Primmie writes that...
(A page omitted. See Primmie's letter.)
Please keep an eye on her and see that she doesn't set fire to the house or feed the corn to the cat and the liver to the hens, or some such foolishness. And don't let her talk you deaf, dumb and blind.
There! this letter is so long that I think it will have to go in a trunk, by express or freight or something. One week more and we start for upper Egypt, by water, up the Nile, at first, then on by automobiles. Yes, little American automobiles. Galusha says we shall use camels very little, for which I say "Hurrah, hurrah!" I cannot see myself navigating a camel—not for long, and it IS such a high perch to fall from. Our love to you and Nelson and to your father. And oh, so very much to yourself. And we DO wish we might come to your wedding. We shall be there in spirit—and that doesn't mean Marietta's kind of spirits, either.
Your affectionate friend,
(A letter from Miss Primrose Cash to Mrs. Galusha Bangs.)
East Wellmouth, Massachusetts, United States of America. January seventh.
DEAR MRS. MARTHA:
I take my pen in hand to write that I am first rate and fine and dandy and hope you and Mr. Galusha are the same, although I am homesick for the sight of you and hope you ain't. I mean homesick. By this time I calculate you must be somewheres over in Egypt or Greek or China or land knows where. I am sending this letter to the address you give me and if you don't get it before you get there you will then, I hope and trust. And I hope, too, you had a good voyage and was not washed overboard or seasick like Captain Ephraim Small's son, Frankie D., who had it happen to him up on the fish banks, you remember. I mean the washing overboard happened to him for, of course, I don't know whether he was seasick or not, though I presume likely, for I always am, no matter if it's carm as a milpond, but anyhow they never found his body, poor soul. I presume likely you want to hear the news from around here at East Wellmouth. Well, there ain't none, but I will try and tell all there is that I can think of. The hens are well and Lucy Larkum is fine and dandy and appytite, my savin' soul. I tell him he will eat me out of house and home, though I realize it ain't neither of them mine, but yours, Mrs. Martha. Captain Jethro is doing fine. For a spell after the seants where your husband made a fool out of Maryetter Hoag and Raish Pulcifer to thank the Lord, he was reel kind of feeble and Lulie and me and Zach was worried. But he is swell now and all hands is talking about his making up with Nelse Howard and agreeing for him and Lulie to get married and live over to the Radyo stashun pretty soon I presume likely, for the weding is to be held in June so Zach says. At first go off, Captain Jeth he calculated maybe he would heave up, I mean his job tending light, and go live along with them, but after he got feeling better he said he wouldent but would stick to the ship and keep on the course long as he could stay aflote. That's what Zach says he said and I tell you I am mity glad, because if I was Lulie and Nelse I wouldent want anybody even if it was my own father coming to live along with me and bossing things, because Captain Jeth couldent no more stop bossing than he could stop pulling his whiskers and he won't never stop that long as he ain't parulised. So he will live here along with Zach and them two will tend light and Lulie can come over and see her pa every little spell and they can telyfone back and forth between times. And she and Nelse have been up to Boston to pick out fernichure and ain't they enjoying it, my lord of isryel. Lulie is about as loony over getting married as ever I see anybody unless it was you and Mr. Bangs, Mrs. Martha. I seen Raish Pulcifer down street yesterday and he said give you his love when I wrote. I told him I guessed likely you could get along without any special love of his and he said never mind I could keep it myself then. I told him I could get along without it a considerable sight bettern I could with it. He is as sassy and fresh as ever and more so to on account of Mr. Cabot paying him so much money for his stock. And the new hotel is going to be bilt over on the land by the Crick and all hands says it's going to be the best in the state. Raish has got a whole new rigout of clothes and goes struting around as if everything was due to his smartness. Zach says Raish Pulcifer is running for the job of first mate to the Allmighty but he don't hardly calculate he will be elected. Maryetter Hoag is going to heave up speritulism so Tamson Black told me she heard and going to help in a millunary store over to Onset next summer. Maybe it's so and maybe it ain't, because Tamson is such an awful liar you can't depend on nothing she says. Zach says if an eel tried to follow one of Tamson's yarns he would get his backboan in such a snarl it would choak him to death. And Zach says he calculates Maryetter will take little Cherry Blossom in silent partener. Zach comes over to see me sometimes nights after supper and we set in the kitchen and talk and talk about you and Mr. Galusha mostly, but about Lulie and Nelse and Captain Jeth, too, and about everybody else we happen to run afoul of or that comes handy. Zach is real good company, although he does call me Posy and Pink and Geranyum and dear land knows what and keeps his talk agoing so nobody else can't scarcely get a word in between breaths. He says tell you that he will keep a weather eye on me and see that I didn't get the lockjor nor swallow my mouthorgan nor nothing. I tell him nobody could get lockjor where he was on account of watching how he keeps his own jor agoing. He means well but he is kind of ignorant Zach is. Speaking of weather reminds me that the northeast gale we had last week blowed the trellis off the back part of the house and ripped the gutter off the starboard side of the barn. I had Jim Fletcher put it on again and he charged me three dollars, the old skin. I ain't paid him yet and he can whisle for his money till he whisles one dollar off the bill anyhow. There, Mrs. Martha, I have got to stop. Luce is around screeching and carrying on for his dinner till you would think he hadent had anything for a month instead of only since breakfast. I will write again pretty soon. Lots of love to you and Mr. Bangs and do tell me when you go to ride on a camel. That would be some sight, I will say, and Zach he says so, too, but he bets you can do it if you set out to and so do I. Anyhow, you can if Mr. Galusha skippers the cruise because that man can do anything. And to think that I used to calculate he had the dropsy or was a undertaker or a plain fool or something. Well, you can't never tell by a person's looks, can you, Mrs. Martha. Zach says so, too.
P.S. Have you seen Mr. Bangs dig up any mummies yet? How he can do it and keep out of jale, my saving soul, I don't know. To say nothing of maybe catching whatever it was they died of.
P.S. Won't you please try and see if you can't have a tintype took when you ride the camel and send me one?
(Extracts from a letter from Mr. Galusha Bangs to Mr. Augustus Cabot.)
. . . And so, as you see, Cousin Gussie, we are getting on well with the work of preparation and shall be ready to leave soon. Our excavating this season will be but preliminary, of course owing to our late start. I am enjoying it all immensely and it is wonderfully exhilarating and inspiring to be back once more in the field. But my greatest inspiration is my wife. She is a remarkable woman. A most extraordinary woman, I assure you. How in the world I managed to exist without her companionship and guidance and amazingly practical help all these years I cannot imagine. And I did not really exist, of course, I merely blundered along. She is—well, I really despair of telling you how wonderful she is. And when I think how much of my present happiness I owe to you, Cousin Gussie, I...
* * * * *
But the greatest miracle, the miraculousness—I don't know there is such a word, but there should be—of which sets me wondering continually, is that she should have been willing to marry an odd, inconsequential sort of stick like me. And I find myself saying over and over: "WHAT have I ever done to deserve it?..."
Mr. Cabot was reading the letter from which these extracts were made to a relative, a Miss Deborah Cabot, known to him and the family as "Third Cousin Deborah." At this point in the reading he looked up and laughed.
"By Jove!" he exclaimed. "Isn't that characteristic? Isn't that like him? Well, I told him once that he was magnificent. And he is, not as I meant it then, but literally."
Third Cousin Deborah sniffed through her thin nostrils. "Well, perhaps," she admitted, "but such a performance as this marriage of his is a little too much. I can't understand him, Augustus. I confess he is quite beyond ME."
Cabot smiled. "In many things—and possibly the things that count most, after all, Deborah," he observed, "I have come to the conclusion that old Galusha is far beyond the majority of us."