December 21, 1889
I hope this pigeon finds you safely … I told it to find Athena ‘cos I didn’t know if you was at the cottage or in Prussia or at the ends of the earth.
I am well. Our Chief Steward says my penmanship has improved but it still has a long ways to go. You would have thought he’d take into account I never had to use it in me life before, but there’s no saying such to Mr. Skully. I am also learning mathematics, geography, and navigation with the other middies. It’s a lot to stuff into this head of mine but I aim to get ahead. If stuffing is the order of the day then I’ll just get on with it. I don’t plan to disappoint Mr. Malvern nor you.
Since our return from the Firstwater Mine and Charlottetown we have been several places after we saw you in London. Her ladyship stayed with our Willie at their town house for several days but we here in Lady Lucy were airborne again. We went to their castle in Scotland, where I hear Lord John Dunsmuir met with his family and brought them up to date on events. That was a kerfuffle. We done a jaunt over to Egypt, Lady, and by gum, I want to go back there. It ain’t just the engineering marvels they got, like that Suez Canal, it’s the old ‘uns I liked. The clockwork innards in them Pyramids, Lady! We think we’re so smart when they invented the likes of that years ago.
I heard from Captain Chalmers this week or so past. Seems she and Jake are having some trouble meeting up with her pa. I don’t know why. Maybe Jake got her lost. He sent a note and asked to be remembered to you and to tell Snouts not to forget. What, I dunno, but that’s what he said.
Captain Hollys just stopped to read this over my shoulder. He asks to be remembered to you, too. I suppose this whole letter could get taken up with such, so I will close. I hope you and the others will have a very happy Christmas.
Thomas Terwilliger (Tigg)