Sedalia was present and almost caused a riot. She says she likes unusual words because they lend distinction to conversation. Well, they do—sometimes. There was another lady present whose children are very gifted musically, but who have the bad name of taking what they want without asking. The mother can neither read nor write, and she is very sensitive about the bad name her children have. While we were all busy some one made a remark about how smart these children were. Sedalia thought that a good time to get in a big word, so she said, “Yes, I have always said Lula was a progeny.” Mrs. Hall didn’t know what she meant and thought that she was casting reflections on her child’s honesty, so with her face scarlet and her eyes blazing she said, “Sedalia Lane, I won’t allow you nor nobody else to say my child is a progeny. You can take that back or I will slap you peaked.” Sedalia took it back in a hurry, so I guess little Lula Hall is not a progeny.
Every one left about four except Gale, Mrs. O’Shaughnessy, Mrs. Louderer, and the Edmonsons. They had farthest to go, so they stayed over night again. We worked until ten o’clock that night over Grandma’s clothes, but everything was thoroughly finished. Every button was on, every thread-end knotted and clipped, and some tired workers lay down to rest, as did a very happy child and a very thankful old lady.
Every one got away by ten o’clock the next morning. The last I saw of little Cora Belle was when they had reached the top of a long slope and Balaam had “stopped to rest.” The breeze from the south was playfully fluttering the rags on the wheels. Presently I heard a long “hee-haw, hee-haw,” and I knew Balaam had rested and had started.
I have been a very busy woman since I began this letter to you several days ago. A dear little child has joined the angels. I dressed him and helped to make his casket. There is no minister in this whole country and I could not bear the little broken lily-bud to be just carted away and buried, so I arranged the funeral and conducted the services. I know I am unworthy and in no way fitted for such a mission, but I did my poor best, and if no one else is comforted, I am. I know the message of God’s love and care has been told once, anyway, to people who have learned to believe more strongly in hell than in heaven.
Dear friend, I do hope that this New Year will bring you and yours fuller joys than you have ever known. If I had all the good gifts in my hands you should certainly be blessed.
Your sincere friend,
Elinore Rupert Stewart.