23rd April, 1900.
MY DEAR MARY,
I ought to have started today but circumstances so happened that I cannot forgo the temptation to be in a camp under the huge red-wood trees of California before I leave. Therefore I postpone it for three or four days. Again after the incessant work I require a breath of God’s free air before I start on this bone-breaking journey of four days.
Margot insists in her letter that I must keep my promise to come to see Aunt Mary in fifteen days. It will be kept — only in twenty days instead of fifteen. By that I avoid the nasty snowstorm Chicago had lately and get a little strength too.
Margot is a great partisan of Aunt Mary it seems, and other people besides me have nieces and cousins and aunts.
I start tomorrow to the woods. Woof! get my lungs full of ozone before getting into Chicago. In the meanwhile keep my mail for me when it comes to Chicago and don’t send it off here like a good girl as you are.
I have finished work. Only a few days’ rest, my friends insist — three or four — before facing the railway.
I have got a free pass for three months from here to New York; no expense except the sleeping car; so, you see, free, free!