Tuesday December 15th

We had a curious and somewhat tragic sequel to the Play supper this morning, when we got up we heard that John (the manservant) was missing and apparently annoyed at something the boys had said had gone off after the Play Supper and had not come back. After breakfast arrived a policeman who was with Father for some time, and according to the official explanation he [John] apparently was run over in Hyde Park. Father for some unknown reason refuses to tell me more but it is perfectly obvious that his mind was unhinged and he tried to make away with himself.

Of course now various things come up: he was known to have a partiality for liquor which, being always of an excitable nature, very little would upset him. This I did not know before although the idea had flashed through my mind about 3 weeks ago one evening on his way up to bed he looked into my room (I was in bed) and then although he spoke naturally he looked queer and I couldn’t quite make out what he was driving at and I wondered then could he have been drinking.

I am very much afraid that it was something said at tea which annoyed him and the annoying thing to me is that I have only been out of tea four or perhaps five times this term on a weekday and it should have happened last night when I was not there. Not that I could have done much even if I had been there, I expect. It appears now that he had actually been in a Lunatic Asylum when he was about fifteen a fact which none of us, not even Father, knew. Of course he will not be able to come back for which I am sorry, and it has caused a lot of extra worry and trouble.

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