Letter from Gertrude Bell to her stepmother Florence Bell, estimated to have been written on the 16th of April, 1890.
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Dearest Mother. There is no shop mark in Asolando. I fancy it was Demeter you sent back, but I also thought that I had got that copy of Asolando from Bickers not from Bumpus - was not that so? I ought to have Bickers' receipt but I can't find it. What a bother it is about Hugo. I feel dreadfully worried. Surely you won't be half May at St Leonards? That would be too horrid. I'm very glad Papa is going down to you, you will be able to make all your arrangements with him. I should like to go to the first drawing room if you could, because I shall want some evening gowns and shall have none till I can use my court gown. Lady Pease and Claudia are going too which would be rather nice.
Today is worse than ever, colder and wetter. I feel very low in my mind, but if only it would be fine and the little girls and I could go out with pleasure and make expeditions to Wilton, it would be infinitely nicer. There does not seem the least chance of it.
Papa is bringing Hugo's hat. I enclose a letter from Mrs Johnson which may interest you. Please return it to me. Do you see she asks me to Oxford. I should like to go about the 27th and have written to tell her so, but if that won't suit you, tell me and I will alter it. Ever your very affectionate daughter Gertrude.