Atascosa, Bexas Co. Texas. Tuesday, June 16, 1885 My Dear Father, Your letter of the 10th inst. rec'd this A.M. and very glad to hear from you again. We are in about our usual health. I think Adah has gained a little more in spite of herself. We all continue to have excellent appetites. We have all the green corn, water mellons and peaches that we can possibly eat. Yesterday we had another "cotton tail" rabbit for dinner which I shot. Tomorrow we have three more hens come off with little chickens. I guess we have had our last rain for the season, as it has not rained for nearly three weeks, and it has been so hot that gren stuff is beginning to dry up. For a week or more the thermometer has registered from 94° to 97° in the daytime. But there is one great blessing which comes with this great heat; there is almost con- stantly blowing a splendid S.E. breeze, so as we sit in the shade under some tree, or in our big room with all our windows and doors open, we can keep quite comfortable. Adah scolds about the heat in her way, and baby feels it some, but Horace and I are not troubled much about it. I am sure I suffered more in B. with a temperature of 87° than I do here with it at 97°. ______________________________________________ 2 We don't pretend to do anything after dinner but lay around and read or sleep. About 5 o'clock we venture out again. Two week ago Uncle rigged an old canvas wagon cover up over one end of the back piazza (or "gallery" they call it here) on the east side, so we have the table set out there for all our meals so we get the full benefit of the breeze and avoid the heat of the kitchen stove. Yesterday P.M. we took our "go bang" board out there and had several games. I still continue to rec'. the papers you send. Although of not so recient a date I like them much better than the local papers. I rec'd a "Sunday Globe" from one of the store boys, Frank Hanie. Through a Vt. paper rec'd today we learn of the deathof our Mr. Sanborn. He went home none too soon. A wolf made off with another of our hens last week, and some of our neighbors comlain of them. One man misses from 12 to 18 hens. They never trouble during the day, only at and soon after day- break. I have got up at 4-30 four mornings in succession but have seen nothing of him. We know he has been around, but the remains of watermelons left behind in the patch. They can tell a ripe melon every time. They are the ordinary prarie wolf. There are not enough of them about here to run in packs. There are seldom more than two together, and _________________________________________________ 3 generally only one. Our dogs are only the ordinary black and tan dogs, and are N. G. as watch dogs. If people would only keep their poultry shut up for an hour after sun rise they would avoid any loss by the wolves. I wish that you might see the little ones just now; they can never be more interesting. Baby will walk all around the room by placing her hands on a chair and we drag the chair. She likes to stand in that way and continually calls to "_tam _up". When she has wet her didie we have called her a "naughty baby", so now when she fails to call for "chair-chair', she will call out "naughty didies." While upon this subject I might say that in the cow pen the other night Horace says "See Auntie, cow sit down chair-chair." I am sorry Clinton's good luck does not hold out as it commenced. I take it that he has not laid up any money yet if he is still obliged to borrow. Adah rec'd a postal from him today. I intend to write to him very soon. Aunt Clair did not offer us a part of her house in which to go house keeping for our- selves. She told us we were welcome to remain with her, as we now are, just as long as we wished until we could do better. The house is not _conviently arranged for additions, and we would rather get away just a short distance anyway I surmise that Aunt Clair's tongue ________________________________________________ 4 and cooking contribute largely towards Adah's homesickness. Auntie is very kind indeed, and trys hard (her way) to make it pleasant for us. But Aunt Ann was right when she said "Clair was a _little cracked". Her tongue is on the go most of the time. She is apt to stretch a story and to overestimate. She is always sure of impossibilities, and will groan terribly over her various little aches. But she is most always good natured, and is attached to us, and while the tongue is not so very very bad, we had rather be just out of hearing most of the time. She thinks she is an excellent cook, and p[ossibly is for this country, but we are accustomed to much better, and were it not for the variety on her table to select from together with excellent appetites we should often go hungry. As a sample I will speak of the meat; be it beef, chicken or rabbit, it is always cooked to death so it is dry as a chip. Instead of boiling the cornon the cob, she will cut it off and fry it, and generally it is half raw. I think we might grow fat, if we could manage our own cooking. Mr. O'Connor is to stay this month tho. _perhaps longer. He takes his meals with us but Mrs. O'C. and Bertha and Bennie eat down at the "little house". They do their cooking out of doors. They cannot like that way of living very long, only till fall anyway. _______________________________________________ 5 I am undecided just what to do at present. If the O'Connor's do not leave after this month and I do not raise any more money from another source, I think I shall try in town for a situation. I have concluded that a house of merely rough boards without some sort of inside finishing will prove rather too cold even in this climate. _I could stand it well enough, but I hesitate on account of Adah and the babies. If the little house is soon to be vacant, I can add on another room and sheath the inside with matched boards and have a cosy little home at an expense of about $75.00 But I am waiting for an ans. from Auntie Clark. I have written asking her if she can loan me $100.00 If she can let me have it I can get along swimingly. I hope to tell you the result by the next time I write. Lumber is very cheap for this locality. It has fallen from 25.00 to 15.00 Yesterday I had a nine mile horse back ride over to Sacoste and back. It is the nearest station on the other R.R. (The Sunset). _______________________________________________ 6 Horace drew in a _long breath a few minutes ago and sais- "Horace tired". I guess this will do for a letter this time so will close, with love to you both from Adah and Your affct. son Fred. W. Cheney.