Honolulu September 14, 1858
My Dear Elly From ³our own hired people² see St. Paul
Your letters of 5 & 20th came by two different vessels the first in 58 days, and the latter 43 – You mention that many steamers arrive at New York without letters for you, which is of course to be regretted, which can not be helped. Either Becky I have have written you by every opportunity from this place, without fail; detention or loss of mail bags, happens no doubt at San Francisco; sometimes vessels from Honolulu get there just after the steamer has left -- again as when the Marshalls went over, the day before; when in the hustle & bustle of dispatching their own mail, some of our Island bags are left behind. You received my letter of May 1st on June 19th – Mr. Krug did not get his until the next steamer about the last of June. Again we are not infrequently more than a month without an opportunity to write; when such delay happens; therefore, if you consider that 3 weeks is the usual length of the passage to the Coast and that our mail may then arrive at San Francisco just after Steamer day, you will readily comprehend how three steamers may occasionally fail to bring letters from us. When Island news appears in the paper and you donıt get letters, the vessel must have sailed from some other port then Honolulu, as often happens without our having a chance by it; or, in the case of mislaid or forgotten mail bags in the S. F. Post Office, the San Francisco newspaper furnish the New York press, with Island items, while our letters are quietly awaiting their chance for turning up & meeting the Eye of somebody in the S. F. post office by the time the next mail is to be made upon. I believe I must make one qualification in what I have written on the other page, and that is to say, that on several occasions, when I wrote Jenny or Lydia I may have omitted a letter to you; but to one or other of you, every vessel sailing hence, has carried an Epistle from me.
I find on reference, that I last wrote you by mail hence of Aug. 9th since when we have not had another opportunity. You will not get this letter until Nov 15th the former you should get Sep 29th.
In the meantime, we received our transfer from Kauai, in good condition. Hardy having packed them much better than I should or could have done – Onlinger our old celestial came with them; We had them brought up to the house, as we got ready for them, and took our time, in opening and arranging them: from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. only; my leg not being in condition for any more extensive operations; thus almost three weeks slipped by until Thursday Sep 2nd, when we finally moved in and established ourselves once more on our own hooke. The house, is comfortable, roomy and convenient with shade trees in the yard, good out houses & well & hydrant water. Fortunately we got a good cook, Cham being still in banishment on Kauai, and we have got along very well in all housekeeping respects.
But my leg, which seemed to be rapidly approaching its cure a month or six weeks since, took a turn the other way, very unexpectedly inflammation set in, in a new place, and all the old symptoms reappeared. I was not laid up however, until the Sunday following our final moving – On that day the Doctor first lanced a sac of matter, that had been forming for several days, and then made three long and deep cuts with his curved knife, the same that my leg has got use to; but all former cuts, compared to these three, were mere flea bits. Rebecca was fluttering about during his performance, in great distress, but nevertheless keeping up very well and able to comfort me greatly. Although not a pleasing process to submit to, still it was not so very painful, as one would suppose, and I should be very much ashamed of myself, if I had made any fuss about it, either before, during, or since the operation. I have not been able to use my leg since, and have remained in bed, until now, or dinner time; getting up then and dressing in loose garments, I seat myself on the floor, and by means of my hands, my rump, and my well leg, frog fashion, I reach the easy chair in which I remain until bed time. We have our meals served in the bedroom, which is well aired, and thus are more sociable than we should be if Becky dined in solitary state, like the Popes in the grand dining hall.
But this is not all, on last Sunday, day before yesterday, the Doctor made three other cuts, very deep one of which, hurt more than any of the predecessors so that my unfortunate leg is carved after a very irregular pattern as thus [a drawing of his leg inserted here]. The old cuts are healed up – but the new ones gape dreadfully wide and are stuffed with rags, whereby they present an aspect by no means beautiful or agreeable to be hold. The extent of the tumor or tumors as the affection seems to consist of a number being now laid bare, the Doctor hopes, it or they will be extended in the course of a month perhaps, and then the place will heal up. I hope this may prove to be the case – but nevertheless I know that such disorders, sometimes, are very difficult of Extirpation and continue to grow & reproduce themselves for an indefinite time, in despite of all that the surgeon can do. In a day or two, I think I can go about the room & verandah by the aid of a crutch.
But neither is this all; On the Saturday before we moved here I was driving Becky & Maggie Guillen, out the Valley road – about 2 miles from town, a horse running away with a buggy came tearing perilously down the hill toward us – I drew up by the road side to let him pass clear if he would. Becky got out and was about to take Maggie out, when our horse frightened by the coming avalanche, wheeled short round the buggy miraculously refraining from capsizing -- and off down the road ahead of the first devil & with several loose saddle horses that had just flung their man-of-war sailors riders, in company --- I felt free from one imminent danger, when these pursuers buggy and all passed by me, without touching --- but then a very steep descent lay before me --- and poor little Maggie screaming for Mrs. Reynolds had nearly bounced out several times. Just before reaching the brow of the hill, I pulled the horse off the road, across an empty lot, and brought him up against the fence of the Marshallıs lot, where some person coming up got Maggie out & I followed without any danger done to either. I dispatched one messenger after Becky, who found her in great distress running down the road afraid that we had been knocked all to pieces and considering all things, it was some what remarkable that we escaped with whole bones. Mr. Bates came with his carriage and took us home. Our horse & vehicle following --- the animal in leading strings & the carriage by 2 [kanekay] one shaft broke, axle bent and other trifling damage -- horse with swelled shins.
The Dr. & Mrs. G. were up at our (this) house fixing the [parlim] curtains when we got back and when they got home we had the story to tell their startled ears, and Maggie was hugged up accordingly.
What an anxious time you must have had with Reynolds sick & his parents absent --- most as bad as I with Maggie in the runaway carriage and how glad you must have been to restore him well to his mother on her return. When you write of his attempts at speech, or rather when I read thereof it reminds me that he is two years old, and that we have been away for nearly that period. Time continues his flight for us, more rapidly, if possible than ever, and we shall some of these fine days, find ourselves under the sod (awaiting for Gabriel to blow) under the natural order & course of things, even if we are not hurried prematurely to the cemetery, by the acct. of run away horses, tumors in legs or other such accidents.
From your list of stocks, as I understand it, the total amount is $16,000 --- but it does not show who or which of you are the proprietors thereof. I hope this is not the sum total that Jim has transferred you on acct. of Hal, El, Lydia & John – and wish you had explained particularly, to who (& how much each) it belongs and also that you had put your figures under one another and added up the sum total.
Becky keeps pretty well, but she has been almost used up by my demands upon her attention, by the Doctors performances and by attending to house affairs. She would have written you by this mail if she had been more at leisure, and if she was not so weary in the evening --- and I have for this mail [inter ] her from writing to anyone but her father, and finishing a letter began months ago to Mrs. Semple.
With much love to you all, both great and small
A beautiful rhyme if you take it in time
I am my dear Ellinoribus Your affectionate brother
Jennyıs letter of July 5th was very welcome. We hope they had a pleasant trip to Niagara & elsewhere and that Willy benefited greatly by the journey
If my letter about the Ice pitcher got home to you in proper season I shall look for the same by mail or Express of Aug 20th which will be due here in two weeks – The ice will probably arrive meanwhile --
Miss E. Reynolds
1829 Spruce Street
[THE FOLLOWING WAS WRITTEN BY REBECCA]
Wednesday Morning 15th Sep
You must forgive me dear Elly not having written you a long letter by this mail as I intended. Wm has told you I presume how much [ ] I have been with [these] antics, looking after household affairs, with a new cook, I am waiting on him, heretofore he has been able to help himself a great deal, as he could limb about up and down stairs, now he is quite helpless and requires someone to do everything for him, Onlinger is my assistant, but he is rather stupid as a valet-de-chamber – donıt you want to come help me keep house? Do come over! We have plenty of room and will be more than delighted to see you – give plenty of love to Kate, baby, Hal & ole friends. I should like to have written to Aunt Martha but can get but a letter to Father accomplished. Do not give your journal I beg of you [we value] its worth. I will commence a letter to [ ] long before the next mail leaves, so as to be sure of getting it off. Every yours affectionately