Spotlight fades on Mary. Overhead sign flashes 1872 then 1873, then 1874, then 1875 and finally stops to read Cobourg, February 13, 1876.Spotlight comes up on Francis Shepard, stage right. He is rereading a letter that he has written to his father.
Francis, reading from the letter he has written.
Cobourg, February 13, 1876
My Dear Father,
Received your letter last Wednesday and thank you for the $5.00 you sent. I will be as careful of it as I can possibly be. I also received a letter from Mamma and will write her next week sometime. I am getting along a little better all the time. Have taken up another study. Phisology.
Francis stops reading for a moment looking puzzled by the word. Then he shakes his head, shrugs and continues.
Francis reads: Tomorrow will be my first day at it. I will continue taking up studies as fast as I see that I will be able to do full justice to them all. The Classics master said if he were me he would not take up Latin unless I intended to make a study of it and pass an examination on it, but I will take it up as soon as I can get out of the junior spelling class into the senior. My spelling class clashes with it now.
I like the School better every day and do not wish to leave it for awhile. Sometimes I feel like getting off my seat and going out of the School. It is so hard to sit still I can hardly do it but I try hard not to give the teachers any more trouble than possible. If any persons want to know how I like the School just tell them to write me. I don't think I could like my school better and I am getting along famous.
I am getting acquainted with some of the best families in the town. Lawens, Staunton, Pinteland, Rev. McBowers and some others. There is one young lady here that I may ask to come to Stanley when the others come if you have no objection. It is Miss Penny. She is handsome I can tell you.
I see in the Globe that you have been appointed to head of the Reform Association of Southwold in Stanley. Did the majority get hurt last Friday? Write a full account of it.
By the By how is my colt Charley getting along?
My Love Mama, Jack and Yourself
Your loving Son
Francis stops reading and rummages through his desk looking for more paper. Finally he finds a small scrap on which he scribbles.
I hope Mama has sent an invitation to Eliza and her sister. If she has not tell her to write immediately.
Another frantic search for more paper ensues. Eventually a slightly larger scrap is found, and Francis continues to scribble
I do not know whether we will have a vacation at Easter or not. Of course we will have two or three days and if you have no objection I would like to go to Hamilton with H. Smith. He is going down to see his sister and wants me to go. His sister is at school there.
Francis stuffs all these bits of paper into an envelope as the spotlight fades.