Monday, November 1, 2010

A Letter from the Camps--In which I shop for fabric and fall on my bum

Dear Mrs. S--,

I was so pleased to see your smiling countenance, and that of your husband, in our encampment on Saturday! I suppose my husband contrived to procure passes for you. I do hope you were able to peruse the shops a bit, for they were filled with the most delightful array of items. I was pleased to find some very fine wool which I hope shall become a new mantelet or short cloak, if I can find a silk I like with which to line it. How I miss our afternoon sewing parties!

I must chronicle for you the more amusing events of the weekend. Firstly, the men had begun to move the cannon from its position in camp to a defensive position on the hillside (as they feared that, perchance, the British occupying the nearest town might attempt a foray on our camp). There being not many men to help, I willingly grabbed a toggle on the rope and began to pull with all my might, when, quite of a sudden, the rope snapped! And I fell flat to my rear, petticoats flouncing about me like a cloud. So, being without a second drag rope, we were forced to move the gun by lifting the trail of the carraige and rolling the wheels, which is most tedious, but the image of me flailing on the ground was, apparently, enough of a humorous distraction to keep the troops from annoyance.

Then, in the evening, we gathered ourselves around the fire, as the receding warmth of the setting sun left the air quite chilly and even laid frost on the ground. We did our best to remember all the songs we have learnt, passing broadsides between us and reading them by candlelight. It was at this time that I recalled the bottle of whiskey I had brought with me, which we passed around to warm ourselves. We were in the midst of a ballad when, at a pause, we heard a bawdy song from the camp next to ours. Of course, we all broke into laughter, and then, to a man, began singing along with the song in question.

Sunday we heard the sermon, which the parson abbreviated for the sake of the men standing in the shade of a tree with their feet turning to ice. Then the other ladies and I spent a good hour perusing the shops, all of us gathering around the fabric and creating imagined clothing from bolts of fabric. It was here I found my new wool--such a perfect shade of blue!--and our friend Mrs. R-- found a perfect pale green linen for a new gown. We contrived to persuade Mrs. H--to purchase some chocolate brown wool for a short cloak.

That is all I am able to write at the moment,

Mrs. Hyaline


Sharmon said...

What a fun "correspondence from camp"! Looking forward to more :-).

Rowenna said...

Thanks, Sharmon!