1898, Feburary 21 – Letter from Rosalie Bauwens to Lewis Hesse

Rosalie is finally gaining weight, manages to have a little fun, and scolds Lewis over his letter writting.  Read a transcript of the letter below (original misspellings & all) or click on the image links to view the actual letter. As you read the transcript of the letter click on the links to view information & images about what they are discussing.

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Click on a link to view the image: (some images can be further enlarged by clicking on them once they open)

Envelope Front     Envelope Back      Letter Page 1      Letter Page 2-3      Letter Page 4-5     Letter Page 6-7     Letter Page 8-9     Letter Page 10-11     Letter Page 12

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Transcript of letter:

St. Louis, Feb. 21, 1898

Derest Lewis:

Just received your letter of the 19th & 20th.  I will now answer.  I hope Lewis, that you will be more satisfied in the line of work soon for from what you write it seems that you are anything but that now.  I also hope that Mr. Roger’s friend will soon join you folks so that you may have the chance of enjoying your hours for rest with good refreshing sleep.  Well Lewis you ask me to excuse you for using ink.  Well you are not excusable and I’ll tell you why.  If you don’t write darker with led-pencil I’m going to use ink always, for then there will be some chance of reading your letter a second time without tracing over the words in order that I may answer it.  I think you are mean not to write heavier, for if I should be lonesome some Sunday afternoon and wish to read  your letters one after the other to see just how you spent the time since you’re gone I could hardly do it, for the writing will be all faded.  Now see here Lu, if I can’t save and afterwards read your letters,I’m going to ask you to promise me, that as soon as you receive my letters to destroy them; how would you like that, bad boy?  If you wouldn’t promise me to do it, I’d make it my business to write as light as you do, see?  Lewis, I am real glad to hear that I made the very welcome mistake of thinking that you had lost in weight.  You weigh more now, I believe, than you ever weighed before if I am not mistaken, don’t you?  162 lbs, I never saw you looking as well a you do now; oh that’s mean.  But don’t for a moment think I want you to weigh less, oh no sir.  I hope you will keep on gaining so that should you get sick, you will have your flesh and a strong constitution to fall back on.  But Lewis, come now, don’t you think you saying you are longingly lonesome sounds just a little fishy in the face of such a gain, and such long hours work, and short hours rest?  Clear water and fresh air sandwiches is awful thin stuff to get fat on, don’t you think so?  Well, I’m sure I’m glad you are gaining adn not losing, althought I think you are getting along much better since you have no Rosalie to bother you; how about that Lu?  Lewis don’t write me any fibs about lonesomeness or anything else you hear dear?  Well I must quit writing here for a while as it is 20 min after 8 and I must bundle warmly for it is very cold, and go to the store for lemons and brandy.  I will tell you what for later on.  Well I’ve been to the store and put some water in a kettle on the back of the stove to get hot till I go to bed.  I’ve written about everything I could find in your letter to write about I believe; so I will tell you now about myself since last Friday night.  I slept well that night and felt pretty good all day, with the exception of the excitement of that war trouble, it worries me not a little bit.  Whole companies of recruits have formed and are ready for action within the last few days in St. Louis.  And, by the way, you didn’t mention one word in your letter about it although I asked your opinion about it in the letter you were answering.  Well Saturday 4 o’clock I went to Aunt Mamie’s as I said I would and got a hand ful of crazy patches, but she promised me more.  I came home shortly after supper and went with the rest of the family over to Jennie’s, she had a little gathering in honor of Will’s birthday there I met Otto for the first time since you are gone, neither he nor I mentioned you nor Julie to one other the whole evening except when he said he had received a letter from George H. asking him to send him you address.  O. said he didn’t want to answer that letter and he wanted me to send Geroge your address, but I won’t do it until I know if you want me to let him have it.  Well we had a nice time.  There were 7 gentlemen and 7 ladies and mamma and Ida.  It was the first place while in a crowd that I half way enjoyed myself, but I did miss  you once in a while sorely.  We kept it up till one o’clock and Lewis they just begged J. & I to sing, but I hadn’t sang since you left, having had that cough, which I was not entirely rid of.  Well I told them how it was and they said we were excused if we broke down.  But Lu, we didn’t break down and we were singing the starlight too and mamma said she never heard us sing better.  But it was just all I could do too.  Well O. said he’d let me have G’s address some other time.  Say if O. ever finds out it was I who composed the note Julie sent him asking for her money, there’ll be a picnic.  Because although O. said nothing I noticed enough to know he was hurt by the note and if he ever speaks to Julie about it she’ll tell hi she didn’t compose it that I done it.  It wouldn’t be the first time the kid told when I told her to keep her mouth shut after I did her a favor and helped her out; but I didn’t know that when I wrote the note.  Julie is supposed to be living out since the 19, somewhere in north St. Louis.  She seemed to be muchdicouraged when she was here last, but did not tell me why; she only staid a few minutes, that was the 15.  Sunday morning we slept till 10 o’clock and shortly after dinner J. W. & the baby came to spend the day.  Mamma went with Aunt Mamie and Aunt Paulene to see my cousins Eddie and Ida Price’s papa who died Saturday.  I feel so sorry for his family and would have gone too, but the weather was so cold.  Well after I was washed adn dressed I joined the folks and between reading the “Nordheim books” and playing with the baby the afternoon passed.  After supper I begun missing you terribly, I always thought you must step in every moment, I couldn’t get over the feeling that you just had to come.  Well finally I played a game of cards with Ida and then W. and J. and I traded some crazy patches.  After that I said my prayers and went to bed.  This morning itwas awful cold and I had to go to work, the first thing to my disadvantage was that I stood very near the coor of the car all the way up town and got cold through and when I got up there we didn’t have a bit of fire till after 9 o’clock and it wasn’t even warm in the place all morning it got a little better in the afternoon.  The consequences are that I almost sneezed the head off of me all day and can hardly talk a loud word for the cold I ccaught, so I got me some brandy & lemons to try & cure it.  I got weighed Saturday and weigh 104 lbs again.  I’m gaining slowly, and I only hope this new cold will not pull me down again.  Well it is nearly 10 o’clock so good night dear don’t woryy you will have another letter to-morrow, take care yourself, with love and a kiss I remain

Your own

Rosalie Bauwens

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