I don’t know whether Mamma told you of Matthew Russell’s visit… He was in one evening to see us, and has developed physically into quite a fine strapping lad. He has quite come out of his shell too. He has made an interesting generalisation from his experience when grooming and feeding horses – that the same horse will not try to bite and also to kick, that is, it will not be aggressive at both ends… Stornoway 24th Jan. 1917

Extract from letter from Mr Gibson to Jean Gibson 24 Jan 1917

In this week’s letter, Mr Gibson has news regarding some of the local boys serving in the War, there is mention of a big fishing week, and we find out what Jean thought about her recent theatre trip to see ‘The Arcadians’. The next in our series of letters from the W.J. Gibson collection held by Museum nan Eilean. Please get in touch if you have any comments: archives@cne-siar.gov.uk

Jean Dear,

Barrie is on Mamma’s knee and is having the advice with which you closed your letter quoted to him – “Be good.”

A big fishing this week, of which to-day we got a share, viz., two herrings.  Very good they were, too, and B. [Barrie] & L.L. [Li’l Lissie] got the trimmings.

We were sorry to see from your letter that poor Maud has a cold.  Tell her we hope it will soon be better.  We have had dry, rather frosty, weather this week.  Some of the days have been very good indeed, but to-day there has been a cold east wind.

Second Term’s exams this week in school, in the old way you know so well.  We have missed Miss Fraser, but commandeered Miss Harper sometimes to sit with the Sixth.

The Literary on Wednesday was taken up with three little papers on Bacon, Lamb, and Macaulay as essay-writers; Cathaday was in the chair.  Miss Angus, by request, read two of Lamb’s essays.  I told them the story of Lamb wanting to lead home the lively piece of cheese.

I don’t know whether Mamma told you of Matthew Russell’s visit.  He was home on leave for a day or two, and Gerrie developed measles on the day when he was to go off; so his leave was extended compulsorily.  G. is almost better again, and Matthew is now away.  He was in one evening to see us, and has developed physically into quite a fine strapping lad.  He has quite come out of his shell too.  He has made an interesting generalisation from his experience when grooming and feeding horses – that the same horse will not try to bite and also to kick, that is, it will not be aggressive at both ends.

Mr. Tait had a letter to-day from Angus Maclean; he is in France, where Wm. B. also has been for some time.

Alick Thomson is home on leave pending his entering on officer’s training.  I am sure he’ll be glad to get out of the trenches and the mud for a little.

We were glad to see that Maud and you had enjoyed the “Arcadians”.  The student concert you describe was evidently like one or two of those I remember only evidently more so!  I seem to recollect that we made the most of the intervals between pieces but listened to the pieces, which on the whole seems to have been a better way.  Undergraduate views of enjoyment have always however, been a little erratic.

How is the Maths progressing?  I suppose Mr. G. is not becoming any clearer in his exposition.  Your only way will be to work up the essentials from your text-books, using him as an index of the parts you are to read.

Mamma asks me to mention that she sent off your blouse yesterday and your boots to-day.

When you are in a hurry for money remember that you are able to get out a pound at a time from the P.O. Savings Bank without waiting for any intimation from London – just by presenting your book at the counter.

Our best love

Papa

Ref: 1992.50.64i/L25

Transcribed by Dawn Macdonald, Archive collections assistant

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