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Wednesday, December 24, 1890

     8:55 P.M. Very late to get to W.'s—latest, I believe, for me, on record. But had been in Philadelphia—detained. "Christmas-ing," W. calls it. W. had some new stockings in the chair—fruits and candies on the bed—ink-pot there also—had been writing—word already down to Warren for going to bed. Looked and spoke nobly well—said he had spent "a much improved day."

     I had only two pictures from McCollin. Did not appear as disappointed as I feared—took the meagre profit good-naturedly. Liked the pictures. "If they are all like this, more—more than well: I hardly expected so good a print." But the fellow had not let them have the rough finish. "It is ever so much better." Had I to write him? "No—I wouldn't—let him go on as he thinks best. He undoubtedly knows—or if he does not, this is good enough." W. looked greater than himself—if that could be—for the new white shirt, now much undone for disrobing. Letter, mine, from Mrs. Fairchild as follows:

December 22

Dear Mr. Traubel—

I had waited to hear from you before sending you the photographs—which go however by tonight's mail—'twill be too late for Christmas, but I hope by Sunday they can be here—and possibly by the day itself.

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I am in a great hurry and writing carelessly—

I enclose a cheque which I beg you to expend in some way which will give our dear friend a moment's pleasure. Do not think the motive coarse, though the act may seem so in sending money at a time like this. You can tell so much better than I what will be his needs, or his momentary desire.

With my best wishes for you as well, I am very sincerely yours

Elisabeth Fairchild

     Pictures had also come. I gave to W. (two copies of "Laughing Philosopher")—who signed them while I waited. I did not say aught about check—wishing to think overnight whether to give it him direct or purchase him something from it. But he spoke of his "joy" to "hear from the noble woman" and again in loving remembrance and estimate of her. I had had letter as follows from Bucke:

22 Dec 1890

My dear Horace

Many thanks for Dr. Mitchell's letter which I return—the exam. is most favorable showing no disease but the enlarged prostate and its results—ie. retained urine and irritation of bladder therefrom. I have written W. congratulating him and telling him that his urine should be drawn off with a catheter morning and evening—that a good doctor being got to do this for a time Warren could be taught to do it and that in this simple way his comfort might be materially increased. I wish you could arrange to have this done. My mind is greatly relieved by this letter—of course there remains the paralysis, W.'s age, and his generally enfeebled condition and above all his weak heart, so we must not jump to the other extreme and consider him in robust health—nevertheless his kidneys being sound as they undoubtedly are is a tremendously important matter and I consider today that W. may be with us for years—although I do not forget that he may have died of heart failure before you get this letter. Altogether, however, I feel much better, greatly relieved in fact—I

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hope some arrangement may be made by which W.'s bladder may be entirely emptied morning and evening.

All well and quiet here

Your friend

RM Burke

     Told W. its jubilant substance. He said, "I have had a similar letter—Doctor is overjoyed to think there is no sign of kidney disease. I did not think there was—am not surprised. I watch all that with a curious eye—am not afraid to face any truth."


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