Her Eighteenth Letter to Kate


Previous

Back to the Beginning

Dear father,

The country here must be, as you say, one that remains influenced by the native philosophies and a sense of being at the mercies of the natural world; although the townspeople do not expound upon such abstract concepts, one can discern it. The sun, the wind, and the rain are spoken of in the most absolute terms – and the means of man in terms so vague (“plodding on”, “getting on with it”, “chipping away”) as to put the two in clear juxtaposition once one sits back.

Meanwhile the native festivals are held here but dimly disguised, and the very fact that no one ever breathes a word of the Great Sky Dreaming Ark, or of the States of the Confederated Tribes just to the southeast, says a whole lot in and of itself.

If you do embark on your next book with New Britain as your subject, at whatever point in its history, I would very much enjoy being an early reader of your draft. Although this may not be practical, owing to the existence of that pesky thing called an ocean between here and there! Anyway, do take care of yourself.

Your daughter,

Georgia

Dear Kate,

The County of New Cambridge is remarkably level, bounded in the northwest by the Youx-shalni range, the southwest by the River Cartaeser, and the east by the Redhawk Hills and the forests of Labrette’s County. You are familiar already with the spiral rock formations I mentioned, which pockmark the plains and can give rise to toxic updraft of a dizzying array of chemicals (ever unpredictable in their exact mix, from site to site and time to time). The latter formations are composed largely of felsparic sandstone, but also in the region abound mica of a mediocre quality, syenite, quartzite, and at least some limestone.

I say “at least some” because the limestone is subject of some debate – and some very bad handwriting – in the Kingstowne records, on which I have not yet formed an opinion myself.

A strange feature of the region is the manner in which the rock beds nearest the upper crust, on which we walk, tend to undulate most gracefully but always culminating in an angle jutting up eastward toward the horizon. If one could strip away all the vegetation and annoying topsoil that stand in the way, one could see how the land here almost resembles a bed of scales, the bottoms of which all point up off to the east.

By way of explanation for this digression into the business of the world beneath us, I am now in possession of a horse, and consequently deep in the (overdue) throws of writing Kingstowne’s annual report to the Minister of the Districts of the Greater Commonwealth.

I was ill-equipped to go much of anywhere until I acquired Lorenzo, but now that I can, in fact, carry out one of the principal duties of my Office, I am in a mad hurry to survey as much as I am able in order to add new material to this year’s report. While the principal geological features of a region hardly change much from one year to a next, our decades being but sneezes next to an inch’s shifting of granite, there are still other topographical features on which I can report, albeit less interesting. And thankfully there are leftover questions such as the limestone.

Kingstowne’s last report principally consisted of the usual descriptive table, contents last updated in 1926 and reproduced each year by way of confirmation that yes, a human being bothered to copy them out, and yes, the foibles of new formatting demands from the current Minister of the DGC could be humoured. This table had, by way of foreward, a letter from Mr. Inglethorp to the Secretary to said Minister, which said very little about rocks and trees and water levels, but made up for that in spades with snooker and Scotch kilts. I was disappointed to see that Mr. Inglethorp’s handwriting was quite passable, so I cannot blame him for the illegible passages I come upon in the Office.

Anyway, I have enclosed a sketch of Lorenzo, whose temperament is still an unknown, and whose apparent dislike of apples is too obvious to be trusted. I acquired him from Mrs. Brougham’s son-in-law’s cousin, whose ranch runs alongside the O’Shaughnessys’ and who will board Lorenzo until I move house. If I sound ambivalent where I ought to be excited, let us put this down to the fact that at present Lorenzo does not always go where I wish him to, and has therefore exposed me to the laughter of Mr. Ridgetop as well as a few stray ranch hands.

Perhaps I should not complain seeing as Mr. Ridgetop almost looked astonished when, on my first ride out on survey, as he watched from the Office doorway I got into the saddle without mishap. In fact, I am thoroughly competent at getting on and off of a horse, and have only to feel sour at this apparently being such a surprise.

With Love,

Your Georgia

Next

4 thoughts on “Her Eighteenth Letter to Kate

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s