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491 Avenue Joffre
Shanghai, China
19 March, 1918

My dearest Dada:

My last letter to you was not numbered;
I put it aside thinking that I would number it
after I look in my little book to see what number
it ought to bear. However, I forgot.

I am just in receipt of your 26th letter.
"Mirable dictu," almost a month ago I was just
in that same horrid bad mood. I started to
write you exactly how I felt: but something
or another interrupted me, and by the
time I did write, the mood had flown.
But I am glad you wrote me how you felt,
for I am beginning to think that I alone
got disgusted with the world in general &
myself in particular.

Well, life here in China is not so
nice as I would wish. For one thing, Father
has become very thin, and the doctors
tell us to expect the worst at any time.
You cannot imagine how wearing such a [page break]
condition is. And then too, you know
I have such a hot temper that it
needs great effort to control myself. And
then of course with Father ill, I have to be
cheerful, although at times it does seem that
I want to burst forth & flare out. Father
is very very patient for an invalid, but
at the same time like all invalids, he is
irritated by the least thing. For instance,
he insists on wanting to eat what the
doctors forbade him to.

You see, it is almost more than I
can bear sometimes to see him so thin;
but of course we all try to pretend that
he is better. Life of course is not very
enjoyable when every day the same shadows
hang over us.

I give him a massage with olive oil
every night, as his skin has become so
dry that it is like parchment. It is so
hard for him to be losing his strength [page break]
when up to the past few years, he has
been in the very best condition physically.

Have I told you that as I have a
beautiful Remington for a present, I am taking
lessons in typewriting. I hope to be able to write
you on it in another couple of months.

So you want to now about "the
man on the boat." Well, I had an awful
row with the family, because they refuse
to let him come to China to see me. They
are afraid that I am going to marry him
if he comes, - and who knows but
they are right. I have told you that
since the last three times, I have refused
to see H.K., haven't I? What is the use
of "keeping up" when I know now positive-
ly that I do not care to marry him. I
have seen Mr. Yang once at a party: but
we both studiously avoided looking at each [page break]
other. I believe that the dinner I am
going to on Saturday will be just as
funny, for he is invited also, I think.
I have avoided going to parties where
I think H.K. would be likely to

At present, I am not very enthusiastic
about going out, for with Father in
such a critical condition it is no
fun to play around. I feel like
buying my head in the pillows on
your couch, and cry.

With love

P.S. Keep the money Ling Ling sent
you, for later on very likely I
shall want something else.