Margaret Hay Lunam
My dear Cousin:
We have been very delighred with the two letters we have had from you after your arrival at your own happy bright sunny Californian home. While you seem to be rejoicing in balmy fine weather, we are in the midst of very severe cold wintry weather --to-day a hurricane of bitter wind, snow, and sleet. I am sure it can be no worse up at the North Pole amongst the icebergs. I am wearying for better weather, as the rheumatics are bad in my old gouty hand. We were very sorry to learn from your first letter that you had been in a railway collision. How thankful we were that you escaped without being hurt, but I have no doubt you would get a terrible shock! Your mother and sisters would be very happy to see you, after your visit to Dunbar, and to hear of all your wanderings to other places. The friends you met here are always asking after you, Mr. Melville, Mr. Lick, Mr. Anderson Pinkerton, Mrs. Kelly was very delighted to receive your letter, You will be hearing from her very soon. The cuttings you sent in your last letter of December were handed round to them all to read. They were pleased to read them. We sent them last week to Gilbert Hay, Glasgow, and the young friend you met at Birkenhead! He is going to send them to Rockferry to his Uncle Hardie Hay. Susan Gilroy is always asking after you. I told her the other day that you were going to write to her.
We are all hoping that you will see your way to visit us all in a year or two at most. Maggie says you must come to Scotland again before going to St. Elias, and bring your dear Wanda with you. The minister of Prestonkirk was telling Mrs. Kelly that he is very sorry he did not see you hen you were here. He has visited Alaska, and would have enjoyed a long chat with you. Also Sir Archibald Hepburn of Smeaton was very sorry he did not know you were in this country. So you see, you really must not be long in coming back again, amongst us all, and if I am spared to see you again you know of a hearty welcome to our humble home.
We are always talking of the happy few days you spent with us, and the delightful drives you gave us. I do trust your mother-in-law Mrs. Strentzel is getting stronger and able to walk and drive out a little. It must have been an anxious time for Mrs. Muir when her mother was ill and you so far from home. Will you give her our kind love, and say how delighted we would be to have her photo along with the two dear girls. Then we-would have all your family circle.
Remember me to your Maggie (Mrs. Reid) and David if they remember me. Krs. Kelly was very sorry that she did not ask for your own photo when she expressed a wish to have the bairns. I promised to her to remind you about them. Many thanks for the California paper. What a large illustrated description I had the other day.
I do trust that in the midst of all your life work and duties you will find at times a few spare minutes to write to your far-away lonely cousins in Dunbar, who will never forget your visit to them. And trusting to see you once more, believe me,
Your affectionate cousin,
Margaret Hay Lunam
Westfield, Dunbar, [Scotland]
Original letter dimensions: 18 x 22.5 cm.
Lunam, Margaret Hay, "Letter from Margaret Hay Lunam to [John Muir], 1894 Jan 30." (1894). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 6814.
Reel 08, Image 0095
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