It's a busy, hard fall at the Bogg. Marion Brown, however, has her mind on other things--Halloween, marriage, dreams, a ring, apples, and the fervent, repeated hope that James will visit Sanquhar again soon. Her joking about her own romantic prospects here is more blatant than in most letters--she says she's in no hurry (at age 29), that she'll maybe come to America first, that one young man had even offered to give her a glass of brandy and put her to bed. It says something about the intimacy of the friendship between James Bryden and Marion Brown that she'd feel comfortable writing such things to a man not yet kin.
October 10th 1872
My Dear Friend
It is with much pleasure that I take my pen to try & write you a few lines altho I have not written to you I have had you many a time in my mind. but I am glad that my hand is better for it was in the way of many a thing as well as writting. I hope you will forgive me for this time for if I could have wrote to you I would before this time.
I was very glad to see from your letter that you was all well and I hope when this reaches you that you will still be enjoying the same precious blessing. We have had a very busy time for it has been such wet weather here they could not get on with the work and every thing has just been kept in a turmoil but we got in all our hay the other day and now they are going to commence to raise the potatoes there is not many diseased potatoes but they are very thin in the ground and for tunips Aunt has none this year they are all rotton with what they call finger & toe I don't know whither the master will allow her anything for the bad crop or not. the cows is all very healthy now but they have never given the same quantity of milk the whole summer as they did before they had the trouble. Mr. Kennedy was here the other day and sold our cheese to a Mr. Crow[?] he lives at Kirkconnel he gets thirteen and six pens a stone for them.
everything is very dear here I think we will soon get no fire the coals is so dear and there is a talk of them rising yet and everything else is as high you say in your letter that uncle John has had a great quantity of fruit this year I wish I had been beside you to get some for I have scarcly ever seen an apple or pear this summer they seem to be scarce in this country.
you want to know if there is any lads coming to see me now it was with pouring out tea to lads that I got my hand burned and Halbert came in last night and asked me when I was going to be married for some one asked him when I was to be cried if it was first Sunday but Jeamie they will have to wait awhile before they hear me cried yet I am not in a hurry to get married I think I will come to America first there is a young man going to be here at Halloween that says he will make me drink a glass of Brandy and then he will have the pleasure of puting me to my bed but I don't think I will give him that pleasure if he thinks it one, you might come over at Halloween and bring Marion alone with you to see the fun. I think by that time I will can dance a jig with you if I keep well.
I have been over at James Hunters two or three times since you was here I can walk over to Brandleys with a very little asistance and not be very tired so you see I am greatly improved in walking I have been very bad with the toothach this last fortnight so you will can understand that my patience will not be very good.
What did you send me the 15 sents for was it to pay the postage of my letter when I saw it I just said that makes my dream true for I dreamed the night before I got your letter that I got a registered letter and a nice ring in it and my name inside so you see I am still going on with my dreaming yet. do you ever talk any through your sleep now. I hope you will not tell them any queer stories about love at my rate.
Katty Hunter bids me tell you that you are to be sure and come over and bring Marion with you and a lot of apples and we will have a Halloween when you come Aunt sends her kind love to you and she is very proud to see your letter to let us know how you are all getting on and you are to remember her to them all and she thinks you may give us another visit if once you was married and let Marion see this country before she leaves it.
uncle William and family is all well but he has not got up all his hay yet and I think it will be in a queer state now Tam has been at Brandleys for a long time and will be for some time yet tell uncle John he will just have to come and take us all across for I don't think Tam & me will ever get Aunt to start. give Marion my kind love and say I will write a letter to her this day week if well give my kind love to uncle Joseph & Marion and you will likely get some fun when the young one comes home or she will not be her useal.
Anthony sends his kind love to you and he says it is high time you was here to look after me I am turning bad enough give my kind love to all that ask for me and execpt of the same to your own dear self. now I will stop my nonsense and hopping this will find you all well I remain your affectionate friend Marion Brown
PS be sure and write soon and not take example by me but perhaps you will have got your hand burned to. MB