Rough Scan
January, 190-
DEAR CHRISTINA,- I didna forget that I promised to tell you all about the bairns at Cavendish Square, but I've been real busy, what with winding up my watch, and one thing and another. You'll mind the watch Miss Celandine gave me to take with me on my traivels? She bought it in a bicycle shop, and she's had to buy me a bag to carry it in, it's that big. It takes very near two minutes to wind it up, and Miss Celandine says she can hear the racket it makes down in the drawing-room. It's a good watch, though, loud in the tick, and plain in the face. It aye minds me of one I saw in a shop-window in Dunbar High Street in the summer-time. Two wee bairns were lookin' in, and the one says, "My faither has a watch as big as that"; "Yer a leear," says the other, and away they toddled as friendly as you like. Bairns are no' parteeclar.
Master Johneen is four now, and Miss Cielle is six. The first I saw of them they were carryin' a black-and-white cat and two wee kitlings betwixt them. They both held up their bonny wee faces for a kiss, and then Master Johneen says, "Our cat is a widow with two young children." "Dearie me," says I, astonished-like, and 'deed I couldna but wonder what had put it into their heads. They said their Mother had told them, and they were so taken up with petting the poor beasties that they could think about nothing else. Master Johneen is grown, and Miss Jean is lamenting sore that there's no baby for her to cuddle now. I never saw any young lady so set on infants as she is. I mind fine when she was a wee lassie, no' any older than Miss Cielle, she used to coax her poor Mamaw to get a real baby for her to play with; and one day when Mrs Murray put her off with "How can I get a baby for you, Jean?" she said, "Couldn't you pray for one, Mother?" Poor wee lassie; she little thought what the baby, (that was Miss Celandine,) was to cost. The loss of their Mamaw has been a fearfu' miss to the young ladies; and the Colonel might have been some use too for takin' the tickets, and seein' after the luggage: but a sojer is a handless character away from the guns; and what with the loss of his head through going too near the enemy, and one thing and another, he never come home to his orphan weans.
Look in the top drawer of the chest-of-drawers in the back spare-room. There's six blue-and-white checked ones in the left hand corner, near the front; that's no' them; but they're farther back. - Yours affectionately,