Nov 29th 1899
My dear Kathleen
Many thanks to both you & Ethel for your letters & good wishes also for the present that I believe you are going to give me with the others.
Mother & Father gave me such a nice fur necklet of skunk & Mother also gave me her skunk muff as she has another one I am glad Ethel’s cake was so nice, mine was made exactly like it & was also a great success. I had a jolly birthday, four letters & five presents. Cyril forgot it was my birthday until Mother reminded him, & Maggie & Lily thought it was on Thursday so no notice was taken on Wednesday when I went across at which I was rather surprised, & on Thursday Lily rushed into the room shouting “Many happy returns.” I thought at first of keeping up the delusion but I was afraid there was too much danger of its being found out so I undeceived them, but it was rather a shame.
I hope you will get on better than you expect in the French exam, what day & what time are the papers? I don’t think they are ever very formidable. Oh, many congratulations on the Salthill match, it was grand, what a fearful waste of premature gloominess on the part of the team! You really will have to lecture your men if they go down in the dumps so much. I hope you will enjoy the dance tomorrow, I am wondering however you will get your prep done, I suppose there will be church in the morning, lecture in the afternoon & dance in the evening. I shall like a nice description of it afterwards. You have been having all kinds of exciting doings at Windsor lately, I am so glad Ethel has seen the Queen at last. I expect Father has told Ethel they have heard from Tom at Pietermaritzburg, I am so glad he has joined a Volunteer corps. What a lot of people there are that we know out there, I heard from Mildred Jervis a little while ago she says two of Nellie Holderness’ brothers are out there, the eldest of the Packhall Savorys is in Ladysmith & two of the Ashwins are out there.
Baby is very jolly as usual, you would be rather amused at one little conversation she frequently holds with any one that likes to start it with her. You have to say “What does Mama say?” & she answers “Jeker darling”, then what does May-may say? “teken ducky”, What does Dada say? “Saucy dislie”, What does Jack say? “Saucy Baba” What does Boy say “Oh bother” & What does Baba say “Oh dacious me” (gracious me). Cyril taught her it & she always gives the right answer in whatever order you ask the questions. We call it her kittychisms. She can also very nearly say several nursery rhymes by heart.
I suppose you know what day you break up, you haven’t told us yet, let me know next time as I want to arrange when we break up.
Much love to you both from your affectionate sister
May E Sladden