February 4, 1909 KITEBROOK,
My dearest Robin,
We were able to resume our hunting yesterday after nearly a fortnight’s frost. It was nice to be out again, though we didn’t have much of a day. I rode Utility for the first time since his accident eight weeks ago. He was tremendously fresh and nearly pulled my arms out. I only kept him out about a couple of hours and then got onto Ladysmith. We had a nice little gallop to finish up with from Icomb across the vale below Idbury and Fifield. That white-nosed animal you rode last season stuck in a ditch just in front of me. I was just starting for my shot and a wild yell went up on all sides to stop me–as though Ladysmith would do anything so unmannerly as jump on anybody!
Knowles met me with a very long face when I got home and said Utility had got a nasty over-reach and run a thorn into a vein, which had bled a good deal. I haven’t been down to see him yet but I hope he is not so bad as Knowles made out. He generally takes a gloomy view of things–so that he can have the credit of the wonderful recoveries, I expect!
We toiled all the way to Heythrop on Monday to find they didn’t think it fit to hunt.
I have certainly not managed to get tired of my pianola, yet I play it a good deal [see Robin–January 11, 1909]. I think I have improved since last year! I don’t think one would ever get tired of it if one had enough music, and if one did one could stop playing till one got over it. We must certainly have one. Can’t I bring mine out? I shan’t leave it here for whoever takes the house to play about with!
Geoff has been indulging in the “flue” for the last few days. So far no one else has caught it and as he is almost well now I hope we shan’t. I generally seize every opportunity of catching it.
The wretched May Prichard has been having chicken-pox and won’t be able to go to the Heythrop ball, as they say she will still be infectious. Norah is going with us, also a few cousins of ours–two I have never seen.
It’s exactly a year today since the Ladies’ Ball. It seems a very little year too from some points of view and from others it might be a century.
We gained a brilliant victory at hockey on Saturday, eleven goals to one! We are all so proud of ourselves. The ground was like iron and they seemed more afraid to run than we were. Daisy Stoneman got a tooth knocked out–that was the only casuality. Norah said it wasn’t her own, but I don’t know whether it was or not. Certainly she didn’t seem to mind much and never even mentioned it till the half time interval. We go down to Cheltenham on the 18th to play a return.
It must be rather nice dancing when one doesn’t get hot, but the drive home cant be very pleasant!
I don’t think anyone got any skating here. The frost was not hard enough, though too hard to hunt, so no one benefited by it.
Mrs. Warden brought her two dachshunds up the other day and we had a drag hunt. They ran splendidly but much too fast. Reggie and Captain Warden started with them but soon got left. Mrs. Warden and I took up the hunt about half way round but the hounds were out of sight before we had got half across one field. Reggie went out with the beagles the other day but they didn’t have much sport. They are hunted by one of Mr. Hewitts’ grooms now, as Mr. Hewitts and Mr. Evered have fought, and he does not seem to know much about it. Mr. Gott generally appears to superintend matters too and thoroughly muddles them all. I am hoping to hear soon when you are coming back. Will it depend on the weather how soon you can get things into working order?
I hope it will be soon.