September 30, 1908 Kitebrook
Moreton in Marsh
My dearest Robin,
I am afraid you will be thinking I am falling off as a letter-writer. I have not written to you for over a week and have now two letters of yours to answer. [Neither of these letters of Robin’s is extant.] It has been the time that lacked, not the will though. All the time I could find seemed to have to be spent in writing daily rigmaroles to Auntie while I was away, as by every post I got a letter saying something different about the family commotions. The day after I wrote to you I heard from Auntie saying that she had had a letter from the guardians saying Geoff had quite decided to let or sell Kitebrook and we must look out for another house at once and would I come home as soon as I could. That was closely followed by a wire saying I need not return yet and the next post brought a letter to say things would probably go on as they are till next year. I came home last night and today Uncle Jim and Geoff and the lawyer are all coming down and we hope to get things definitely settled one way or the other. I begin to think I don’t very much care how, so long as they are settled, for the present state of things is most worrying and poor Auntie feels it all horribly. She keeps thinking she is somehow to blame for Geoff’s behaviour, that she ought to have brought him up differently, but the fault does not lie there. I am sure she has done the very best she could for us all. The fact is, he has absolutely no will of his own and has been got hold of by rather a bad lot who are egging him on. At least we imagine that is what has happened.
The Maugersbury house sounds quite nice, on paper. We got Mr. Barnsley to enquire about it for a friend, as we don’t want the matter discussed in the neighborhood if we don’t leave here after all.
I enjoyed my time on the moors immensely. We were there just over a week and then I went for a few days to their other house. We finished our week with a large tea party, which was a grand success. I made all the cakes and only one lot didn’t turn out quite as that class of cake usually does, but we called it something else and it was much appreciated. After tea we played “Up Jenkins” in the kitchen, as it was raining too much for our proposed walk on the moors. We got no sketching done, as the only fine days we were so busy making cakes that we could not get out for long enough.
Our gallant station master’s son took to his bed with the “flu” and two days we had to get up and light the kitchen fire, which was rather trying as we neither of us understood the cleaning of flues!
We went over to Scarborough on Monday to see the Channel Fleet and went all over the Commonwealth, one of the largest battleships. It was most interesting. The electrical instructor took us over and explained everything to us. They were lying about two or three miles out, so we went out in a little sailing boat. There was rather a heavy swell, which proved disastrous to three out of our party of seven, and one of the others had to row hard to occupy his mind. I believe I was the only one who thoroughly enjoyed myself. I had no idea I was such a good sailor!
We went to a play in the evening, “What the Butler Saw”. It was a killing piece and quite respectably acted. We arrived home about 12:30, having had to walk 1½ miles from the station as there were no cabs at that time of night.
Very many thanks for the photographs. I think the camp looks quite delightful. It must be awfully pretty about there.
What a tremendous crop of hay you must have had judging from the display of hay-cocks in the photograph.
I don’t think you treated that discriminating mouse with proper gratitude by setting a trap for him!
I have just seen in the paper that the Argonaut has been run down and sunk in a fog. Fortunately everyone was saved. Margaret Barnes, a great friend of mine, has only just returned from a tour in her. I should think she would be thankful it did not happen when she was there. It seems to have gone down only twenty minutes after the collision. It wouldn’t give one much time to think about it, would it?
Well, I must stop now as my lunch will be here directly. I will write again soon when I know what is decided. Oh Robin, it is so difficult to know what to do. I am sure it would be best for Geoff for us to stay, for if we go he will only get rid of the place and spend whatever he gets for it at once. And if we stay he will think we are selfish or are doing it just because he wants us to go. There are so many legal difficulties too and until the lawyer comes we don’t really know what anyone has power to do.
With best love,