- 24 Jun 1909
The Shiffolds, Holmbury St Mary, Dorking. - He and Bessie are 'very much shocked to hear about the sad tragedy at Belsay' [the drowning of Gertrude Middleton on 16 Jun]: they 'both liked Gertrude very much, and thought she had a great deal of character'; does 'not like to think' of what the loss will be to her father Sir Arthur.
The weather here has turned cold and rainy here, Yesterday there was an open air meeting at Coldharbour, at which their MP [Henry Cunningham] Brodie spoke and Robert 'took the chair, or rather the waggonnette, which served as [their] platform'. Everything went quite well, except that Brodie spoke 'at far too great length, about an hour and a quarter': unfortunate, as it was a 'very cold evening'. There were more than twenty listeners, 'some of whom came and went several times from the public house opposite' but were respectful though bored. Thinks they 'like Brodie, in spite of his being long-winded, for he is an honest sensible sort of person', but cannot tell whether there is a chance of getting him re-elected.
Bessie is well; Robert will leave her early next month to work at Borrowdale for two or three weeks, and she will go and stay with Janet at Stocks Cottage for a week then. Is sorry to hear that his father has not been well, and hopes he has now recovered. Will write to his mother soon.