The One where Mabel is racist and George shoots a crow.


Madampe, Ceylon, Tuesday August 7th 1900

Dearest Tommie

I thought of you and Dor yesterday going off to Fairbrook and today I suppose you will go gaily go off to Canterbury. I only hope it is fine. It is 10 o’clock now so you are still in the Land of Nod, but presently you will be in the throes of dressing and I suppose you will start fairly early. What are you going to wear?

I hope you will write and tell me about Cricketing and what everybody wore, especially Fanny, and if you had anybody nice to talk to. I always enjoy the drive almost more than anything. Was Kate very nervous coming out of the ground? It is always a time of wrath with her. She told me in one of her letters that the tennis ground was so bad she did not think she could ask anyone to play on it, so I suppose that means no parties. Poor Dor. She will be disappointed, I did think they might have that ground properly turfed and looked after. It would not cost much. At any rate I should certainly think they would when Dor goes home. It might need to be well dug out and then turfed. It is not a bit of good trying to play tennis on an old hayfield.

George and I have been very busy this morning nailing creepers up the house. They have grown nicely up the lattice work and now we want to have them to the upper verandah. They have to be nailed up the smooth part and then they will twine in and out of the balustrade. The house is already beginning to look better, not so bare. All the woodwork is white so that it will look much prettier covered with creepers.

We are busy collecting specimens to put in the bottle with the scorpion. Is is such a big one that we want to fill it. We have only got a small green lizard, the same sort as the one that went up my leg only this is smaller, a tiny sort of scorpion that we often find about the house. We have found several in our bedroom. One stung George on the foot. It was very slight, like a big prick, and did not swell up or anything. That is the reason why we stained our floor and only have strips of matting as when we had it covered all over, they used to hide between the seams where there is always plenty of dust, a native’s idea of sweeping being decidedly primitive.

I am so glad the fete went off all right and it was a success. What a pity the prizes could not be given away, it is such a feature, especially as you had two to take. I am glad you won the mixed, it is jolly. I am wondering what you will have for a prize. It is generally a pretty good one and are you going to have a racquet for the championship or not? I did not know that Mr Still who you spoke about was Willie Still. Fancy his coming all that long way. Isn’t he very nice. I always like the look of him so much.

George moaned when he heard about Mrs Gillespy making plans behind Ethel’s back: ‘The old mater has got more sense than I gave her credit for.’ He has wanted her to go to Margate very much, at any rate just to give it a trial.

You make me laugh with your tropical weather at 76 degrees. Lawks, if it went down to that, we should want the blanket at least. It was 78 degrees one night and was quite chilly. I suppose we shall have it hotter again soon till the N.E. monsoon comes in October. Certainly I think this must be the nicest part of the year.

George has just shot a crow under this window and the gun going off made me leap with fright. They have to shoot some every now and then as they steal the copra so tremendously and the dead ones are hung up to frighten them.

Lots of love to you all





2 thoughts on “The One where Mabel is racist and George shoots a crow.

  1. These are great you know. You should think about doing a compilation, maybe with a story around it, and some photos of the era with links to the letters.

    I am still listening out for the meow!!!



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