Monday Sept 3rd /06
My dear Mother
Is this not a sad ending to our trip over here. Poor Uncle Dilnot. I have written & told Father some particulars about this sad time, we can hardly realise that it is all true. What a sad household they must be at Petone. I wonder so much how poor Aunt Bessie is & all of them. Unless they cable again we cannot hear from them till we get to England. We feel so isolated here & unable to communicate properly with anyone. I don’t know what we should have done if people had not been so very kind. Mr Crosby has been such a great help to Auntie & Mrs Crosby has been very kind, we are so glad they are staying on here till we go. Mr & Mrs Pope are staying at another hotel & are leaving Sydney next Thursday, they have been so kind & thoughtful, just as if they were old friends. Mr Pope liked dear Uncle Dilnot so much, he told Auntie he meant to write to Aunt Bessie.
Tuesday Sept. 4th You must have had the sad news at home by this time. You will no doubt understand from the cable that we are coming straight on in the Oroya, we should reach London I suppose about Oct 20th. Aunt Lottie has an idea I think of getting off at Plymouth & taking train to London but I am not sure if she has decided, anyway we can let you know from Naples. These will be the last letters you can get from us, these will reach you I suppose only about a fortnight before we are due home. I shall be very glad to get home now & so will Auntie. She has gone through all this wonderfully. It has been good for her to have something to do, people to see etc. Several people who knew Uncle have been in yesterday & today to offer condolences & ask if they could do anything. Another telegram has come from Frank this morning asking for further particulars, he says “Mother sends love”. Mr Crosby & very likely Mr Pope will be here before long Aunt Lottie wants to consult one of them what to reply.
Today we were to have gone in a party, the Popes, Crosbys & ourselves for a trip up the Hawkesbury river. They have all given that up now. Mr Pope said they would not care to go now but they want us to go quietly with them out to one of the harbour bays this afternoon. Yesterday we walked with them in the gardens, it was a lovely afternoon & every thing was looking beautiful. It is very nice now to think that Uncle was so bright & cheery & seemed so well that last week up to the Blue Mts. He seemed to me much more like what he was when we saw him in England than he usually was at home. There he was so much wrapped up in business affairs & worries.
I am afraid this is a very scappy letter I have written it at different times. The English per Macedonia leaves this afternoon so we have been getting our English letters written first. The Wellington mail does not leave till Saturday, we shall have to write those letters before we start on Saturday. Poor things, one hardly knows what to say to them.
Much love to you all
Your loving daughter
May E Sladden
Will you please let Kathleen have the enclosed letter? I do not of course know her new address. I do hope she will like her work.