Identifier

MSS.2.6

Publication Date

9-15-1917

Document Type

Letter

Transcription

491 Avenue Joffre,
Shanghai.
15 September, 1917

My dear Emma:

What do you think? Two more letters
from you today, & one from Miss Burks! Both
had the same major theme: namely: "Why I do
not like a one-sided correspondence." Heavens alive!
I suppose I am an "enfante terrible." Here I have
received your seventh letter: & I am just
writing my fifth! I suppose from now on, I
shall have to write every single day till I
catch up, for were you in a philosophic frame
of mind when you receive this, you
would surely say like our Confucius, "Let
her too have a taste of watchful waiting."
And dear me, - I am in no frame of mind
desirous of waiting to get your letters! No,
Dada, - I look forward anxiously and
eagerly for those "Broadway Breezes" "ala
midnight Dostoevsky". Remember how we
had our midnight orgies at college! Well,
"them" days because they are gone have a sort
of allurement.
So you have taken a job at 75 per! Well,
good luck to you! I am awfully awfully glad
that you are going to be busy and occupied, [page break]
for sure as death itself, - the devil finds
mischief for idle minds - No, I won't say
hands! For mechanical movements do not
prevent the brain from thinking, - that
I know!
Tomorrow I begin my career as a Sunday
School teacher. Mother is happy beyond
words at my consent. There is so little I can
do for her that I am eager to do anything
I can. I shall likely be connected with
some sort of charitable organizations this
winter which would occupy two or three
of my afternoons a week.
I do not know Shanghai at all, & the friends
here are more or less those of the family. I
know quite a number of returned new
students; but they are either all occupied
with their business all day or not in Shangh-
ai. The result is that the women I know
are only recent acquaintances, & I feel quite
shy and diffident with them. Mother
told me several times that I ought to
talk more: but someway or another, I do not
care to talk. Since coming home, I seem to have [page break]
fallen into a habit of "watchful silence."
I wish that I had some sort of work which
would keep me busy & interested. I feel that
in staying home, I am not contributing to the
welfare of the family or to my own intellectual
welfare.
I never go anywhere without either my
married sister or my mother: in fact never
during my whole life have I known such
strict chaperonage. And the curious part
is that I am not resentful in the least:
I am just passively acquiescing. You
cannot believe this of the little vehement
spitfire, can you? Yet it is true.
And what is worse: - I dislike seeing
people - men especially. I hate to go down
to the parlor. I prefer staying upstairs reading.
I just feel my mental powers getting more
and more dulled every day. I must make
an effort to be intelligent and keep up
interest, and not be worried because I see
a speck of dust on the mantlepiece! Heavens!
What I wouldn't give to have you here now!
By the way, I can secure two good positions
for you and me at 100 dollars per month each, [page break]
plus board & lodging at a school up north
where you won't have to teach anything but
English. If you come, I'll go with you.
At present the family wants me home.
I have told you of my mother's desire to
move nearer town. Perhaps now we
won't move after all. I hope not!
Write me, & remember that I write
to you oftener than to anyone else -
although I don't write you much.
I shall begin saving "The China Press"
to send you, for I cannot discuss
political matters in my letters.

Love
Daughter

Share

COinS