Dear Mary —
You are probably wondering why this is written in ink, when all the rest are so nicely typewritten.
Well, this is the very last one I’ve written, and the news is so hot off the wire that I haven’t time to take it down to my office and type it before I mail it to you.
Now the business of getting some lunch for you at Mitchell has been bothering your mother and me for some weeks. Well, this is what we’ve done:
There is a society here called the Traveller’s Aid Society. It’s a private organization which does nothing but take care of people who travel. Poor immigrants from Europe are sent thousands of miles by train with the good ladies of the Society watching for them and helping them at the big stations. Old people — even young babies of three and four can ride just as independently as you are riding.
So I talked to the Traveller’s aid, and said that you were coming, and that we couldn’t think how to get any lunch for you. So here’s what’s happened. They telegraphed one of their women at Pierre. She wrote another representative at Mitchell. The answer came back — “Sure! We’ll meet Mary’s train, take her to lunch, and we’ll put her back on in plenty of time.” For, you see, your train gets into Mitchell at 11:30 am and stays there an hour.
This morning when your mother put you on the train, she sent two telegrams. They went over those very same telegraph wires that you see out your window. One of them went to me, and said that you’d started, and gave me your car number. In the morning when your train comes in, I’ll go down the train till I hit the car with that number — and there we’ll be. The other telegram went to the Traveller’s Aid representative who’ll meet you in Mitchell. It simply told her you’d be in at 11:30 and gave her your car number.
So when your train reaches Mitchell, all you have to do is be cleaned up, and wait in your seat until a lady comes in looking for you. She’ll be expecting to see you. Then you give her the letter which I am enclosing. It will introduce you. Inside of it is ample money for your lunch and for a little thank-you present for the lady. She may not want to take it, but I wish she would. She’s been so nice to go to all of that trouble to meet the train.
So don’t spend any money at Mitchell — everything is all paid for in advance.