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The financial benefits of lecturing on spiritualism

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                                       Stockton, July 1st. 1887.
 My dear Annie
                          Yours announcing that you have at last let the house duly reached me here 3 days ago on my return from a short journey with John to see some more "Big Trees". I am very glad you have succeeded at last as it will give you & Violet a nice change, and if I should get home while it is still let it will not much matter as we can meet somewhere & have a  little holiday. I am delayed here by a very disagreeable and annoying illness. Just a week ago when I & John started for Santa Cruz I had a little swelling on my upper lip which I thought nothing of. It increased however rapidly till the lip swelled to double its size & became very painful besides making me look hideous. Returning home after 3 days it was so bad & so impossible to poultice  - for it was worst on the lower edge of the lip - that I had a doctor & he lanced it, but nothing came out but some dark blood - Since then I have been in the house with a large open ulcer on the edge of the lip swollen out so as to make it most difficult to eat or drink or to keep any thing on it as so tender and sore that nothing can be fastened on it. So I have been holding it in warm milk & water, half the day, & living on slop, and a spiritual friend has mesmerised it, & it is I think getting slowly better, as the size of the inflamed part is much reduced. As they say here, it is the meanest place possible to have anything like a boil.    When I am well I am going to Lake Tahoe & the Summit Station on the Sierra Nevada where I hope to get some good plants and ferns. When I got your letter I had a few ferns just brought from the Santa Cruz Big Trees, so I sent them to Miss Jekyll instead of to Mr. Marshall, as I thought they might not be attended to when he was away during the holidays. I have found now that the American post office people in County place do not know the rules as to the Foreign Sample Post, as I have just heard that some of my ferns &c. posted here when we returned from Yosemite two weeks ago has not been sent "because not stamped sufficiently" - whereas it was fully stamped. I think in the future it will be safer to put double stamps on so as to ensure no delay <..> or loss from this cause.    I sent you a "Golden Gate" with a reprint of my Spiritual lecture at<Washington> San Francisco and also one of our "wonderful séance" which has converted John and staggered all the family. Having finished my Scientific lectures here, & being offered very liberal terms for one on  Spiritualism I thought I might as well accept it & gave it to an audience of over 100, & received $.140,- more than I have ever had for scientific lectures. This has led to a  request to deliver it at Chicago on my way home where I shall get probably as much, so that Spiritualism will pay better than Nat.[ural] Hist.[ory] In this place there are 5 doctors who are all Spiritualists, besides lots of other people. I enclose 3 spec.[ies] of ferns as samples of what grows in the mountains here. No.1. I think I sent in the lot from Yosemite with two or three others allied to it. No.3. I sent in the last lot, many specimens - but I fear they will only grow in pots as there is no post where it grew. The Yosemite lot ought to be hardy. They like plenty of sand and stones. The weather is now fearfully hot and the sun glowing here. When it is only 90o in the house we can call it cool! I am now more than ever convinced of California being a wretched county to live in, though with a nice lot of, say 160 acres of the Redwood forest looking over the Pacific, a most lovely and enjoyable place might be made where everything would grow, even better than Guernsey. At Santa Cruz there are masses of scarlet geraniums 10 feet through and 5-6 high. They grow like weeds, & all the Australian and Cape plants grow as fine as in their native country. The Redwood forests on the Western Slope of the Coast range of Mountains are the finest I have seen for beauty and variety. The two large trees at the entrance to a house above the Cemetery are "Redwoods", I think. They grow 300 feet high and nearly as big as the other "Big Trees". The name is Sequoia sempervirens.  It was too late there for the Spring flowers, and those in bloom were poor. Our blue Ceanothus or one almost exactly like it, formed much of the underwood in the forests.
                                            Your affectionate husband
[signed]                                   Alfred R. Wallace


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