Letter #28

Written from St Lucia, this letter has no cover, suggesting that it was enclosed with another, perhaps to his daughters. ‘x this day year’ refers to the anniversary of his departure from England – see letter 42.

x this day year

12th Feby 1835

By the new arrangement my dear Kate I shall have the pleasure of writing to you every fortnight. You will be perfectly overwhelmed with my correspondence. I now observe a vessel rounding Pigeon Island, and as the signal Gun has fired she must be one of the homeward bound Packets to meet the Jamaica steamer at St Thomas. Thus I am again hurried & taken by surprise, but will not lose the chance of letting you know that I am perfectly well & thinking of you all, more if possible than ever. Fancy if you can my misery & despair & how my heart did ache when the Packet arrived on the 4th inst there was not a letter for me from Wickham. I felt perfectly upset at first but, on finding that the 76 officers were disappointed & without home intelligence, and knowing how punctual you always are, I have concluded that the bags at the Post office are made up at an earlier date than formerly & thus your letters were late with many others in consequence of the alteration in the date of sailing. I think this is the right cause, & that the white sail I now observe about six miles off conveys welcome tidings of my treasured at Wickham. Since I last wrote nothing has transpired worth relating, but I have much in store for Kitty, Cary & Miss Parker respecting the Insects &c forwarded from Barbados. What would I not give to be looking on when those boxes are opened? I have not quitted the limits of the Garrison yet nor walked beyond the mess house since I returned, but intend to begin tomorrow both on foot & horseback, but finding myself as it were at home again, I could not muster inclination to descend into Castries or call on any person. After all, I think this place preferable to Barbados. The quiet to me is delightful & the cool fresh air is extremely renovating. In fact I was tired of Head Quarters, and my old Mess mates have made so much of me I suppose my vanity has been gratified. Some of them have changed for the worse so far as their roses – the cheeks begin to shew the W Indian tint – my shaving glass flatters me that I still retain my usual red color. You will be better able to judge when I return & when will that be? Some chance will turn up I trust to bring us together again soon. We had an agreeable ball last night, a small party given by the young single men of this Regt. I was employed in decorating all the week & much to their satisfaction it has proved, for all the French visitors were in admiration. I shall give my dear lassies a description in my next letters. I shall now have time to collect some more amusing subject for my readers. The men have been unhealthy at Pigeon Island, but the officers are all well & seem by their early habits to get on in spite of climate. The men however drink such quantities of new Rum that it is not to be wondered at – they drop off constantly. You will do me the justice to admit that I do not lose any chance of writing, and it is only circumstances which cause these short accounts in place the long letter I am inclined to write to you, for I never feel weary of the occupation. God bless you all. I see nothing here or in the Colonies to compare with my own family. Regards at Catisfield to all, but particularly to Uncle H. & at Wickham Miss P. Love to my dear girls, Old Fred & Gusto. No time to lose, your aff