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To Sister Nivedita
P.O. BELUR, HOWRAH,
12th November 1901.
MY DEAR MARGO [MARGOT],
Since the Durgâ Pujâ I have been very ill, and so could not reply to your letter earlier.
We had a grand Puja here of Durga, lasting nearly four days; but, alas, I was down with fever all the time.
We had a grand image, and a huge Puja it was. Then we had the Lakshmi Puja following close, and then night before yesterday, we had the Kali Puja. It is always after midnight â this Puja. I am better now, and we will find a house for you as soon as you come.
I am so glad you are accompanying Mrs. [Ole] Bull. She requires all care; and she always thinks of herself the last. Joe [Miss Josephine MacLeod] is coming to India shortly â at Christmas time with some Japanese friends. I am expected to meet her in Madras.
I am going off to the N.W.P. [North-Western Provinces] etc. soon, as Bengal is malarious â now that the rains are over.
Mrs. Bull has been a mother to us all, and any time and service spent for her is as nothing to what she has been doing for us all. Remain with her as long as she wants you â the work can wait well; "Mother" sees to her work. We needn't be anxious.
By the by, Miss [Henrietta] Müller is here in Calcutta. She wrote a letter to Akhandananda, with whom she has been in regular correspondence â care of the Math. So I sent some flowers and fruits and a letter of welcome to her hotel. I have not had a reply yet.
Mrs. [Charlotte] Sevier, I expect, has already started. Swarupananda had his heart weakened by the constant uphill and downhill. He is here and improving.
Things are going on well with us, slowly but surely. The boys of late have been very active, and it is work only that tells and nothing else.
Yours with all love and blessings,
To Sister Christine
The Math, P.O. Belur, Howrah,
25th November 1901.
It seems your bottle of nerve tonic did not do you much good, your assurances to the contrary. It must have been a curious error. I must have been down with fever or asthma or something else at that time. Still a thousand, thousand pardons. This was my first, and it will be my last, offence. Your letter that went to Miss [Josephine] MacLeod has not come back yet. Perhaps Miss MacLeod is bringing the letter with her, as she is coming over to India from Japan herself, accompanied by her Japanese converts (male, of course, as she is a lady missionary).
Well, well, I so wish things would so arrange themselves that I could see you once more. Mother knows. By the by, my right eye is failing me badly. I see very little with that one. It will be hard for me for some time either to read or write; and as it is getting worse every day, my people are urging me to go to Calcutta and consult a doctor. I will go soon, as soon as I recover from a bad cold I have on.
I am so glad you were so taken by Abhedananda; only I thought one Hindu was good for a lifetime.
Poor Miss Joe [Miss Josephine MacLeod]--so she remains ignorant as to the real cause of my not going over to Japan! You need not be the least anxious--there is no harm done; and if there were, Joe and especially Mrs. [Ole] Bull make it their life's duty to befriend those I love.
I will try your tonic when it arrives; and the gift, I pray, will even be followed by the giver, for surely a [words excised] . . . is more stimulating and healing than dead drugs.
With all love,