Identifier

MSS.2.31

Publication Date

5-15-1918

Document Type

Letter

Transcription


15 May, 1918

Dear Dada:

I am glad your play has
turned out such a success, and
that finally you have a little
time for rest.

Since my Father's illness
I have had no time for music,
study or typewriting. And since
his death of course, I have
had no inclination for
anything. Father's funeral was
very quiet & simple with only
his most intimate friends
notified. There was no music,
band or anything customary
at Chinese funerals. Mother
and we children wore
very coarse canvas clothes. [page break]
When Father passed away, we
decided not to bury him
at West Gate Cemetery where
most of our relatives on
Mother's side are buried in
spite of the fact that we
have land there. As you
probably know, all Father's
people are buried in Canton,
and for reasons, we think
it best to have him buried
in Shanghai. Well, by
good luck, we learned
that a new cemetery called
The International Cemetery
was just ready - so
we went there and found
it extremely pretty and [page break}
clean. So we bought the
land - the whole square
enough for all our family.
Father was the very first
person to be buried in that
cemetery. You know, he
liked being the first in
any kind of competition;
so I know that if he
knew this, he would be
awfully pleased.

Since Father's death,
we have been so
busy getting the house
back to shape. In
all likelihood, we
shall move to our
house on Seymour Road, [page break]
as both my sisters are
leaving Shanghai. This
house is too large for
Mother and me, as T.V.
is in the office all day,
John at boarding school
and Joe off at day
school. I wish you could
see the house! The inside
is beautifully finished
in Teakwood with
carved doors, double floor-
ing, and a wonderful
tiled conservatory and
a tiled kitchen! Down-
stairs, there is a medium
size hall, a lavatory, a [page break]
smoking room, a large
dining room with panelled
ceiling carved, the
butler's pantry and the
kitchen. On the second
floor are three bedrooms,
a large living room,
a large square hall,
and a wonderfully
spacious bathroom. There
are also two large
closets for clothes, -
and closets in Shanghai
are so rare. On the
third floor is the roof
garden where we are
going to spend our after- [page break]
noons. For a wonder too, the
house has a basement with
cement flooring. You know
this house here has no basement.
Then too, by the house is
a green house where I and
the gardener are going to
cultivate roses for the
flower shows. We are
going to build the garage
three stories high, as the
second floor is for the
servants' quarters, and the
third floor for a truck
room. The garden is
very large and pretty
with a pavillion for palms.
In the winter the conservatory [page break]
will be the palms room.

This house on Ave. Joffre is too large
for our needs, as it has
three floors, and we think
of Father every time we
turn around. And to tell
you the truth, the ceiling
is so high, and the
rooms so large that it
is impossible to make
it cosy. It looks spacious
and elegant; but not
cosy or "homey." You know
what I mean! We are
going to sell all our
furniture except Mother's
wedding furniture and our [page break]
carved Blackwood Chinese
parlor set. Our furniture
here is too large for the
Seymour Road house.

I wish you could see
the Seymour Road house. The
woodwork is wonderful, and
the windows are exquisite.
Luck is with us; for
the people who owned that
house are Norwegians and
they built that house with
the intention of living there
all their lives, - until
this war broke out, and
they had to have money
to return. Everything about [page break]
the house is exquisite, &
as the couple never had
any children, the property
is in a beautiful condition.
When we move there, I'll
let you know. With both
my sisters away, and their
servants and children
gone, Mother and I should
feel lost in this big house
all by ourselves all day
long. The floors in the house
are so hard to keep
decent, and we need a
horde of servants about
this place. At the other
house we shall be quite [page break]
comfortable with a cook, a boy,
a coolie, a chauffeur, a
gardener and the two
amahs for Mother and my-
self.

Father left everything in
order, and as Mother
knew all about his affairs,
we have had no trouble,
speculations by people
outside as to whether
Father died a millionaire
or only mediumly well
off would be amusing at
any other time. As for
the past seven years,
Father has been "a gentle- [page break]
man of leisure," no one
outside the family knows
how he stands regarding
property.

Mother is bearing up
bravely. At first we
were all nearly crazy:
but we realize that he
is much happier than
he would have been had
he lived, for Brights'
Disease is very uncomfortable.
He has been such a
wonderful father to us!
And we love him even
though he is no longer with [page break]
us.

Miss Hart is in Thai: but
I haven't been to see her
although she wrote me.

With love
Daughter

P.S. I had just gotten my new spring
clothes before Father died! Now
it makes me sad to look at
them, for just think how
happy and carefree I was
when I bought them. Now
Mother and I are getting
everything black which
does look so mournful. Mother
insists on my wearing white
collars and cuffs.

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