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Monday, October 12, 1891

Monday, October 12, 1891

5:20 P.M. W. on his bed—had closed shutters—but not asleep. Thermometer down to 63 today—markedly and suddenly cold. W. extended his hand from the bed at once. Spoke rather brightly, yet complained of his condition. "The last two nights have been bad ones—little for sleep—disturbed—the neuralgia pushing me hard. It is a beginning of the end—the disabilities multiplying—life becoming every way more difficult. Longaker has not been over"—since Tuesday—"I was hoping for him. Yet I don't know what he could do. There is nothing, in fact, to be done, but to be cautious—keep the eyes open—lay low. I have no other physical doctrine for a sick man." Had been downstairs last night for an hour, "yet only on Warrie's reminder and urging." They had set the parlor stove up. His own fire now burned brightly—the room comfortable (an unusual case, for if not too warm it is generally too cold). W. said he had received no letter from Wallace today, "Yet I conclude all is well." But had received slips, reprint of my third Post piece, from Johnston. "The matter is even better than ever," he averred. "I like it a good deal."

Wallace in Brooklyn. I heard from him today. W. remarking, "He intended going off to West Hills—may be there this minute. No, the railroads do not go to West Hills. What is called West Hills station is a barren desolate spot. It will not cheer him. The place is quite inaccessible. Wallace will find it rather difficult moving about. He should have gone to see Gilchrist. He will find this West Hills excursion harder than is supposed." And again, "I understood from him, too, that Rome would come along. It has been years since we met—many years."

He got up from bed by and by—went toilsomely to chair. "You see what a labor it is getting to be: worse and worse—yes, worse! After a while—well, never mind. But I'm not like to get better!" His mail—a letter to Mrs. Heyde, a postal to Johnston. Had been looking over a copy of Once a Week. But, "I am not much interested." I had been in to see McKay, who disappoints us again. Will not see W. till Saturday or Monday. Says W., "It is enough to turn the stomach: delay, delay, delay, then delay again! Postponements—postponements!" W.'s postal to Johnston was American, with a penny stamp plumped on. He said, "Some of our postal habits or laws are better than theirs in England—in any foreign country: more in the hands of the people. And by the way, Horace, the Post Office in Philadelphia issues a sheet of instructions. Will you see to get me one some day soon? I am curious to see it."

W. asked me about Mr. Hunter. "What do you hear from him? Does Dave hear? Oh! He has been in Philadelphia? And what of him: is he well, and himself? I have been thinking of him today." While he lay on the bed, for some ten minutes he was quiet and I threw out not a word. It was a holy peace—a quiet passing understanding—my memory meanwhile drowsily playing with all the events transpired in this room the past three years. I can say I never elsewhere realized so sudden, so sweet, so entire an abandon to the holiest impulses of reverie.

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