Letter no. II. and still no word from my family, other than the contents of that cable forwarded by Stockton. It does take a long time to hear! But Mrs. Yates was so angelic as to write me about the arrangements made for you, so at least I have the comfort of knowing that you are safely installed in Loughrigg Cottage. Is it all your fancy painted it? What do you do all day? If you have not written promptly and at length the wails of my just wrath will be broken over your head.
And speaking of letters—your friend Miss Bond was most insistent in her inquiries as to whether or not you had received a letter written by her. She must have spoken of it at least six times, but since I had been rather lax in ing your mail, I could give her little information. Does she expect an answer from you? I don't know—perhaps. She is most chummy with the Sparhawk Jones. aAppears everywhere with them and drove out here with them the other day. The Miss Jones who paints seems to do it to some purpose. Adèle says that her work is very clever, and she has just taken first prize, to the tune of $2,000 from The Philadelphia Academy. True she had to give it up for it was to be used in foreign study and she was debarred from that field, but at least she knew the glory of the victory. We asked the whole Jones quartet to go out in the launch with us, but they flatly and unanimously refused—it seems they have bitter antipathy to the water—they are willing to gaze on it admiringly from afar, and to let it figure on their canvases—but trust themselves upon it! never! They don't know what a good time and a good supper they missed.Adèle is a Boxwoodsian this summer. “What in the world is she doing down there with the amateurs!” exlaimed Mr. Talent. Poor thing, it seems that she made a fearful mistake. She thought her mother would be more comfortable there than at Miss Florence's, but she describes the food as “atrocious” and Miss Bond says “as bad as ever,” so all of you are doubtless well out of it. We bring the Williams up here now and then and give them a square meal, hoping thus to hold their souls and bodies to-gether until such time as they seek refuge in mass. Adèle is dear—just as jolly as ever, and looking most elegant in her Parisian clothes.
She and I have been meeting on neutral ground—the Luddingtons of whom I have been seeing a great deal. I am really in love with Miss Katherine. She is altogether the most adorable object I ever met, and has been lovely to me. Arthur was home for Sunday as always, and came dashing up into the Red House just as we were launching the boats for tea on the Point. He dropped into the canoe, very red and breathless from his cross country sprint, and there found the charms of the tea-basket so seductive that he suddenly realized with horror that he had barely forty minutes left in which to get all the way back home, eat his supper, pack his bag, and catch the train. I thought there was no danger of his going hungry to bed for he had done full and prolonged justice to our supplies, but I venture to say that Mr. Brown's virgin forest still bears the mark of his savage crossing.
As to the rest of the Lyme folk—what shall I say? We took tea with the fat Alan Talent and his dear little wife the other day. Really, she has improved that man almost beyond recognition—so nearly so that I looked him full in the face at church without realizing that it was the same old Fatty. Both the studio and the garden have fallen under her magic spell—the former is freshly scrubbed and cleaned, with neat little pictures, the product of Alan's more youthful paint-brush adorning the the walls, the latter has been stripped of all the tangled mass of annuals and perennials to make room for her roses,—and a very worm-besprinkled, moth eaten rose garden it is just at present. But she has hopes for the future, and certainly she can manage if anyone can. I like her immensely. She reminds me a wee bit of Mrs. deKay, though she isn't so beautiful. Mr. Vreeland asked Mr. Talent to come play golf, and inquired whether his wife would not join them whereupon Alan grinned somewhat sheepishly and said, to tell the truth, he hadn't known her long enough to find out whether or not she played.
I expect to stay here until the first of next week, and then go to Miss Sharps, from there to isse's, and from there South. But keep on sending your letters (please note plural of that!) here until further notice. The Vreelands will always know my address and that will be safer than to have them pursuing me all over the Eastern States. (By the way, called up by those words—did Nell pass all her exams?) I shall hate to leave Lyme, the weather is glorious now, and I am beginning to find myself a bit more wakeful. Really, the amount I have slept would disgrace one of the Ephesians!Would that I could see all of you now, and would that I knew in what condition you find yourselves! But if you have done and are still doing your duty, I shall know soon. With lots and lots of love for all of you, even including yourself, from your