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19361214 Heather to Betty

                                  Monday 14th December 1936                                PAX.

Dearest Duckie,

Monday 14th December 1936      PAX.

Dearest Duckie,

I've been meaning to write to you for positively ages -  in fact I keep on noting down things I must tell you (and then  losing them!).     Ever since I rose from my Couch of sickness I have been meaning to do this, but never has opportunity occurred  until now   -   and now only because it is a Hunting Day, and I  meant to be out hunting all day.   But I had myself injected for  Typhoid, Tetanus, Terra Firma, etc., and T.A.B., in preparation  for going to India yesterday, and the result is today that I am  not quite as bruite as I might be, and my arm is so stiff that I  could not hold the fiery steed.     so I stayed at home, and I'M  Jolly glad I did, as it has not ceased raining and blowing a gale  all day.     Gosh, if it freezes tonight, we'll be able to SKATE on  the lawn!

I'M toute seule at Pax at the moment parce que mes parentages  sont alles a Paris.     I escaped going with them, I don't know how  quite.     I rather wish I had gone actually, as I have had letters  from Lydie, Heliane, and Diana Falconer, ail saying they hope to  see me, and would get up parties.     So I might have had fun, but I  don't think much!     The parents went off on Friday night by the  new method of getting to Paris.     They step into a train a Victoria at 10 o'clock at night, and when they open their eyes next  morning, they behold the Eiffel Tower.   Rubbing their eyes again,  and muttering to themselves "Then I did have one over the eight"  they read the name of the station, which to their amazement they  see is The Coeur de Lion.     So they get out of the train and get  the Legion d'Honneur.   And come back on Tuesday (tomorrow).

Well, I think I will start off by regaling to you what I  have done, and in that way I can think of other small things that  have happened too, such as getting new kings for England and the  Empire, etc.

When I stopped being ill I got up and drove Jamroll[1] over  to Reading where I got out.     Then I got into a train to Newton  Abbott (Devonshire) while Green[2], Annie and Twm took Jamroll home  again.     I was not allowed to go in a car because Mum said a car  is a Draughty Thing and I might have caught cold and got ill all  over again.     But that train couldn't have been colder, and I  muttered swary words to myself throughout the Journey..   All the  heat thing was turned on, all windows shut and everything, but a  howling draught came up from under the seat and Froze my Toze.  But at last I got to Newton Abbott and hopped out there and was  met by Dennis and the Maude's dear black Ford V8.     He was too  heavenly, and after that filthy train it was doubly so. He  thought nothing of the Devonshire hills and simply dashed along  through the darkness, and Dennis being a very fast driver, we  simply made a black hole and the black atmosphere, and in no time  we had mopped up the 25 miles from Newton Abbott to Dartmouth and  were quietly sliding down the drive to Redlap.

When I arrived at Redlap I found Cyril and B. were out at a sherry  party (actually I knew that before, as Dennis had brought me a  note from B.)     So I sat down on a woolly hearthrug by the fire.


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Suddenly I noticed that a bit of the hearthrug was a darker  shade than the rest of it   -   and on closer inspection I found  this to be a dog.     The dog's name is Susan, and she is a beige  baby peke, indistinguishable from any forn of dog on account of  Much or Superfluous Hair.

As I say, I sat on the hearthrug, and continued to read the book  I had been reading while coming along in the train   -   a book  alled Country Calendar which Dad gave me last June for my birthday because it has Lionel Edwards sketches in it.     Besides these  it has one or two amusing stories in it, with which I will regale  you.

One day he (the author) pulled up his motor car suddenly to  watch a ploughing match in progress   -   whereupon a sports car  nearly ran into him from behind.   Its driver, a most chanting  young lady, managed to save a smash, but as she drove slowly  past she yelled "You bloody fool,    you ought to be pushing a pram!  Whereupon I took off my hat with a flourish and replied, "Madam,  I apologise.   You are quite right.   But so ought you!" 

Another story:

A doctor went to Heaven where he was greeted by St Peter who asked  him what his occupation had been on earth.     When he replied he  had been a doctor in an asylum, St Peter said:    "Come along with  me.   You are just the man we want."   "Why, what's the trouble?"  asked the doctor.    "Serious trouble" answered St Peter. "The  Almighty thinks he is Hitler."

And here is a story of a young married couple which may be  of interest to you.   The Bride is relating an incident out hunting:

"When I came here after our honeymoon I soon discovered that  unless you took an interest in sheep or hunting you might just as  well be dead, for that's all there is on the Border   -   just sheep  and hunting.     Of course, I knew nothing about either, so as hunting is the more important, Bill bought me a horse and began teaching me to ride.     But when the first Meet came along the dirty dog  told me that I couldn't ride up to Border standard, and therefore  that I could not go hunting with him.     When I inquired meekly  what I was supposed to do all day while he was enjoying himself,  he said, 'You can go to the Meet in the car and take Whitey with  you.    She's the best terrier on the Border.   Often the foxes go  to ground.   After the Meet you drive on to the top of the hills  and if you see the hunt stopped anywhere, drive up with Whitey  and you'll be very welcome.' So, of course, I obeyed.

Well, I went to the Meet, where I was introduced to various  people on horseback as the blushing English bride.   Then, when  they had all moved off I drove up to the top of a hill where I  stopped the ear and smoked a cigarette.     Then I think I must  have dropped to sleep, for when I woke up it was to see a fox  trotting across the road only a little way from the car.  I'd never seen a fox before, so when he crept through a gap in a  wall nearby, I got out of the car and crept quietly towards the  wall in order to see where he had gone.     I peeped over the wall,  and there was Mr Fox sunning himself on the far side.     Then I  thought to myself "There's all those people and horses and hounds  trying to catch a fox.     I wonder if Whitey can catch this one. If  she can, all those hunting people will be awfully pleased with me.”




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So I crept back to the car, took whitey in my arms, crept on tip-  toe back to the wall, lifted her up, end dropped her right on top  of the fox, saying; Good Dog, Whitey, Seize him!  And she did!   She did!   She gripped him and hung on.   And there  was I, leaning over the wall, listening to the most awful row,  wondering what would happen next, and thinking how grateful everybody would be to me for catching their fox, and how proud and  pleased my husband would be.

In a minute or two I saw the hounds tearing along the hillside  towards me, with several horsemen galloping along behind them,  so I ran back to the car to be out of the way.     The hounds came  up and made an awful row as they set into my fox.     Then up came  the Master and two or three more.     They sat on their horses and  watched the business, and the Master bellowed "Who in the hell  let out that bloody terrier?"   And then, would you believe it,  that husband of mine who was next to him, shouted, "I don't  know, Master.     I've never seen the damn dog before."   And it was  his own terrier, the dirty liar.

The Border experts then finished the business, and presently  they all rode off.     Not one of them had the decency to thank me  for catching their fox.     In fact none of them came near me. At  least only Bill.      He waited until they were all gone, and then  rode up to the car with Whitey in his arms.     He was white with  rage.     He tossed her into the back of the car and said "Prue,  cover that dog up with a rug and go straight home".  The Pig!   And me only married a bare three months!"

Well, this all comes out of the book I was rending while  sitting on the hearthrug at Redlap,     I shared the hearthrug not  only with Susan, but with Cheeky, the one-eyed Peke (A big dog  de-eyed him in a battle during the summer) and a heavenly, but  not quite so pure-bred as Rusty, golden cocker called Jerry, who  was very sentimental-eyed and droopy, and had lovely long feathers coming out from between his claws.

Cyril and B. soon came back, and it was fun seeing them again,  the last time having been at your wedding.

I was meant to spend a very Quiet time with the Maudes, according to Mum.     So next day we went for a very long walk all the  morning, went out to tea with some people in the afternoon, and  in the evening to dinner at the R.N.C. with the Holts.  Admiral Holt (aa he has just bean made)   is the Captain till the  end of this term when he leaves on account of his promotion,  he was very nice and tall and had sea-eyes, if you know what I  mean, he sort of looked into the distance, and was very good-looking.     He had a wife who probably had been very good looking  when young but has rather a hard face now.     Also their elder  son Christopher was there   -     typical man-about-town, but quite  pleasant, and definitely unbent a little from his stiffness when  I asked him what Breed his sporting motor car was, and when he  said Morrls, I said Oh but don't you mean a Nuffield.   Also he  loved the story of the absent minded man who came down to breakfast one morning and kissed his egg and cracked Ms wife on the  head.     After dinner we went along the miles of cold passages to  the Quarter Deck where the "Exmouth" Term of Cadets put on a  theatrical show, and they really were awfully good.     They did  various sketches and a sort of murder-cum-ghost play. One  rather good sketch was of a road-man guarding a hole in the road




and s slightly inebriated gentleman, complete with top-hat (or  tofat) on his way home from a party entered into conversation  with this roadmender and said, “How much longer is that hole going  to be a hole,"   "Well, said the road-mender, "it's been a hole  as long as I can remember, because my father had this hole before  me, and his father before 'im.     It'll always be a 'ole."  "Then does this 'ole   -   er Hole   -   belong to you"  “That's right, this 'ole belongs to me, just the same as that  *ole at the corner of Oxford St   and Audley Street belongs to me  brother,      ‘E's going to move 'is ‘ole though.     'E's going  further down   -   thinks Oxford Circus would be better place for  a 'ole.

They went on like this for a long time, saying the most priceless  things, and then finally the gentleman said, “Well, what have you  got in your hole   -   Pipes?   Water or Gas pipes?”  "No, there ain't no Pipes in my hole.     It's just a 'ole." so  saying he picked up a pickaxe to pick at his hole   - whereupon,  of course, he struck a gas Pipe, out burst a fume of gas, and  knocked then both flat!

After that we went back to the Captain's house and played the  match game   -   you know, a bottle standing in the middle of the  table, and everybody takes it in turns to put a match on the top.  everybody has ten matches about, and if they knock any or all  off the top of the bottle they have to have all those too! The  idea is to dispose of all your matches, and if everybody succeeds  in doing this, it looks just as though a stork had built a nest  there!     Then the next procedure is for everybody in turn to withdraw a match, and this is just as difficult as putting them on.  It's a good test to see who's been drinking and has a shaky hand!

Next day we went over to Torquay and saw a marvellous cave  called Kent's Cavern.     It was rather the usual, only so huge, and  we went on walking for miles and miles, and there were lovely  little grottoes of stalagmites and stalactites.     Also it was  a most particularly interesting cave on account of the number of  bones that have been found fossilised in the rock, and most of  them are of course tremendously old.     There were Mammoth tusks  and tiger's wing bones, Horses and wolves, elks and bears (and as  we went past a deep cave called the bear's den, Dennis oane over  with a serious face, and said "You'll see Mr Court come out of  there in a minute"; and, most amazing of all   -   dear Rhinos!

Also we went to lunch with Cyril's uncle   -   a sweet old man  called Hubert Hanbury Tracy, who lives at a house called Longwood (that's the third Longwood I've been to) in Torquay, with a  marvellous view out over the bay and along the cliffy coastline  of Devon.

Then one day we went beagling which was great fun, and the  hare came and ran right between B. and me who were standing talking together!       The Beagles belong to the R.N.C. and the Master  (who is the Commander at the College) rode a very fat and lazy  chestnut.     The whippers-in were all boys from the College, who  brought hounds to the meet, and were dressed in white shorts and  Hunting stocks, and Blazers.     They managed the beagles most  efficiently.

One or two people came in to dinner on some nights. One  night Commander Hawkins came.     He tried to be very blase at  first, and said, “Yes, I saw you when you were very small when you




came out to Africa for the first time, with your parents.   I was  on Athlone's Staff you know."     But later on he became definitely  amusing.    He is a brother-in-law of the Duchess of Gloucester,  having married her sister.     But being at the R.N.C. as a  Commander he is supposed to be a bachelor, and so he is not  allowed to have his wife anywhere near him.     B. asked him how  many children he has got.     "Well,” he said, “when I last went home  to count there were 3, but there may be more since then!"  Another night a fellow with spectacles called Christopher Lloyd  came to dine.    He is one of the masters at the college, but he  is soon going to stop being a master as he has just made quite a  nice little bit of money writing a book..     It is a jolly good  book, and Cyril and I had fights about reading it as there was  only one copy at Redlap.     It sounds a dull subject, being a life  of Fanny Burney, the first woman novelist who wrote Evelina,  Cecllla, Camllla, Kotex, etc.     But it really is most awfully  interesting, and her love affairs are so amusing because she was  so shy that she made her admirers shy too, and thus they became  too shy to ask her to marry them!

And then I had to leave Cyril and B.     Only before I tell  you what I did next I must just tell you a story that Cyril told  us.

A man was hurrying along with his friend to attend a dinner  in town, at which he was to be the speaker.     But suddenly on the  way, the poor man tripped on the kerb, fell, and smashed all his  top layer of false teeth.     Luckily the man with him came to the  rescue and took him along in a taxi to a friend of his who would  be able to fix him up all right with a new lot.     so in they went  and they tried set after set of false teeth.     At last he found a  lot which fitted absolutely perfectly.     So they went off as fast  as they could to the dinner, and the speaker duly made his speech  After it was all over, and the speaker, going home with his  friend, end feeling very satisfied with his new teeth, said, I  forgot to ask you the name of your dentist friend who has fitted  me up with these teeth,    who is he?"  "He’s not a dentist".  “Not a dentist?"  "No, he's an UNDERTAKER."

Well, as you know how we loath trains, I didn't look forward to going all the way home in one   -   or rather not in one,  in three, as I would have to change twice.     Then, most fortunately Mrs Fletcher (wife of the ex-Headmaster of Charterhouse) who  lives at the little house by Redlap's entrance, happened to  mention the fact that her chauffeur was motoring up to Godalming  to fetch a new car down.     So I said quietly “Bentley is on the  way to Godalming.”   so I got a lovely and free lift home.   And it  was muoh more snug and warm and fuggy in that little motor car  than it would have been in a foul train.

I got home on a Thursday afternoon, and on the Friday morn.  I caught the 9.14 to London, and then went across to King's Cross  and stepped into the "Royal Scot" which carried me up to Newcastle, where I got to at about 5. and was met by the huge figure  on the platform of George Carter.




- 6 -

George and Mamie had very kindly asked me up to Northumberland -  or rather Durham, - for a Scout Ball in Newcastle, and a couple  of days’ hunting, which I readily accepted,

The Ball was quite fun, in fact very pleasant, with a very good  band, aend a lovely sprung floor   -   it was in the old Assembly  Rooms of Newcastle which are very beautiful.     Scouts were on duty  at the door collecting the tickets, etc., otherwise it was not a  scout ball, except that the proceeds of the Ball are in aid of the  Movement.     The only thing was that everyone in the party were  married couples except me and a man they got to partner me who  was horrid!   He had been doing broacasting all day, and could talk  of nothing else but broadcasting.     But he was a great friend of  George's, so I had to be polite to him.

Next day was lovely.     HUNTING.     Philip, George's brother, took  me out to the Meet at Minsteracres, about 15 miles out from Newcastle, to have a day'a hunting with the Braes of Derwent. So  when Philip introduced me to the old Master, Mr Priestman, I said  “Ah. I've hunted with the Braes of Derwent before, but not in  Northumberland.”     It was with the Gwath Hounds in Kenya. And  he said “Oh, did old Bwifty take you out?”   So I said “yes he did.”  Also he taught us all the names of his Hounds,    -   Whereupon, in  the middle of the Meet we had great fun remembering as many of  the Hounds names as we could.

Out stepped my hireling from a horsebox.     she was thin like   hirelings are, but a good quality mare   -   not unlike Gipsy Moth  if she had been Much fatter, and a bit lower   -   and her name was  Duchess.     She was very narrow, had a snaffle mouth and bounoed  beautifully.     Philip didn't hunt himself, but he introduced me  to several people and told two of them to look after me   - an  old man called Tom Easy, who has hunted with the Braes for 59  seasons!     He was awfully sweet, and went very well on his clever  grey horse.   Also a young gent farmer called Hark Spraggon took  charge of me.     He had lovely young chestnut which didn’t belong  to him, but which he is making into a hunter for somebody.. It

went beautifully, also in a snaffle, and jumped well too. The  jumps were chiefly stone walls, which I had not met before, and  they were Jolly terrifying to look upon for the first time, but

by Jove Duchess knew her stuff, she just took the matter into her  own hands, hoofs, paws or feet, and we WENT.     It was all lovely  and all the people were so nice and friendly and all came and  talked to me whether I had been introduced or not   -   such a  change after the stiff and silent people of the south!  Eventually we were stopped by a sudden and very heavy fall of  SNOW!      It came down tremendously suddenly and hounds completely  disappeared, and visibility was completely obscured and we could  not even see our way out of the fields.       I got out on to the  road, just near a cross-roads, and there, to my intense relief  was Philip and the car.       So I tossed the Brush which I had been  given earlier on in the day into the car, and then hacked back  about three miles (fast trotting all the way!) to the place where  the horse-boxes were all collected.     They stuffed Duchess into  her box, and me into Philip's oar, and home we all went. But  by Jove it was cold.      And Snow thick on the road.         I think  the last snow I had seen until then had been that on the peak  of Kilimanjaro when we flew over it on our way to Dar-es-Salaam!




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Next day was a Sunday and it was absolutely frightfully cold,  although the sun was shining.      We stayed in and felt sleepy all  the morning, except when Mamie's handsome brother (who is a sales  man in Marshal and Snelgrove!) arrived to show them his new car.  It wasn't really a new car, but it was new for him.     A very nice  looking black Talbot with headlamps high un and very close together,       George, by the way, has a most absolutely super  Studebaker, a new one since the summer, a 1937 one   -    maroon-coloured, and so silent and beautiful, and of course with music in  him.

In the afternoon we went over to George's uncle's niece to  look and see what horse he could lend me to hunt on the morrow.  This uncle has a son called Douglas Nicholson who owns a pack of  beagles, and there were all these beagles in a lovely kennel in  the stable yard.     Also we looked at all his horses, but it was  so cold that I could hardly bear to look at them because I wanted  to keep moving all the time!

Then we went to tea at Mamie's parental home, which is just  across the road from her present home.     Her mother was away, but  her big red-faced father was there, also the handsome bother -  brother, I mean, and an attractive but completely idle actress  sister.

during tea I felt uncommonly cold and uncommonly full. And  when we adjourned from tea to go hone I suddenly felt definitely  sick,   so I told Mamie, and she rushed me along to the Gents where  I violently Unhad.      Then I felt quite well   -   in fact better  than I had been feeling all dsy.

When we got home I was sick again   -   though I didn't tell  Mamie so, and had terrific diarrhoea.     Then I changed quickly  for dinner, as there were some people coming in, and went and  warmed myself by the fire and drank lime juice and water, and  felt much better.     I toyed with dinner, and felt rather piano,  but afterwards I brightened up, and we played Lists.     Then we got  quite cheery, and someone rolled back the carpet, and we danced to  the Radio and I felt quite well thankyou, and we didn't go to bed  till after 1 a.m.

I think I must have got a Chill after riding in the snow.  Next day, Monday, it was absolutely frozen hard and no hope of  hunting.     But I wasn't very disappointed as I didn't feel quite  up to form.      So I just spent a lazy morning with Mamie (George  had to go off to his work in Newcastle) and they have a dear little  daughter called Diana aged 16 months, who can walk marvellously,  and is learning to talk and adds new words to her vocabulary  every day.      she copied whatever I did, or tried to   -   and she  was prioeless to watch when she tried to wink, because she could  NOT get one eye to stay open while the other went shut!  In the afternoon we went in to Sunderland to see a Shirley Temple  film.     It was an awfully sweet one called Captain January. She  was the adopted daughter of a Lighthouse Keeper called Captain  January.     She wore trousers and little sailor jerseys, and sang  and danced beautifully.     She did some very sweet patter dancing  with a tall willowy sailor   -   whose top half went right out of  the picture when there were close picturea of Shirely dancing!  One rather amusing thing was when Shirley had a birthday, and an  old salt brought her a present of an ugly looking bird, a great




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crane, with a white how round its neck.     So Shirley walked  solemnly up to it and said "Do you remember me?"   So the old  salt said “That's a crone, Shirley.

"Oh is it," said Shirley.    "I thought it was a Stork".

Weil, next day, I had to come down south again. Before  leaving Newcaatle, however, Mamie took me along to have a look  at one of George's factories where they make "Cut-Outs", in other words, cardboard cartons for holding things in.   Chiefly they  make cartons for soap.       It was very interesting to see the  artists at work designing the pictures, then the pictures being  printed off onto blocks, and then printed back onto the cardboard as it passed through rollers, and then the cardboard being cut and folded and clamped into beautiful box shapes. There  was one lovely machine which put gum on to the backs of labels  to be stuck on to boxes.     And this machine could COUNT.  Because as every fiftieth label went through, it shot it out to  the side a little bit, so they could count how many lots  of 50 were coming through.

Then I came all the way down to London again, on an  evening train.     Before we started we just went to have a look  at the engine to see who and what it was, and it was the Silver King itself, the original engine which pulled the Silver Jubilee  Train.     But it only took as far as Grantham, and then we had a  great green engine put on.

All the time that I was up in Newcastle and when I got  down here again, all the King/Simpson trouble was on   - and  nobody could think or talk or argue about anything else, coming  down in the train, on the platforms, everywhere, you would see  knots of people standing together, all airing their particular  views of what they thought.     Some peoole tried to stand up for  the King and say “He can damn well marry whom he likes.”     Others, like Mum, said “How Shocking, she's no more than the daughter of a  boarding house keeper”     Mum quite went off the deep end about  it, and said it is positively sickening to think the unpardonable, irreparable harm he has done, etc. etc.     And then, when  she heard he was going to abdicate, she said "And now, what is  our Guide Promise to be?   To do my duty to God and the King."  Is he going to stay and be our King, or is he going to give in  to this Beastly woman,     (It really was most amusing to hear  poor Mum, because she got so worked up about it one would have  thought the King was her son!)

Well, now he's gone, poor little Duke of Windsor.  as the oarol savs,

"Hark the Herald angels sing

Mrs Simpson's pinched our King."

Some people said that he thought he was so popular that he  thought he could put anything across the Government, - even to  putting a low-class double-divorcee American on the throne aa  the Queen of England.

Stories about her were simply flying round, and I think one  that Mum picked up from somewhere and told me was one of the  most terrific.     It was that when Mrs Simpson got a divorce  from her first husband(who by his Photographs looked an  utter brute anyway) she not only had one but EIGHT co-respondents.




- 9 -

This was the toast that was being drunk the first night in  London when it all came out in the newspapers:

"Here's to Mr Simpson.   He laid down his wife for the King."

By the way, do you see regular newspapers at all, out in the  wilds of Africa?      I mean does the weekly Sketch or Mirror or  something go out to you7      What I'm thinking is, you will have  some thing to read all about this Crisis as they call it, won't  you.

It does seem SO funny to see headlines in the paper this  morning "Queen Elizabeth Has Wild Attack of Flu"   (Queen Elizabeth being none other than the Duchess of York!)   I should  think the Duke of Kent must be rather peeved with his King-brother for pinching his Christian name!

I should think, as Dad says, this King will be much better  than that last one, as he is so much more dependable and better-behaved and steady and doesn't dash off on mad holidays and  behave like a tripper in the Austrain Tyrol (where apparently,  as Prince of Wales he used to get so tight that next morning he  couldn’t even walk straight across the room to his breakfast  table!)

Well, anyway, I feel quite sorry for the poor little man  as he must have gone through absolute torture lately.     The only  hope is that Mrs Simpson won't walk out on him now he's failed  to make her his Queen!   Which I think she is quite likely to do  sooner or later as I've heard she is a terrific Cad.     She sacked  servants wherever she could when she tried to dig herself into  Windsor to strengthen her footholds.

Now I must stop King-talking, and answer your fine last  letter of 22nd November.

I hope you are getting over the sickness now that it is  cooler and that you have done two   -   Is it two already -  months.     According to Annie it is rather strange that you  ahould have this sickness, because usually a daughter follows  what her mother did, and Mum was NEVER sick!     How trying!  Anyway, I expect you have got it worked out to a fine art, good  aim, etc., by now.       I can quite feel for you, having done it  myself twice last Sunday, but gosh, I shouldn't like to have to  do it three times before breakfast and twice after, all in the  same day! Anyway, I hope the result will be a Jolly fine SON.

Is Sesheke still SeCHeke?

I have told Mum that it might be a good idea if she wrote to you  by Air Mail, and have bought her a whole lot of 6d stamps for the  purpose.     But she says that as long as she writes regularly  every week, so that you always get a letter (however babyish!)  it doesn't really matter how long it takes to get there.  Except, of course, that all the news is completely out of date.




- 10-

How annoying of people to write you such footling engagement  letters,     Why can't they save themselves the bother of writing!  Oh!   By the way, I opened a letter addressed to you quite by   mistake the other day.     It was put on my heap, and I was opening them all at express speed before going out hunting. And  then I saw it was to Mrs Clay, Dear Madam, and just as I was  telling my eyes not to read any further, they alighted upon the  words "I have fallen on evil days"   -   so I continued to read  the whole thing, and it was from some begging creature in  Canada,   without thinking, or rather thinking Damn Cheek to  attack newly-weds for money, I tore the letter up.    Very wrong  I'm afraid.     I should have sent it to you, at any rate to read  for amusement, even if not to answer.     But I'd done it all so  quickly (acting on impulse, you know!) that the remains of the  letter were out on the rubbish heap before I had time to  retrieve them.     Gosh, though, the cheek of the people! They  had just seen the photograph of your wedding at Bentley, and so  wrote their letter just to Bentley, England.!!

By the way, talking of Kathie MacCathie, which you did  in your letter, I met a girl called Una Saunders (Australian)  at a sherry party the other day, and she said that The Hermitage was burnt down

a little while ago, while all the  McCathies were away on holiday-- so that everything they hadn't  taken with them was burnt.     Awful bad luck for them.  The sherry party that I have just mentioned was given by Peggy  Killick, in her flat (which is a basement with lovely panelled  walls).     One girl there was posing and looking very striking  and actressy, and when I talked to her, she said do remember  me to Betty,     My name is ? Skinner, and I was with

her at Westonbirt.       (I can't remember what she called her  Christian name.)

I was rather lucky at that party too, because at 7.30, I said  to the man who I was talking to called Jim Tilling "I must go  as I've got to catch a train."     so he said “Are you going to  Bentley.     If so, I'll take you.”     so 1 thought he meant he'd  take me to Waterloo.     Not at all, he took me right home, and  it was terribly foggy, specially on the Hog's Back, and we had  to creep along at fifteen m.p.h. and even then we turned down a  road we shouldn’t have because we couldn't find our way across  a cross-roads!     I had telephoned to Pax to say get a room ready  for a young man and put out some of Dad's pyjamas.     And when I  showed him up to his room (we got in just after midnight) I saw  those stupid maids had put out a pair of MY pyjamas!

These maids we have at Pax at the moment are just the  lousiest lot ever.     Catchpole the cook is too silly and serves  up the dullest meals.     Today for lunch for instance, (I was by  myself here) I was given Cold Beef and a few very dry chip  potatoes, and for sweet Mince Pies (which I hate).     And the  other day Dad went to bed early because he came back from  London rather chilled.     So he asked for a Lightly Boiled Egg.  And, believe it or not, that damned cook sent up an egg as hard  as a bullet.




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But in spite of all that, Mum has actually ASKED her to come  back to us when we get back from India!.     Which puts Catohpole  in a very strong position, and she just doesn't bother to cook  at all decently because she knows she won't get fired,  Mum's excuse is that she can't risk being left without a Cook in  Coronation Year when there will be such a rush on servants.  Why she couldn't be looking for a new one now this moment, to  engage to come to us in April I fail to see.  Then the Kitchen maid is AWFUL and so loud.     She shouts and  singe(?) at the top of her voice all the time, and bellows out  of that scullery window to the dogs.     Her squint is more  violent than ever, and she never lights up the boiler properly  so that we can really have hot water for our baths in the morning.      Mum has actually given her notice, but says she is to  stay on till Jan. 8th.     So, of course, the little wretch does  not bother to do a stroke of work, and daily gets cheekier and  cheekier, and is terribly rude to Catchpole the way she answers  her back.

And then Ivy, the head housemaid, because she is engaged ta a  very fine fellow over at Basingstoke, thinks she is absolutely  the Cat's Whiskers, and doesn't come down in the mornings till  the maid's breakfast bell goes!     Also, she has a roaring coal  fire going in her room every day,     Mum knows that she has it,  but does not stop her (though I'm not allowed such a thing in  MY room!)   I just share an electric heater with Mum.     But of  course when Mum is at home I don't like to take it away into my  room.

Oh, there's the sequel to the Brooke Knight thing now. Very  dull though.     Just that he was acquitted, as he did not scalp  the victim with his motor car on purpose, so it was not a case  of manslaughter.     But he has had his licence taken away for  good.   Also he admits to being totally blind in one eye, and  pretty deaf.

In your letter you sound rather hit up about Daddoie's  health.     But really, Duckle, let me assure you he is in the Pink  of condition.     It was only just one day that he had a sort of  “cheap" day, but was quite bright and well and up sgain the next.  He la marvellous.     He does 7 miles every day.   Also lately he  has been allowing the Press to come and film him doing his  Exercises, as he wants to do anything to promote the development  of Physical Education, which the Government authorities have  lately taken up with great vigour.

Of course the Press interviews reached their absolute climax when  a Photographer arrived at 9 o'clook one night to coma and Photo-  graph Dad IN BED on his balcony!       Dad was so furious and let  fly so terrifically, that Mum had to follow the poor little photographer out of the house to comfort him!

No, honestly, at the moment I think Dad is much weller than Mum.  Mum doesn't realise it, but she is overstrained and overworking  herself, and she really is TIRED, although of course she would  never give in to that word!        I think it will be fine for her  to get on board ship, and just rest and rest.

I don't think India will be too tiring for Dad actually. So far  he has NO engagements other than the Jamboree at the beginning of




- 12 *

February.     Because when Mum and Rosalind go off on this hectic  tour which Mum has made out for herself. Dad and I will peacefully go up to Meerut (only 40 miles from Delhi) and stay there  for a bit with Colonel Lumley (and hope with luck to be there at  the time of the Kadir Cup) and then drift on northwards to Risalpur to stay with the 13th,     And then it will be about time  for Mum to stop Guiding and to come up and join us, and for us  all to go on up to Kashmir to holiday   -   though March is a bit  early for India as some of the Passes are still blocked with  snow.

That's one thing about India   -   it's in the Northern  Hemisphere, and therefore it will be winter there the same as it  is here, and the winters are   not hot.     In fact Lettice Hill  says she can remember walking up and down the railway Platform  at Delhi wearing a fur coat and stamping her feet to keep warm!

One terrible burden we have to take with us is BEDDING, as  they don't have any on the railways,   at least only on the Mail  trains   -   and we will probably be travelling by intermediate  trains chiefly.     But it's most annoying having to take holdalls  of bedding.     It does seem so stupid, and Mum's so annoying about it.     I say, surely we can borrow what necessary blankets  we want from people out there.     She says no, people will not  want to lend us their blankets we must take our own.     And she  is going to take SHEETS too!      She says the fleabags will be  too hot (Then why take blankets, I say}     Because it does get  cold in different parts of India that we will be going through,  says Mum, (Interminable arguments!)

I do hope Rosalind is going to be of some help to me (in bearing  me up in modern views, etc) as well as to Mum!     Otherwise I  shall be sunk!

Yes, Jane Thornewill is married and living in Cario.  Cairo, that last word's meant to be.    (By the way, you must  excuse this extra marvellously bad typing, but I have such a  terrific lot to say that my fingers are so excited they are  leaping all over the place.)     It is now nearly midnight, and  I have already written 11 pages, and I still have tons more to  say.      Gosh, I wonder if it will all go Into one envelope. And  if it does ail go into one envelope, whether that one envelope  will ever get to Sesheke, or whether iit will get burned, or  drown in the   Mediterranean.     Will you let me know if you  ever do get this letter.     Or rather, if you ever don't,  because I have not done it in duplicate and I couldn't bear to  have to start it all over again!

Well, anyway, to continue with Jane,     she is married to a man  called Oliver Plunkett who I didn't like when I did meet him  because he could do nothing but tell vulgar jokes (which is  rather putting off the first time you meet anyone don't you  think)   But mavbe he thought that as I was a friend of Jane's  I would appreciate this.     He is tall and wears spectacles as  far as I remember, and is a soldier in Egypt, but I can't  remember what Force.      He end Jane were to have got married  in about two years' time when he was coming home on leave. But  then he got appendicitis, and was given a fortnight's leave. So




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he wired to Jane “Coming home for fortnight, what about getting  married?”    So Jane said Oke by me, Strike while the Iron is hot,  etc.     He got back on Dec. 3rd, and they were married on the 5th.  At Anglesey.     She asked me to the wedding and very kindly fixed  up for me to stay with friends up there, and to motor down to the  wedding with Mariette, etc., but unfortunately it clashed with  the time that I was in Northumberland with the Carters.  I did just see a little Picture of the wedding in the paper, and  Jane actually looked rather sweet and very bride like, and  Oliver didn't look too bad either.

When I wrote to Aunt Freda (mother Thornowill) later I told her  I thought it quite a little coincidence that her eldest son  (Derek) and second daughter (Jane) had both gone to Africa in  the same way that Hum's eldest son (?!) and second daughter had  done the same.

Yes, my sherry party in London went off awfully well -  and it was rather easier not having Mum there!     One or two  people came and said particularly nice things to me about it.  One man said he had not seen such a nice collection of people  together in one room ever since he had lived in London. These  ware real people with personalities in them, he said, instead of  the usual brainless society nit-wits!     Lettioe said it was one  of the best parties she had ever been to, and she can be quite  critical.     I made everybody introduce each other to others as  much as they could, and I did all I could too, because usually  at a sherry party people are so bad at that, and you only talk  to people you know already instead of making new acquaintances.  By the end, of course, there was such a gabble, and 50 people  drank 15 bottles of sherry, which isn't bad going   -   at least  12   was what I estimated.

Re gramophone records:     I'm glad to hear that all the  ones in Diok Mills' case arrived unbroken.      I have not yet  succeeded in getting The Song in my Heart.   But I flew into  Andrews the other day and got a nice Jan Kiepura one, and I  have told them to keep it until I have chosen a few more, end  then to pack them really well all together and send them out.  Do you know if the duty is very heavy on gram, records. I  thought ma>be a bunch of them together would work out cheaper  than sending them separately.

I am going to send by ship mail a few odd things I have  sort of stored up to send you.     Things like a letter from Mrs  Copeland with an amusing account of how she got stuck in the lift  in the Queen Mary, etc,     Also the Gilwell photograph, a small  copy, which I seen to remember you saying you had not sen.

The silver fox ia very well thankyou and has been out and  around a good deal.     I am not going to take him to India as I  don't think furs lika India very much.     I'm going to take a fur  though   -   the brown one.      In planning out my clothes this  time I am taking rather a brown and white line of country. All  brown shoes this time.   -   Specially as the Guide people in  India all wear brown shoes and stockings.





- 14 -

Oh, by the way, I flew into Sturts the other day to order some  Air Mail paper from you.     The woman there produced some stuff  which looked fairly all right, and she said "This is what Mrs  Clay had last time"   -   so I thought that sounded good enough,  and told her to send two slabs of it, plus thin but lined  envelopes, out to you, and wrote down the address in huge letters.

Also I had just been in to Dora Gray before that, to get a dress  altered, and she said, “DO remember me to Mrs Clay when next you  write.     We often think of her and hope she Is happy.!     Which I  have assured her several times, you are !

I must tell you about this dress that is being altered,     I was  staying the night with the Davidsons the other night (Clare was  away so I had her room) and I just casually announced to Pud that  I was longing to be able to have a black velvet evening dress.  So she said, well you can have that one in that cupboard there.  So I pulled it out and tried it on, and it seemed pretty shapely,  though all the seams were coming apart and the shoulder straps all  pinned together.     Pud said you can have it,     So I said thanks  very much.     It is not real velvet, but velveteen. (Personally

1 don't know the difference, so it doesn't make any difference  to me!)       I took it in to Dora Gray and Miss Stedman has been  mucking about with it, and I think it is going to be pretty  pleasant.     It has a high neck straight across the front, with

2 sliver clips on each corner, and is pretty low at the back with  the two shoulder straps coming to a point at the back.

Mum very kindly said that for a Christmas present she  would give me any dresses I got from Celia.     So I went in there  the other day and went ransacking through all her cupboards, and  really there were the most lousy lot of things there! Except  for one absolutely heavenly white frock   -   terribly striking,  with lovely dark green shoulder straps   -   and which cost 11  guineas, but which she would let me have for 9, there was  absolutely nothing.

I am going up to London tomorrow to do a spot of shopping  and I hear there is a very good selection of marvellously cheap  evening frocks at Peter Jones, so I will dash in there.

Mow, just a few jottings to interest you.  Shawgm.    Still alive, and full of worms, so while Mum is away I  have taken him to the vet. to be dosed, bathed, etc.     He is  very sweet, but my god, he can snore!     He's far worse than you  before you were detonsiled, antrimed, etc.     He's wonderful the  way he gets around.     The other day I was going out riding over  to Bordon, and I told the lousy maids to keep him and look after  him, but of course the first thing they did when I set off down  the drive was to let him out, and he would NOT an back. (Pretended he did not know how to turn round)     So I    just let him come.  And cone he did!     He kept gaily trotting ahead (miles in front  of Bong) when we were on the roads.     But when we turned up  through the Robertson’s hopfields he got sadly left behind,. So  we went on as fast as we could   and then came back exactly the




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same way as we had gone, so as to join him again,     But of course  there was not a sign of him!     So when we got home and found he

had not come back we felt a little sorry for him.     So after  lunch we [Gay Mather who had come for the weeked) and me went  forth to Binsted in her car.   -   Oh I forgot to say I had rung  up Bentley and Binsted Post Offices to notify them. Lost, 1 black  Labrador, blind -   but no result.     By this time it was deluging  with rain, and we went along slowly while I spied out across the  fields, but never a sign of the old boy.

Suddenly as we came round that corner where there is the cross-  roads to Binsted, we saw him, trotting along by the side of the  road, head and tall down, and coming towards home.     Oh, he was  glad to be picked up!     I really felt awfully sorry for him as  he was so grateful for being fetched, and it is terrible not to  be able to see at all where you are going.   Dear old Shawgm.

His hindlegs are his most wobbly part. In fact to such  an extent that he has to Pee Like a Puppy - he can't balance  on one leg like a grown uo dog usually can.

Twm. Just as heavenly as ever, and never lets me out of his  sight. Even if I go from the drawing room to the telephone he  gets up from the fireside and comes along too! I have just  been writing to the Copelands today to ask them to have him -  which of course they will - when we go off to India. Lettice  is pining to have him, so are all the Davidsons. He is a very  popular little creature.

Rusty.   Heavenly and floppy, but terrible at rushing to   the pig  bucket the moment he is let out of his kennel, and when he comes  in from his walk he simply won't go back into his cage again,  but dashes off round to the rubbish heap, and has to be dragged  back!     But while we are in India he is going to SCHOOL over at  Beaconsfleld, and there he will learn to be a housedog and learn  who he is.     He will be much better in the house I think.. Only  I wish Mum looked after him more.     As it is, he has his meals  just like the others, outside, given him by the foul little  kitchen maid.     But I think Mum finds him a bit too rushy and  when he cones in all wet and muddy from walks he would dirty  the house rather.     However, when we are home again in April and  it is drier weather and the foul kitchen maid has gone I think it  will all be much better!

Bong.   No thinner.   Just the same.

Gipsy.   Terribly fit and well and lovely and muscly and fat, and  shiny coat, nice pulled tail all slim at the top, and thinned and  silky mane.     She really looks an absolute picture.     I hunted  her with the Bordon drag last Friday when they met at Bentley and  we did NOT go to the Holt, we went up to Binsted instead, Gosh,  she can jump big!     We had to jump an up-hill post and rails  and she simply leapt up into the sky!

Jority.     While I was ill Jority was sent back to Tom Downman as  being unsuitable for me because of her rearing, falling over, etc,  But when I got back from Northumberland (on a Wed) I had written




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to Downman and told him to have something at the Meet on Thurs.  for ne to hunt   -   and added that the only one I wanted to hunt  was Jority.     So Jority arrived at the Meet, plus a roan animal  as second string in case I could not bear Jority.     I had not  seen her since she had been clinped out.     She looked very  beautiful   -     but oh, so thin!     He has starved her a bit I  think as she was too round and bumptious.     But in spite of  her thinness she looked very ducky with beautifully plaited mane  and flowing tail and beautiful slim legs.     She was very gay  and bouncy, but did not rear at all, and jumped everything  marvellously, though we had nothing very fierce.     I rode her  in a snaffle and 1 think that was better than the double bridle  for her.     She did pull a bit, in fact I still have a fine  blister on one finger, but she did stop as soon as I really  checked her.

I couldn't resist her, so I rode her hone!   It was 15  miles and I got in at 5.30 and it was inky dark.   Hut she was  marvellous, and didn't mind headlights and double-deckers a bit.

I have these two lovely Hunters.     But at the moment I  am having rather an anxious time trying to find homes for them  while we are away.

I thought I had found an ideal one for Gipsy   -   with Rachel  Soames.     When I offered her to her Rachel was absolutely  delighted and fixed up about boxing her down to Essex (where  she will live when she marries) and insuring her and getting  her put in foal and everything.     But then she rang up most  dejectedly the other day to say that they are not going to live  where they thought they were going to, and their new house has  no stables and nobody to look after the horses or anything, so  at the moment it is all looking rather black.     But I hope she  may be able to find somewhere where she could keep her.  Jority so far has found no hone.     I thought at one moment of  lending her to Pud, as she had been lent a horse for Nov. and  Dec. but not after.     However, I've just heard that she has  wrecked that horse for the rest of this season by jumping it  over an enormous place and had a terrific over-reach which cut  clean through a tendon.     Actually it wasn't really Pud's  fault, it was rather bad luck.     She was terribly cut up about  it and said she cried and cried as she hadn't cried for years.  All the same, I feel rather chary about lending her Jority! In  fact I won't.

I'm going to a sherry party of Pud's tomorrow.   I've never been  to a party of hers before, and have hardly met any of her  frlends, except one or two of the "darling" types of females.  I can't bear to think what the males are like if they are the  equivalent!

Gay Mather was staying here this last weekend   -   she and  me together, as the parentage are away In Paris.     It was great  fun seeing her again and she had all sorts of scandals to tell  about various people in Kenya.     Apparently Freddie has completely disappeared off the face of the earth.     He left the  Rays because he wasn't making much progress   Billie didn't  like him because he wouldn't make up to her!) and went on to  some other people.   Then he left them, and nobody knows where





- 17 -

he has got to since!     Gay seems to have had one or two parties  with him.     They went out on terrific safaris and mountain  climbing expeditions, she and Freddie and another couple who  were engaged, and apparently nobody wasted any time!  Little Kuhle, do you remember him on the Mantola, who was  always around with a rather dully looking little woman with a  child.     Apparently he slept with her every night!

I showed Gay our Kenya films which of course she loved  seeing, and also all the scrap books and diaries.     She was  most appreciative of everything and kept on saying how  Kenya-sick it made her feel.       Because she had six months out  there, so she had plenty of time to fall in love with the  country.     You remember Fassa, her black mare that she bought. It was very thin, so she fed it a terrific lot and it got to  look a very fine animals, and when she had to leave Kenya she  sold it to a racing stable for £25 (having got it for £20 from  funny old Miss Tozer) and since then sha has won and run second  in several races.

It was fun having Gey here, and she rode Gipsy and loved  her and said it was so lovely to ride an animal which when it  saw a jump or a ditch would jump it readily, instead of fumbling over it like most of the stable horses she rides in Richmond  Park do.      She came down in a nice little Hillman Minx   - but it was not nearly so nice as Juno.   Much noisier, and she says  it oan't go more than 60   -   whereas Juno loves going at 65!  Though I haven't been at that pace lately as the roads have  been pretty mucky.

David was meant to be here last weekend, and I told him to ring  up and say when he was coming.     So on Thursday he rang up and  said something about a lot of work,  so I said Don't cone if  you don't want to.     So he said All right I won't. !   But he's coming next weekend instead.     -     when he will find rathe:  a house full as the H.H. ball is on next Friday, and one or 2  people are coming to stay for it   -   all ones you know, so I  will just recite them to you.     8 of us altogether.   Ann and me,  Frog Holmes, Bill Worrall, Bunny Sales and H.C.Gillman. Then  Mum said I was to ask a married couple as chaperones (when both  Ann, Frog and I are all over 21, but she thinks one should go  on having chaperones till we are 40 I suppose!) So I have got  the Armitages coming.     I tried to get Dor and Harry, but unfortunately they ean't leave their home for more than a few  hours as they have five horses to look after and no groom!

Mrs Colvin over at Basingtstoke asked me to the Garth  Hunt Ball in her party, but unfortunately I can't go as it is  on 29th January.     Also I can't go to the Dorking Ball with  Evie as it's on the very day we sail, nor the Guildford and  Shere Beagle Ball as that's on the 15th, or the Bordon Drag  R. A. Ball as that's on the 22nd January.     Too bad!  Talking of Guildford and Shere Beagles.     They are meeting at  Weston on Saturday.   Only unfortunately I can't go as it's the  day after our Hunt Ball, and everyone wants to go out fox-hunting.     The Meet is at Kitcombe.

Oh, I must tell you one thing Annie said the other day,  at least I hope I haven't told you already.     She had read




- la -

your letter with the description of the scorpions, and how you  flick your sponges into the water in the mornings, in case there  is a scorpion in bed in them.       Well, when I went along to my  bath the other day, I found Annie had already run the bath for  me and put the sponges in the water.     She stood back and said  "No scorpions in there." I thought it was rather sweet!

Annie has had a birthday today.     I had to go and buy a present  for Mum for her   -   of three pairs of gun-metal coloured stockings  I didn't know what size quite to get, so I got the biggest!  I feel very nobel myself, having given Annie a £.    But she did  look after me marvellously when I was ill.

I had staying here the other day a girl called Julia  Mardon, who was at St James's.     I was never great friends with

her then, in fact I hardly even spoke to her.     But I met her  in the Ladies Carlton the other day and I wrote to her when I  saw the announcement of her engagement (I've forgotten who to!)  and she is a sister of Victor Mardon who had a farm on the  opposite side of the valley to the Rays in Kenya,     We went and  saw where he condensed steam to make water, if you rememnber.  Well, we had a fine Kenya party, her and me and Gay..   And also  on Saturday evening we went over and drank a spot of sherry with  Edward and Peggy Knight, who you may remember, went to Kenya for  their honeymoon   -   and stayed there two years!  Well, Julia came to stay and she saw the films, and she rode  Gipsy   -   the day before Gay came, and loved her too.     And then  she said “When I’m married I'm going to live at Bordon as that's  where we will be quartered".     So now she is poking about looking for a house, and she might be able to get some place in  Bentley.      Her fiasco is in the same Regiment as William  Colllngwood.     At the moment he is stationed at Khartoum, so she  is sailing off at the end of this month to go and visit him -  have a final look at him, before he comes homes for the wedding  in April.

Let me think who else is engaged. 

Oh, yes, your friend Lavinia Strutt seems to have done quite  well catching the Duke of Norfolk, though he Is a peculiarly  ugly looking creature.     But still, he lives for horses and  so does she, so that ought to be fine   -   unless they get  jealous!

Also Helen Trafford,   -   in fact she was married last Thursday.  She pleaded me to attend the wedding, but I aaid I couldn't  possibly make it (coz I had a date with Jority.)  And Jane.

And Walter Osterreich   -   do you remember him in Australia.

He is back in Belgium now and is thinking about getting married.

Also Dick Harrap.

That's all I can think of at the moment,

Reg. Thackery, up at Headley too.

I can't rmember who any of them are engaged to!


I saw your friend Lorna Atkinson in London the other day.  I was sitting talking wlth Lettice in her office, and Loraa came




- 19 -

in and gave me a glassy cold stare.     And suddenly she SAID  HEATHER.       I thought you were a terrifying commissioner sitting  there !"

Your film of the Falls, I think I told you, is a great  success.     Do make G. take some of you   -   before you start to  bulge!     We are dying to see Pictures of your Home at Sesheke.

It was rather funny last week   -   we got Portmanteau 6  before Portmanteau 5.     However, 5 has now arrived, so we have  caught up again.     Anyway 6 was more cheerful news because you  were getting better over the sickness.

What a shame that the Pangolin got away.     Is there never any  hope of getting another one.       All your livestock do sound  the most intriguing lot, and the owls falling off their perches  is so oomic!

Did you ever read one of the books you got with your  book tokens called "The Weather in the Streets"?     Because I  read it the other day, and although it was all risht at the  beginning, it got morbidder and morbidder and more and more grim  that by the end I could hardly bear to read any more !   I think  Olivia was a bit of a bum the way she went chasing after Hollo.  If she hadn't hurled herself at him of course, there would have  been no story though!




Aunt Violet (Mummy) rang up in rather a flap last night to  say that the ruby ring she gave you had not been sent out to  Africa, and that it was not in your dressing case with the rest  of your jewelry.     If it has not been put carefully away by Mum  (and I will ask her tomorrow when she cones home) I will get in  touoh end tell the Insurance Company about it.     But I don't  think anybody could have stolen it when it was on view at the  “Bazaar".

And talking about the Insurance company, could you, do  you think, possibly make a list of all the things that arrived  broken, because you see you can send in a claim for damages to  the goods.     Actually I don't know if they will pay up after a  delay, so it might be a good idea to make out the list pretty  swiftly.

On the other hand, if you can't be bothered to do this,  and I don't know whether enough stuff was broken to make it worth  while to send in a claim.

How are the christening ideas getting on.  Dad told me

he had sent you the Brilliant suggestion of AGNES! Dear  Daddoie.   He is fun, isn't he.

I had a letter from "Steve" Don the other day.   Do you  member her?   She was rather a friend of Yvonnes' on the  Adriatic Cruise.     She wrote me an awfully nice letter   - from  Bombay where she now is with her husband, and her name is now  Young   -   and has asked me to all meals and stay as long as I  can and will.     So I told her I would when I could manage to




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untie the apron strings,


(Gosh, I must make this the last page!) 

I'm afraid there won't be any news after all this lot, for some time to come.      Anyway, I think there is going to be a bit of a rush now- -  as the time goes skidding by so quickly, specially when hunting days mean beginning at 9. and not getting in till after dark.

I've got to go and have my hair Permed on Thursday,  I was meant to go last Friday, but then I heard that the Meet  was at Bentley, so put it off till the next day.   And when the next day came I wanted to ride over to Bordon with Julia, and so I put it off again   -   though I didn't dare say it was just  because I wanted to go riding, so I told a fine lie and said I  had to go and listen to the Proclamaition of the new King.  (Which I heard beautifully over the Radio that night instead!)

By the way, I do hope the Radio is working all right.  If it isn't, and if there is anything missing or anything that  I can get more information about from Brownjohn, you won't  hesitate to let me know will you.       Because it's no use having the damn thing if it doesn't work.


Everything is very Xmasy in the shops these days, I  have to go and buy things for myself for going to India, and  all the notices say Gifts for your Friends, so I have to be  my friend who I am buying gifts for!

Pax has begun to get Christmas cards   -   2 so far! From Princess Ileana[3] and the Galways in New Zealand, 

Oh, talking of New Zealand, the Norries came over to tea the other day and brought with them a fellow who went out the following week to be A.D.C.   I can't remember what his name was, but he had such a stupid high voice!

Just to finish off with, a nice little rhyme for you.  Not really a rhyme, but just Blank Verse.   It has no title. 

He tried her on the sofa 

He tried her on a chair 

He tried her in the window-seat 

But couldn't get it there; 

He tried her on the ottoman. 

He tried her on the floor 

He tried her in the bedroom 

A hundred ways or more; 

He tried her in the armchair 

And Lord! How she did laugh! 

He tried   - but every way in vain

To take her photograph!

Now I really must stop.   The fire's gone out, the Radio has  closed down, Twm[4] wants to go out for his last walk, and I must  go to bed.     Otherwise it will be time to go out riding as soon as I've stuck this letter down   -   if ever I can get it to  stick down.     Write to India won't you.    P.T.O.




- 21 -

This page is fatter than the others, so I can type on its back.

I feel sure Mum will have given you all our addresses won't she. Anyway, if you send them (Dad and me at least) to c/o Col Kennedy,M.C.   13/18th Royal Hussars, Risalpur, N.W.F.P. I expect he would keep them for us.

I hope you do get this letter all right, because I don't think I'll have the energy to write for quite a time after this effort!     I will on board ship though.     And if I keep a diary I will write it in duplicate and send you a copy shall I. I will if I can.

I hope Rosalind isn’t going to be too efficient on this tour.     I have a horrible feeling she is going to be, and that I shall show up badly.     I think she is most suited to the job as she is awfully good at being polite and saying the right things to people.

Now I really am going to hang up the receiver. GOODBYE.

 Miles of love to you both, and I hope the third is progressing favourably



[1] Rolls Royce presented to B-P at the Jamboree.

[2] Chauffeur & Groom

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Ileana_of_Romania  Betty and Ileana exchanged Christmas cards for several years.

[4] A Welsh Terrier.

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