I wonder if you can imagine what a warmth flooded our hearts as we read your letter and knew you were safely again in your "ain countree"! To proceed for a moment as the crab does backward -- did a steamer basket, probably bearing the card of "Jane Grant", reach you safely? She was to attend to it for me when you sailed in June and I must say for a usually capable and accurate person she seems to have -- or she was afraid she had -- bungled it nicely. However, if you enjoyed the fruit I shan't mind. I had a long letter to you well under way, put off finishing it, mislaid it, spent considerable [time] hunting for it, decided to start another -- and just kept waiting until I should have a chance to really collect my wits. Before I knew it the summer was over and here I am, praise be, welcoming you home.
You were in my thoughts so much, Auntie, during this busy summer. And on your birthday (which I spent in Cedarville) the children, Mary and I talked of you and were with you in spirit.
You will probably see Manuel this week as he is to speak to the Book and Play Club in Chicago, Thursday evening. They wrote asking for either Manuel or myself and after some consultation we decided he should be the one to go. Strictly between ourselves, I'm not sure this was exactly wise. As a dinner guest or at holding center stage at informal gatherings Manuel outclasses me utterly, but when it comes to a formal talk before a formal audience he does not make nearly so good an impression as myself, for the simple reason that he insists [page 2] upon reading whatever [he] has to say. He thinks, my dear, that he does it very charmingly and if you ever show him this letter I'll die, but you know, Auntie, how damning such a proceeding is. Well, he'll learn. To me always an audience is a great, lovely, tiger-like beast that if won over and properly conquered will purr under one's mental touch, but if [annoyed] or disappointed will scratch and growl. Sometime he will [feel] the claws of one! Then he'll understand. At present, however, he is most beatifically and serenely sure of himself! And perhaps all will go well, but when people pay one hundred and fifty dollars for an evening they expect something more than a novice's reading of even a splendid paper. Now don't they? I ask you. This is the last time Manuel shall go unless he spunks up, puts aside his copy, and "talks". For when he talks he is delightful.
To change the subject abruptly -- the children are wild over their gifts. Josephine will write you herself and Alice will dictate her letter to me. Both are learning to use the typewriter. The whistle I have put aside until Henry attains a proper age to appreciate it. He says everything now and is beautiful. Luscious. You would go into ecstasies over him. Wears little Oliver Twist suits and still has curls. He is so affectionate and sunny. Always happy. Manuel will discourse upon him as long as you will listen.
Did Esther tell you what fun we all had the week the children and I spent at Edgewater Beach? I saw quite a lot of the Hulberts. Charlie came out to dinner and seemed to enjoy it and the [theater] ever so much.
Heart's love to you, darling.