February 19, 1909 KITEBROOK,
My dearest Robin,
I don’t think you deserve a second instalment after all, for I have had no letter from you this week. I generally get it Monday and it is now Friday! We spent yesterday at Cheltenham playing hockey v. the Severn Vale. They started one short but they still seemed too good so Guelina took an early opportunity of hitting one hard on the nose with the ball, so she had to retire from the game. After that we managed to make a draw of it–5 goals all! I don’t think her nose was quite broken but it was a good strong “clear” of Guelina’s. They said it was most unfortunate it should have happened to that one, as her mother is very much against her playing. I expect there will be a good deal of argument before she plays again!
We had a sharp frost again last night but I suppose it will thaw in time to hunt. The ground is so dry now it can’t take hold much and even with 8º or 10º of frost at night we can still hunt.
We had an amusing time at Guiting. The entertainment was a great success and the audience most appreciative. Norah and I did our duologue first, then Norah gave a selection of comic songs on the gramophone and the audience joined heartily in the choruses and fed on coffee and cakes. Then followed another play, “A Case for Eviction,” done by Agnes and George Witts and Winifred Waller. It was rather funny but not so bad as we had been led to expect. George ramping up and down two square yards of stage in a fury was rather quaint, as he would keep his eyes shut all the time which, added to a black moustache and nanny-goat beard, gave him a most curious effect.
The entertainment was over a little before 10:00 and we then had a second dinner which we finished about 10:30 and Mrs. Waddingham expected us all to go to bed at once. We argued that it would be bad for our digestions and she said we must all have eaten too much! She gave in for a little but drove us all off at 11:00 and looked very stern about it too!
We didn’t get our hunt today after all. We hung about Broadwell till 12:30 and then they decided it wasn’t fit and went home. Mr. Barnsley declares it was only because they are short of horses at the kennels but I don’t think it would have been very good going. I went on for a ride with Mr. Barnsley and we came across some rather hard patches. I am afraid it looks even more hopeless for tomorrow. It has been freezing in the shade all day and is very cold tonight. I feel as though I were being specially ill-used as I supppose next season my hunting will be limited to looking up the eggs or chasing a stray rat or two. Do you have such things?
The Ladies’ Ball is more or less fixed for April 16th. You are going to be back for it, aren’t you? I do want you. I wanted you horribly at Heythrop the other night. What a long time it seems since that other Heythrop ball and what a lot of difference it made to us too! I don’t believe you would soon have asked me to write to you if you hadn’t been feeling very home-sick at the thought of leaving England, would you? Do you remember you said that night you would probably not come home for five years? Just fancy, you would have been just coming home for the first time now! I remember thinking I should be quite old by that time!