My dearest boy Lionel:
We have heard nothing from you since you sailed for America, but a notice in the Standard telling of the safe arrival of the Australia on December 10 relieved us greatly. By now you must be in Michigan with Orlando. Keep in mind, my dear boy, that Orlando always served us well and honestly, and you can do no better than to follow his counsel. As your father wrote, you always said you wanted to be a farmer, and now you have your wish. Though you are but fourteen, your mother knows that boys must make a life for themselves, and she feels thankful that you were able to go to friends, not strangers. Remember also, that you have a Father who will go with you everywhere and take care of you always. If I did not believe that with all my heart our parting would be ten-fold more bitter.
Your money matters have been arranged with Orlando
and, as you know, you will receive 50£ per year to be paid l0£
at a time. This is all your father can allow, and you must manage wisely.
It is more evident everyday that riches are not necessary to begin life
with, even for a prosperous worldly end; so many wealthy young men come
to utter grief.
Stuart goes back to school on Tuesday. Your brother missed you very much, but he had quite jolly holidays. Went to several parties and also some entertainments, the Pantomine at Drury Lane, Madame Tussauds, the Aquarium, and Hempstead-water for skating. Miss Eyre had a Christmas Tree whence he got a blotting case, two boxes of sweets and the new book by Jules Verns.
Yesterday, Radford Sharpe called for him to go to the Gardens. They got some mice from one of the keepers to let loose at a card party at the Sharpes. Nice young man that Radford! I should like to have the re-organising of him for a few minutes.
Your very loving,
My dearest boy Lionel:
I fancy I detect a rather less despondent tone in your letter of Feb. 4 I’m glad you're getting handy with horses and practising with your gun. My how old and manly you are becoming! You left me very young, my darling, but some children born in India can scarcely remember their mothers. My thoughts travel to you often, longing in foolish mother fashion to hold you in my arms again. Especially do I fret when you don't write. You must send me a letter for your father, or he will become discouraged and perhaps cut off your allowance. And then, my son, what would you do?
I had a hurried card from him last week. He had been telegraphed for, to go to Calcutta to organize a coolie corps for service in the Naga hills. The Nagas are giving trouble again, by constant raids on the tea plantations, and last week murdered a planter in cold blood as he was sipping his after dinner tea, Arthur has returned and though he is pretty well he has given anxiety several times since he returned from America. He says he has taken the pledge and will keep it. Granny is buying him a Dalmatian for his dog-cart. The coming of age and final settling will take place in March.
Your Uncle Fred writes that he would be happy to have you for a visit in St. Louis sometime. I hope you are managing your money so that you will have decent clothes, in case you make a visit.
Your grandmother Chambers gets worse so slowly that Dr. Wilbe thinks it will be some time before the end. You must remember to include messages for her, and for Uncle Bob and Auntie Belle. They all inquire for you so kindly.