I am sending you a couple of carbons. One I want you to read and one you will like to see.
Orville confessed, at last, that Mrs McCormick was the person who had signed the checks. Somehow, I couldn't get out of my head all the things you said when we were in Colorado Springs. So I just told the men at the bank that I was for letting the matter drop as far as she was concerned. Also, I added some reasons of policy which were convincing, but I could just as easily have convinced them that we should prosecute her. If she only knew it she has you to thank for her freedom. As for Orville, I had promised him that if he would tell us the whole story from beginning to end I would do what I could for him, so it was up to me to keep my word. I am quite sure Governor Capper will grant the parole and if the boy behaves himself I will see about a pardon.
About Mary. The point is this. When she was out here and saw Dandy she began talking a new car for Cedarville. A new car for Cedarville. A new car for Cedarville. I explained to her that this year we were throwing all our bank earnings (except for $1000 which we are putting to surplus) straight into our building fund and were [therefore] not declaring any dividends; that the Radley Playground had cost me over $1500; that getting married upon which I had not counted when I started the other two matters had run up to over $1000; that therefore I was using from Grandmother's interest account.
I further explained that as I was doing this, I did not feel justified in buying a new car for us this year and had intended to wait until next year before purchasing it. But as it was what Grandmother, herself, wanted to give us, and would, and will, give us next year, Manuel, who was most anxious to have it this year cashed a $1000 time certificate of his own and next year, when things are running normally, I will replace it to his account from Grandmothers. Stanley and Myra were married first and I will have Grandmother give them their piano first. I explained to Mary that you and I thought it right for Grandmother to give them this for their wedding present and that we had told them they might expect it within six months (from June.)
I also explained to her that since March (as I am using from Grandmother's and not my own) account I had not sent you the $35 which I think it fair I should send you for Esther from Mother. I am sure you know that I will square this last up, not later than the fore part of the year, probably before then as I have a good deal coming in the later part of this. You see, Auntie, I never know how much nor how suddenly I may need to draw for Grandmother and I feel it my duty to always keep a good reserve for her.
Now these were the reasons I <gave> Mary for not [wishing] and, in fact, not feeling it was right to start anything else [page 2] I told her that as soon as Stanley had his piano and Manuel his $1000 and you had the E. H. remittances to date, we would put all our enthusiasm into a new Buick for Cedarville.
You understand, Auntie, that the Playground, on which I have done all I intend to this year, is paid for to the last penny; that Manuel and I keep all our bills up to the dot; that we are coming out beautifully as to the [remodeling] and will have a building which will be a fine monument to father and mother and a big boost to the town. And that I have been, and am keeping well within our (Grandmother's and my own) joint incomes and keeping us both cozy and [illegible] comfortable. But knowing what a heavy and unusual year this has been, I think it most unfair of Mary to go and get a car behind my back.
If she had even come out frankly and fussed about it here, I would feel differently. But she was just as sweet as could be, appeared to understand, seemed to have an awfully good time -- except that it was too hot for her -- and then went home, pulled off this deal and did not say a word to me until it was all over. It was the slyness and underhandedness that makes me teach her this lesson. By rights, I ought to make her pay for the Ford too, which was not hers and which she had no right to trade in. And then let her own this new car complete. But that seemed mean, and of course Grandmother's guests do get the benefit of it meanwhile. So I have let it go as you see in the letter to her.
The trouble is that she has gotten the notion that she is indispensable. She is not by any manner or means. I would very much rather have things go on as they are. But if she tried to get funny, I would simply put things in shape here, live at Cedarville myself and have a trained nurse take care of Grandmother. She would miss Mary at first, but she would not miss her long. She is exactly like a child in that she can be kept happy by being made much over and constantly amused.
I have proven to myself that I can be content and useful anywhere and while I am intensely interested in my bank and we are doing a corking and live business and my work in the Association is going splendidly, I could just as easily get [illegible] absorbed in writing and I am sure handle my affairs as well in Illinois as in Kansas. However, I dare say I shall be here many more years!
Hastily, but with a [heart full] of love in which Manuel joins me,
August 23, '16.