Saturday, June 30, 2012

What? Another Christmas Letter?!

Tucked inside a letter bearing much the same greeting as the one found and posted yesterday was a two-page note from another correspondent. While the cover letter was signed, again, by Father Hennessy, it bore no date of its own, though the stationary boasted an imprint declaring “Silver Valley”—as if that were a proud announcement with a significance all would acknowledge. Inside Father Hennessy’s letter, the enclosed second message is dated—February 19, 1873—and reveals the return location to be, simply, Oakland.

That enclosed message we will reserve for tomorrow’s post. Why it was coupled with this letter from Father Hennessy is not clear, for the cover note was composed during the Christmas season, though the enclosure was not written until February. Perhaps Catherine Malloy Tully, the recipient of both letters, chose to tuck the one inside the other even though the two bore no connection. Perhaps that task was done by her daughter, Agnes Tully Stevens, who passed the two letters along. Whether the “much haste” spoken of by Father Hennessy was related to the matter in the enclosed letter or not, there is still much missing from this story.

                                                            519 W. Indiana St

My dear Mrs. Tully.
            From my heart I wish you, John and all a very holy, Merry and happy Xmas.
                                                            W. S. Hennessy.

Pardon much haste. Also my ignorance of your correct address.

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