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Thursday, December 31, 1891

Thursday, December 31, 1891

To W.'s first thing after eight and to his room. Had passed a restless night—the hiccoughings never letting up. Nurse was fixing bed. W. awake. She saw me in the doorway and said to W., "Here is Mr. Traubel." He turned the head just a trifle and ejaculated, "Oh! Horace!" But we had no talk. Mrs. Keller was endeavoring to turn him from left to right. It was a heavy burden for her and she had to ask me to assist. I lifted W.'s head higher on the pillow. He tried to help throw the body over but could not. Then he told her, "Don't be afraid. You won't hurt me," and shortly he was in position, murmuring, "Any change is an improvement—any change." And immediately dozed off again.

To Philadelphia and to work. Busy day in Bank. All on duty till midnight. About eight Warren telephoned me that there was no change in W. except that McAlister had thought him possibly a bit weaker. Towards one o'clock I myself stopped at 328 and stayed half an hour, with Warren, part of the time in W.'s room. He seemed peaceful and easy—slept and looked more like himself—for the time the hiccoughs not ascendant. Impressed me profoundly—one hand out on the coverlet—laying on his back—the beard and hair spread out over the pillow. I only touched his hand. He did not wake. Then away. Mrs. Keller in bed but she had left some memoranda for me:

Dec. 31st 1891  
  8 Awake. 8.15 Had position changed. Said he was going to take no more medicine. Did not [take] the 8 A.M. dose nor the 6 A.M. 9 Had position changed. Asked for 1/3 cup of coffee. Drank it, holding the cup. 10 Asked for more coffee, egg and toast. Ate very little. Drank coffee and requested the remainder left to drink cold. 10.30 Partial bath. Warren helped make and change bed at 9.30. 11 Mrs. D. came into the room—was just finishing washing his hands. Mrs. D. said, "Your brother is here." Answered, "Tell him I am much the same, fairly comfortable just at this time." Enquired if Jessie was with him. 11.15 Dr. came. Said, "I took my medicine at 12, 3, 6, 9, 12. I am not going to continue it." 11.30 His brother came into the room. Only said good morning. 12 Took orange juice. Hiccough for some time, continuous. 2 Slept but little today. Took cold coffee, and orange juice occasionally. 5.30 Dr. came. Mr. W. talked with Dr. Complained of being so wide awake. Still hiccoughing. 6 Sleeping and waking. 8.30 Turned him over. Said, "I wish we could make you more comfortable." "Well you cannot; the trouble is it is the critter itself." Has talked more today.

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