in an hour & half. I am trying to carry out your instructions. ———-

The great event of the day is the arrival of lady McDonald & Mary. they were expected on Monday but I see by the paper that they arrived last night. There is to be a garden party today (it threatens rain) & a succession of dinner parties commence on Thursday. I have received a card for the Garden party (I wonder if Mrs. N- has forgotten the Bewick affair) & also an invitation to the first dinner tomorrow. Joe & Julia are also going —– I have not seen Zoe or Charlotte. I was going there when John came to the office & told me that Zoe was at the Dentists. I forgot to tell you that just before I came away from the Pearses – Mrs. McDonald & Edith arrived, they were shewn into another room Mrs. P. remained with me, & when I was about to leave I said I should like to say good bye to Mr. P. – she said she would send him out as she supposed I would not like to go into the other room. I replied that I had on objections so in we went – Mrs. Mc. was seated & made a very stiff bow but I advanced & offered her my hand which she barely touched – the young lady was somewhat more condescending but also very shy. Can you fancy people being so silly? I have not seen Mrs. Jackson yet – Jackson says I am in her black books. I will go there this afternoon. —– I have now covered a good deal of paper all about myself. After the festivities at Govt House, I shall I hope, have more to say. — I have a heap of work in the office & cannot write more today but think better to post it as it is unfinished.

I will write to Kit next

My best love & that God will bless & [?] you all in my constant [?]

Always in your affection, husband

P. O’Reilly


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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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