Letters to Mary Dunton - 11/28/1913

January 2, 2013

Here's another out-of-order letter, this time in its own envelope, though the postmark isn't fully legible, and Lavinia does generally just put the day of week and the time on her letters. However, we just handled this Thanksgiving for which Martha stayed home sick, and the 28 and the 1913 are clear, and indeed, November 28th is a Friday in 1913, so I think we can be pretty sure of it. Presumably someone sorted the stack of envelopes into order, leaving the ones with illigible postmarks at the bottom.

Friday 6o'clock a.m.
My Dear,

Your card came just as we were starting for Pauls yesterday morning. I hope you are entirely over the cold and are getting your work made up without over burdening you. How fortunate to have had so much French translated.

Miss Faith surely is interested in her girls. I am sorry you did not wire her.

I think Martha and I must have taken your cold. I have had some ever since you went away. Day before yesterday Martha took a nap in the afternoon, for which she was truly thankful, but woke up with a sore throat and head ache.

She felt pretty sick before bed time. Had Dr. Thompson but she did not rest much through the night and was real sick yesterday morning. So of course she could not go to Lizzies. She really was too sick to leave alone, but Mary was invited out for the day. Nevil had turkey at home, and Lizzie had gotten ready for us so she insisted on our going + we all went. She had Dr. T three times yesterday had enough clothes on so she could move about, made toast + tea on the electric plate, wept some but got along pretty well, and is much better this morning.

How does one make toast on an electric hot plate? I assume this other Mary has to be the maid?

So Martha crying at this juncture seems perfectly reasonable to me, but it strikes as quite alien that Lavinia reports on it so matter-of-factly.

She says she slept all night and her head ache + sore throat have left her. She still has a cold in her head and will keep pretty quiet today, hoping to go to Chicago in the morning.

Lizzie had an elegant dinner and she felt badly that you and Mary were not there. We had a very pleasant visit. Nevil took us to Cortland where we met the 9:30 electric car and we came home on that car by way of De Kalb, arriving at 5:30, so we had a long day of it.

I hope you felt well and had a nice dinner too.

Ok, now I am confused about the other mentions of Mary. Perhaps Lavinia just wrote "you and Mary" when she meant "you and Martha"?

I have been busy since you went back. We stripped your window and covered things as we had planned so it will be fresh for you when you come. Mrs. Slade left about two hours after you did. I finished cousin Louise's bed slippers and put new cases on two pillows, changing the feathers in my toilet room. Have knit quite a little on the slippers.

Ealenor bought us a dish of most delicious cottage cheese Wednesday. I wished you had my part. It was about the best I ever ate. I must get up + prepare Martha's breakfast. I do hope to get a card from you to day. Be very careful.
With my best love Mama.