We started to walk to town today, but mercy! how it poured. I like winter to be winter with snow instead of rain.
Julia's desirable uncle called again this afternoon — and brought a five-pound box of chocolates. There are advantages, you see, about rooming with Julia.
Our innocent prattle appeared to amuse him and he waited for a later train in order to take tea in the study. We had an awful lot of trouble getting permission. It's hard enough entertaining fathers and grandfathers, but uncles are a step worse; and as for brothers and cousins, they are next to impossible. Julia had to swear that he was her uncle before a notary public and then have the county clerk's certificate attached. (Don't I know a lot of law?) And even then I doubt if we could have had our tea if the Dean had chanced to see how youngish and good-looking Uncle Jervis is.
Anyway, we had it, with brown bread Swiss cheese sandwiches. He helped make them and then ate four. I told him that I had spent last summer at Lock Willow, and we had a beautiful gossipy time about the Semples, and the horses and cows and chickens. All the horses that he used to know are dead, except Grover, who was a baby colt at the time of his last visit — and poor Grove now is so old he can just limp about the pasture.
He asked if they still kept doughnuts in a yellow crock with a blue plate over it on the bottom shelf of the pantry — and they do! He wanted to know if there was still a woodchuck's hole under the pile of rocks in the night pasture — and there is! Amasai caught a big, fat, grey one there this summer, the twenty-fifth great-grandson of the one Master Jervis caught when he was a little boy.
I called him 'Master Jervie' to his face, but he didn't appear to be insulted. Julia says she has never seen him so amiable; he's usually pretty unapproachable. But Julia hasn't a bit of tact; and men, I find, require a great deal. They purr if you rub them the right way and spit if you don't. (That isn't a very elegant metaphor. I mean it figuratively.)
We're reading Marie Bashkirtseff's journal. Isn't it amazing? Listen to this:
'Last night I was seized by a fit of despair that found utterance in moans, and that finally drove me to throw the dining-room clock into the sea.'
It makes me almost hope I'm not a genius; they must be very wearing to have about — and awfully destructive to the furniture.
Mercy! how it keeps Pouring. We shall have to swim to chapel tonight.
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