Dorothea Allison to Milborough Mackay, 7 October 
The delightful little wooly has arrived I love it dearly & Bob does too. The detachable collar is such a good idea. And the white stripe near the face is a tremendous improvement to an ordinary me! Thank you ever so much. It is too sweet of you particularly as I am so bad about peoples [sic] birthdays. However I don’t suppose other people do the work that I do. My job at present is apple-packing. I rush over the cooking washing etc in the morning — have one of the pickers in to dinner, wash up & go to our own packing house where we have two men, a woman & self packing & making boxes. There until 6 pm I stand picking out apples in sizes, wrapping each apple in paper & placing it symmetrically in the wooden box in which the apples are conveyed to the Prairies, to New York, to England etc. When the light is gone I go home, skim the cream, make supper — or rather late tea wash up and by then about 9 pm we are so tired we just have a look at the paper (if it is a mail day & there is a paper) & go to bed. I am still a novice at the packing work — but I can do about 350 lbs of apples in an afternooon. We have a much larger crop this year which makes heavy work but I hope will fill the pockets better! Labour is so scarce — nearly all our unmarried men have gone & some married ones. We are paying an American boy of 16 years old twelve shillings a day to nail up apple boxes. However we must pay for the war in some way & this is a small price compared to the people who are losing their sons!
I was sent to Penticton by the Women’s Institute to read a Paper on a subject which I brought into being in B.C. I sent you a little notice in the Paper of it. It is my good work as the poor Ranchers in these out of the way districts get so little chance of educating their children after they have passed thro’ our little elementary schools. Does it interest you?
Isn’t it splendid BC has given women the vote, so we shall now be able to get the shocking Laws of this Province altered — they were made when there was hardly a white woman here & men who came round by the Horn & knew they wd [would] very likely never get back again married in to the Indian tribes & the Laws here remained tho’ quite unsuitable for white women & children. For instance at present a girl of 12 may marry a boy of 14 & the mother may not raise her voice against it! Does this bore you?
It is such lovely sunny sparkling autumn weather but already 6 degrees of frost at night — I only hope the winter won’t be as bad as the last one was.
I expect you hate having given up your house. Even my little shack I shd [should] hate to have to leave — it is so lovely to have a place really your own.
I don’t know how much you know about Oyama — Frank Rimmer is our storekeeper you know? He has just married a dear little girl, so my dear friend Miss Francis (Fan knows her, also Madge, also Enie) who was helping him in the business has now gone home. I feel rather desolated — in India you have so many of your own sort that you wont realize how one woman who knows one’s own sort of people makes such a gap.
You never tell me anything of Charlie. What does he do in the High Court and does it lead to a definite post? Does the [appointment?] of H. [High] Court exist for any length of time?? Is he still naughty about your bills? Tell me all the interesting things. Remember I am on the edge on the world here. I am glad to hear from Mother [that] Chris is a success. D. G.
Much love & my many Thanks
Yr Very affec D. Allison