May to David Beckenham 21.8.18
My dear David,
I expect you will be delighted to hear we are now leaving at 5.30 and have been forbidden by Mr Lutt to stay longer. Well, the weather is glorious, and it is lovely to be out.
On the way home yesterday (Tuesday) I called at Miss Rudge’s. She is selling up her home and will be going into apartments close by. Miss Willsher went away to the country yesterday morning.
This morning I met Mrs Taylor at her Bank, and she invested £100 of your money in your name through the Bankers. The dividends will be paid into your account. You will be back before many divs are paid in. Then we went to the Stores and she ordered some more parcels for you.
After writing your letter Monday one of my most hopefuls came to me to say she had just given in her resignation, and then promptly started to cry. Later on she explained herself thus. – She has a good post offered her, only a small firm, but £2.10/- a week, with a promise of more. She argued that although it was nearly breaking her heart to leave here she felt the war would be over in a few months, and seemed quite positive that i would be leaving then, (why, I don’t know, as I have not hinted at it) and she could not bear the place without me, and other places would then be harder to get, so she was taking her opportunity then. She has just this minute brought me in her photo, and has asked me for one of mine. When I got home that night, Ethel said to me “Let’s go into the conservatory and do the darning”. We did. We had no sooner sat down than Ethel confided in me that she had had a brain wave. (She does have brain waves sometimes, so she says, but they are quite harmless.) And this is almost word for word what she said. “I’ve been thinking, and have come to the conclusion that I shouldn’t be at all surprised if David wants to marry you when he comes back. And you can’t say No after all he has gone through. And those plans of bungalows he sends, he means to build one but it is to be your home. Of course Mama will carry on and say how absurd it is for you to marry him, and all that, but I will take the bull by the horns and talk her down. I’ll stand up for him. I can manage Mama alright. I did think we would all three retire soon to Falmouth, but unless David settles down there as well we won’t do it, as I should not like to be too far away from you. I think if you two have to live in London then we will retire to a place like Bognor. In fact you can have your bungalow there and Mama & I will live in it. We will pay you rent, and you can come down very frequently; then it won’t be dull for me.” I did not tell her how matters stood between us, as she is much happier thinking it is all her idea. Most folks like to feel they are clever. This morning before breakfast she went on “I have been sketching a bungalow for us to retire to, and I think you have better start making things for your bottom drawer at once”. I said “Aren’t you taking things for granted too much?” She said “Yes, I guess I am. O well, I’ll start doing crochet work for you. You can choose your own designs. Mama won’t think anything of seeing me do crochet work, as I’m always at it.” I told her she could, as at any rate the things would do for us to use when we retire. I think it is awfully good of her, but you can’t send her any message.
While out with Mrs Taylor this morning I tried to persuade her to come with me to Bognor for a fortnight and I think I shall succeed. At any rate I said I would spend this coming weekend with her, and will try again.
Cannot stop any longer, so Goodbye.
21st Aug 1918 Ethe’s brainwave
May to David Beckenham 21.8.18