With so much to be sad and concerned about, Joseph McJames was not about to end his day unpleasantly. Writing to his daughter Mary Ellen, he could not wait to tell her about his possum.
The letter Mack received from Mary Ellen was filled with disappointment. There was the illness of Mack’s wife, too, that concerned everyone. Mack still had his house keeper Clary to rely on. At the age of 82, soon to be 83, this “fine Kentucky gentleman” as Mack was called was still in control. That discipline extended also to his possum.
Coffeyville, Oct. 2nd, 1901
Have just read your letter. So sorry, so sorry for you and dear Maggie. And sorry Annie did not come. I feel sure they could have gotten a wise position. I could have gotten it for them.
Don’t be uneasy about your dear mother. If any difference, she is a little better than when you left. I am watching over her both day and night. Clary is here and won’t leave until you get back home. And if she does, I will find someone else.
Everything is going right. Don’t be uneasy. Bring Maggie with you.
I will see Mr. Hunt and will box up all in safe condition.
Send a postal often. Tell us of all things. Clary is all right.
Will have a fine possum for dinner. I caught (it) in her house stealing eggs.
J. Mc. James