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Dec 15 Dearest Mother. A misfortune has befallen us. Fattuh fell sick a week ago and we fear it is typhoid. He has been very ill but is now better; there is however no doubt that he can't travel for the moment. Fortunately his wife is here. I have put off my departure from day to day and now I'm going - my camels left today and I sleep with the Mackinnons and start tomorrow. I still hope that in 3 weeks or so when I near the railway, F. may be able to join me and he of course never doubts for a moment that he is coming. But it is a horrible bore. I've got a boy to take his place - take his place indeed! - He seems bright and quick; I like him and I do not doubt that after a day or two my camp will fall into order.
Arthur! I'm writing to him. Yes, I hate the thought of their going away so far for 5 years. But it is an interesting job and I hope he will make a great success of it.
I have been so much occupied with Fattuh and with all my arrangements that I have done little else. Therefore please don't mind a short and dull letter. You won't hear from me again for 3 weeks or so.
The sun shines, thank goodness.
A merry Christmas to you all! Ever your very loving daughter Gertrude