April 2nd 1881
I need scarcely inform you that it is some time since I last wrote to you & I suppose it is likewise useless to express my regrets which however are heart-felt.
I really do not know that I have much to say, as I suppose Susie has given you all the news. She seems to spend most of her time writing south.
Firstly I must thank you & Emma & Arthur for the presents you were so thoughtful as to send us, more especially the smoking cap for me which I found exceedingly pleasant. Also the pocket book.
You of course have heard that we at last begin to think that Father shows signs of permanent improvement & we have a sort of glimmering hope that he may ultimately recover his wonted sanity. He is doing some work for Mr. Macky just now; but I do not fancy it will last long. Still we hope for great things from the fact of Mr. M’s employing him, as in the event of his finding Father’s work satisfactory he will recommend him to various influential men here. Father has written a letter to Arthur on the subject of his going down to Invercargill again. To that there are several objections, in my mind at least, first I think the climate would be very cold after two years of this, secondly I am afraid of Chas Rout’s influence regaining its strength over him & so producing a relapse.
These are the principal objections that I see, still I would not wish them to weigh unduly with Arthur in advising. You see I thoroughly hate Invercargill & its people & that may have something to so with my not wishing to return.
If Father were to get better, which there really seems a prospect of, and could get something to do, you would be able to come up & live with us, which would be awfully nice would it not.
Certainly you might not find life up here quite so comfortable as with Emma; but we manage somehow or other to rub along very fairly & make a decent appearance before the world. Still it will be as well for you to get as much schooling as you can before you leave Invercargill.
I have not been home much since last October so that really I do not know much of the current gossip which however I expect you get from Susie dished up hot & hot.
Your old friend Mr. Lyons of Beresford St Church is going away to England. As I said to Lena today “It was a pity he was going before you came as Auckland would not seem like Auckland without Lyons”, & Lena as usual looked silly & giggled. Ada’s man has got married as you know.
They have got a “gospel tent” at Newmarket & Father & Susie have gone to it while Mother & your humble servant remain at home & I employ my time in writing to you.
Next time you see Cowper remember us kindly to him also to everyone else.
We combine in sending love to you Emma & Arthur, with lots of kisses for Arthur.
Yours as ever