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3-235 (Original)

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author,female,Henning, Rachel,39 addressee,female
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
Niall, 1998
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3-235.txt — 8 KB

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We received your double letters by the last mail. You will imagine that the contents were very welcome & equally dispiriting. I really believe we owe this legacy of Mrs Taunton to Aunt Henrietta for the old lady could never have even known our names except from her. I think like you that the pleasure of this piece of good fortune is much marred by Amy & Biddulph being left out. I think perhaps she has selected those of the family who wanted it most. I hope now Tregenna will pay his debt to Mr Sloman & very likely he will go home. I think it is far the best thing he can do. I have had so much writing to do & have been so busy with starting Biddulph for the Port that I have hardly yet taken in how much better off I am than I was before. Nearly one third richer. I can hardly fancy it & Uncle William seems to think that we & yourself (the females mentioned in the extract from the will Mr Boyce sent us out) will be able to get our shares sold out & handed over free & unfettered a great thing for those married or going to be. I feel very much obliged both to Aunt & to the unknown friend who has left us the money it has made me well off at once & Annie probably will be able to be married.
And now I must thank you my dearest Etta for your share in the watch parcel altho' I have not yet seen it as it is not yet come from Sydney. I shall be delighted to have Enoch Arden for my own possession. I have seen it as I told you in my last letter & liked it greatly but you do not half enjoy a poem in reading it once through. [83] Tennyson's especially the book was only lent us for a short time by our neighbour Mr Paterson. Biddulph has no telescope & it is just what he will like tell Mr Boyce. I can hardly fancy dear little Constance big enough to work a kettle holder. I shall like it so much as her work. It is vexing we were not at Sydney when the parcel arrived. I have written to Emily to send it on here at once to Port Denison that is to be got here by the first opportunity. I want exceedingly to see the [illegible] sketches. I wish they were come up. Biddulph liked the idea of seeing Parr Hennings genealogies though I dont think he is exactly prepared to believe them. I thank you for sending me the stamps. I am afraid you paid for them unless they came out of the [illegible] interest.
I am very sorry to hear of Aunt Vizard's serious illness. I wished I could have been with her to nurse her for my own sake I mean for I have no doubt she was taken every care of. She told me some time ago she had heart complaint. It is very sad to think I may never see her again. She was always so very kind to me & I have spent such pleasant days at that beautiful Dunsley. I do not suppose they will ever come back again.
You will see that I have been troubling Mr Boyce with a commission again & Annie ditto you perhaps you will some day both take a trip to London to execute them for us. If you do accompany Mr Boyce as I hope you will do not "hold his hand". We want almost the best plain watch that he can get & are prepared to pay accordingly. I forgot to mention about sending it out when I was writing to him. I suppose it would be best sent by a parcel & insured. Not to the Tuckers they really must not be bothered any longer but directed to Biddulph care of Messrs Danpar Gilchrist & Co. Sydney. As you know the watch is a present to B from A & I.
Biddulph left us yesterday for Port Denison whither he has gone to load his drays and start them for the Flinders river Station they are to take supplies for a year for the Colony out there. I do not think we shall ever go out there to live. I hope Biddulph will sell it & keep Exmoor. He talks of doing so & I should be so sorry to leave this place. He set off quite in style yesterday driving the buggy & pair & with his big hairy dog "Tiger" running after him & Jimmy one of the black-boys riding on horseback behind the said Jimmy being gorgeous in new white trousers slightly too large for him a scarlet crimean shirt & scarlet cap. Biddulph bought scarlets for both the black-boys when he was last in Sydney they are so fond of bright colours & look best in them. Nearly all the squatters take a black-boy with them when they are going a journey as a sort of groom they are very useful to get up the horses of a morning &c. Biddulph has a great many things to bring up from the Port & this is the reason he drove down instead of riding among other things we have bothered him with commissions to get us boots & winter petticoats as we are sure to be here through the winter - I think B will be away about ten days I hope he will not be more.
Old Mrs Lack is staying with us now. She is the mother of the Mr Lack who owns Blenheim the next station to this she was here for two or three days last year now she has been here about a fortnight & will stay a week longer. She is rather a nice old lady very gentle & lady-like though slightly meandering but when you have lived a long time in the bush you get lazy & do not like the trouble of entertaining anybody. [84] Gentlemen visitors are different as they entertain themselves or you. Mrs Lack rode on horse-back the first 5 miles of the way & we drove over with Buddulph in the buggy & met her about 8 miles from here & I rode the horse home as we thought she would be tired. She goes home next Friday I believe. Mr Lack is coming over on Thursday evening to slay beef for us & takes his mother back next day.
I told you when I last wrote that after all Biddulph had not to go to Rockhampton in March as the cause was put off till September. He is sure to go then & Annie & I shall probably go so far with him & then go on to Sydney he certainly will not be able to accompany us at that time of year as it will be just before lambing & shearing but I suppose we shall go as we shall then have been up here three years & it will be getting time to see Amy again besides wh there will be many purchases to make by that time. I do not know whether Annie means to be married then or not. Mr Hedgeland is not come back from the Flinders yet. There is nobody on this station except ourselves till Mrs Lack goes & B comes back.
We are having a new fire-place built against the cold weather comes tho' at present there seems no chance of any cold the hot weather has lasted longer than usual this year & it is still hotter than any English summer in the middle of the day but the mornings & evenings are cool and pleasant. The old fire-place which was a great farm-house "ingle" the whole width of the room was taken into the room when it was papered the new one is smaller & is built outside again & is to be lined with stone & have iron dogs for burning the wood. The side-board will have to be moved to make room for it.
I have been telling Aunt that the first grave has been made at Exmoor an event in the history of the station a family travelling with two drays & horse teams passed the house & camped over the creek one evening a few weeks ago & a man came up after dark to ask for some medecine &c for his little girl who had been ill a fortnight of diptheria I should think from his description. We gave him some milk & promised to come & see the child next day but at daylight next morning he came over & told Biddulph the child had died in the night & asked for some old cases to make a coffin. B offered to have one made & send it over but he preferred doing it himself. We asked if his wife would like us to come & see her but he said she would rather not which I did not wonder at. B also offered to come over & read the service when they buried the child but he said he did not care about it so we could do nothing for them. He had 3 children this was the eldest a little girl of 5. There were several men with the drays & they buried her in the morning & then harnessed their horses & went on their way. I went across the creek in the evening to where they had camped it was very sorrowful to stand by the little lonely nameless grave among the gum-trees and think what it must have been to the poor mother to drive away that morning & leave her little child among strangers. We did not even know their names. The grave is in a beautiful spot on a high bank shaded by trees & the creek flowing beneath. [85] It is fenced in most securely with whole trunks of trees so that it can never be disturbed. That is the first grave. I thought who can tell whose the next will be?
The mailman is just come in so I must not write any more now. My kindest love to yourself and the children. I wonder do they rejoice as we used to do at the coming on of spring & the buttercups & daisies coming out & the hawthorn in blossom on the downs. I think it wd be pleasant to be a child again.