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I have been crazy to have some low necked waists to wear in the late afternoon and evenings. I always used to dress for the evenings, and I am so tired of these everlasting calico frocks which we are all wearing. Papa was lucky enough to get a piece of purple calico two years ago, which ran the Blockade. We were enchanted, it was rather a pretty pattern, purple stripes on a white ground and a little flower in each stripe. We were much in need of frocks so Mamma had made for us each two dresses and she had two herself. From that day we have been in uniform. I cut my waist myself so as to have it different. I made a Russian blouse and embroidered the shoulder straps and sleeves and belt in black, but, alas, the difference is only waist deep. The rest is just like the other eight! Two weeks ago I had a brilliant idea. Della’s bedroom curtains were pink and white chintz and were lined with pink paper cambric. The sun has faded the linings hopelessly into every shade of yellow and brown, in some places almost white. That gave me the thought that if I bleached those linings, I might have some white material to make into waists, so I went to the plantation and consulted Maum Milly. She looked at the stuff and thought it{287} could be done. Told me how to wash it first, then let it lie in cold water a day or so, then spread it on the grass and leave it for the sun and dew to bleach, and she thought, in two or three weeks, it would be white. She has always been our laundress, but now of course we cannot pay her and have just a little girl her granddaughter doing the washing. After having given me all the directions of what to tell the “gal” to do, I said I would not think of trusting it to Clarissa. I was going to do it myself. Then Maum Milly’s heart relented and she said, “Chile, yu kyant do um proper. Gim me dat cloth, I’ll do um fu yu.” So now I know if it can be done, it will be.

Aug. 10th. Maum Milly brought my white stuff, looking like a fine piece of muslin, and I have made two lovely low necked baby waists. They are too sweet, gathered very full and little short sleeves also gathered full, and around the neck and sleeves I have put the beautiful valenciennes lace Mamma gave me, and they are things of beauty. No one would ever dream they were evolved from faded pink paper cambric curtain linings. Mrs. Pringle and Mary, who are very critical, having lived much in the great world, admired my waist very much last night when{288} they had a little dance at their house. I was careful not to tell its history.

They are such an addition to this little village for, though in deep grief for the loss of Poinsett who was killed at Haw’s Ship, Mrs. Pringle is so thankful to have her other two sons alive and with her that, though he was the darling of her heart, she keeps herself and her house as cheerful as possible, and does all she can to make the village brighter. Most people think it proper to be very gloomy. Of course, it is hard, all the people who were rich are now very poor but there is no good being gloomy over it. So Mrs. Pringle gives little dances now and then, and they are delightful. Then we have riding parties. Dear old Daddy Aleck saved two of our side saddles for us. I am so glad mine was one.

Thanks to Sam for bringing home the horse and Daddy Aleck for the saddle, I am able to ride; and, as every body is afraid of tête-a-têtes, we go in parties, four girls and four men, all riding together. I say afraid of tête-a-têtes because the War is still so very near, and it is hard to keep to surface talk, and it is awfully dangerous to go below, for we are all paupers.

Mamma has gone to Charleston to see if she can{289} arrange to have our house repaired. Three shells went through the roof and it is impossible to live in it until it is thoroughly repaired. I do hope she will succeed, but she has not a cent of money, and nowhere to borrow any. It does seem desperate, but I must remember when Papa was dying and Mamma in despair said, “What shall we do without you?” He answered steadily, in spite of his gasping breath, “The Lord will provide.” And we have been marvellously helped and guided.

Aug. 25th. A letter from Mamma today has upset me completely. She has been very successful in getting the house repaired. A contractor who knew her well and had worked for Papa and done up the house the last time, undertook to do all the work without any payment now; but, when he has finished, Mamma will give him her note promising to pay as soon as she can. This has lifted a great load, but the tremendous announcement is that she has determined to open a boarding and day school, and she expects me to teach! The

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minute I read the letter I wrote, “Mamma, I cannot teach. Don’t ask me to do it. I just hate the thought. Besides, I don’t know enough of any one thing to teach it. I cannot, indeed, I cannot.” Now that I have sent the letter I am{290} awfully ashamed, and when we were riding this afternoon, we fell a little behind the others and I told Mr. P. He seemed so shocked and surprised. Altogether I am miserable. Am I really just a butterfly? Is my love of pleasure the strongest thing about me? What an awful thought. I try to pray, but I don’t want to pray. I just do want to be for a while like a flower in the sun. I want to open and feel the glow and the beauty and the joy of existing, even if I know I have to wither and die sometime. Flowers don’长沙桑拿论坛吧t think of that, they just rejoice in the life God has made so beautiful for them, and I do believe He likes that. Oh dear, how I wish I was

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good or dead, one or the other. Now I must go and rub my pretty sweet sister-in-law, and try to forget how wicked I am.

Sept. 1st. A letter from Mamma in answer to my protest that I could not teach. “My dear Bessie, your letter was a great surprise. It would be a serious disappointment if all the money your Father so gladly spent on your education has been wasted. However, I think you do yourself an injustice. At any rate, you will come down for the opening of the school and we will see.”

That is all, no reproaches for my petulance and{291} miserable selfishness. But I notice she does not confide her plans to me any more, and that hurts more than bitter words. “Oh, wretched man that 长沙桑拿最好最高端 I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this Death.” I don’t believe I have quoted it right, but that means self. Mr. Glennie in our Bible lesson once told us that in some Eastern country the

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punishment for a murderer was to bind the body of his victim with chains on his back, and he must wander ever with this putrifying result of his crime, until it crumbled away. What an awful punishment, and how suitable. Mr. Glennie did not tell us it meant one’s own wretched self in that cry, but I know it does by my own experience. One is never free from that burden self. Happy those, I suppose, in whom it perishes by disintegration before they get old. Alas, alas, in some it seems well nigh indestructible!

Sept. 3rd. We cannot have any service in the dear little old log church, for Mr. Trapier will not pray for the President 长沙桑拿场子推荐 of the United States, and so we have not the pleasure and comfort of church.

Mr. P. comes every day and reads aloud to me. It is really unique. I sit inside the window and sew on my ingenious remakings of old things and he sits outside the window and reads, “He{292} knew He was Right.” It is perfectly delightful for me, it is so much easier than talking. People are so disagreeable, the village is all saying we are engaged. I know he is hearing it all the time, as I am, and it is so awkward for both. I thought it would be easier if I referred lightly to it, so this morning, sewing very fast, pricking my first finger brutally, I said, “Last evening I was walking in the village and heard something so absurdly ridiculous.” I got no farther, for in a solemn, hurt voice, from across the window sill, there came, “I’m sorry it seemed so ridiculous to you. It did not seem so to me.” Then I took refuge in immoderate laughter, after which I said, “Please go on with the book.” But I felt I had been defeated in my effort to make things more comfortable.

Sept. 15th. The wild flowers are so beautiful all through the woods. I do not walk in the village now, people are so trying. I go out into the swamp behind the house every afternoon. There are great tiger lilies and the gorgeous Cardinal Flower, I call it scarlet lobelia. In the up country where we have been for four years, I never saw these flowers. Then the ferns and the lovely little partridge berry vine. This is called the{293} lover’s vine sometimes, because there are two lovely sweet little white flowers, with the delicate perfume of the orange blossom, and when they drop there is formed only one scarlet berry, but it has two little eyes. It grows along the ground. Its dark green, regularly placed leaves and bright berries are too pretty. I mean to take some up and plant it in a box to take to Charleston with me, to remind me of this dear darling country.

Riding two afternoons ago, we were galloping along four abreast, as if for a charge, when Dot shied from a snake alongside the road, and my saddle turned completely under her, and I found myself under my neighbour’s horse! He was so frightened and so was every one else that they all seemed indignant at my laughing. It seemed unsuitable to the situation, but it really was too funny, I seated in the middle of the road under Mr. P.’s horse, whose name is Trovatore and who behaved beautifully and did not trample me or hurt me at all. Everyone was pale and clamorous for restoratives, which I did not in the least need. My saddle was put back and secured and we had a very silent ride home in spite of my efforts to talk.

Sept. 26th. Every one said my delightful soli{294}tary strolls in the swamp would end in fever, and every one is happy now for they were right and I have been laid low for a week. As there was no one here to take care of me, Ellen requiring great care herself, Mrs. Pringle, who adds to her other great qualities that of being a competent nurse, has been coming over every day to take care of me. It is delightful, for she is so clever and (for the moment) so sympathetic that I positively enjoy the state of things except when I am actually burning up with fever. Dr. Dan Tucker is attending me, and is a delightful Doctor. I was burning up with thirst, my fever so high and the practice of the country is to give water by the teaspoonful in fever. To my delight and the surprise of the inhabitants, especially that revered personage, the oldest, the Doctor, ordered a pail of water brought fresh from the spring and put by my bedside with a dear little gourd dipper, and told me to drink all I wanted! It was so clever of him, for it is so much to satisfy the eye and the imagination. I really do not drink so much, but I feel refreshed and satisfied by its presence and the fact that I can have all I want. I am sitting up today and so bored by the absence of Mrs.

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MRS. WILLIAM ALLSTON (NéE ESTER LA BROSSE DE MAHBOEUF).

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