Nov 15th /80
My darling Lucy,
I think it is your turn for a letter and I am afraid it will be the only one as the mail closes today instead of tomorrow on account of the English mail being in. I have not much to tell you. I feel terribly troubled about dear Father. When I saw him the other day he looked so thin & ill & of course his mind is more depressed in consequence. Hardie seems to think that if he does not take a turn for the better he won’t last long. Oh if only I could have him home to care for. Hardie thinks I could not manage him – not that he is at all excited or violent – but his grief is so great that he does not care to do anything. He would not do for his friends what he does for them out there – he feels he must for them. Oh how I long for the time when we shall be safe in our Father’s house all these sorrows and trials past. Some of my friends try to comfort me by saying that he may be better after this again. He is not as bad as he was once before, but it is a good deal like what he was before we left Invercargill, praying nearly all day and quite lost to everything about him – he is keeping his bed better. Hardie seemed to fear that was the result of weakness rather than improvement – he told me that dear Father seemed rather better on Saturday morning. When he left he also promised to send me a note in the bag with Father’s clothes today to say how he is but this letter will have to be posted before I get it, but I shall be writing in a day or two again. He enjoys the fruit I send him so I am going to send him some bananas today. Mary Sam Clarke’s wife is in town – she professes great sympathy and I have no doubt feels it, but she is not a very sincere woman.
Sam Ludbrook Senior is also in town. He seems very sorry for us in our trouble. I believe Sam Clarke is coming up himself next week. He is a very nice fellow and his boy Fred is such a nice young fellow – so frank & genial. Mrs Chambers gave a picnic to the young people – Ada, Lena & Tom went. Lena rode on horseback but I fear she did not enjoy the ride for her horse, though nice looking was a miserable creature but I daresay she will tell you all about it herself when she writes. Mr Campbell Thompson of Opotiki writes to Mr Goulstone sometimes & always enquires so earnestly about dear Father and poor Sandeman seems very cut up about our trial. The postman has passed without leaving me any letter – I generally get yours by the Nelson steamer and the others by the Napier steamer – one arrives on Sunday the latter on Monday, so I get some on Monday morning & some in the afternoon. I hope your throat is well now and that you are back at school. I am longing to hear how the dear baby is getting on, also how the robes did. Tom will be here directly to post this so I must close. Dear love to all my dear ones & kisses for the wee dear one.
Your old loving