You can't think how startled I was by the opening sentences of your last letter! It wasn't till I had gotten well past the triplets that I understood that it was all a joke. How I have laughed over that—and I hated so to leave out the triplets when I read told it to your father and the doctor! That was the only really new idea, after all; for there have been rumors about all the rest.
Belle was much disgusted with me for forgetting to telegraph you and Margaret about her engagement, for she didn't want you to learn it from the papers. Margaret is so well trained that she didn't even believe it when she read the report of it. By, the way, it isn't the captain—that's what I asked her when she told me that she was going to be married. He is a lumber man of Baltimore, Norman James—very nice and they say well off. (But then “they say” Edith is rich; and the report while false, has brought an avalanche of begging letters.) Belle seems wildly happy and really looks ten years younger.
Miss Benham, the new secretary, promises well and with the winter's rush postponed by the wedding things wont be so hard as they might. Ordinarily they would have begun in December, but I suppose everything, even the afternoon teas, will be held back till Edith is here.
No dear, I dont the wedding isn't being held back for you; it is going to be as early as it can be, which is the nineteenth at the earliest (a deadsecret!); for your fatherwont dare leave much before Congress adjourns for the Christmas recess. He will be gone till after New Year's Day, but must be back when Congress reassembles.
Margaret and I talked about Christmas last night and she says she thinks that beautiful as it will would be to have a Christmas in your little home she feels she ought to have one here for Josephine's sake. As she says, Francis won't feel so badly about not having his in his own sweet little house as Josephine would at missing a Christmas here. You will be down here any how and so bring the precious boy along and let him see a White House Christmas tree. Oh, how can we wait two months more to see him! And by then he'll have more teeth and be so grown up. The blessed lamb! how adorable he must be crawling around!
Ellen is improving every day—gains nine or ten ounces a week and really begins to look fat, in her little face; her body is long and slim. If only she keeps as well as she is, Nell will find a very different child from the one she left: the White House agrees with her. She is the best baby! She is in the little room next mine and I'd never know she was there except just after her six-oclock bottle, when she cries for Cousin Lucy, the latter having spoiled her shockingly. At night she never peeps.
It was hard to let the little Smiths go: they were such a comfort. They were charmed and delighted with Edith and she loves them.
Margaret is home tired but triumphant. Her concerts everywhere were a remarkable success and the notices have been, without exception, exceedingly complimentary.
The Man is well and happy. With his and Mig's and my love to the Sayres