July 13 - August 23, 1922
bought an Irish wool rug at 27s
so my funds are decreasing
and when you have a little saved up
send me 5 or 10£
and I will be
on the pig’s back for life."
Your welcome letter No. 19 received yesterday with m. order enclosed. I guess you left yourself very much broke this time. It is hard enough on you trying to keep two homes and to save a little besides but never mind there are better times coming. This is the scarce part of year in Ireland and after a while I wont need to spend like I have been doing and expect to catch up P. G. [please God]. So you have the weather uncomfortable. Can’t expect otherwise over there it will soon be September and Flannery got on the cops. Does he still live in the dump? Is Mike and Whitie puffing? Well we have it cool and stormy enough here so cool I wouldn’t go to Millstreet to day to change my orders. I expect to go to Killarney Saturday. [Surely] the summer will be over by the time I get the trap. However, we are passing away the time o.k. Both Nancy and Sheila are fine as for myself all the time on the go but very often I wish I was back. Yes Nancy misses ice cream alright and she is sending me to Limerick every day for ice [cream]. She is growing very tall and getting so much stronger. Sheila is always laughing and doing stunts whenever something don’t go her way. She rolls on the floor that’s about her only bad fault. She still keeps her fat. About my Guiness xxx or xx [extra stout or stout] can't be had only their own bottling so I cut it out and drink new milk instead. 3s per week counts. I would rather buy butter I can build up without it we are having quite some trouble in Ireland at present. I had a very nice letter from Miss Ward of the Cunard office as I wrote and thanked her some time ago. I have not received the package yet I do hope Anna’s chocolates won’t get lost too but I suppose all will turn up in time. Nancy seems to be so much better for less candy and scarcly [sic] I give them any more medicine. I sent Mrs. Body a postal. How are they? Well I will finish now thanking you for money with lots of love and kisses from your three big girls.
Ever your loving wife,
[P. S.] Recd letter of July 4th many thanks.
Let me know how many 2£ m. o. [money orders] you have sent so far.
This is an answer to Nos. 20-21 with 2£ order enclosed from you. You sure are on the job writing and mailing in all your hours of work and toil. So happy to know you are escaping the summer so well. Well at last I have the good fortune of having purchased the trap and just what I wanted. It is a true saying everything comes to those who wait. Well Mike and myself [sic] have been bargain hunting all week last Saturday. We went to Killarney and searched every back lane. There were all kinds there from back to back at 9£ to rubber tires at 25£ so we didn’t make any bargain and went for Millstreet again on Monday. There I saw one for 20£ with harness and when we went to get it at Johnny Jers it would not fit our pony. I could fill a book on all I have searched so we decided to make a final search in Kanturk, 17 miles off and away we went yesterday and borrowed a trap. So I was fortunate in getting this one. A [re]publican by the name of O’Sullivan who had it for his own use and now he has a motor car and wants to sell the trap and harness. 16£ so that is very cheap for both and I am very pleased. It will be all done up new and ready fore Wednesday so I will go by train to Banteer and he is to meet me and Mike to go alone with pony and we drive home together. I was so sure of getting a cheap one I bought an Irish wool rug at 27s so my funds are decreasing and when you have a little saved up send me 5 or 10£ and I will be on the pig’s back for life. I am to get a shed fixed up next week which will cost me a few pounds also but it will save the car as I could never leave it out in the weather. I also will get new cushions with it. I also found a place where I can get a crib and I wont have to wait to go to Cork. Both Nancy and Sheila are doing fine and they are so much better with Grandma when I am out of home. Sheila does everything now that Nancy does. Plays house and church, etc. and she says so many words you would never get tired playing with her. She is always smiling. Well I will be anxious now t send you our pictures. Nancy that is delighted with herself [sic]. We never got either package yet so she is anxiously awaiting. Don’t send any more chocolates until I receive the others. Papers either I have not got. It poured rained since we left Kanturk at 7 p.m. until we got here at 9.30. It was nice to see the lighted lamp on the kitchen table on our way in home and the lovely red fire and Sheila and Nancy dancing around. Tell Anna I read her postal and will write next week. Give her all news. I could have the trap for Sunday but the varnish would not be dry. It is best to wait a few days. Will close now with lots of love and kisses from your three big girls.
Ever your loving wife,
from Nancy xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Your welcomed letter No. 22 received on Tuesday due on the previous Friday. I am glad to receive one a week now but you mail me two. I have to blame to you as I know how punctual you are about everything. Things are going to the bad very much in Ireland at present. I was disappointed to hear that there was a letter for Anna and none for you. I will be anxious to know now if you received it on the day following. I mailed you a letter a week ago. Mother said it was good. I had it stamped as there were not in the P. O. I hope you received it on time and guess you have read all about the trouble they had in Dublin and Limerick and the dear old Gresham burned.
Well some news now at last I have the trap in the hay barn. We went to Kanturk yesterday. Mike took me to Rathmore for the 7 a.m. train and Mr. Sullivan met me with his motor at Banteer as I should wait 2 hours for a train in to Kanturk. It was raining as usual so I didn’t take Nance. At 12 OC. The sun shone so we had it nice and dry all the way home. I am very pleased with my bargain and people have valued it at 25£ those that knew it was used. It is all done up new so I leave the pikers think so and they will think it cost 40£ . On our way home to Clonbanin there was an auction of hay and we wanting some I made the first bid of 1£ –5s a wind. Oh I had to laugh as I was never to an auction before. So we got it dirt cheap says Mike. It is just the right kind for the pony and some for the cow. Five Guineas it will cost. Mike know the auctioneers. It is hay seed hay. I was the only woman and about 30 men. Such beautiful country out that way so I am happy now but almost broke. Well never mind, good days are coming. I don’t need to go to Cork now about oil stoves. The perfection oil stove is in Kanturk for 7£ –0s-0d. How is that it almost knocked me down (or up); 3 burner with oven and the 2 [burner] is 5£...odd and Mr. Sullivan took me to some friend of his, an agent for them and the cheapest I could get it was 5s off. So I will look at 7£ a long time before I buy one I have not much fancy cooking to do so I will get along ok without it and besides I am accustomed now to make the kiddies puddings in the iron skillet ha ha and I can cook a much better rice pudding than I ever did in the U. S. A. but I give it up to the U. S. A. for everything the oil stoves. I was surprised they come from there that is why they are so expensive tax etc. I saw a nice cot for Sheila also but not wide enough for her mattress. One had the drop side made of some kind of fancy wood and 2£ –15s and 3£ –10. that I would not spend money on either so I will suffer on. Still it was very nice with a wire net spring attached. The phono, I didn’t get yet as I saw a nice one at A. Duggans from Cork but it had the horn of mahogany and it sounded very good so young con said for me [to] bring in the old one first to see if he could fix it. Kathy May Niham was married on Tuesday. Tell Anna to Darrius Johnny Dan. Well now about our kiddies. It would do you good to see how fine they are and especially when they are alone. How nice they play together but Nancy likes to lift Sheila. We have a load of sand in the Lawn (Haggard). I mean, and they play all day when it is fine. It is indeed a great relief not to be dressing them up for the sidewalk and such a rest for me. Sheila says so many words. “Coo” she calls Grandma. It was “atacoo” at first and you remember she had that same word in Edgewater.
Another half sheet:
Ever your loving wife,
[P. S.] You would cross over to watch Sheila gathering
up old black saucepans and jam pots and she all [dirt]. She enjoys
herself. No kisses, I have Nance out as she pesters me.
In answer to 2 letters and a supplement recd letter No. 24 with 10£ enclosed and 25 with 2£ also Elsie’s same day I can hardly keep track of them all I wish I had your brains. Many many thanks I must say if it were not for your letters I would very often have the blues. They are so cheerful and full of good news not to mind money. Just think you have sent me 74£ and 2£ in 3 months to day since I arrived. Well at last we have our nice pony and trap but the weather is none too favorable all week. Saturday we all went to Millstreet and enjoyed it very much. Sunday we had three horses and the pony draw home the hay which filled up the bard and none of the big farmers around have scarcely a wisp home yet so I think it is better to be born lucky than rich. I have galvanized and timber waiting for the carpenter to attach on a car house to the hay barn. We expect him to morrow so I will be glad when it is done. We have been going along fine only that I worried myself to nothing since Monday all over a little cold Nancy took which thank God she is so much better to day. She woke up Sunday morning at 4.30 with a headache and was complaining since then as her throat kept bothering her. I thought it best get a doctor yesterday to ease my mind to Dr. O’Connell came from Millstreet and said it was nothing but an ordinary cold and gave me a bottle for her. It did not need a poultice it was just the tonsil swoolen [sic] and to keep her in bed for 2 days. He said there was a lot of sore throat going. 1£ for that and medicine extra but that my mind was relieved and still she was not sick but you know a sore throat is dangerous and safety first. He also told me if my stay was long in Ireland to have her bad teeth removed and the poor kiddie is cutting her 6-year molars and that had a lot to do with it, too. I believe I was not going to tell you this but I am right out with everything and it will be one reason for me hurrying back to you in case anything would ever happen to them but all is the will of God. You asked me if I liked it here or over their [sic]. Well give me the good old U. S.A. and especially my own home and husband. It is all very well to say with your mother but give me my own place if it is only one room. If it had not been for the money you spent on my before I came along and what you have sent me since and the way I have handed it out here, I would not stay another hour but being the children have got along so good and I know it will do them so much good I will stick it out now for a while. Now that we have the pony and trap every nice day we will go out. I ordered shoemaker’s shoes for Nancy some time ago so they came yesterday but they are very strong. I don’t know if she can wear them 1£. I also got Sheila a pair of shop shoes at 8s-6d, nothing like Dr. Posuers. She Sheila is so amusing if you ask her her [sic] name she says “a cirl a caw” and she says so many words. You should hear Nancy mimic Grandma: “Est” instead of East, etc. Well Nance has a great day in bed with her big doll and mother made her some nice soup of a chicken. So I will leave her get up to morrow it was so chilly I had a nice fire up stairs all day. Yes, I am started on my Guinnesses Extra as I felt I needed it. Only one house in Millstreet carries the brown label stout Cade’s Bottling from Dublin 7d per bottle. Yes, write Sid about the camera and give him my correct address. I will appreciate it very much. I was so pleased to know of Elsie’s good news. Well, I think I have told you all so pleased the summer is drawing near for you all. Tell Body that was not her first lie as I only sent her a postal. I think this letter is No. 19 as I believe I wrote one on the 11th of July and one a week since. I have not received the moth bags or any chocolates. I am going to Rathmore to morrow and inquire where I could find out anything about them so will close now with heaps of love and kisses from your three big girls.
Ever your loving wife,
[P. S.] xxxxxxxxxxxxx Nancy says Daddy likes
Belle and Nancy
I did not give this letter to the post man to mail as I was going to Rathmore. No letter this morning and no stamps in either P. O. so I have some 1 1/2d ones and I guess you will have to pay 2 cents on the other side. There is not even any money in the Millstreet P. O. in three weeks. In the bank I got mine cashed things are very upset in Ireland at present if you have any delay in my letters don’t be surprised as they say this line will be wrecked. Too, I heard Killarney was partly burned, 2 hotels only a rumor. Well I hope your letters will keep coming not forgetting the money says Thige Stall. Well T. G. our Nance is much better to day as I kept her in bed yet the ground was so damp from rain she is cutting out dolls and did some painting. So will close with love and kisses.
[P. S.] Will write Anna for Tuesday.
Letter No. 20—is this right?My dear Hub
August 10th, 1922
Your welcome letter No. 26 received yesterday due since 4th was fortunate to get it so soon as things are very upset here at present. This was the first day since Monday we had mail delivered but I got none. I expect to before Sunday as the mails arrive late. Well, I know you are anxious to hear about Nancy she is ok. Again I was sorry I told you about she being sick. Only you know me so you can easily detect my moods. Well it is about time after 9 years. Still I guess I could be worse now. Your birthday is here I have not even got you a card. I had selected a little souvenir in Killarney intending to get it later so now with no trains running and roads broken up I must postpone my trip. Well the Republicans are doing all sorts of things now, worse than the Black and Tans ever did. They sat fire to the Rathmore Barracks Tuesday evg. Buttervant and Mallow also went up last night. Millstreet will be next. The Free Staters are heading this way. I do hope they win out and wish it was all over. I am chuck full of Ireland now and would never care to see it again. I get so mad when I think how I have spent money and still I cant live near like I did in my own home. The car house which I started for to save my trap will cost me near 6£ by the time it will be finished although the carpenter charged 7s only to erect it. I have to get 12 more 7-foot sheets of zinc for to cover the side and back and then it will be well protected but everything cost so now adays. It seems strange buildings going on fire and I have to build one. Well never mind we are going along ok we had a nice soup fowl to day new potatoes with lots of mint in. I went looking for nests as the oats is so full grown the hens lay out so I found 10 in one nest and 3 in another and Nancy got one at back of the house. It is nice those two days the children are playing in the sand pile. We expect to go to Millstreet to morrow for the drive.
I received Anna’s chocolates on Monday. You bet they tasted good but go no rest from Nancy and Sheila. Mike had one and Mother two and you know who likes them best. So for peace sake I let them finish them to day. Don’t attempt to send anymore or Anna neither as I am not sure of getting them. I recd one package of papers magazines paintings and funny sheets a week ago, no news section. I never got those papers you sent about the heat the month of June. [Belle writes along the right-hand margin here, “too many nows”]
I am fortunate in receiving all your letters.
Slow but sure. I have two stamps left—after that, you pay on the
other side untill [sic] we get some here. I am out of luck now on
my phonograph untill such time as to when there will be peace. I
never expected things would turn out this bad. What America think
now? The trains are coming as far as Millstreet I just heard now.
No mail came to Rathmore to day. Don’t be disappointed or blame me
if I should miss the mail and Mrs. Heaney wants to write me. Did
I tell you Mary wrote us three letters and I answered with a postal?
I have no stamps now for my friends. I should worry. Sheila
is here now full of element beating us all. The only word she says
with a tone is “no.” She asks for milk and lots of things.
When I say, “Where is Daddy?” she fixes her mouth and shakes the head and
says, “no Daddy.” The evenings are getting longer. I mean it
is dark now after 8 OC. Instead of 10 so we go to bed at 9 now. Don’t
you feel sorry for me. Well cheer up, there are good times coming.
I know your time must pass quickly as your hours are so long. Did
you go to Brighton for a swim? How is the dear old park? Well
I am pleased Shewane is with you yet I bet she misses us but the time is
drawing near. Tell her will soon be together again, of course.
I don’t know what you think about England but this trip has made me appreciate
the U. S. A. Well I will now close with lots of love and kisses from
your three big girls.
It is two weeks to day since I received your last
letter written July 24th. I answered it on the following Friday,
but am quite sure it is in Millstreet P. O. yet as all trains are stopped
from here to Cork and no mails going or coming. I expect a big bundle
when they do. I expect you have all news over there. Things
are very upset at present. We all are quite well. Nance and
Sheila don’t worry. I am taking a chance in getting this mailed somewhere.
Mike will try in town if somebody is going to Cork or Mallow. All
stuff are coming by road. Will now close and will write you a long
letter when the mails go out. Your loving wife,
[Editor's note: On the inside of the letter Belle writes, Congratulations on your Birthday August 22nd, 1922. 'I did not forget it.' Ironically on this date, Michael Collins, president of the Irish Free State, was killed by a sniper in West County Cork, very near where Belle and her daughters were staying--less than thirty miles away. Collins was murdered by anti-treaty forces (Republicans) under the leadership of Eamon de Valera, in Beal na Blath (Mouth of Flowers).]