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Date: March 17th 1916

c/o of Mr. Geo. Harper. This is uncle Joe's address now.
Treevoon, St. Mervan,
St. Austell, Cornwall.
March 17, 1916.

Dear Mother: -

You will be surprised to see that I am in Cornwall and I am about as much surprised myself. But I got a wire last Tuesday 14th saying the old uncle Joe was probably dying and he wanted me to come as so I got leave at once and arrived here Wednesday night.

I am sitting in his room now. He is sitting up in bed and smoking his little old wooden pipe, for that seems to steady his nerves. He has improved so much since I came that I think he is going to get around again. He is here with some very good friends who have been very kind to him and who are going to keep him and not let him go back to his own cottage again.

I will not be able to tell you everything I want to in this letter as the old man wanted to talk to me all the time, but I have a lot I want to tell you later.

I was never so surprised in anyone as I have been in old Uncle Joe. He is a wonderful old man. A big man standing over 6 feet they tell me he is, when he is walking around, and everybody from one end of St. Austell to the other knows him and calls him Uncle Joe. As I walked through the town yesterday with Mr. Harper in whose home, Uncle Joe is staying hundreds of people I think, stopped stopped and asked how Uncle Joe was. People are coming to the door every hour and enquiring for him, although this is a mile and a half from town.

The old man has a wonderful constitution or he could never have lived through what he has. Two weeks ago today about 11 o'clock at night in his own little cottage, he started bleeding at the nose and it simply poured, from what I have heard. The old man tried to get help but everybody around was in bed. He became so faint that he fell down on the floor and lay there bleeding for an hour until somebody passing heard him groaning and went in. They got the doctor and they worked with him all night, and finally got the bleeding stopped. Then these people heard about it and sent for him to come out. The doctor brought the old man out in his car and then for three days the bleeding kept up, until Mrs. Harper telegraphed for me as he was almost gone, they thought. But he rallied again and when I got here he was quite bright and very anxious to see me.

Since then he has been getting stronger and hopes to get up again. He is never going back to his cottage again. These people won't hear of it, and I have told that if they will take care of him, we will do what we can to help them. They are related to Uncle Joe distantly through his first wife and they love him as though he was their father.

Old Uncle Joe is a wonderful old man to talk to. He has told me the whole history of his life, and it has been a hard one. He cannot talk enough about you and Cora and and everybody. He seems to know you all as well as though he has met you. He remembers every little detail and prizes snapshots and photos and everything he gets like a little child. He knows all that goes on although he cannot read at all now, for Mrs. Harper and others read to him. All the family, in fact all the children around St. Austell think there is nobody like him. They all call him Uncle Joe and flock around him to hold his hands as he walks down the street.

He wants me to send his love. He cannot say enough about the letters he gets and he always breaks into tears when he talks about your kindness. He jokes quite a lot with everybody too, never complains at all. He was telling me about Cora sending him a box of candy. He got her letter and Clara's on his 90th birthday and he told me to tell them that he is very fond of candy and is looking for that box that hasn't arrived yet.

I have more to tell you about the old man, the people and the beautiful country of Cornwall but have not got time now. I am going to town to get him a bunch of flowers. He is very fond of them.

Am going to write to Uncle Charlie and Aunt Etta too and tell them about my visit here and see if amongst us we cannot make the old man comfortable and help the people who are so good to him as they are very poor as well as old Uncle Joe.

For the present, I must close,

Your affectionate son

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