Rough Scan
January 190-
DEAR CHRISTINA, - I now put pen to paper to send you all parteeclars of our grand trip.
The new cook here is a Mrs M'Clumpha, and you will be dumbfoundered when you hear what Mrs M'Clumpha she is. Well, if you will believe me, her man was good-brother to Mr Borthwick--she's a Haddington woman hersel', and so is he--and her lassie is married on Alec Wilson's John, him that's the game-keeper up at Burnie, and many a time have I seen her sittin' in Dunbar Free Kirk in the summertime, with a thing in her best bonnet for all the world like a sweep's besom. And here she is in Lady Lindesay's kitchen, very near as broad as she's long. It's a big kitchen, and ill to keep clean. The kitchen-maid is just a lassie, and figure her speakin' high English as if she was a lady! I hope I know my place better than to speak either French or English: but the sairvants here are terrible upsettin'.
See and no' let the sweeps stramp over the new-vairnished floors with their muckle feet, and be canny when it comes to washing the best china. What for our ladies were so set to go to Italy exackly at the cleaning-time, it beats me to tell. I understand the Pope is settled in Rome now, poor old gentleman, so there was no siccan a hurry to see him. But if I am spared to get back to my own town, it's the first and the last the Pope will see of me, and that I'll certifee.
Would you believe that I never knew when we crossed the Border, and me no' been further south than Galashiels before!
Miss Jean says to me, "You're over the Border now, Margaret," says she. I never let on that I hadn't notticed the difference, but I jaloused that something had happened, for the train gave an awfu' bounce, and very near upset the man that was nippin' our tickets all to nonsense. I saw a field of turnips in England the very same as the one next Oldhamstocks Church; but, when you think on it, one neep is very like another at the green end.
We were all on the queevee when we got near London, and what with the cabs, and the porters, and the luggage, and Lady Lindesay's grand footman, my head was in a creel till we were all safe landed in Cavendish Square. A very genteel locality. Lady Lindesay is keepin' fine, and I never can get out of my head that she's just Miss Murray still, she's that young and fresh-looking. I felt like to greet when she kissed me, and called me "dear old Margaret," her that was the first bairn I brought up, and thankit me for makin' up my mind to go all the way to Rome with the young ladies. I am sure a month at Peebles or the Bridge of Allan would have been far wiser-like for a dalicate young lady like Miss Jean, but the doctor said Italy, and Italy I suppose it mun be. If I can get her and Miss Celandine safe home without turning nuns or marrying Italian blagyards, I am sure I'll be thankful, so no more at present from your affectionate friend,