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I have only been a few hours in this City of Dreadful Dirt, so you must not take my first impressions seriously I feel like being funny3. I began to feel good as soon as I got east of Chicago4. When I got to where there were some hills and clear streams and trees the Lord planted I did'nt need any mint julip. The conductor saw my look of glee and asked if I was "gettin' back home."
Mr. Axtell5 met me and timidly approached me. I
did not think he could be the man and at first repulsed him with scorn. He was
exceedingly cordial and brought me right out home6. They live in a beautiful
on part of the city where
the hills are all built up with big ivy-grown houses that are beautiful to see. When
we entered the parlor my heart sank. It is one of the hair cloth furniture kind and
its only ornament was a huge [illegible] crayon portrait of Grandpă7!! But
the library is much better. It also contains a picture of grandpă, but there are
also novelists of the milder sort and I saw Mrs.
Axtell8 reading Harpers9, which is encouraging. Now for
the sad news, the Puritans maid10 is not at
home. She is over in Wainsburg11 visiting
"aunt somebody" and being coached in Greek preparatory
to going to Vassar this fall—not Wellesley—So they say, but I secretly
believe they sent her away to th save her from my
contaminating influence. I am rather glad she is not here, it will give me a better
chance to get on to my new role. The room I have must be hers, I think as it
contains 2 three
bibles12. Of course she took three with her, so
that makes six. Alas! It also contains many a well worn copy of the trashy religious
novels of E. P. Roe13. I can stand the bibles,
but not E. P. Roe. Now hear the joyful tidings, Grandpă is
here, he is down at Mission Ridge14 with Aunt Somebody and will 3 probably remain there the rest of his
natural days. They say the climate suits him, may it continue to do so! for I feel
that the stern eye of Grandpă, so accustomed to detecting the follies and foibles
this world, won't would penetrate me thin disguise
as the of
old sage15 did Lamia's16, and he would cry out "I see her, the devotee of French fiction,
the consort of musicians and strolling players!"
Heaven save me from the gr
In Chicago I caught the Doré18 exhibition at the
gallery19. Great splurges of color,
theatrical effects, enormous canvases and a
sort of general spectacular effect a good deal like the
"Last Days of Pompeii"20 bill boards. There was
only one I could see any lofty or even honest work in, The
"Neophyte."21 The rest either had a flat chromo looks or they were done by
When I get a good pen and some new impressions I will write a letter that you can read. For the present this must do. Love to all and especially to your Mamma22.In Haste Willa
Came from Chicago here by the B. &. O.c/o Home Magazine23 Pittsburg Penn.