Letter from Frances Hodgkins to Rachel Hodgkins

29 Jan 1899
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29 Jan 1899

And told her I couldn’t go. The[y] are evidently a fast rowdy lot at Riversdale and I would be quite out of my Element. Besides she has some girl with her I do not care about so why go? There is a cousin of Will’s down here, a Mr Tim Field. She was a Miss Broderick a connection of the Rattrays. She has not called, having measles in the house but sent her sisters to see me. I have not heard from Bert – the wretch – so can give you no Castle St news. I am going home on Tuesday now instead of Saturday – I have advertised my classes for the 6th so I will have a clear week when I get home to “redd up”. I had an effusive note of thanks this morning from Mrs Richie for a calender [sic] I never sent. Some one must have been distributing calenders [sic] in my name broadcast round the country, for I have also had profuse thanks from Miss C. Cumine for a “handsome calender”. Willie has arranged a bicycling picnic for tonight but as the rain is coming down in “sheets” it is not likely to come off, so I am off to the Bluff in the afternoon. We have had one lovely ride, 8 miles in the moonlight. We hadn’t a lamp between us and as we heard the inspector was out seeking for lampless cyclists, we had a lively time dodging him & finally rode home at his very heels. I had driven out in a daisy cart, all horse and no cart, and we had a succession of shies all the way there, and nothing would induce me to return in it, so I decided to wheel back. Willie bullied, blustered & threatened, but I didn’t see why I shouldn’t ride my own bicycle if I liked, so I started. Parts of the road were excellent, like the Curate’s Egg, but parts were bad, and at one stage of the proceedings we had to ride about 2 miles down one narrow avenue of trees. This for me was a difficult feat. Willie said they lost me at the end of the avenue and on returning to look for me found me standing on my head leaning against a tree and for all I know it may be true – Willie has heard nothing further about his move to Sydney, but I expect when he does hear it will be marching orders at once. How are sis and the babe? Give her my best love & with the same to you dear old self, I remain Your loving daughter Fanny.
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Letters from Frances Hodgkins. Field, Isabel Jane, 1867-1950 : Correspondence of Frances Hodgkins and family / collected by Isabel Field. Ref: MS-Papers-0085-07. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.