21 July 1914
21st July 14.
Dear Mum & All the others.
Am having a great time here. Things are just O.K. On Thursday after noon had a great game of tennis. They have a real good court here, better than the one at GL [Gladesville]. At night Vernie took me to Mrs Frenchs place. and we had a very enjoyable time there. Miss French is very much like Miss Macdonald, you can easily see that they are sisters. The lady assistant in the P.O. here stays at Frenchs. She is very nice, I was thinking of hanging my hat up to her, the only thing is that she is older than me, but of course a little thing like that would not matter.
On Friday morning we, that is Bill Boulton, commonly known as Bill Long or Long Bill, got up at seven oclock and went to the courts and had a lovely game of tennis with Miss French & Miss Glasgow. We promised them that we would be there at the same time next morning but we unfortunately slept in to late and the same thing happened on Monday morning, but this morning we got a move on and got there first. Miss Glasgow and I were playing Miss French and Long Bill. They won the first 6. 5. We won the next 6. 5. so we are pretty even. Last night Bill Long and I had a good game. He won the first, but I beat him in the second. I am developing a curly one. When I get in it it invariably beats the man or woman at the other end. And last night was getting them in nearly every time, but was not so accurate this morning, but hope with practice to bring it to a high pitch of perfection.
Have been to see Lorrie Maloney several times since being here. and each time the Nurse let me take him out for a walk. He does not seem to be improving as far as his hearing is concerned, but otherwise he is all right. He will most likely be just about being sacked about the time that I am going to Jerilderie.
On Friday Afternoon Lorrie and I went on to the Station to see Rohl going through. He is appointed to Grafton, and was on his way there. He Hopes however to exchange with a chap in H.O. This chap wants to go to Gn, and Rohl wants to go to H.O. so the exchange ought to be arranged without any trouble. He is pleased to get away from JD. He cant be in love with any one there, or he would not be so anxious.
After we had seen the honorable Rohl off Lorrie went home and I Gathered Clinty Machin under my arm, and we went shooting up to the rocks that Vernie has been skiting about so much in his letters. We saw 2 or was it three rabbits, and they were as wild as anything, could not get near the brutes. The result of our afternoon was about 2 poor little parrots, one each, and a bottle or two. That has settled me as far as shooting here is concerned.
On Friday night there was a skating carnival here, so we decided to go to it. As Mrs Johnson was here, I went to her hotel to ask her to come, but all the persuasive powers that I could bring to my aid, would not move her, she simply would not come, she was too tired, so I stayed until it was time to put Margery to bed then I left, and just reached it in time to see two girls have a glorious struggle over a chair in Musical Chairs. The struggle went on for a good while, until at last they had it over again. After the Musical chairs, there was a girls Hockey match on skates. It was as good as a circus, the girls were not tooo good on their pinz, and as often as not, when they rushed to the ball they would slip and fall. One of my lady acquaintances was alongside me during the match, so I offered to have a friendly bet on the result. You know that I am such a good judge of Girl, that I was quite confident of picking the winning team. My judgement was not at fault, and my team won handsomely. I have not got the tie yet tho. I think that she is a rookstake. I have reminded her about it often enough too.
On Saturday Morning I spent the morning reading, and in the afternoon on the invitation of one of the Post office chaps went out to the Rifle Range, and had a shoot. I did not come up top through bad luck. At 500 yards, it was IO shots, no sighters. a chap before me had got 48 out of 50, and I had the bad luck to get a mag first shot, and as a mag is only 3, I had dropped my 2 points in the first shot, however I started getting Bulleye after bullseye, until the last shot, when I wanted another bull to tie him. My shots had been a little bit on the high side right through getting the bull in the top, so it served me right for not altering, on my last shot I hung on a little bit too long and got shaky, with the result that it was a bit up in the bull when she jumped. I thought that with any luck it would be one of the best, but it was a Mag. So I only got 46. At 600yards I was the last down , and it was dark, could not see the target plain, and I only got 30 out of 35. However I was not the worst by any means.
I spent Sunday morning putting sketches in Mrs Askey's, and Mrs Cansdell's autograph Books. In Mrs Askey's book I put a sketch of a little boy and girl, the boy is saying "Say Kid, I've got a new brand of Kisses and the samples is free". In Mrs Cansdell's book, I put a sketch that quite shocked that noble lady. It was entitled "Life inside a Harem". The picture depicted a little girl with plenty of flesh, in fact a little too much, standing with a foot on a stool. She was dressed in a Skarem Hirt, and there was so much Skarem showing that her jumper blouse was almost invisible, and the little maid in question had her hand down between her leg and stocking industriously searching for something, and by the expression on her face, one would naturally think that it boded ill for the future prosperity of searched for when it was run to earth. The owner of the book was quite indignat///. Serves her right she should pay her bets, I've been relying on the tie to make an impression on Jessie, and now I'm in a fix.
On Sunday afternoon Bill Long and I went for a walk. We first visited the Murrumbidgee River, and after inspecting it, we turned rough & went out to the rocks for a stroll, and while over there we saw two girls having a tan go with sticks, so we volunteered our services as sticks, and naturally the girls accepted. Bill gave me a knockdown to both, one of them was Ernie Quinn's sister, You know he used to work for Harris, and my word she was a Knutt. I cant remember the name of the other one. They showed us quite the latest thing in dances. This Miss Quinn got hold of Long Bill's hand and softly stroking it, she said “Poor” “Poor” “Poor” “POOR” “ P – A – W ”. We had to burst out laughing. She had us roaring all the afternoon, the other one was rather quiet compared to her. My word Mum I'm going go the dogs fast since I left restraining influence of Eltham Street. After tea we went to Church. My word everyone up here seem to be Knuttz, even the minister, he is old , very scotch, and very droll. You would have thought to hear the laughing that it was a picture show, and not a church. He came out with all sorts of things, and each time the whole congregation simply roared. After Church got knocked down to several Girls and Dixon, who used to work in the PO here. Dickie collared Miss Paterson (the lady asst in the PO) and went for a walk with her arranging for V and I to meet him at a bridge with his sister. Frederick Nowland V's particular friend collared Miss French. When we reached the Bridge, the others had nor arrived, so we went right over to the Dickie Birds cage, and on our arrival there we found that he had not turned up, so we left the Dickie birds Sister there to flap her wings through, while we wended our way round to Frenchs. On our arrival there we found that the worthy dorter and Mr Nowland were still conspicuous by their absence, so we grabbed a chair and waited for them, They were the first to arrive, breaking the tape at 10.15 and about 20 minutes later, Miss Paterson, the HUZZIE, drifted thro the door. She refused to state why she was not at the bridge as per arrangement, in fact she preserved a stubborn silence on the subject. Oh by the way please pronounce Miss Paterson as “PAY-TER-SON”. When I call her “PAT-ER-SON” she calls me “SMITH”. Oh by the way I always call her Miss Pat etc, just to nark her.
On Monday morning (Yesterday) I did nothing in particular, just loafed about the house. I got morning afternoon tea ready at 11 20, as Mrs Casburn was washing, and her dorter Mrs Askey is absolutely useless about the house. And for my kind thoughtfulness I had to wash up the dishes. Never no more, if I know anything about it, I dont mind being a slave at home, but I expect a little bit of coddling when I'm on my holidays. _ _ _. In the afternoon I had arranged with Long Bill to have a game of tennis, was supposed to be on the court with everything ready at 4 oclock. He was going straight to the court from work. At 4.15 I heard someone bawl out at me like a bull, and there was Bill Long fairly frothing at the mouth becos I was improving my mind with a book. However he is cooled down now. Last night Mrs Askey and Mrs Cansdell tried to get me to shout them to the skating or the Buckjumping show, but I'm am too old bird to spend money on Married women however nice they may be. So instead of taking them out I went out and had three games of Billiards with Norman Casburn, I won the first and he won the other two, if I had practice I'd be a pretty good player.
This Morning. I went to the Electoral Office to have a loan of their Tipe to write letters, and Lo see me hard at it. Tonight I intend to go to the skating. They have an abominable floor, it is a board one and rough as a file. I am not too sure of being a howling success on the skates, in fact I fancy that I will find the floor rather hard. There is a mens hockey match too, so I will see it, It is sure to be pretty good, nothing like the girls one. And the cost is a deener and a break.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) I intend to leave N for "Boreena", and will face all the unknown dangers that may await me there. V has been pumping advice into me by the mile about poor Jess, advising me to be very careful (As if I was ever otherwise) and in fact if he keeps on, he will have me frightened out of my wits, and I'll hide my heels in dust when I see the lady in question. I DONT THINK _ _ _.
Well now you have been supplied with a detailed account of my actions and perambulations since my arrival here. Now it is my turn. How is the old home getting along without its mainstay. I hope that you are managing without any great difficulty. Of course I am aware that things will not be quite as good as if I was there, but if you all work harmoniously together I am sure that will will rub along in a sort of a fashion. Who had the pluck to take my class at Sunday School? and how is everything? Have any of my lady acquaintances been anxiously enquiring for the date of my return? And have you been pestered with wires from the Room. If you get any letters now you can send them on to "Boreena". Be sure to tell me all the news when you write, especially anything concerning any of my lady acquaintances in GL. You can understand that I'm very anxious about their welfare, and it is just possible that some fair damsel is fretting her life away cos I'm not near her. Well I'll finish up now, with love to you all, I remain,
Your loving son (or Brother) Bert Smythe