August 31, 1807

Dear Sinjin,

I was so excited to receive a letter from you!  Thank you very much for writing back.  I would have continued to write to you even had you not written (for I don’t feel as if one should feel obligated to do anything just because one person does something for you) but it would have seemed like a one-sided conversation.

I am practiced at those, so if you are unable to keep up with the correspondence, do not be concerned.  I can carry on.  I have one-sided conversations all the time with Buttercup.  I don’t think they would be the same as my writing you however, because I cannot very well ask you what grass tastes like can I?  Buttercup will nod her head at me, and sometimes I think she understands perfectly because of the look she gets in her eyes, but of course she cannot say anything in return.

You were correct in your remembrance of my appearance.  I do have black curling hair which always gets in my eyes until it maddens me.  And my eyes are a very curious yellow color.  I am told that my mother had the same look about her, but since she died when I was being born, I of course have no recollection.  I don’t like my eyes.  Some children in the village say that I am a witch because of them, which isn’t very kind and not at all true.  If I was really a witch I would have turned them all to frogs in an instant and I had no power to do so.  Regrettably.

I do not try to play with them anymore since they think I am a witch.  It is sad I suppose, but since I’ve never really had friends to play with, it makes very little difference to my daily activities.

Autumn will be here soon.  I can’t imagine it right now as it has continued to be quite hot all summer.  When winter comes I will not be able to imagine the heat of summer.  Is that not strange how such things work?  Mr. Markham, the steward at Greystone is looking forward to a very good harvest.

Thank you again for writing me.  I enjoyed your letter even though it was brief.  I have a special box that I will put all your letters in.

My Sincerest Regards,

Anastasia Camille Abbingdon

October 14, 1807

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Dear Anastasia,

I am in the middle of a rough term at Oxford.  I know you aren’t quite sure what that means, but let me tell you I am doing much reading and thinking and I am tired of it!  I think I am determined to buy a pair of colors and join the Cavalry.  Since I am only eighteen however I must have the permission of my trustees and they are unlikely to give it.

I am meant for more than studying the law however and I must find something that will prove it.  But you don’t need to hear about my struggles.  I will instead amuse you with anecdote about a friend of mine who for a lark gathered a flock of ducks from the river and put them all in the don’s chambers.  There were feathers everywhere by the time they had all been herded out!

Please send me another drawing.  I still have the one you drew of Buttercup, but would like to see something else.  Perhaps you can draw Greystone, so I can picture you where you live.

I indeed wish you were a witch and could have turned the children into frogs.  They deserve it for being so unkind to you.  I daresay they are not terribly interesting people to play with or converse with anyhow.  You would do much better to continue your conversations with Buttercup.  And your letters to me of course!

Yrs,

Sinjin

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