My dear Ethel,
Thank you for your last letter. Mother says she has not told you much about the dance so I had better give you a description.
Mother looked very nice, as she always does you know, in her evening dress. Father says some one seemed to think she & I looked more like two sisters than mother & daughter. Wasn’t that a compliment for Mother, but I think it is rather a doubtful compliment to me.
As we drove up to the door, there was a long row of Bretforton people standing to see the people get out of their carriages, we were only a few minutes late but nearly every one had arrived & they began the first dance just after we got into the ball-room. It is a very pretty room, it was lit by eight chandeliers round the walls with eight wax candles in each, they gave a nice soft light & not much heat. The room never got too hot as they opened one of the windows out of which we could walk into the garden where some carpet was laid down. It was a beautifully warm & moon light night, but it seemed funny to be walking about the garden in evening dress at the end of October without even a shawl on. There were not enough men there as is generally the case but you could not count them on your fingers like at the other famous dance. Hildegarde was quite the prettiest girl there as usual, but Marion looked very nice. Her fiancé was there of course & his sister, Miss Watson, I just spoke to her, but he was not introduced to me. Mrs James Ashwin looked very handsome in a black evening dress, she wore a beautiful diamond necklace, a gold chain with a pendant of sapphires & diamonds & some diamonds in the front of her dress, also some lovely ornaments in her hair.
Hildegarde wore white, & Marion a pretty but simple dress of grey. Eve Haynes was there & as usual made me feel inclined to smack her for her affected ways. The other night at the Wildings, she was simply awful, she could hardly speak without putting her head right down on her shoulder & thinking, no doubt, she looked beautiful. I asked her whether she intended to play or sing at some of the meetings & she said no she only came to the meetings as an ornament! Wasn’t it lovely? I shall think there might be two opinions on that subject.
Isn’t poor old Dip unfortunate to go & break his collar-bone, I hope he won’t have to be laid up long, & that it won’t interfere too much with his work. I suppose he won’t be able to play football again this term, that will be rather hard, it was only in his last letter that he said he was going to try for a challenge cup which was offered for the best forward.
Mother played a valse of Chopin’s at the Wildings, she got through it all right by heart & I think people liked it.
Lily Wood has got 4/- already on her Kilburn card she is most energetic, she has made a pin cushion & is dressing a doll & Maggie has made a pin cushion for the Sale.
Mother is going to try & get some people to give some fruit & vegetables & send them a good lot in the Week. I must try & collect a little. I do a little needlework.
Goodbye, with much love to you & Kathleen from your loving sister
May E Sladden
I am sure you will enjoy the exeat so I need not say I hope so. Did Mother tell you to send your birthday list? Please do.