Identifier

MSS.2.15

Publication Date

12-7-1917

Document Type

Letter

Transcription

7 December, 1917

Dearest Dada:

Three letters from
you, one from Ruth Tuthill &
one from Reed! Of your three
letters, I didn't know which
to open first: so I said
"Eni, meeni, mini mo," and
[hegora]! They came out just
as they ought to!

Your letters are God-sends!
Let me tell you that I am
ill in bed with temperature
of 103 yesterday: but since
then I have come down to
101. In my last letter to you,

I told you how ill Father
was. You know he has
Bright's Disease, and cannot
eat anything but vegetables.
Well, he gets so tired of that; [page break]
but whenever he takes meat,
his whole body swells. Then
Mother got the grippe, and
now I have it! Then
too recently Dad has had
big business losses, which
cuts off his income
several thousands interest
per year. All together,
everything seems pretty
dismal.

I told you of the awful
time I have had with
my face. Well, it is
still not well, but I
have decided to go out
as though nothing is the
matter, for I have found
that the closer I stick at
home, the more uncertain
my temper becomes. Since [page break]
I have shut myself up
at home, life has become
dull - dull, dull! I
am seized with such un-
reasonable and unreason-
ing fits of temper that
sometimes I think I am
going insane.

About the S.S. school class.
Well, for the last ten
weeks, I have not been there
as my face has been
so blotched up! I am
sorry your prayers have
been so wasted! But now
I am going whether
I get well or not.

There has been so much
sickness in China. And [page break]
with the awful, awful
Tientsin flood, so much
misery is everywhere!
Sometimes, when I look at
the dirty, ragged swarming
humanity in our slums,
I feel the sense of bitter
futility in hoping for a great
and a new China, and the
sense of my own smallness.
Dada, you cannot con-
ceive how useless one feels
in such surroundings. The
percentage of poor here is
greater than any you
could conceive of in America.

You say that sugar is
scarce. Well, I am sending
you, - or rather Grandad
some Chinese candy - packed [page break]
in two. I don't think there
will be any duty to pay on
it. The cost of living on
account of the war has
gone up too - even here.
Coal is $32.00 a ton! I
feel absolutely wicked that
we have three large stoves
going all day long: but
as Mother said, it is cheap-
er to buy coal than to
pay doctor's bills.

Well, let me tell you an
adventure I had the other day.
On the way home from the
doctor's where I had gone to
fetch him for Mother, I
had the chauffeur to drop
me at the Pathe office
where I had to attend [page break]
a censorship committee
meeting. When I went in
there, I was told that the
Committee would meet
at 439 Ning Po Road. I
went to Ning Po Road, and
found only dark narrow
filthy alleyways, and
no 439 anywhere. I
looked and I looked, but
couldn't find any go-down
at all. In the meanwhile,
it had gotten dark, and
I was all alone walking
to and fro, and the
motor had gone with the
doctor. Finally, as I
could not understand the
rickshaw coolies (for they
spoke a sort of cockney [page break]
Shanghai dialect) and as
they all looked so menacing
in the half darkness, I
did not know what to do.
You see, I did not dare
to get in a rickshaw, not
knowing where he would lead
me. Finally I kept on
walking, and found myself
lost in the maze of narrow
streets. And terribly cold
and frightened. Just then
a carriage passed me, and
in it I saw a foreigner
about 40. I hailed him,
and never was I so glad
to hear English spoken.
He put me in the carriage
with him, and after an [page break]
hour of hunting, he found
the place for me. It seemed
that the number 439 was
numbered according to the
Chinese method, and hence
is not 439 at all. The
gentleman was very nice,
although he seemed greatly
surprised that I should
be wandering around that
part of town at that
hour. I explained to him
the circumstances, and he
told me that he would come
back for me to take me
to where I told the chauffeur
to return for me. So after
the meeting, he took me
back to the Pathe office,
where the car was awaiting [page break]
me. It seems very funny
that I should find the
greatest comfort in the
English language in China,
isn't it? I don't know
who the gentleman is,
although I should like to
know very much. Well,
wandering around the
street half frozen and
scared to death have
landed me in bed now!

Every week, I go to
censor pictures - moving
pictures. On the whole
they are very good, and
we pass most of them.
The Pathe and the Victoria
pictures are the best. Most
of them have too much mushy [page break]
love-making, and rolling
around of eyes.

Dr. Sun Yat Sen's nephew
was killed by a bomb
in the Whangpoo river.
As the Doctor was ill in
bed, Mrs. Sun had to
see to the body. She
found that the head
was swollen three times
the normal size, the
mouth and the eyes
all bloody. She is
now ill from the
effects of attending
to the ceremonies.

As you know, the
Peking Gazette has been
suppressed. The
Editor-in-chief Mr.
Chen is ill in Shanghai. [page break]
The Tuan cabinet has
fallen. Chinese politics
is impossible: one never
knows what next is
going to happen, and
one never knows
when one's head is
going to be the next
to be chopped off.

It is more than
kind of you to send us
The New Republic! I
shall enjoy reading
and discussing it with
you. By the way, has
Ling Ling sent you the
money for the magazine
subscriptions? And
how does our account [page break]
stand now?

I feel like a regular
invalid with my bed
full of magazines that
have just come by the
same mail in your letter.
Reno said Bob was
married on Thanksgiving.
With much love, and
write soon. Tell me if
you like the Chinese
candy - With love

Daughter.

Hurrah for the new cook!

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