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   Chapter 8 LETTERS.

Vacation with the Tucker Twins By Nell Speed Characters: 12221

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


To Dr. James Allison from Page Allison.

Willoughby Beach,

July-, 191-.

My Dearest Father: We are having the grandest time that ever was and all we want now is for you to take a little holiday and come down to see us. It would do you worlds of good and surely your patients can let you go for a little while. Sometimes I think you should get an assistant or try to persuade some young doctor to settle in the neighbourhood. You never have any fun. I feel very selfish to have gone off and left you and Mammy Susan when I have been away all winter, but I promise to come back the first of next month and not to budge from Bracken until it is time to go to school the middle of September. I hope Cousin Sue Lee will be with us then, as I should hate to miss her visit, one moment of it. On the other hand I devoutly hope that Cousin Park Garnett will pay her yearly visitation while I am away. I heard a rumor that a Mrs. Garnett was expected at the hotel here, but I am trusting in my hitherto lucky stars that it is not Cousin Park. If she comes to Willoughby, I am going to bury my head in the sand, like an ostrich, and pretend I'm somebody else.

There is a camp of boys near us and they are just as nice as can be and seem to think it is their affair to give all of us girls a good time. They rented this cottage for last month and liked Willoughby so much that when their time was up they started a camp. They are James Hart, Stephen White, George Massie and Ben Raglan. They are called Jim, Wink, Sleepy and Rags, and as we have come to know them pretty well and they are not the kind of boys one stands on ceremony with, we call them by their nicknames, too. Wink White is studying medicine and so is Sleepy, when he is not playing foot-ball or sleeping. Wink is very clever and intensely interested in his work.

Mr. Tucker (only I call him Zebedee now) is teaching me how to swim. He says I am a very apt pupil because I am not a bit afraid; although he teases me a great deal because one day, the very first time I went in, I politely went to the bottom, and he says I made the biggest bubbles he ever saw. He calls me "Sis Mud Turkle," but I don't mind a bit. There is some kind of joke on all of us, even Annie Pore, who is so touchy we have to be careful. But Zebedee just has to tease and he says he can't leave out Annie, as it might make her feel bad.

Of course Mary Flannagan has a joke on everybody and everybody has a joke on her. She is a delightful person to be on a house party with, always so full of fun and always starting something.

Dum and Dee are the same old Tweedles, the very most charming and agreeable persons in the world. I have saved up the most important to the last:-our chaperone, Miss Cox, has gone and got herself engaged! It is an old lover she used to have when she was a girl and he has turned up in the most unexpected and romantic way, and all of us girls are so excited over it we can hardly eat and sleep. We are going to miss her terribly at Gresham. She can make me understand mathematics, which is going some, and how I am to proceed into quadratic equations without her, I cannot see. We do not know when they are to be married, but rather think it will be soon. Zebedee bids to be flower girl.

You may be sure that Miss Cox and Mr. Gordon come in for their share of teasing. I used to think Miss Cox was very old but since she got engaged she does not seem to be any older than we are, and while Mr. Gordon has very grey hair, he is really not old at all, not much older than Zebedee, who is the youngest person of my acquaintance.

All the old girls at Willoughby run after Zebedee, much to Tweedles' disgust. I believe it would about kill the twins if their father should ever marry again, and indeed I think it would be hard on them and I hope he never will, certainly not any of these society girls who are down here at the beach. I don't believe they would any of them make him happy.

Tell Mammy Susan that her great niece is doing very well and everyone likes her. Do not tell her that she is a perfect scream, using the longest, most ridiculous words in the world, never by any accident pronounced properly or in the right place. She is certainly proof positive of a little learning being a dangerous thing; but she is a kindly, sweet-tempered creature and as soon as we persuaded her to cook as she did before she went to school, we found her very capable.

Good-bye, my dearest Father, and please come see us. We are one and all longing for you. Give my best love to Mammy Susan and the dogs.

Your devoted daughter,

Page.

From Blanche Johnson to Mammy Susan.

Willerbay beech.

Dere ant Susen- i Take my pen in han to enform you that this leves me in pore helth and hopes it finds You in the same. The son of the C show is very hard on my complexshun and i think the endsewing yer i will spind my vocation in the montings. the yung ladys my hostages is most kind and considerable to me and Mis page tretes me like her own sister. Our shapperoon is in the throws of coarting and all of us maidens is very rheumatic in consequince thereof. Mis page and the other young female ladys who is engaged in this visitation declares they is got little if no use for the opposition sect but that is one thing i do not give very cerus credentials to as our pieazzer is one mask of yuths who no doubt would be spry to leve if they did not suspicion they was welcum. My kind empoyerer is now taken what he designs as his much kneaded rest but I cannot see that he rests none as he keeps up with all the other boys and dances and frolix just like he was the parient of nothin. I ask Mis page if he want her bow and she took on so dignifidedly that i done see i ain't made no mistake, ennybody ken see that Mis page is the favoright of the party, The twinses is plum crazzy about her but i dont bleive they suspicion that they pa is so intrusted. They keeps theyselves quite busy shoein off some fine ladys what is most attentave to they pa and never seems to see what is under they feet, uv cose i no Mis page is yung yit

but evy day she is making out to grow a little older and it looks lak mister Tucker is standin still or even gittin some younger. i bleive they will meet in this path of life (as a pote done said) and then proceed together. No more from yose at presence. Mis page has done invitided me to stop at Bracken to pay you a visitation before i return to the cemetary of learning and if nothin ocurs to prevint me i will take gret plesure in compiling with her request.

your gret nease,

Blanche Johnson.

From Annie Pore to her father, Mr. Arthur Ponsonby Pore, of Price's Landing.

My Dear Father: I should have written you immediately on my arrival at Willoughby Beach, but we had so many delightful pleasures planned for us by our kind host that I found very little time for correspondence.

I can never thank you enough for permitting me to join this charming house party. Everyone is so very kind to me, I find myself gradually overcoming my habit of extreme shyness and now endeavour to join in the gaieties and to make myself as agreeable as possible, feeling that that is the way I can repay my friends for their hospitality.

I am learning to swim but am not so quick at it as Page Allison. Already she is able to keep up for many strokes. Mr. Tucker himself is teaching us and his patience is wonderful. He first taught us to float, as he says if we are in an accident and can float we will surely be saved, as anyone can tow a floating person to safety. The Tucker twins and Mary Flannagan are fine swimmers and Miss Cox is the strongest swimmer on the beach.

We are all quite excited over the fact that Miss Cox is to be married. I am very glad of her happiness but very sorry that she will not be at Gresham next year as she was so interested in my voice and encouraged me so kindly. Page feels badly, too, as Miss Cox is the only teacher she has ever had who could make her comprehend mathematics.

Mr. Tucker sends you many messages and repeats his invitation for you to come to Willoughby for a week-end. I do sincerely hope you will do so. It would be a pleasant change for you and no doubt your assistant could take care of the shop in your absence. Harvie Price is to be here next week, also another boy who attended Hill Top, Thomas Hawkins. The cottage is quite roomy so there is no danger of crowding, and I can assure you it would be splendid if you could come.

Your devoted daughter,

Annie De Vere Pore.

Miss Josephine Barr from Miss Caroline Tucker.

Willoughby Beach,

July - --.

My dear old Jo: If you only could have come! We are having such times and such heaps of them. In the first place, all five of us girls are sleeping on the same porch with our cots so close together the cover hasn't room to slip. We go in the water twice a day, although every day Zebedee says it must be the last day, but every day he is the first one in and the last one out. Our before-breakfast swim is nothing more than just in and out, and such appetite as it gives us! I am dying to tell you the great news, and Miss Cox says I may tell you. She is going to be married!!! A lovely man that used to be stuck on her ages and ages ago! I tell you he is stuck still, all right, all right. He goes by the name of Robert Gordon and looks like a vrai hero of romance, iron-grey hair and moustache and the most languishing gaze you ever beheld. We are right silly about him because he certainly does know how to make love. As for Coxy, she is simply great and rises to the occasion in fine shape. She looks real young here lately and has given up looking as though she were trying not to smile. Instead of that, she laughs outright, which is certainly much more becoming.

I wish you could see your little room-mate, Annie Pore. She has bloomed forth into a regular English rose! I never saw anything like the way the boys swarm around her, just like bees! She is not nearly so shy as she used to be, but she is still very quiet and demure and has a kind of sympathetic way of listening that surely fetches the hemales. She is really beautiful and is always so anxious to help and is so considerate of others. I fancy her selfish old father has been good for her disposition in a way. We are rather expecting Mr. Pore to come see us. I hope if he does come he will not cast a damper over Annie's spirits.

Mary Flannagan is simply splendid. Page calls her our clown dog, and the name suits her to a T. She is the funniest girl in the world and her good nature is catching. She is a good swimmer and how she does it in the bathing suit she wears, I cannot see. Fancy swimming with three yards of heavy serge gathered around your waist! I think Mary and Annie will room together next year at Gresham since you are not to be there. They will be good for one another, but no one could do for Annie what you did.

I have not told you anything about Page, but you know what Page always is-just Page. She is still busy making her million friends, but she never gives up her old friends for the new ones.

Guess who is here at Willoughby! That Mabel Binks! She arrived yesterday and is stopping at the hotel. I hope she will keep herself to herself but I 'most know she won't. She is bent on getting in with Zebedee and he is so dead polite where girls are concerned that he is sure to submit. She is kin to one of the boys in the camp near us and is pushing the relationship for all it is worth. Poor Stephen White (Wink for short) is the cousin and I have an idea he is not very proud of the connection, but is too much of a gentleman to say so. Wink and Page are great friends, have been from the first minute they met, and I bet you a hat Mabel Binks butts in on that friendship and tries to break it up. She has had it in for Page ever since the time the caramel cake gave all of us fever blisters and Page used the blisters, of which Mabel boasted a huge one, as circumstantial evidence that Mabel had stolen a hunk of our cake.

Good bye, dear Jo. All the girls send you lots of love and Dum says she will write next time.

Very affectionately,

Dee Tucker.

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