He told us of a mule who had a spite against a man and waited patiently for an opportunity to pay him out [get revenge]. One day the man was grooming the third mule from his enemy. The watchful one saw his chance and laid the man out with a kick delivered below the bellies of the two intervening mules. What do you think of that? E. says they never forget anybody who has beaten them…Stornoway, 9th Feb. 1917

Extract from letter from Mr Gibson to Jean Gibson 9 Feb 1917

This week, a visit from a local man who is home on leave provides Mr Gibson with an insight into what it’s like to be officer in charge of horses and mules on the front. Mr Gibson also gives Jean a review on the scenes performed at the Literary meeting. 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,

I did not get your letter written last night as some folks were in for the evening – Ebenezer Mackenzie (home for leave) and Isabel, Mr. Jenkins, and Mr. C.J. Maciver.  Had a nice tea (sausage rolls of Mamma’s making – 3/4 lb. of meat for six persons!) and an enjoyable ceilidh.

We learned something from Ebenezer about horses and mules.  He had 70 horses under his charge and about 100 men – the men being more trouble than the horses.  He told us of a mule who had a spite against a man and waited patiently for an opportunity to pay him out [get revenge].  One day the man was grooming the third mule from his enemy.  The watchful one saw his chance and laid the man out with a kick delivered below the bellies of the two intervening mules.  What do you think of that?  E. says they never forget anybody who has beaten them.

Mr. Jenkins is going next week to preach in a vacant church in Forfarshire.  We all wish him well, if it is a nice place.

You forgot to answer my question about the School Magazine Com’ee of last year.  Who were the others, besides yourself and Angus, who gave out the Mags.?

At the Literary this week we had ‘Shakespeare’ and ‘Molière’ with a scene from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and one from “Les Femmes Savants” [sic] – the one where the maid-servant is to dismissed because of her error in grammar.

Max, Catherine Matheson, Margt. Mackenzie, & Catherine Murray were the actors, and did it very well indeed.  You w’d. quite have enjoyed seeing them.  Max, with the help of a moustache, an imperial [cigar?], and a light vest and trousers, made up into a wonderful Frenchman.

The Crauford night for which Miss Angus has been training a troupe comes next week.  I’ll get Mamma to go?  Our harbour was closed for two days this week – no ships, not even the poor ‘Sheila’ being allowed out or in.

Hope you enjoyed your Maths. “social.”

With best love from both.

Papa

Ref: 1992.50.64i/L29

Trancribed by Barry Shelby, Museum Visitor Assistant

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