March 20, 1880
…..It is five weeks since I posted 10£ to you, and I ought to have heard of its arrival by now if you had been in any way prompt. But while you are neglecting your poor mother she has been trying to do her best for you. I wrote your Uncle Fred, and he has responded that he could take you into the office of the Midland Blast Furnace. He can offer you no salary to start, but if you do well, after several months perhaps he can give you $15 a month. I believe Midland is a rough Missouri border town, and the work will be hard, but perhaps you will prefer it to fanning. You will have to make up your mind to be ordered about as all beginners are, and there must be no shilly-shallying. If by dawdling, dilatory ways you let this chance slip I cannot apply to your uncle again.
Don't keep me in unkind suspense. Directly you have decided, send me a letter that I may know what you are doing…..
May l2, l880
I hate to be always finding fault, but you really are very trying in the matter of letters. It is two months since I wrote of your uncle's offer, and I still don't know whether you are in Michigan or Missouri. I am sending this to Orlando in case you are still on the farm, to be forwarded to Midland, if you are there.
Stuart went back to Brighton yesterday after very jolly holidays. We saw the new piece at the Opera Comique called "Pirates of Penzance," by the same men who did "Pinafore.” We also went to the Royal Academy, and I thought of you, as we were together there last year. My favorite picture was called "She Was Left Lamenting," a dear old white Dorking fowl who has reared a brood of ducklings. There she stands on a mossy rock, as far as she dared go in the water, watching her refractory brood swimming away from her. It is beautifully painted and you can feel the sorrow in the old hen's face.
July 10, 1880
I got your sad little letter of July 3 last eve. Of course I am very sorry for your disappointment and somewhat worried about you, but it is not like an offense; you have not lost your employment through wrong doing. And your uncle speaks most kindly of you; so cheer up, things night be worse.
About the school, I am well desposed toward the plan but cannot think that your father would increase your allowance as he remembers too well the money wasted at Brighton, which you now so bitterly regret yourself. St. Louis is a gay and expensive city with many temptations for a young man. However, if you truly feel you can give a good account of yourself, perhaps I can make up the difference from my own allowance. I quite agree with your uncle about your inaptitude for farming.
August 5, 1880
My dear old Slyman:
I returned from school the 28th of July. It's my last term, since in September I go to Victoria College, St. Helier's, Jersey. I got two prizes, one for drawing and one for Latin and Greek. Just fancy, I licked the mighty Otto Falk in Virgil!
Those Falks have been abominable this tern. They have bullied and cocked over us all, at least Otto and Albert have, for Herbert has been too "funky" to say anything. If he began to cheek me I would say. "You'd better shut your row or you'll get something you don't like".
Bru is stopping with me now so I'm not a bit dull. We go often to the Marylebone baths and I can swim nearly twice across. I am getting on splendidly with my boxing as I have kept it up ever since you left. Every Wednesday we have sword practice and the other days I go to the gym. Also, I learned riding last term and keep it up here.
Best love and kindest regards to Uncle and Auntie,