We left Miss Dreier’s at three o’clock Tuesday afternoon and went back into Ellsworth to file this daily record and send some telegrams. Miss Cook and Miss Dickerman were following us but they had to wait while Miss Dreier came up with eyeglasses which they had forgotten!
Miss Lape and Miss Read had breakfast with us this morning and Miss Lape is travelling down with us to Washington. We are very good travelling companions for we all have plenty of work to do and none of us feel the urge to waste anyone else’s time. Miss Lape is reading proof, Mrs. Scheider and I going through stacks of mail and wondering how much more will be waiting for us when we arrive in Washington.
My mother-in-law who arrived several weeks ago and who has the cottage next to us up here, came over to supper with us last night, and my neighbors on the other side, Mrs. Prince and her daughter, Mildred, originally from St. Louis joined us also. We sat after supper in the old school room, which Miss Cook and Miss Dickerman have been rearranging for me with Val-Kill furniture, they were making and hanging gay tan and red and green curtains.
The rest of the way through the city was uneventful, but it always seems to me a rather bewildering place. We reached Westbrook, and Miss Lape and Miss Read took us for a swim in the Sound. The beach near them is sandy and clean. so we enjoyed the first dip we have had this summer in salt water.
In a little while, however, people began to look at us rather curiously, and we realized that it was probably time to go home. As we drove away one lady waved her hand at me and before long I imagine every one up and down the beach would have been finding out how badly I swim!
…Australia is an underdeveloped country & I doubt if many people at home have any idea of transportation difficulties. The terrain in which those boys fight is also unfamiliar to us & unbelievably difficult. I do camps, hospitals, Red [Cross] services day & evening & see men who have either been in to New Guiney & come out with a shadow on their faces but a grim hatred of the Japs or few men going in to something they knew nothing about or are ill prepared for unless they have special training at home. There have been, of course in each big city some official entertainments but I only have one of those still left to do. At dinner tomorrow night in Brisbane given by Mrs. MacArthur. I’ve only done 2 radio talks which I prepared, one in New Zealand & one in Australia. There have been several ‘few words’ daily to my varied audiences. I begin to think the job has been a good one as far as these countries are concerned but for our own men I know F. should have insisted that I go to New Guinea & Guadalcanal or not sent me.
I have lots of information for the Red [Cross]. George Durno has felt responsible for me & I think he is satisfied. He has been very kind & nice. I didn’t take the trip for pleasure & I haven’t enjoyed it, but I am very well & it hasn’t been at all tiring.
My love to you dear. I think of you & your love for travel & wonder if you would have enjoyed it.
Well, the trip is nearly half over. The people here are kind & they like F.D.R. & our marines have won all their hearts, so they are very nice to me. I make so many speeches daily that I shall soon be talked out but George Durno is a help telling me what goes well & the reverse as he watches & overhears remarks in the crowd.
These boys break your heart, but they’re so young & so tired. Malaria is almost as bad as bullets. They are hardly out of the hospitals before they are at Red Cross Clubs & dances & they laugh at everything. I take my hat off to this young generation & I hope we don’t let them down. I’ve talked to every kind of group from Maories to hospital patients, high ranking officers & the people of New Zealand.Much Love,