The morning's mail brought us a check for one hundred dollars from the Atlantic Monthly. Manuel, is much amused because I am so excited, but I don't mind. I am excited. It is the most thrilling money I ever helped to earn. Never, except the day Alice was born, have I been so happy!! It was adorable of you to suggest that we mention you in our letter to Mr. Sedgwick, but we didn't, because, somehow, we just wanted to stand on our own merits. If, sometime, when you see him you, yourself, tell him -- that we are of one blood, or if you like the story very much and feel like dropping him a line -- that would be lovely.
We are working on a story now that is a corker. But it is a heart-breaking business because we have to [page 2] work in such snatches and I shall have still less leisure in the future because Alice's little cousin, six months younger than Alice, is coming next week to live with us.
Gertrude, (Manuel's brother's wife) had the flu and so did the baby. They both almost died and as they were getting better and Gertrude was beginning to be on her feet, Wendell, the little five-year old boy, came down and had a hard fight for life. Gertrude nursed him successfully, but in her own weakened condition the double anxiety about the two children and the long strain were too much for her and she collapsed physically, nervously and mentally.
Nathan (Manuel's brother) had her cared for at the Phipps Institute in Baltimore. As he found it impossible to get competent help, he rented his house, stored his furniture, secured a boarding place for himself [page 3] and Leon the oldest boy and took the two younger children down to Philadelphia to Father and Mother Julius. This was some time ago. Since then Gertrude has been losing instead of gaining ground and last week, her periods of excitement had become so much longer and so much more violent that it was considered imperative to move her to the (Maryland) state institution.
While it was dear of father and mother Julius to keep the children for a while, Manuel felt that they had raised one family (of eight children) and that it was too much for them to do it again. He felt we ought to offer to take them, so we did. Nathan seemed immensely grateful to know we would take Hope as this will be her second summer. He said she was both a care and a grave responsibility for mother Julius.
I offered to go on and get her [page 4] but he wrote that she was so used to him and he to her that he believed he could make the long trip with her more easily than I could. So that is the arrangement. I have grown to like him very much through his letters. There is something very fine about him.
He has always been [wrapped] up in Gertrude and his home and his children. Manuel has often told me of what a lovely home life they had. They have been married thirteen years and never before has Gertrude shown the slightest tendency toward any nervous trouble.
It hasn't been settled yet whether Wendell will also come. It is very hard for [illegible] his father to have him "way out in Kansas," but I rather think it will be decided that we shall have him, too. When one is running a nursery four aren't much [page 5] more bother than three. In any event, I shall have three little girls: Josephine (who continues, daily, to make me want to give up the ghost), Alice and little Hope. It is rather a joke on a woman who much prefers boys. But "girls it is." And I find I really don't mind them. They are such winsome creatures, even my bad Joey.
But there is this much about it -- I should like to know how to plan. I should like to know, really, just what the doctors think of Gertrude's case. Nathan feels that it must be curable. It is inconceivable that it cannot be. And it seems to me the breakdown coming from such obvious and direct causes and ones so interwoven with her physical illness, the chances must be favorable. But I would like to know. One handles children so differently if they are to be permanent. [page 6]
Do you suppose Alice Hamilton could, as a doctor, write the head of the Maryland Institution for me. Doctors are so much more communicative to doctors, especially doctors who are their superiors. If, for one second, you hesitate to ask her, or she to do it, I am sure you know I would understand. It may not be the thing to do at all, but you can see how I feel and why I want to know. Mrs Nathan Julius is the name.
Life is such a jumble. My mind is a perfect hash of odds and ends; banking, farming, babies, plots of stories, potties (you don’t know what a comfort the one you gave Alice is) rubbers, new dresses for Alice (she grows so fast I can't keep up with her) pints and quarts (I'm getting out our monthly statements) and heaven knows what all. Joey has been talking to me as I work (I've actually learned [page 7] to do both at once without getting ruffled) and she announces she must have a costume for a little play she is going to be in, also that she needs, really, needs a wrist-watch. Alice will be demanding one next!
I haven't the remotest idea of when I shall get east of Kansas City. But my thoughts travel to you every day, and especially today. It gave me such a deep ache -- the fact that this happiness about the story came too late for mother to share it with me. It would have given her such joy. She did have such wonderful faith in me -- faith in its truest sense.
I love you, Auntie, and so does Manuel & so will little Alice when she is a wee bit older. You are our mother-Aunt.
Jan 2nd 1918
I keep thinking how I should feel if I were planning to put Alice into the hands of a woman I had never seen. There is something very touching to me about Nathan and his journey.