6th December 1898
My dear Kathleen,
Thank you very much for your good wishes for my birthday & your share of the book, & also please convey my thanks to Ethel & give her my love. It is a very nice edition of my dear old friend George Herbert & I have already enjoyed reading a little of his quaint sayings & poems, though I have not had time to read much of it yet. I am looking forward very much to getting you both home again & besides the pleasure of seeing, May & I will be very glad of a little assistance in household matters, & especially with little Babs, she is a sweet little thing now, but oh! She is tiring, for she will insist on being on her feet as much as possible, but cannot stand or walk alone. I shall be glad when she can walk now, for she is so heavy to carry, though no doubt by that time, she will get into all sorts of mischief as soon as one’s head is turned for a minute. She has never crashed but gets about in a sitting position now like May used to do. I had some nice birthday presents, Father gave me a very sweet umbrella, it has a silver handle and the stick is metal instead of wood, so that it is very slight & can be rolled up very small, I think you must have my old one, it is in a fair condition & very much better than the one you have at school now. Then Auntie Polly & Auntie Fanny sent me each a sovereign, which I have some intention of spending on a new dining room table cloth, & Mrs Nightingale gave me a pair of vases. I had seven birthday letters. I had a visit from Lucy last Saturday, she has left Bournemouth & is going to be married before Christmas, she was delighted with Baby who was quite good with her, though she does not generally like strangers. I hope the play went off well today & that you all enjoyed it. May & I think of going to Mrs Robarts’ Literary meeting next Tuesday afternoon, it is to be a miscellaneous programme, Father will not go this time. He has gone up to Evesham tonight to give an address to the National Conservative League. You will be very sorry to hear that the Malcolms are in financial difficulties & I expect he will have to go bankrupt. I fancy from what we hear that he has been foolishly extravagant, at any rate they appear to be over head & ears in debt. I must leave off now, with much love,
Your loving mother
Eugénie N. Sladden
P.S. The plum puddings were boiled today. Jubilate!