Dorothea Allison to Milborough Mackay, 4 February 
I was delighted with the humours of India you so kindly sent me. I often look at the Dherzi1 & and the Dhobi2 and laugh. The Dhobi reminds me of Kodai and our night gowns torn to ribbons & the way you insisted upon Mrs. Butterworth cutting the man’s pay till there was no pay left: in fall I think he owed us in the end! I still have one nightie lift that dear generous Mrs. B. insisted on buying to replace my torn ones! I hardly even wear it but keep it as a relic! Besides crepe ones are so much easier to wash — you don’t have to iron them!
We have just had a horrid cold snap — luckily it only lasted a few days — 15 degrees below zero, that is -47 degrees of frost. I went out one day but my face was frostbitten before being out 10 minutes. Luckily Bob saw it before much harm was done. I gaily wore 3 wooly coats one on top of the other and then a fur coat. [Yours of yore?], and moccasins on my feet. The horses bits have to be brought into the kitchen and warmed for some time before harnessing — else the horses tongues are skinned by contact with the icy metal! However, it is not like last year I am thankful to say as it only lasted a short time and last year we had week after week below zero.
How is your book progressing, I long for news of it!
You laugh at me for attending meetings etc. Don’t you have any to go to? You wd [would] make an excellent president of a Women’s Institiute! We have one or two women here who spoil things so by wanting to mange everything — by being very touchy & annoyed if anybody else wants to manage a little bit! & such little jealousies, it makes me loathe the whole lot of them sometimes. I suppose every little place is the same — but we have quite a little Methodist colony — awfully good people — but they are rather small, don’t you think so? There is a very nice retired Presbyterian missionary from China & his wife. Both quite wide and generous in their ideas.
I meant to write before to ask you if you have the chance, or know anybody who could do so — to look up a man invalided at Wellington, Nilgeris:
Gunner J. Newton R9A
Hut Barracks, Wellington Nilgeris
I daresay he may be better by now and moved on. He was invalided from Mesopotamia to Bombay for enterie and then in to Wellington.
A near ranching neighbour of ours and a very good fellow. You will have to try to remember that tho’ he hardly posses an’th [anything] yet I dance with him out here!! He is probably frightfully homesick & it wd [would] be a great kindness to find him out. He gave up a lot here to go home & join — so deserves well of somebody.
Much luck and wish you everything good for 1917.
Yr. very affec.
1Dherzi: One who sews and mends — a kind of private tailor.
2Dhobi: A washer of clothes.
Typescripts, 1913-1922 — Dorothea Scott-Coward Allison Letters