B’ham Hall June 3rd 1851

What have we taken on? It is as if Villiers has been released from a lifetime of domestic service into a world of entertainment and spectacle. Now I find that we have to accommodate a hundred pipers with a marquee, refreshments and their carriage fare. From Aberdeen. Mrs Doughty must have raised more funds in her enterprise than I imagined. Apparently we shall have to pay ninety guineas to these screeching Scotsmen on top of filling their bellies and finding them beds. I do not know how I am to break this news to Josiah. I shall start by pointing out how much closer to Surrey Aberdeen is than Zanzibar. That may work.

Villiers is beside himself with anticipation of this troupe of groaning boys. I am not to bother myself with where they are to sleep, apparently. Very well, then, I shall not.

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