Before I started transcribing in earnest, I thumbed through the stack and pulled out this one, without already having the hint that Topsey is a dog (a poodle, we think).
Oct 25 1914
I have some sad news for you. You will never see poor little Topsey again. She was taken suddenly ill about eight o'clock last evening. We did all we could for her, had Dr. Quinn down to see her in the evening and again just at break of day this morning but nothing seemed to help and she passed away while the Dr was still with us at about six o'clock.
We had Mr Tisdale make a nice smooth box, put in her cushion that had been in her basket, laid her on in with her harness and blanket, spread her little pink blanket over and then put her away near the Joslyn fence just a little East of the currant bushes. We will all miss her, with her eager welcome every time we came home after an absence no matter how short, and your mother most of all for she was always with her.
The Joslyn's are the next door neighbors; ancestry.com shows this family on the 1910 census, right below the Duntons on the page:
James C Joslyn 47
Katie Joslyn 48
Louise Joslyn 20
Harry Joslyn 18
William Joslyn 14
Theodore Joslyn 5
Olive Palm 24
(But for my mother, I might still be wondering what a "Joslyn fence" is.)
Your mother asks me to tell you to send immediately for material for sash as they are slow about filling mail orders. I enclose a line directed to M. Field & Co instructing them to let you get things charged to my account you had better enclose it with your order to them. It may not be necessary, but on the other hand it may save delay in getting your order filled. When you return dress to Fields send with it a line directing them to credit it to my account, and also make and keep or send to me a memorandum of the date, when returned and price also keep the express receipt. Otherwise we are liable not to get credit on our monthly bill.
Last month they failed to credit us $82.50 for goods returned, but we got it straightened out by the use of such memoranda which your mother had preserved.
George has a kind, respectful way of walking Mary through the basic commerce-by-mail practises of the time.
We had quite a sharp frost last night for the first time, but not enough to kill all the flowers. Sam Jr. came out yesterday p.m. and I think will not return till the 6 o'clock train tomorrow morning.
He would like to go this evening, but we are all invited with the Townsends and I don't know who else to lunch at the Langlois and that I suppose means an hilarious time till ten or eleven o'clock. Joyce and Mr Wakeman are there today. Sam took the bunch with the auto for a ride to Genoa just before dinner.
It will be a bad thing if you get behind with your algebra as every lesson depends so much on the one that has gone before. If there is any way to by getting a tutor for a while to get caught up you had better do it. It is not such a very hard study if you master every step as you come to it, but it is very hard if you leave an enemy in the rear in the shape of a necessary link in the chain of reasoning that you do not understand.
Again, I find George Dunton quite charming. No math-is-hard for him.
Don't in any event work hard enough to get sick or break yourself down. Have you made the acquaintance yet of Geo. Marshall's son. He takes his meals at Ye Faith Inn and I would like to have you meet him. You know Geo. Marshall is president of the First National Bank of Belvidere and both he and his wife were from and raised at Sycamore.
I have to go to Chicago tomorrow and Belvidere Tuesday. Am pretty busy these days, still I get out for golf about twice a week, but don't improve very fast.
Much love from all the family