Identifier

MSS.2.50

Publication Date

1-7-1919

Document Type

Letter

Transcription

30 Seymour Road
Shanghai
7 January, 1919.

A.
Dear Dada,

This is the first letter I have written you since this year began,
and as I have lost account of the exact number to which this might be assign-
ed, I am just calling this letter big A and you might suggest how I am to des-
ignate the letters after I have run thru the alphabet.

Your letter telling all about the sponsoring of Delong came yester-
day and I was duly impressed with Mr. Workman's tactful management of Ma. I
can picture her howling out "But she does not use powder". By the way I am
anxious to know what Mr. Workman's real name is for he sounds as tho he might
have a sequel. You see I am still convinced that you are not so deucedly
strong minded as you like us to think you are. Oh, yes I too wish to tell you
that a judicious use of powder is by no means injurious. Of course there is
no sense looking like a white washed tenement; at the same time it is aw-
ful to see a shiny nose, especially when one is blest with as white a skin as
yours. Talking about skin etc. reminds me that the last two weeks have been
rather woeful as I have lost an awful amount of hair. Mother is making me put
a sort of Chinese oil on my scalp the last few days so that in a couple more
months I shall have a lot of new hairs. In the meanwhile tho I am having to
stay home unless I wear a hat when I go out.

I am starting a course for Girls' Club leaders. That is, I am tak-
ing the course and I have a Girls' Club. I have just finished working
on the Returned Students' Bible Conference and it was quite a success. I am
thankful I have finished for it would seem that the more education one has
had the more negligent one becomes in matters requiring an answer. I wrote
so many letters that I do believe I saw the Post man running after me in a
nightmare. The idea of the Conference was to show the Women Students who have
studied abroad their responsibility in being back of every impetus towards
progress and reform. And further to clarify their ideas regarding their oblig-
ations towards their churches, which are certainly in a bad state. For
instance my own pastor is not a bit what he should as far as being a leader
of the flock should be. He preaches the rottenest sermons and is most unsan-
timonously lazy. But as our family is the oldest in that church and Mother is
considered the backbone, I am going to try to reform him by giving him some
books to read which might give him new ideas for his sermons, for as matters
now stand I always know what he is going to say before he says it, and I guess
everyone else does too.

One of the reasons that I have not written of late is that I have
not had much to say. Many little trivial things have happened but nothing of
real moment. By the way my Radcliffe cousin you remember her don't you, has
married in America. She has not received her diploma and I suppose that she
will not get it now that she has married. It all came as a great surprise to
us, even to her Mother who thought that she would get her dip and come home
this summer. We do not know much about the man she married except that his
name is Kuo and he is a student. As we have never even heard of him we are
all of course anxious to know what he is like.

One of the coolies fell from a ladder and hurt his back, and
since then we have had all kinds of rather funny experiences getting another
one to fill his place. We found that one of those choice ones we tried was a
regular thief who was dismissed from one of our friends' place. We dismissed
him immediately after we were told of his special light fingered habits. So
far we have missed nothing. Then this afternoon one of the other coolies and
Mother's maid had a regular fight. I was upstairs trying to do some writing.
Mother had gone off to Woosung when suddenly I heard the most awful sound I
ever heard and found the maid at my door with her forhead all bruised and
big clots of blood. I was almost scared to death myself. I made that coolie
who struck her wash off her bruise carefully. He refused to do it at first [page break]
and it was not until I had threatened to send him to prison that he obeyed.
The amah just cursed him all the time he was washing off her forhead. I then
made him bathe it with listerine and finally bind it with a little vaseline.
It was an awful sight and I shivered but it was funny to see her cursing him
with all her might and main while I made him minister to her so tenderly. He
is meek as a lamb now but of course I shall dismiss him as soon as I get
some one to take his place.

Both of them wanted to tell me how it happened but I have told them
that the first one who dared to open his or her mouth to the other or mention
another word about this disgraceful matter will be punished. They have been
looking daggers at each other all afternoon but neither has dared to say a
word. I made both of them come upstairs where I can keep an eye on them for I
do not want the other servants to talk about this. I myself was so angry at
the way that they behaved that I gave them a piece of my mind in the servants
quarters and I supposed I was rather fierce for the rest of the servants have
been working like bees all afternoon without my telling them as I usually have
to. The cook has all the kitchen things so bright that I think maybe it would
be a good thing if I lose my temper a little oftener.

With much love and happy new year.
Daughter.

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