The suspense, the anticipation, are staggering. All I can dream of is standing on the bow of the formidable R.M.S. Titanic, the salty vapors of the Atlantic blanching my complexion, the cold briny zephyrs causing my wispy frame to melt into Horace's arms. Ah, well, naught to be done but wait half a dozen more fortnights. In the meanwhile, I have been distracting my psychic meanderings by gazing upon photographs of yore. I should like to share two personal favorites with the reader.
My brother, Archibald Pierce van Seethinbottom, aged half a decade.
And me, at the same sitting, aged 6. The occasion for the photographs was this: I was temporarily deprived of my wretched maidservant, Orpha, for this was the third time she had contracted diphtheria and she was quarantined with the pigs and other contagious servants on a farm about a dozen furlongs distant. I was livid at her selfishness in failing to avoid miasmal air and so sickening herself, thus forcing Mamá or one of my sisters to curl my ringlets, tighten my corsets, tidy my playthings, and drive my play rickshaw (the former, of course, they refused to do, and so I was left rickshaw-less for the duration of Orpha's illness). Mamá decided to cheer me up by taking brother Archibald (whose manservant, Albert, was quarantined with polio) and me on a trip to the Adirondacks, during which time we both sat for photos. So the wretched Orpha's bout with diphtheria had a happy ending for me after all! (Not, though, for Orpha, who to this day experiences tingling in the extremities due to her manifold exposures to the dreaded disease.)