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From Marie Guérin to Mme La Néele - August 20, 1893.

From Marie Guérin to Mme La Néele - August 20, 1893.

Dear little Jeanne,

It is my turn now to come and present you with my best wishes for a happy feast day, but unfortunately I have no umbrella to offer you. With that in view I will give you my affection which will protect you better [lv°] than the most beautiful of umbrellas ever could, and not against the rain, but against a rain of insults and affronts, if ever you should receive any.

Is my compliment a good one, my dear little Jeanne? It should have even more charm in your eyes, being written on this pretty pink paper, which, through its colour, is a sign of my heart’s tenderness for you. But let’s get back to our famous umbrella (Mrs. La Néele had bought it in Evreux for Marie for her feast day -15th August)…… Yesterday was a triumphant day for it; [2r°] it walked the streets of Lisieux and I’m not at all exaggerating when I say than more than one person looked at it enviously. Luckily, I didn’t come across Toinette on the way, because I believe she would have almost swallowed me with rage, seeing that I hadn’t bought the famous object from her shop.

But it was not in the streets that the admiration was the greatest. In people’s houses I was on the point of seeing my umbrella taken away. The whole family was delighted with it, the Carmelites especially. Ah! What a lovely umbrella! What a lovely umbrella!... I do fear that it will make me lose my head. In the evening of the day before yesterday, the day of our return to our native town, Alexandre was forced to run after my pretty umbrella at 9 o’clock in the evening. It had been bundled up with all the others and forgotten in the carriage, I could only go to bed and sleep peacefully once I had found it.

You see, my dear little Jeanne, what a lot of problems and what a lot of emotions your present has already caused me, I have told you about all these incidents because first and foremost this umbrella was the result of your sweat and tears. [1 r° tv] I will leave you now, my dear little Jeanne, by renewing all my wishes and enclosing those of Uncle Martin who has just asked me to wish you a happy feast day on his behalf.

Your little sister

Marie

I send my love to Francis and thank him again for my very accident-prone umbrella.

Marie the maid has asked me to wish you a happy feast day, she thanks you for the money you sent via Mama.

[2v°tv] In my absent-mindedness, I forgot the principal reason for my letter. Please accept on my behalf and that of Céline the money for the frame for your bridal crown.

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