Publication Date


Document Type



26 October, 1917

My dearest Dada:

Your shoe-trees came a few
days ago: and also the Sunday Supplement
sent by Grandad. I have written him to
thank him for the letter. As to the check
I am enclosing: it is for the shoe-trees. A
few days ago I received it, and as there
is such a terrific lot of trouble to get it changed
to Chinese money, and then send you a
money order for the shoe-trees, I thought
the simplest thing to do would be to make
it payable to you. As for the magazine
subscriptions, please just tell me how
much that is: So much for business!

Well, Dada, I am taking [bypodermine]
treatment for Acne which has troubled me
for about two months. I am a beauty to behold
at present, - and as all the external remedies
seemed to be useless, I am at last sub-
jecting myself to being punched by a ghastly
needle. The effect on me is not unlike
the typhoid injections of last spring. What
a long time ago that seems! And how I [page break]
wish I were with you now: - yea even
with the accompanying terror of a Final Phil

I suppose that I have told you that
I am on the National Film Censoring
Committee of China, have I not? Fancy a
young, pure, and unsophisticated being
like your daughter censoring what
should be instructive for the public!

I have had the pleasure of meeting a
Chinese gentleman of 82 who was educated
in the States. He used to be in the Civil
War of '60. Fancy! And he used to work
in the office of the Springfield Republican.

Both my sisters Mrs. K. and Mrs. S. are
in Shanghai now.

Well, Dada, I think I wish that I were doing
something real: something towards a career.
The life I am leading now will end in marriage
only, I think. Not that I do not think that is
a perfectly good and legitimate occupation; [page break]
but I am afraid I am the sort that would
degenerate mentally with marriage. And
why? Because if you remember, even at
college, I never worked unless I had to,
or thought I had to: And I am not
changed in that respect now. If I had
a profession I could force myself to
work, and work hard. At present, you
see, I am not doing anything, and as
in all probability my brothers, will be
married within the next few years, naturally
I would not care to be a burden to them.
They would of course be good to me: but
don't you see, that more or less I shall
be a [hauper] - or, - a fifth wheel so
to speak, - unless I marry. Even now,
I can feel that my 2 married sisters are
putting their heads together for me to make
a "grande alliance," and Mother is more
or less acquiescent. Now I object to being
parceled off in this manner. But I grant
that their logic is unrefutable. They say, [page break]
"Now is the time for you to make the biggest
match of the season, for if you do not marry
while you are young, what are you going to
do later on."

And what is more, altho I haven't seen
the man they have picked out, already I
dislike him. Everything is in his favor,
excepting good will. You may rest assured
that if they talk marriage to me any more,
I am coming back to the States! I have
marriage drummed to me morning, noon and
night. At present, I am in disgrace
in the family, because when one of my
sisters suggested something to me about
marriage, I shut up like a clam, and
left the dinner table without a word.
Today I refused to go down for meals,
and having my food sent up. Of course I
know that they mean to be kind: but
just the same, I have such a beastly temper
that I hate to be tampered with.

I am glad that both my sisters' marriages
have proved so successful that they want me
to get married: just the same though, je ne le
veux pas- Hastily - Daughter.

(short note written on the back)
For mercy sakes, remember that all I write
you is strictly confidential -- M.