Seward House, Badsey
14th May 1896
My dear Kathleen
I must write to you this evening. There is really no time in the day. I expect you were very delighted to hear about Jimmy, we were all so surprised & pleased at his passing, he went off in capital spirits. Father is describing the school to May, I was so glad he was able to take George, but the journey tired him a good deal. He is better, but still looks pale & tires easily, he feels quite faint if he does not have something to eat about every two or three hours, so I still keep him supplied with beef tea etc. I have had two servants after the place, the one I like the look of best is not quite sixteen, I am rather afraid she is too young, but she may come for a fortnight to see whether she can manage the work. Clara can’t come tomorrow, so we shall have all the work; Mary is very good at helping me. Ethel & Cyril have started doing a few lessons, but I am letting them down easily this week. Jack wrote a long letter this week, he did very fairly in his test exam, getting 976 marks; he did very well in Latin, was second in that, & not many marks below Brock who is considered a great swell at it; in French & History also he got good marks. We had the paper for his physical exam the other day, the 26th of May.
The workmen are getting on well, our room has the paper all off & they are beginning to paint it; the bath-room walls are gradually rising, I hope they will manage to roof it in before rain comes. The wall & shed are nearly down, also the wall between the garden & farmyard. Ethel sends her love & will try & write to one of you next week; she has rather a lot to do with the poultry now, I think the chicken box ought to pay her a small salary. Have you enquired yet if washing blouses is charged extra? I am sending a cream band for May’s dress, I could not get a coffee coloured one, if it looks badly with the dress, she must try & get a better match in Windsor, and keep this one for another dress. We can’t find your band, so if this one does not do for May, you could have it. I hope you enjoyed your picnic to Burnham Beeches, it has been a lovely day for it. The 14th May was Mme Allen’s birthday & we used generally to go for a picnic either to St. Cloud or Mendon, a little way out of Paris. The football dinner took place last night in our barn, about 180 sat down, Father went in for an hour or so after the dinner was over. Tom started for Cardiff this morning, we do seem such a tiny party now & when Mary goes home it will be still worse. I hope May feels better again; don’t scruple to ask to sit down at drill if it makes you tired this hot weather.
With much love to your both I am
Your loving mother
Eugénie N. Sladden