Monday, 30 March 2009

First few days in the Country

Jacobs, after much hoo-hah, I’ve finally managed to secure some paper and ink from Smythson of Bond Street , so can now relate some of the tortures I have endured in the past few days in the North Country.

As you can see, simple luxuries such as correct stationary are peculiar in their absence. Not only that, but without my intricate network of connections up here, I have had to use ‘money’ to procure these implements! I have no idea what the woman in the general store was saying to me – some mumbled Northern dialect probably left over from those Viking chaps, but I got the distinct impression that payment was required. I see you got my wire and thank you once again for forwarding this money so quickly. It seems that the word of a Gentleman in this barbarous land is not even worth some reasonable writing implements! (This reminds me, if Lord Reuben enquires about that twenty guineas again, tell him that I am in Sri Lanka or Rhodesia. He really is becoming such a dreadful bore).

But that is all by the by, as I'm sure your main concern is to my well-being and circumstance. Well, as I told you before I left, my Uncle, Samuel Whitworthy-Smeddon, the 3rd Earl of Yorkshire (please use his full title in any return correspondance; the old buzzard has been known to fire his rifle at the postboy if his name is shortened), is a terribly cantankerous and tiresome old fool who still thinks that we are war with the bloody Zulus. He has turned the family estate into some sort of fortress, using the local hired hands as some sort of militia. He has even given the embarrassing parade of simpletons honorary military personages, such as Private Smith, the gardener, and Captain Miller, the old groundsman. Of course, these dim-witted chaps love their new titles, believing themselves to have earned their daft misnomers through some sort of merit; the only merit as far as I can see is the madness and senility of my Uncle.

I am sure the next month will be almost intolerable – there is not even a gentleman’s club to speak of within a day’s ride. It has been suggested that I patron the local drinking den, or ‘Pub’ as they are called up here. My word, Jacobs, I can hardly bear stepping outside of the grounds lest I am accosted by one of those awful Northern men, or their intolerable and toothless wenches, never mind spend my evening hours in their bawling company. Unfortunately, the old duffer is running out of gin, so I may have to make my virgin visit this eve. Rest assured I shall bring my cane sword and small leg pistol. Should any of the uneducated oafs get any ideas above their station, they shall soon learn that a Gentleman is not to be questioned.

So wish me luck Jacobs, I shall write soon and let you know how the adventure passed. And, to sign off, a small matter of interest. Did you know that this Yorkshire actually has a city in it? Called ‘York’ of all things. What a coincidence!

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