Dorothea Scott-Coward to Emily McDonnell, 27 June 
I have today received your letter of May 23rd (the quickest any of yours have come!) & the photo of the babies with Robert. I do like it & what a dear old thing Robert looks. Everybody here says “What a nice fellow.” But my dear how determined both your blessed Pledges look. I begin to think you will be bossed in your declining years. You say again you hoped for a letter from me but did not get one. You never seem to get any of my letters. I wonder if the last one via Mother has reached you. I hope Mother has sent off the spoons for the babies’ birthdays — tho I fear they will be late for Peters birthday two years old poor lamb!
It is almost the anniversary of my starting out to this country. Tho I have had some fairly stiff times — I have never a moment regretted coming, the only time I was at all wretched was my first few weeks with John. poor boy his health makes one forgive him everything, he is dreadfully ill really, I hardly think he can recover. You know the people out here don’t look upon him as quite a sane person. Keep this to yourself. I have been careful to say as little as possible about him in my letters. He is far more quarrelsome than Ro & only people like my Bob — (who are very few & far between) & who are too big in body & mind to trouble themselves about his lungs & only pity his unfortunate state — put up with him. He has always meant to be kind to me — but oh how patronizing in his ways!
Yes Judy is growing into a Beauty. She wrote & told me to write quite frankly to her about John but to use my judgement in what I said to his parents. As a matter of fact I have not spoken frankly (all I know about J!!) to any of them tho lately I have written openly to Aunt May about his health. I thought it only fair. I hope he won’t hear I have done so!
It makes me tingle with shame to hear of Ro running up bills & treating them like that & having all the relations (probably) gossiping about the Cowards wanting help. Oh I’m so glad I am independent. But I am rather sorry — tho it is nice of them. Uncle Phil sent me back a cheque as he did not want me to pay back my fare. It is playing the fool to send it again. But I shd [should] have been happier had they kept it under the circumstances.
You are a darling girl to send me a silk kimona. I shall be so glad of it & it sounds so pretty. I think I shall like Peach for a change from blue.
About a Cotton Crepe. I shd [should] love a pretty blue one. Duty on cotton goods not so high. Please under estimate value & put “Not for Commerce.” Your dark one has been & is being so useful. I made it myself of course. I am larger than formerly
Waist 24 1/2 Bust 36
Neck 12 1/2 Length of skirt 38 in front
I do like a dress out here to fasten down the front or side & the waist line a little bit raised.
My dear Em, my big Bob has been [indistinct] & he is such a great Man. He wants to have a ring make out of a nugget he dug himself out of the Klondike in the Great Gold Rush. And he has built his house with his own hands & will put a veranda round it for me if I will marry him. His father was a Doctor in North of Ireland so he is Irish Protestant — tho much too long out in the wilds to have any prejudices. I forgot to tell you his name: Robert Allison. Called Bob. Over 6 foot, light coloured & bone-y. But please keep all this to yourself for the present. I tell him I may want to get out of it yet!
It seems feeble how I am independent & in such a good “posish” to give it up & become a ranchers’ wife? But I know I am lucky for such a “straight” fine manly thing to like me at all. If the crops are good, he wants it to be in November. Everything here depends on the apples, peaches & tomatoes!!
Very much love,
Yr. loving D. S. C.
I have a letter from Lucy Wray to say she was at Fresole. Mrs Mc in her “most talkative mood & gay as a lark.” I have also had a very nice letter form Mrs Mac herself who never once mentioned herself [but?] full of [indistinct] & her illness.
Typescripts, 1913-1922 — Dorothea Scott-Coward Allison Letters