Letter from Jane Hind to Michael Ilderton

Dear Michael,

It was so good to hear from you. Geffrin sounds a terrible place.  Fancy having bandits coming right into the centre of town and right under the noses of the Royal Guard? I don’t think the Flaxfield Militia would let the Red Shawl Gang come here.  Please be careful and stay out of trouble.  I couldn’t bear it if anything happened to you.

It’s all  very quiet now that you and Kitty have gone away.  Kitty came home last Saturday, but she didn’t finish work until nine and then she had to walk all the way home.  She doesn’t know if she’ll do it again because it was so horrible walking in the dark.  One of her brothers went to fetch her, or she couldn’t have done it at all.  It was midnight before she got home and she had to walk  back by six in the  evening on Sunday, which meant she hardly got any time at home at all.   I went down to see her and she looked so tired.   She said she was all right but her eyes hurt from all the  fine embroidery she’s been doing on a dress for Lady  Twizzle.   It sounds a lot more fun bashing iron that sewing your eyes out all day.  I’m glad you’re getting plenty to eat.  Kitty was looking so thin that my mum gave her a whole cheese to take back with her.

Have you got to Geffrin Tusk’s training ground yet? Boris is doing very well with the football you gave him – too well at times.  Yesterday he kicked it so hard it went up into the air and landed in the mixing bowl which would have been all right if it hadn’t been full of flour.  The flour went everywhere: all over the floor, all over me and all over Boris.   Boris shook his coat and flour flew everywhere.   He thought this was hilarious and started blowing more of it  about with his trunk.  It was like being caught in a wild indoor snowstorm.  In the end I had to bribe him with a bowl of raspberries to keep still long enough for me to clear the mess up.  I only just managed before mum came back from helping dad fix that bit of  wall round the bottom field  that came down in the flood.

Will Mr and Mrs Nicks let you come home for the harvest?  Kitty said she’s going to be sent home for two weeks to help her family.

Your affectionate friend,

Jane Hind

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