From Marie Guérin to Léonie - March 14, 1889.

From Marie Guérin to Léonie. 14th March 1889.

Dear little Léonie,

You must be wondering whether I have forgotten you because I haven’t written to you in a long while?... but no, on the contrary I’m always thinking of you, only I’m so busy with my duties as mistress of the house (of Les Buissonnets) that I can’t find time to do anything.

My role as mistress of the house is very difficult to fulfil. Yesterday Mama and Jeanne were very poorly, they were even in their own bedrooms in bed. Imagine all the trouble I had! But that’s not the worst of it. I told Céline that her washing would be taken by five people, I was mistaken [l v°] it was only taken by poor little me who did her best. Valmyre (one of the Guérins’ employees?) was with me but you know she wasn’t familiar with the house and I was obliged to open the double doors, see the laundrywomen in and count the washing. I found the little laundering notebook straight away and while counting the washing I checked it was correct in the little notebook. Everything is there, there’s nothing missing, on the contrary, there are 153 dishcloths instead of 152 but the lady believed she could remember putting in a dishcloth from another batch. So kindly give her back the one that isn’t yours. The laundresses asked me whether the washing was white enough, so I replied that I believed it would be fine.

When I arrived, Mr. Guéret (unknown) [2 r°] was going in at the same time as me. Poor Tom was so happy to see me that he broke his collar. Fortunately Mr. Guéret was there to mend it for him. At the Carmel your sisters asked me to send them Céline and Marie’s spades. They explained that they were the two medium-sized ones. I think I sent them the right ones for I haven’t heard anything more.

I also went to check on the animals. I went to see the rabbit that had nothing more to eat, so Valmyre took it upon himself to feed him a cabbage he cut in the garden. I didn’t say anything because I seem to remember hearing that all the cabbages were for the rabbits. Then I went to see the hens and pigeons; they had enough food. I caught a glimpse of [2 v°] Margo (perhaps a cat?) who ran away as I approached; the poor animal is limping on one leg. In Céline’s bedroom, I saw 4 primroses that were still in very good condition; I watered them and put them outside the kitchen window to get some air. I asked Mr. Guéret to bring them in before nightfall, not knowing, however, whether he had permission to enter Céline’s bedroom, I didn’t tell him where he should put them. I believe I checked the whole house. I even asked Mr. Guéret to take the flowers out often when there’s fine sunshine.

J'ai aperçu [2 v°] la Margo (peut-être une chatte ?) qui s'est sauvée à mon approche la paume bête est boiteuse d'une patte.

I received Céline’s letter this afternoon, I wasn’t at all expecting it to be addressed to me, so I exclaimed “Another one for me” that’s impossible. Tell Céline I thank her very much for her letter and that it really touched me. I see from the letter that Uncle is in the same condition as the day I went to your house (in Saint-Vincent de Paul, in Caen). I was hoping however that Saint Francis Xavier would answer our prayers, now I see he didn’t want to cure my dear Uncle, I’m praying to Saint Joseph. I’m counting the days that separate us until your trip to Lisieux, it’s with great pleasure that I see it approaching. Whatever you do, don’t take a return ticket, otherwise you will be caught out. [1 r° tv] I’m squeezing and squeezing my lines in and my piece of paper still isn’t big enough, I believe I’ve told you everything. There’s just one thing that I haven’t forgotten but which I’m saving for the end, which is that I love you both with all my heart.

Your little sister


Whatever you do, don’t forget to write to us often. Since Tuesday I’ve been watching out for the mail and I was beginning to be furious at the long wait but as the letter was addressed to me I’ve forgotten everything and have very much calmed down.

14th March 1889.


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