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Hill Country Living

It’s a Wagner Week and this is a letter for Jessie’s friend Mary, who I think she met at Wellesley College. Mary wrote Jessie for many years and their friendship was extraordinarily close. Mary is a good writer and can describe a scene really well. She also loves unusual punctuation usage and breaks up a sibling fight to in this letter.

Dear Jessie,

Vacation is over and I am back to city and civilization again, waiting for Mother’s return from Newport. You know how it is for her to uproot herself there. And almost everyday of the two weeks I found myself thinking of you and wishing you were with Specklain and me at Shelter Harbor. The first week we were there was all midsummer: couldn’t even light a fire in the fireplace: and on the beach there was no surf, and flocks of geese floating on the water.

The last days were cooler but sunny: no rain except a shower one night which you could hear coming over the fields: though all are praying for it with the woods and soil so dry. We were lazy and that would have been good for you too.

I was so sorry when I read your letter on my return about your arm: how did it happen? As if 3 children and a dog and hot weather were not enough! I am afraid it was a mistake to try to do New York – from a bodily point of view: the children, like everybody else, were probably tired by the excitement of it and made the worse traveling companions. But two weeks after they will have forgotten all the discomfort and remember only the thrills: a great story for co versatile must have been laid up.

Stuart, I am sure would be greatly surprised at the thought of a cloud between you and him. Not one woman who in five thousand would have done what you did and as you did it, so don’t give a thought to any raggedness in the performance. Susie thought the children were awfully nice: she was taken particularly with Kathe-rine’s conversation and ease.

Don’t think I did not sympathize in what you did about Corinne: it is true and it is her way. But it is she and part of her personality. You were not designed on the same lines — clippers though you both may be, and you are bound to sail your own courses. But do take in your sack the winters, Jessie, and go easy. Already I look forward to seeing you again and I want to see you well.

Have you read The Edwardians by V. Sackville-West? Divesting as a reflection of the time: it calls to mind all those pictures of Kind Edward being entertained at country places — the groups with royalty in the front center — in the Magazines.

After you went back to the Rector’s Daughter I decided to read it and I liked it extremely: the rector and his daughters – real personalities- with the background of that old English culture that is foreign to us. The Elizabethan dramatists and her childhood books  — I thought that was delightful.

I know mother will be pleased that the red, white and blue was so popular.

I haven’t begun to say the things I want to talk about but I am due at Patty’s for supper: per chance the skies will move again. 

Don’t forget how much your friendship means to me. 

With love, Mary

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