You remember a rather pretty stripy one that used to come about when you were here. Its mistress was here the other evening when I was doing the paths, looking for it… Her husband seems to be in the navy and she lives in Mrs. Ross’ who has also Mrs. Rose and her dog. The cat and dog must not meet!… Stornoway, 13th May. 1917

Extract from letter from Mrs Gibson to Jean Gibson, 13 May 1917

This week, Mrs Gibson’s big news refers to a local cat, whom she discovers has recently travelled all the way from Vancouver to Stornoway. She also has some general news about some of the goings on at the school, and reports on the rumour that one of their church preachers may be leaving. 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

Dear She-ann,

Papa went down this morning and got your letter.  You seem to have had quite a busy week, busy in the social way I mean.  We were much interested to hear of your visit to the Murrays.  They are nice kind people. You must go again to see them bye and bye.

I wanted to write to you on Thursday night but Papa thought we had better keep to our own times so it makes it quite a while since I wrote last.  Glad you got a costume. I suppose you have it now and I hope you will like it.  It was dear but then so is every-thing now. You will need a summery hat too.  Speaking of things to wear, get 6½ gloves.  I don’t really know my size and I cannot find a pair with the size showing.

Miss Littlejohn is to visit the school tomorrow and I suppose she will be in to tea afterwards.  “Angus L.” is due tomorrow also to take the maths, much to Mr. Maciver’s disgust.  I propose having him to tea on Tuesday when Miss Harper and Mary Orrock are coming.  Miss Harper leaves this week.  There will not be any one in her place till after the holidays.

I had the [chimney?] sweep last Monday and have been working at the dining room during the week.   One gets so little done in a day when the usual routine has to be gone through day by day in addition.  We have had a fire in the study every day.

Mrs. Aeneas [MacKenzie?] and I suppose Agnes came home last night they would be crossing with Miss L.  I am so glad to see the house open again.

Barry is now better and keeps closely to the fire side. You remember a rather pretty stripy one that used to come about when you were here.  Its mistress was here the other evening when I was doing the paths, looking for it.  She told me she had brought it all the way from Vancouver as she had no one to leave it with.  Her husband seems to be in the navy and she lives in Mrs. Ross’ who has also Mrs. Rose and her dog.  The cat and dog must not meet!  When the lady and I sought Stripey in the big currant bush Barry (who had also been doing the paths) went in and attacked him like a little fury.  I was glad to see the poor dear with so much spirit left.  Poor Vancouver was rescued cowering among the chives.

Today we were at the Estab. Church for the first joint service. Mr. Jenkins intimated that he would be away next Sunday and that Mr. Maciver would preach.  We heard it rumoured that Mr. Jens. had been asked to preach at Carnoustie where a very desirable charge is vacant.  Hope he may be successful.

Glad about the swimming.   Papa expects that after your Atlantic experiences you will learn very fast.  I would envy you if I were sure it wasn’t cold.

I found your scarf and will send it when I get time to make your cake.

Love from us both to She-ann.  M.

Ref: 1992.50.64i/L46

Transcribed by Vivienne Parish, Museum Visitor Assistant

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