Identifier

MSS.2.44

Publication Date

10-19-1918

Document Type

Letter

Transcription

30 Seymour Road
Shanghai
19 October, 1918

Dearest Dada:

Your 50th just at hand, and I too have a lot
to tell you. Well about two weeks, I was in the machine when
it ran over a kid, I almost died of fear, especially as
everyone (all of the lower classes) appeared on the street
and swamped us. Well, the kid was conscious but
bleeding, and the woman his mother began to howl like
mad. I [hurdled] the kid in the car and told the
chauffeur to drive to St. Luke's Hosp. When we had
gone about a hundred yards, the gasoline gave out.
I then jumped into the rickshaw, got another
one for the kid & mother & told the chauffeur not
to leave the car under any circumstances. The
rickshaws were so slow, & I was afraid the kid was
dying, & so when we passed an empty Ford, I
begged the owner to take us in his car. He was
a foreigner & was pretty decent about taking in the
dirty brat and all. We got to the hospital & I left the
kid there. One of the doctors was nice & told me not to
worry as it was the kid's fault; the other one was
nasty and said the kid had a broken rib and
probably complications would set in.

I then went & bought some gasoline at the [page break]
other end of town; you see I was out in the country
when the accident happened. When I returned to
the scene, the car was surrounded, but the chau-
ffeur had run away. Wasn't that rotten of him?
You see he was a new chauffeur and I was taking
a trial run, & so had not gotten him a license at
the municipal council. I tried to telephone to the
different garages for a chauffeur: but was told that
they only let each chauffeur drive his own car!
Finally I hailed a passing machine, a man
with a chauffeur, & while the man took me
home in his car, the chauffeur drove mine
home.

When I arrived home, I was a nervous wreck,
& Mother had not returned. I was to pick her up
at five o'clock down town. And my big brother
had gone to Tientsin. Finally Mother came, and I told
her all about the accident, and she was awfully
worried & said our house would be surrounded by
low-class detectives especially as Brother was away.
I couldn't eat any dinner & went to bed when the
telephone rang insistently. As I had left word at the
hosp. to call me up if the kid died, I jumped out
of bed & grabbed the receiver & found it was the [page break]
Police Station wanting to know the facts. I told the
officer & told him for mercy sakes' not to let my
name appear in the paper, for Mother has an awful
dread of publicity. Mother was afraid I had to
appear in court especially as the chauffeur had
run away, & so in the middle of the night she
sent someone to get a Mr. Wang who is one of
the family friends & told him to appear in court
in my stead in case I should be called, as
no Chinese girl of good family ever appears in
court. In the meanwhile I telephoned one of my
uncles, - who unluckily had not arrived
home. The suspense was awful.

The next morning Mother came to my room
and found me delirious with a fever of 105 and
wildly yelling not to have the automobile run
over me. Mother got two doctors, and both said
that I was scared, & that was the trouble. For
three days I was delirious with high fever. At
the end of that time, in one of my lucid
moments, my sister Mrs. Sun told me casually
that a certain friend of mine, the very best
friend I've ever had (although the family did
not know of this) had gone to Siberia to [page break]
volunteer as a Red Cross doctor. We had decided
under the circumstances not to correspond so that
was the first I had heard of it. I certainly was
not improved by the news, and I do not know
whether in my delirious condition I said anything
I should feel sorry about. One day while I was very
ill, one of the police officers came to interview me.
I was so feverish that he could not make sense
of what I said especially as from weakness
I would drop off to sleep in the middle of a
remark.

I feel better now altho still so weak that
I cannot do much. And I confess I am constantly
thinking of Siberia!

One day while ill the Ahmah spilt a basin
of boiling hot water down my front. She was trying
to give me a steaming as I was coughing up blood.
The burn is very severe, and great huge
blisters which are now peeling off is the result.
I can no longer wear foreign clothes for the
next six months. The other day one of the men came
to see me, and for the first time since I came
home, I had on Chinese clothes - I asked him
how he likes me in them, and he said I
look more "approachable." I wonder, is that a com- [page break]
pliment? Anyway considering that he has wanted to
approach me on a certain question for some time,
this may give him a chance. Only, I have not
decided whether I want to be approached or
not. It is a hard question under the circumstances,
I guess I'll just let things take their natural
course and trust to fate.

I wish I could go off to be a nurse, only
well, Mother & the family never would consent. I
almost went to Tientsin with my brother, only
Mother did not want me to leave her here in the
house with only the servants. T.V. is still up
there & from all appearances will be up for
quite a while yet.

They have not found the chauffeur who
ran away. We have a new chauffeur and
the kid is all right now. It didn't kill him,
& his ribs were not broken; he was only slightly
hurt. I go out now in the machine, but it is
only because Mother wishes me to, for I am so
nervous all the time in it. With love,

Daughter

Love to Grandad. Wish he'd come over here.

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