1st February 1899
My dear Ethel,
We were very pleased to get your letter this week, & especially to hear that you are really wooed up; I am so glad, & hope you will find that you can manage the work all right & keep a fair place in the form. I am very much disgusted at the idea of your having a “bal masqué”, it seems such an absurd thing for a girls’ school, & I think Sister should remember that dominoes & masks are not brought for nothing; perhaps she will think better of it & have an ordinary dance.
Baby has been a very good little thing since you went back to school & till today, quite bright & well; but she did not sleep very well last night & today has been very heavy [?] & fretful, wanting nursing a good deal, & when I undressed her tonight she was very sick, she has been sleeping quietly since then, so I hope she will be more herself tomorrow. Yesterday I left her in Clara’s charge while May & I went to tea at Mrs Horace Haynes; Mrs Byrch & Conny, Mrs Burlingham & a Mrs Ashton were also there.
I heard from Mary the other day, she was home again & found her Father suffering from one of his bad colds on the chest & obliged to keep his bed, he was a little better when she wrote but very weak. She & Anna were to try & go & see you next Saturday, I hope they will manage it as I know you & Kathleen would enjoy seeing them. You seem to have had a similar Sunday to ours, it was horrid here, foggy, drizzling, cold & miserable.
Clara went home on Saturday night to see her mother & the new baby, she came back again Sunday night. She has been to two Confirmation classes, the first time, though several had sent in their names, she was the only one there, & today there was only May Cull.
Polly Bell & Gus Dore are to be married tomorrow at eleven, I hear they expect about fifty guests for the wedding feast. Tell Kathleen I am very glad she is put into the hockey team, it will be pleasant for her.
I heard from Auntie Fanny yesterday, she has not yet secured a customer for Byfleet & says she will be glad when she can get rid of it.
I am glad you have at last heard from Violet & that there was such a good excuse for her long silence, but she might just as well have got Blanche to write & tell you what was the matter. Has she gone back to the school at Acton?
Cyril has been setting a hen today on Dorking eggs; the Game & Dorking are laying a few eggs now.
How are your hands? Does the ointment do them any good?
I suppose you are having your milk for lunch.
With much love to you both
your loving mother
Eugénie N Sladden
P.S. Mrs James Ashwin’s little boy is dangerously ill.