When we got upstairs they wanted to see all my clothes, but fortunately Agnes had only taken out one or two things, and they asked me to let their maid take patterns of everything. Of course I could not refuse, but I hate my things being mauled over by strange females, and Agnes was simply furious. I am sure she will scratch the maid when she comes to ask for a frock. They tried on my hats all at the wrong angle, first Clara, then Lettice, and made faces and gave little screams at themselves in the glass, and no wonder, for they looked perfect guys in them, with their tight “tongy” hair. Then they tossed them on to the bed as they finished with them, and Agnes kept muttering to herself like distant thunder. Finally Lettice danced a pas seul with the white rose toque perched on the back of her head, and she made such kicks and jumps that it lurched off, and landed in the water jug! At that Agnes got beside herself.
“Fi! donc, Mademoiselle!” she screamed, “ca c’est trop fort!”
[Sidenote: On the Water Shoot]
The hat is quite spoilt, so please write and order me another one from Caroline’s, like a nice, sweet, pretty, darling Mamma. At tea they were all so interested when I told them I was going to stay in France with the de Croixmares. One of the Ethridge aunts (Rowena) pricked up her ears at once, and asked me if Madame de Croixmare was not my godmother, and had she not been a great friend of poor papa’s. So I told her yes, and that I was going there for three weeks. She and Aunt Mary exchanged looks, I don’t know why, but it irritated me, Mamma, and I rather snapped at Aunt Mary when she began about my hair again. And presently I heard her saying to the other aunt that it was a pity girls nowadays were allowed to be impertinent to their elders.
Of course there was not a thing to do, every one having left Town, so in the evening Uncle Geoffrey took us to the Exhibition to go down in the Water Shoot. That is lovely, Mamma, only I had to sit beside Lettice, because Clara was frightened and would be with her father. A horrid man behind, who, I suppose, was not holding on, flopped right on to us at the bump in the water, and then said, “Beg pardon, dears,” and it made Uncle Geoffrey so cross he would not let us go down any more, and we had to go home and to bed. I am just scribbling this before breakfast.
We go on to Great-aunt Maria’s by the eleven train. I am glad Cousin Octavia is going to take me out next season instead of Aunt Mary, which was first suggested. I know I should not have been good with her. She is not a bit like you, darling Mamma. I hope you are better; I shan’t see you again until next Saturday, when I leave Heaviland Manor. It is a long time.—With love from your affectionate daughter, Elizabeth.
Wednesday, August 3rd.