Oh haint it offul to see how I am now! I can't hardly get my breath sometimes. Well I will finish my story if i can.

We took another wild goose chase & started back to Mulberry Grove & the boys would get out with there guns & hunt along the road for rabbits. We had plenty of meat & lard them days & wild game. We met up with a family that was going our way partly & we traveled together & cooked our meals outside. These folks traveled along with us, just a man & woman & little girl. You children that was along played with this little girl. Mary Etta knows, surely. She was old enough. They were afful nice people & he had the asthma so bad you could hear him breathing & coughing till you'd think he would die. I expect he didn't live long although they said he had been that way for many years. It was damp & cold for him & on us too. We had to wash & didn't have time to dry our clothes so we had to put them on damp. Well us & that family stayed & traveled together about a week or more I guess, & then we parted. They went one way & us another, but we missed them for they were good people & I hope they are in heaven for surely they are not living. The little girl might be but she would be about Mary's age now.

So we traveled on & on from town to town & over rocks & hills & places where they wasn't any roads. The boys & your daddy both were on ahead hunting. Not far, of course, but far enough they depended on me to drive with Bertha in my arms & Mary by me & Wava behind. Mary wanted to drive & since we had a gentle team I gave her one line & I held the other. We was coming on a culvert when she dropped the lines & the team, wagon & all went down the ditch! If it had a been a deep place probably we might has all been killed, but I could see wese going & I said Oh God help us!

But before we went down Mary Etta jumped out, & I know she surely remembers it, & hollered Oh God they're all killed! But her daddy give her a little hickory tea for taking the lines. Poor kid. I felt sorry for her, for I was to blame for letting her have the line, but I had Bertha in my lap & couldn't manage very good. We went in the deep ditch & never hurt anything very much, only an old coal oil can got broken. I had canned peaches in there, canned in tin cans, & it never hurt them a bit because I had them packed good. Then the horses got scared & was about to run away & our extension on the wagon got all twisted to one side. But we were right by a school house when it happened & the school boys all came out & helped lift the wagon out. How many will do that now?

We went on as far as St. Louis when your daddy got blood poison in his eye & it went to his head & he got out of his head. Then Ora got sick. When we got to Mulberry Grove the doctor said he had a touch of TB. He had him to put his feet & legs in ice cold water up to his knees for a few days & he got better. But I will go back to my story & finish. I know you will get tired of reading this but it is all true & no fish story either. You can laugh if you want to, but this is all true. For all of this I expect I have forgot a whole lot of it besides.

Well from St. Louis on to Mulberry Grove Ralph had to drive all the way. He would whistle & spit through his teeth (& had a good old time, being only 12 years old!). We didn't know the way, for daddy didn't know anything & Ora was lying behind, coughing & bad off, too. But our horses knew the way & they took us, for they was coming back to their old home. Old Tom & Doll they sure was good horses. But we fed them good & let them graze on the good grass.

I love to hear from you! Please send any comments or corrections to Ruth Mather