Letter from Cousin Louise to Mrs. George Bagnall
[Envelope: Return to
857 LaSalle Ave. Chicago. Ill.
My dear Cousin,
Four weeks ago next Wed. the 19th I sent you by parcel post the long talked of slippers, at the same time wrote just a brief note telling you that they were on the way. As it was my first parcel post package, I have been anxious to learn if they went astray, as I have not heard if they reached you in safety. I do not feel that this mode of transfer is nearly as safe as by express, or the old way of mailing. Just a card my dear, when you can find the time, to tell me if you received them.
Doubtless you have heard through Dana of my being “On a care” again as the nurses say. Ernest's [?] girl [reilis?] some five weeks ago, was taken with a very severe attack of [nurritis?]. After two weeks they tired of the very inefficient practical nurse they had, and when Flora wrote offering my services, they were only too glad to accept them, and we learned as they could not afford even a practical nurse, they had been wishing for my offered services. So I immediately packed my trunk for the 18th time in 18 months and started for Chicago. I have been here over three weeks now.
Our patient is up and about the home, and able to use more and more each day the hand and arm which were affected. I told her when she could fasten her dress collar behind, and comb her hair, I should leave. To this they will not listen, and send up a regular wail when I talk of leaving for two months yet. I had but got settled and had a little visit with Flora, when I left for here. I can assure you that much as I know I was needed here, I was selfish enough to not be at all enthusiastic about coming.
The father, whose health is very poor, lives with a son in Minneapolis, leaving his two single and only daughters living here. The one who has been sick has been a semi-invalid since she was a young girl, but able to care for this little home, while the elder has been the wage earner for many years. She has a responsible position in Carson Piri Scott store here, gets $18.00 a week. When rent is provided for, doctor's bills paid, and other necessary expenses met, they have little for extras, aside from their church dues. So I can easily understand how they feel I would be just the one to do the work, care for the sick, and comfort and mother them. Their mother has been dead 2½ year. Had I not come, the extra expense would have had to come out of Ernest's pocket. I am glad that I can save him this expense, and in a slight degree return their kindness to me. I have no desire to live in this dirty smoky windy noisy city.
I am unable to get out during the day, unless it be to run over to nearby markets and grocery stores. I have no inclination to go out alone evenings, and there is no one here to accompany me. So much wasted opportunity would distress my announcement [?] childrens Dana and Maud. I am planning to run up to Milwaukee for a few days, before returning to Flora's.
You may remember that we were there nearly eight years.
I want to get away from here by the 29th if possible.
I hope you all are usually well and I am sure are as anxious as the rest of us to be rid of winter weather. We had a hard blizzard here yesterday, and today it is very cold. My love to all in your dear home, and a heart full for your dear heart from
Your Cousin Louise