[18 Dec. 1954]
Your letter (Wednesday) just came, following a phone message from Clare Hincks who has just arrived. He told me that he saw the both of you and that you were over your cough and Claire was progressing. I hope the wound heals fast.
Pash came in this morning with the Clarke frame and I wrote out the Sea-Gulls. She is coming back on Monday at 11 when we shall go to South Drive.
The cards have come in literally by the hundreds. I suppose I shall keep them, as they are the conventional ones. George Johnston sent us Meighen's book on Shakespeare a wonderfully fine piece of book craft.
Last night I had dinner with the MacCrimmons, and what an array of guests Dr & Mrs Emlyn Davies of Westminster, Fred & Mrs Gullen and three others besides Judge & Mrs Smiling. The turkey was 25 pounds and after dinner we spent two hours telling stories, Davies very prominent in his reminiscences on Lloyd-George F.E.D. Smith, Sir John Simon and British celebrities. Some of the stories couldn't be told from a pulpit certainly, but the house rang with laughter. Davies has a deep tremendous voice and when he laughs it is like an earthquake. Elsie sends her love to you and Claire. She rings up quite frequently and I relay the news.
Today I have lunch again with Cal and tomorrow with Floss. I shall obey all your instructions. The $15.00 for Floss through Peggy from you and Claire, $5.00 for Winnie and the milkman and postie will not be forgotten.
I am being looked after very well by my friends though I miss you very very much. I shall certainly go down after the 'third' which you say will take place after Xmas. Isn't it too bad that Dr Cobb is unwell. I trust he is better now.
I sent the 'Collected,' I hope in time for Xmas. I marked it first class mail and stamped it accordingly.
Your W.M.S. cheque came. I suppose I should keep it here till your return or should I send it on for your signature and then put it in your account. Possibly I had better wait till the end of the year and send the two together, or retain them, whatever you think best.
Yes the Titanic lecture was well received though I imagine Chris and Vo are naturally a bit exuberant and inclined to exaggerate. Fortunately I had it written out and could sit down as in a class-room. An hour of it I find very exhausting afterwards, but the experience doesn't come often.
Kay Coburn is still trying to find funds from various foundations to get her Coleridgeana into Vic. It is uphill work.
Has Claire enough reading material? Bruce Mackinnon asked. I suppose Henry Wells will keep her supplied with the kind she likes.
Bless you sweetheart, and bless Cayke.
Judge & Mrs Smiling