Thurs July 24
Jim gave notice to leave as his people in Wellington require his services. Mustered the “young” ewes [female sheep] in section 37 + took out rams – these sheep are now looking well. Got in the 202 wethers fattening on turnips in CK p[addock] + dagged them. In the evening Ida Daniell, Clare, Dora, Gil + I drove down to the last party at Mrs Herd’s – a large crowd there – the Vincents, Bartholomews, Whitakers, etc, etc. Maud (oh, how can I describe her) was attired in a most lovely dress, charmingly simple + the most bewitching in the room – a dark cream with broad bands of purple flowered silk at edges of sleeves + neck + down centre of front – she herself looked so sweetly divine – the prettiest girl, by far, present. We were entertained by games, music + several very original competitions. On the way down + return I wore, for first time, a knitted woollen (brown) comforter made [for] me by my own little darling a few days ago. Suffering from a bad cold in head caught yesterday.
Tues Sept 23
Father + I rode up river to move + muster cattle. Joined Gil + Anstice on the South Block + mustered 64 of the 67 steers (the other three we saw over East Creek but did not have time to get them). Took the 64 to the North Block putting 60 of them on the south end + taking the other 4 + also 27 steers which we mustered off Leighton p[addock] home for the sale next Friday. On reaching home drafted out 25 of the best for the sale. Heavy showers through day + got wet through. In evening rode down to Bruce Road – had a long conversation with Mr Herd about Maud – he respects my wish not to be formally engaged until my position is more secured, but thought we should be quite frank with each other so that the interval should be a time of happiness + joy. He mentioned Maud’s amiable disposition, hoped I would be faithful to her + return her affections + invited to visit the home as often as I wished – I was in fact treated with the usual consideration, kindness + courtesy. Spent rest of evening with Maud – she looked sweet in the fawn dress with the purple facings which she wore on the evening of July 24.