Sunday, June 22, 2008

Two Young Lovers a World Apart

Two young lovers correspond with each other, both a world apart...

"My dearest darling,
Words can only express a mere reflection of the joy that I have upon receiving your letter today. The missionary work is going swimmingly here among with the natives. Today I taught the local folk the importance of proper hygiene, as the swampy area can be filled to the brim with mosquitoes carrying the Yellow Fever, and a festering bite can quickly lead to infection. I proceeded to show them that a mere drop of petrol applied to the swamp waters can coat the eggs and destroy the larvae effectively reducing the levels of the Yellow Fever. However, my assistant young Archibald was perhaps a bit too enthused, and proceeded to dump an entire can of petrol on the waters. Naturally, this wouldn't have been a problem, but as he was smoking a cigarillo at the time, the petrol ignited directly, and burned down most of the village. To ameliorate the situation, I kindly allowed the Chief and the elders to stay in my shelter. As a matter of fact, the chief is in my bed as I write this now, and all the elders in young Archie's bunk. Tomorrow I shall be teaching them the importance of boiling water. Poor chaps, though, I don't think they understood. When I explained to them that in order to produce potable water, you must have clean, clear water, a pot, and a fire to boil the water, they misunderstood and proceeded to gesticulate that I was never going to go near any sort of water with fire again as long as they had breath in their bodies. Wish me luck in my ever important work.
Here's to being in your arms once more,
Yours Dearly,
Jonathon Vallen"

"My dearest Jonathon,
I read the strangest news today and became immediately fearful for you. It seems that one of the villages in the colonies has completely gone up in smoke, and since it was in your area, I was feared for your life. I know you are safe, my love. Call it a womanly intuition, but I know that you are alright. My new dresses have come, darling, in the calico, blue, and rouge. Mother says that they are very becoming to me, and that they hide my hump very well, along with my left leg that's inches shorter than the rest. I can't wait until you see me in them! All the best of my love,
Truly Yours,
Emily Trotter"

"My dearest darling,
I decided since the natives' diet was rather lacking in meat, that young Archibald and I should mount a small expedition to hunt for a suitable meal. I was able to find some remarkable colored birds native to the area, no doubt. They had the most extraordinary plumage: a golden brown with flecks of purple throughout. Archie and I bagged at least 12 each and came back to the village with our hearts glad and our hopes high. We were rather curious, since we'd never seen of these birds, how they would taste. Naturally, we proceeded to remove the feathers and make a delicious meal of them. Upon presenting the feast to the Chief and elders, the Chief asked us where we had found such succulent birds. We told him as best we could, the exact location where we had found the wonderful birds, and showed him some of the feathers to see if he recognized the type. Upon seeing the feathers, the poor Chief was overcome with some sort of fit, and started speaking in a strange manner to me. Our interpreter then informed me that the natives believe that their ancestors' souls resided in these birds that we had found. Perhaps that is what made them so delicious, I joked. The Chief was obviously so amused with my wit, that he became overly excited and accidently hit me with his cudgel. I forgave the fellow for the matter, and thought nothing of it, but now I start having odd spells of wanting to wear a Little Lord Fauntleroy outfit and swim back home to Kent. Hopefully this will pass.
Until reunited,
I remain faithfully yours,
Jonathon Vallen"

"My dearest Jonathon,
How wonderful it must be to live in a foreign land and to educate the people! Your letter came today, and I had an amusing laugh over it. Well, not quite a laugh, more of a hacking wheeze. I'm afraid my asthma is getting worse, what with all this damp weather. I fear the very weather could be making my eczema flair up again. My cousin Mildred came today with her new vanity set. Directly I gazed into her looking glass, it shattered. As father does like to say, the mirror has not been built that can withstand my striking features. I hope your water boiling lecture with the natives goes well, my love.
Until then,
Yours Truly,
Emily Trotter"

"My Dearest Darling,
I was speaking to the natives today about what life is like back in England. Can you imagine, dear, that they have no concept of what a pub is? I tried my best to describe in simple words what manners of food, drink, and company one could find in a pub, but I'm afraid they now think that it's a place where people congregate to try and destroy walls with small arrows, eat food that gives them rather bad flatulence, and drink liquid fire that allows them to sleep on the dirt floors. Well, at least they get the gist of it. I was rather amazed, darling, that they had never had a brandy. I proceeded to search my belongings for my two bottles that I had been saving, and gave everyone a drink. I believe that they liked it, for they asked me what sort of things men did when drinking brandy. As best as I could, I told them that men have brandy with food, with cigars, or with cards. They pressed me for more details on card games, so I taught them a few, as young Archibald had a pack. I believe that it was during this time that all the brandy was consumed, and I proceeded to tell them how men liked to bet things in card games in order to win them. I proceeded to lose all of the cigars that I had, along with my razor, my clothes, and my soap and toiletries to the Chief who was bally good with a hand. Thankfully he allowed me to have the ink, pen, and parchment, and was gracious enough to lend me his loincloth. Well, I always wondered what it was like living as the natives do, and now I know the full experience. Tomorrow I shall see if I can win back my possessions.
Loving you as always,
Jonathon Vallen"

"My dearest Jonathon,
I was reading in the drawing room today about widows who lost their husbands to the sea. It was rather romantic, in a way, because even though the widows lost their men, they still lived by the sea because it reminded them of their loves. I thought of trying something of that sort, but I fear there aren't any jungles around here, nor any of the wonderful scenery that you described in your last letter. I wrote poetry instead to describe how I feel and I have inclosed it: 'O what manner-o, is my husband in, o? He has gone away, ere the break of day, and here I have to stay-o.' I'm afraid that rhyming wasn't one of my strong points. Perhaps that, and keeping my eyes uncrossed, as my au per would always tell me. I've gotten my portrait done a week ago so that I could send it to you. The photographer spent hours adjusting me and my head position. He kept saying it had to do with the lighting of the room. Now that I've gotten the portrait, I don't understand what he was talking about! You can barely make out my face at all! Take solace, however, that it is I, your one true love, in the picture. Think of it, and look fondly upon it whenever your heart's in doubt, as I look upon your photograph when I feel the same.
Loving you and missing you dearly,
Your Emily Trotter."
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