Novr. 5th 1894
My dear Violet,
I cannot risk the insects in the two show boxes by post. I had rather you took one of them back with you at 'Xmas for a term. I send you however some of the shells, showing the chief varieties of form. Also a live beetle in the blue chip box. It is a very pretty burying beetle & you will find the account of its habits in Wood. It was on a creeper on the House, perhaps looking for a place to hibernate. I think it buries things only in spring. The trap-door nest is large & heavy & wants careful packing, & the spider is dried & broken & wants carefully relaxing & mending to show everything. This you can do at 'Xmas.
Miss Heaton is very thin & parchment looking. I had only a few minutes as I was in the midst of a game at chess when she called. You can write & thank her at 'Xmas as the Usherwoods will know her address.
The books you want for the Examination you can surely get, as a teacher, at reduced price. Ask Eleanor about it. Then I will pay for them. As to your K.[inder] G.[arten] you must pass your final exam...first,& not be in a hurry. Selling "Nutwood" is now out of the question except to buy another house if as good or better value, as it brings in an income of say £50 clear, & these two houses from the chief part of what Ma will have to live on after I am gone "to the land of life and beauty", - &then there will be a house each for you & Will, at all events.
I have had dreadful news from California. My poor brother,
about6 months back, had tumours on the face & neck, which were
cancerous. They had to be cut out at a hospital at
San Francisco, & either it had been left too long or was badly
done, but they cut the nerves so that he cannot open one eye &
can hardly move his jaw to eat, & besides all this the cancer
is not got rid of but will grow again. He has only had one illness
before all his life. None of our family has ever had cancer that I
ever heard of, so I impute it to that horrid vaccination. My eyes
are better, but I cannot read at night yet. Be very
careful in your
Your affectionate Papa
[signed] Alfred R. Wallace.
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