Dear Master Eric,
What a delightful encounter I had today with brothers Percival and Cecil Sands, proprietors of a fine grocery and dry goods store here in London. Their store is quite the sight to behold.
Canopies hang haphazardly outside the windows, looking as if they’ll fall or fly away at any moment. Brooms, plants, boxes and notions sit willy-nilly outside the door. The brickwork is worn and faded, full of crumbling bits, barely holding together. Inside the shelves are full of tins and boxes, candies and textiles, hardware and nick-nacks of every description. Eric, you would love it!
Mr. Percival, the portly one and Mr. Cecil, the tiny one look as much like brothers as do eggs and toast. They look stern and stooped from their work, but their appearance belies their wicked sense of humour and magnificent storytelling ability. As I stood with my arms loaded with goodies they proceeded to tell me the tale of how several years ago, a baggage car and passenger car collided, and the sound could be heard all the way to the next town. I raised my eyebrows to this, whereupon Mr. Percival cleared his throat and said, “Well, perhaps not as far away as the next town, but pretty darn far.”
I knew the story would continue for a bit, so I placed my goods down on the well-worn counter and settled in to hear the tale of the crash. Embellished I’m sure, but highly entertaining, although frighteningly so.
I picked up a postcard for you from their shop, as you always scold me for not writing to you when I’m on my travels. Do you think that the Thames River here in London Ontario resembles at all the Thames in London England? I wonder about that.
I’ll sign off for now, knowing that you’ll not have the chance to scold me again, for this time you will have both a letter and a postcard from me. Ethel
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