Aug 11th Monday Had a new girl come to day to assist some about
the house and help me sew. Went to assist Mrs Holmes
found her sick abed and alone her aunt Clifford
left her as sick as she is. She must be an unfeeling
woman Mr Holmes went to Canton with the team and
will try to get his mother for a few days. Julia Waters
did up the work this morning This afternoon she has
been all alone with Willie I made her bed for her at night
Harriet Holmes, Evelina’s neighbor, continued to be quite ill. Evelina and others looked after her, including an aunt who departed her post before a new helper arrived, earning Evelina’s stern disapproval. As Harriet had a toddler, Willie, to look after, the aunt leaving her alone was not only “unfeeling,” but negligent.
Help was on the way. Harriet’s husband, Bradford, drove a team – of oxen, most likely – to Canton to fetch his mother. Before they returned, Evelina made fresh the sickbed, as she had done on other nights. Harriet would be tended to.
And this morning, even as Jane McHanna wrestled with the weekly wash, a “new girl” entered the Ames household to help with the chores and the sewing. That must have brightened Evelina’s Monday.
* Louis Lang, The Invalid, 1870, oil on board, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Walter deForest Johnson.