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Later “Dory Ann” wrote, taking how—'cause that'll fetch him out when “Bud” to task:
everything else fails!" DEAR BUD,-Do you know that you ought
So you write and cheer him up — even to get a whipping because you did not go to when you are visiting. Ånd next time he the Longfellow dinner? Aunt Edith was writes he'll be a-feeling more like his old there and she brought me home the pro
se'f. All best greetings to everyone. gramme and where the guests sat and the
As ever your old friend menu and the best comes last—the best
Bud. picture I have ever seen of Mr. Longfellow. No wonder he is called the “Children's Poet” because he has such a kind face. I think that you are like him because all the children love you. I am one. Of course you are not so old as Mr. Longfellow. ...
In this letter, as in most of them, “Dory Ann” begged the poet to come to New York for a visit. Perhaps the poet remained away for a purpose, knowing the illusion of “Bud” and “Dory Ann” could be maintained only if the grown man were not intruded.
Once the poet, who was having his troubles, wrote to ask the little girl for a cheering letter:
DEAR DORY ANN,Here is a 'tend-like letter from Bud, who is a-waiting here till his Publisher gets back from luntch, where he must be a-eat TWO “PLAYMATES' OF THE POET CALLING TO CELEBRATE A BIRTHDAY ing like a' Orphant-Child,
All three were born on October 7 he stays so long! As usual, Bud is behind time with everything till it just seems he The next Christmas “Dory Ann” cain't never catch up again no more! And sent word of her delight in various he's a confirmed hoodoo, everything he wants Christmas presents, especially a box of and tries to a-complish he just can't. So
snow-white letter-paper. he thinks of hisse'l about like your Aunt
you see, thinks of him,-that he's a-getting to be not
she explained, in thanking him, “I am a youngster no longer, but a real shore-'nuff writing on your note-paper which I can "Oldster.” And that's just what I 'spect
think better on than on the other. It he is! His friends, though, all tries to in is getting to be an old story asking currage him, and says “He's all right, and when you are coming to New York, the clouds is all got silver linings, and it's but I am going to keep it up until you a long lane, and Onward Christian Soldier, come.” and why don't he try Christian Science any In July, 1910, Riley suffered a
stroke from which he only partially re remembrance of birthdays, Easters, and covered. Because of his disabilility Christmases, just as the most devoted the poet could not write with his hand lover would remember his sweetheart, now, but he sent his letter and the usual might lead one to forget that this was Christmas box.
one of many whom he remembered, if
not with letters, with thoughtful and Dear Dory ANN,- I got your good letter fitting gifts. In words that revealed and am glad and proud of your ability as genuinely his devotion to the child ideal, a letter writer as well as a sufferer and an
Riley wrote: invalid in your last possession of the malady of housemaid's knee. Like myself, you are
Youth like Dory Ann's should not be gradually exhausting the ills that human fesh is heir to, but I have the pleasure of
curbed-in all truth her letters delight me
and send the sometimes glowering clouds of attaining an attack beyond any affliction of
age a-scuddin?! As you observe of the yours, since my latest visitation is the rare affliction of bone-erysipelas of my immortal
real rural scenes and people vanishing, soul. And until you reach that you must
“Life is being syndicated,” and I think we acknowledge my superiority in especial ought to foster a!l the child elements of it suffering.
in particular. Therefore I pray that full With best love and greetings to your
permission be granted to our ever blithe mother and your Aunt Edith, I am
and youthful Dory Ann to write letters and Your faithful old friend
draw pictures for my delectation forever
and a day. She is of the only true Elect Bud.
of earthly Joy. No yet overawing ambiAnd so went the letters back and
tions; no hopes beyond all hope of fulfillforth, and the little girl grew up and
ment; no dreams prohibited; no unavailable
MISS. dead certain! At least, as Bud Riley age crept upon the loving poet who
estimates them. So tell her to write to me found it increasingly difficult to keep --and I'll write,--though even now I owe up with the letters. Reading these let
her a letter; but very soon it shall be in ters, written with care and thoughtful her friendly hands.
BY ALICE DUER MILLER
HE house is empty, and the garden alley,
A shadowed aisle of linden and of yew,