Letter #94

Barbados 9th Jany 38

Such a favorable opportunity offers my dear Kate that I must not allow it to pass without sending you a short letter, notwithstanding the packet sails a few days afterwards. The Gannet Capt Wick leaves us tomorrow for England direct and will touch at Portsmouth for a time. Yesterday Capt Wick called and offered to take any package I could prepare for you. Consequently on my return from the General’s levée today I completed the packing and directed 2 cases for Wickham, one addressed to dear Kitty of 24 lb Ginger including a few other preserves, and a second, 50 lb of Arrow root to Miss Caroline English, concluding you would be permitted to claim a large proportion each. It appeared to me desirable to keep the other members of the firm in good humour by an occasional compliment. The Ginger is fresh and made up by an excellent compiler of that Barbadian article. Having 50 lb at once will enable you to spare some to your friends if you are so disposed. Various arrivals this last week have caused rather a break in our monotony. Of the most important to me is that of the Saddle etc – all very handsome & good so far as I can discover as yet, particularly the saddle cloth. The seeds are most acceptable & I feel exceedingly obliged for the trouble you have taken, my best of Kates. By the first chance pray send more, particularly Lettuce, Onion, Sallery & turnip, raddish, Long do, Beet Root and some fresh flower seeds. I find the most certain way of getting any thing is by one of the Packets or trading vessels. By private hand it never answers so well – always some delay. The 1st Decr Packet arrived on saturday 6th Inst, and in truth you budget of letters were perfectly reviving. The berth you have picked out for Lt Col English at Plymouth I fear is a Castle in the air for the present. At all events let us be certain first that we are to have a brevet – this appears somewhat doubtful. On Sunday a transport anchored here with sundry detachments – 69th, 76th, 67, and some I think 84th. One young man, named Brewster 76th, is lately from Fort George where their Depot is now stationed. He speaks highly of the neighbourhood and has brought a letter from Mary McPherson to me. It is not yet unpacked. It cannot contain much new matter for you and most probably is only a letter of introduction from that good warm hearted person. Capt O’Brien, who I hear is a good looking dapper little fellow, has not yet appeared and I am in doubt whether he will come to this station. If the news from Canada is unfavorable, the 70th will have their destination changed. The conjectures are numerous on that score, but my shoulder straps and frock coat I hope to get before I make the rounds with the General. He proposes the 24th Inst, so he told me today. We go first to Tobago, Trinidad, St Vincent and St Lucia, that is the present plan – the other Islands are in Quarantine. Just sold one of my sheep – cost me 1£ 6 – for 2£ 4 – if the farm pays thus it is all right. Cary was perfectly correct – Capt OB will assuredly be a most welcome visitor if he can say he has recently seen you all, and will talk over my Wickham ménage of wild Kits &c. I dine at Mess today and the Gannet sails at 10 tomorrow morning, therefore I shall close for tonight & get up early to complete my letter in the morning. Thistlewaithe is on detachment and well. My subs not arrived. It will not cause me much anxiety getting rid of L Smith – he is dreadfully prosey & perfectly deranged in his concerts. Adieu dear Kit – the ship Tropic has just arrived. The Horatio Transport sails for Demerara on saturday with the Detachts of the 67. This is no interesting news to you but I am in hopes Col Monins may return in her. He has been attacked by the vile fever. I have only time to close this as Mr Kelly, Office Keeper, waits in the Hall to carry my letter and one from Mr Critchlow to Capt Tait to the post office. Tell Capt T to let you taste the Shrub or valemium this old gent is sending him. Remember me most sincerely to Col Reid & Tait. Tell him all our Mess mates are well, but more drill than usual. The letter from dear Fritz was most acceptable – regards to him and warn him against matrimony as a close to his career as a soldier. Augustus’s quaint letters were much missed. As I shall write again in a few days, good bye dear Kate. Love to my Lassies, MOB, regards to my Uncles, Aunts, even including the ≡≡≡≡≡≡ treble dashed one. Just taken a bath after thumping the Negro that has charge of my stock for not boiling sufficient food for the pigs. Adieu dear Kate – the Farm is progressing but my temper is going.

Your aff Fred E

Valemium has not been identified.