CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/279
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her relatives
Date26 January 1919
Extent3 sheets + carbon copy
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, Valence, to her relatives, regarding summons of Mme. Soureillat to see Mme. Clerc, President of the Association, to be questioned about the Taillefer business; it turns out that in November Mme. Soureillat doctored a list of evacuations to keep Taillefer at the annexe, while discharging a Lieutenant who was still unwell - the Lieutenant turns out to have been a relative of Dr. Jacquin; anonymous letters have also drawn attention to the problem; Amelia herself was asked about Vayr's moral standing; Vayr and Taillefer fell out, and became indiscreet; the nun calls them grasshoppers; both are married, though only Taillefer spoke of a wife; the wife has now begun to investigate the situation herself, as someone warned her that there was something going on; Colland is Taillefer's successor and Amelia does not want to have anything to do with him, though he teases her; Robinet, another patient, was annoyed by Taillefer but, being bedbound, did not see the damage he was doing to Mme. Soureillat, of whom he is very fond; Amelia spends her spare time in her room or at the piano - Mme. Soureillat likes the music and it helps to thaw her; the 201 and the annexe are to remain open at least until June; there are only ten men and Captain Dobinson there at present; the doctor has asked her to teach him English, but she is reluctant to make an evening commitment in the winter weather, though she likes the healthy cold; he is now coming earlier in the evening to the hospital but though he is a ready pupil she wonders how long he will keep at it, as the hours have to be irregular because of his own duties; Robinet is learning English along with his massage, and Captain Dobinson is learning French; teasing him over his English accent as the doctor said to him that he could always understand Scottish accents better than English ones, which made him laugh; Captain Fonsagrive's departure; his present of a box of chocolate truffles and a bouquet of carnations; he will spend his convalescence 'studying to attain and retain the contact of faith'; Robinet has also been asking questions about belief; the starting point was some music lent to Amelia by Mlle. Draussin, the pastor's daughter; she is teaching Amelia modern French music; she practises some of the music for the entertainment of the patients during the week, and keeps some of it to practise in her head as their 'taste lies in waltzes and rag-time'; Chauvel and Robinet try to understand the modern classics; if things remain quiet at the hospital she will try to get permission to play the organ at S. Jean via M. Fayet; a patient would probably be willing to act as blower, but she will wait until the church would be less chilly; visit to the Kilroys, who wish to meet Captain Dobinson because they come respectively from Leeds and Middlesbrough; they have lent her a volume of English, Scots, and Irish songs to play to the patients; impromptu concert attended by Mr. Davey, Dr. Jacquin's chauffeur, who is 'perfectly cracked'; his behaviour at the concert. [Letter breaks off without signature]
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