Charles in Quatsino to Lilian – 25th February 1912

January 23rd, 2016


Quiet Cove
25th February (1912)

Darling Lil,
Four (letters) from you this ///. Am taking home to digest. I gather you are over burdening your little self with too many forethoughts. Don’t do it. You can think inside your conditions.


I think the mansion is pretty near what you want. Building strictly to meet conditions in the best way, so it can’t be far out. I’m not forgetting space for storing – linen presses etc. Cost is much more here than nearer civilization – lumber, freight and labour.

I don’t want to disappoint you or myself again, but I think I really have the seventy Easterly acres sold this time; at fifty dollars an acre less commission at five per cent. A reliable man writes me this mail that if I will pay commission, he can put the deal through at that figure.

The Johnson soil is good in places for root crops, and all over for trees: good black soil (not clayey) on top and gravel below.

There never was any doubt about my owning the Johnson – the trouble was a technical detail which the government clerks could or could not deal with before I could get the Crown Grant.

I’m burdened in soul that I cannot find it to compose to your kind dad. He knows me – all I could put into any letter to him – from what’s between him and me. I don’t believe in any opinions (of persons) developed second hand; they are subject to change from the same source – other people’s thinking. If he thinks little of my methods, himself, my writing cannot alter his point of view; Also I can’t thank him for what he gives you. Its you he’s blessing, not me. Course I’m glad for you, but my uncle (Lilian’s dad) does not touch my feelings. As far as I’m aware, I can go to darkness without his caring. On a point of policy I leave it to you. I’m too stupid to lie, and too pre-occupied to explain without need. Life will explain in time and due season, and incontrovertibly.

Apart from all this I like uncle John very much and I think he’s a brick, and as your dad he’s worth gold galore, but to this I stoop beloved, and this only.

Must stop now darlint for sleep time.

My big cat (I told you I found him) disappeared again on the Johnson when the gang arrived. He returns at silent intervals, weeks apart, and eats and rolls at my feet, and in the morning is not. He’s watching me now.

A wolf howled on the point a month ago and the next day dug beneath the sill of the door when no one was there – after the cats ! I thought ‘Poo Poo’ (the cat), he’d got it.

By the way, or rather before I say anything else, I have to report the sad death by freezing of the whole of the box of bulbs and most of the shrubs. The shrubs are, some of them, coming round. I’ve got them planted in the woodshed in a little bed at one end, but holly and I’m afraid the brooms went home. The /// must have lodged them in the refrigerator as the bulbs were nowt but a squdgy pulp when I opened the box. I’m stuck again to tell what’s alive and what’s dead. Gentian, I got, needs a sunny place. I’m afraid he’s down and out.

The first lot of shrubs are doing well, likewise bulbs: I gave two of each to a settler who is a gardener to put in for me in his plot to give each a double chance. He’s most excited also about the bundle of seeds and wants to help raise them too. He says I will be able to stock all Quatsino with flowers in a few seasons. Seeing is believing.


Grant now ten months. I don’t think Lil that I am one bit casual really, though I admit the appearance is. Jack writes me the very /// letter: He threathens (practically) to sue me for interest on that precious ‘loan’. The last thing he said was that he wasn’t in any hurry. I’m going to write to him:

J.O.P.B Esq.
Dear sir, please find enclosed.
Yours truly, C.L.B.

PPS: Next mail in a few days. Will give details of your conundrums. /// dearest: Don’t worry, it will help more than the dead fish dope.


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