Dear Sister Mary
Your very welcome and long looked for letter was gratefully received this morning. You probably have received Mother’s letter by this time giving an account of her journey and sickness. I am with her today and every day when the weather and walking will permit. Mother is at present sitting up in bed trying to sew a little. The sore on her back is not like the one she had on her neck. At present the hole on her back is about the size of a half dollar; but all around the Dr. can put a prob. more than half a finger under the flesh. I shall be thankful if it does not injure her spine. The Dr. says he never had so bad a case of the same description. He washed it out this morning with suds made with castile soap, then injected Castic into it, and will go through with the same prosses every morning. Sammy has been her nurse, cook, and maid of all work. had it not been for bringing you away from Frank I would have written for you to come home immediately after she came. I would have done it under almost any other circumstance. I did not see her until a week after she came home.
Sarah went to live with her sister the day before and I was alone for two weeks, besides Mary still coughed very hard and the roads were almost impassable. Mother said this morning “tell Mary to stay as long with Frank as she can, but I do want to see little Frankie” of course she dont care to see you. I expect to see a great boy, when you return. I looked for his dress that I gave him to wake it, but could not find it. I told Mother that I wanted to buy some of your small linen “Dipa” as Baby says, if you would take your pay in sewing or some such work. She thought you would be glad to make the exchange so I have cut out a chimise and am at work on that. I took one of the curtains you had cut off. If you do not come home at present and have anything in particular that you want me to do, let me know “[immajently?].” The Pipes are for a very particular friend of mine. Little Mary’s cough is almost well. She had it very hard, would whoop so that you could hear her from our room in the kitchen, when all the doors were closed, her face would turn purple and would strangle so that at times I would have to put my finger in her throat and blow in her face to make her catch her breath, I feel very thankful that she is so well. She runs all over and can say a good many words, she says, “Autie” for Auntie “How do a,” how do you do, “Tattoo”, thank you, “Pe” please, “A-a-a Papa” where is papa, &c, ask her who made the moon, she saws “Gawky.”
Leander left home two weeks ago last Monday for Bureau Co, he went from that place to La Grange Ohio, I received a letter from him yesterday, he was well, had spent the most of a day with Brother Thomas in Cleveland, found him at work on one of the propellars, left him quite well, Mother received a letter from F. one day this week, with $15, enclosed. He expects to commence to sail very soon,—-As for town news I know of but little, have been at church but twice since small pox season. I commenced going, then Mary coughed so hard that I did not leave her at all for 6 or 8 weeks, and since Mother came home I feel it my duty to spend any Sabbaths with her, Last Saturday Mrs. H. Norton buried a babe, A great many children are sick with lung fever and inflamation on the lungs. Albert Babcock still lingers, I never saw such a living skeleton, he has 10 or 15 running sores, on his body, his parents gave him up some time ago, Mrs. Strevell is convalescent, the spot that was on her right eye has gathered and broken so that the pain is much less, The Remick girls have gone to Evanston to school. L. Russell is going as soon as her Father comes home; he has gone after Jerome, he is not expected to live, and in all probabity was not alive when his father reached him
Mother wants you to be sure and remember her to Dr. Moore and wife, and also that she will send the indigo that she promised the first opportunity. She thinks Mrs. Cotton might have sent you the letter and what she sent you before this time, she has written to you several times since she came home and has received no answer to any of them, therefore is very anxious to hear from you I must close for I do not know as you will be able to read half of what I have already written, I writ poorly at best but when I am writing on a book in my lap it is worser, tell Frank that I will answer his letter very soon, I ought to have written to him first. Give him my next best love. Kiss little Frankie for me and write very soon. I must go and make a boiled custard for Mother, before I go home. Accept much love from your Aff. Sisters [Maggie & Hetty?]
I had a few lines from Johnie last week, he was enjoying good health, and was in excellent spirits. Robert is coming from Decatur next week, is going on to see Sarah in Chicago. Anna health is so far improved that she is in the schol room again.
Mother send much love to both F and you also a kiss for Frankie