May 23rd 1900
My dear Ethel
I think I have a letter of yours to answer. What a fine time you seem to have had last week! We heard of the relief on Saturday morning but the news was sent to Evesham late on Friday night. Father went up to mash that morning & came down & called out the news outside my door. Baby was with me & I told her & she wanted me to teach her to say it. Her ultimate version of it, which she told to everyone was Mafeking’s terlieved, isn’t that a good job?” or “isn’t it nicey?” The Aldington band came up here in the evening & played patriotic airs, & the bells were rung both in the morning & again in the evening while the band was parading the street. At first they struck up together then finding it didn’t quite do they took turns & each began as soon as the other stopped!
How do you like being in the choir, you will come in for the choir picnic you lucky girl, at least if it is a nice picnic. I hope you will have it fine tomorrow & enjoy yourselves. We are having a holiday of course. Today was observed as a general holiday in Evesham in honour of Mafeking & the Queen’s birthday today being chosen because it is early closing day. We have got another strange clergyman to take the duty tomorrow, there was also service this evening Mother & I went but there were very few there nearly everyone having gone to Evesham I expect. There is service at 8 tomorrow & at 10.30.
Mrs Wood has gone with Mr Wood to Cornwall for about a month Mrs Smith & her boy Eric are staying here to keep house. I am glad you don’t get sworn at in history class, poor Miss White! you do give her a character! You will perhaps be interested to hear that I passed my carving exam getting a first class certificate, isn’t that grand? All who went in got a first class except one & she got second. I believe there are 1st 2nd & 3rd classes & pass so we did very well. I do think I am lucky in exams, I really didn’t much expect to pass. I had a nice letter from Miss Smith the other day saying she was very glad I had been successful & that I was keeping up High School traditions etc. I expect I shall hear from Agnes Robie soon. I wrote to her on Sunday. Poor Kathleen seems rather frightened by the idea of her exams, tell her from me I hope she will not put the spurt on too hard, exams have a way of looking simply awful when one views them from two or three weeks beforehand, at least I know mine did, I think they seem then than just at the time. The chicken box will lend Kathleen 2/6 & Father is sending her 2/6 so I hope the enclosed p.o. for 5/- will improve her finances a little.
I am looking forward to having Jack down for Whitsuntide, he thought probably he would get either the Saturday or Tuesday. The chicks & ducks are progressing though we had several deaths last week among the little ones. There is another batch of chicks coming off which I hope will be a good one.
Much love from May