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Jeannette Hulme Platt1858-10-01Cyrus PlattRose Hill, MO38.6327904-94.0691092I am not sure this will go to the office to day. "Hickory Grove" (the post-office) is some four miles distant. When Willie learns the way he will be post-boy.Our ride to St. Louis was long--all day and night to 4 o'clock in the morning of Wednesday. The cars are very wide, and seats comfortable. You know I can curl up like a kitten, and can make a bed of one seat as nicely as on a parlor sofa. Indeed, it seemed that I gathered strength and improved all the way from Lancaster. Monday I could not sit up, but lay down on the seat all the way to Cincinnati; was carried in and out of the cars; but I feel better now.We went to the "Planters' House," St. Louis, for breakfast, and left by the North Missouri Railroad for Wright City. Here Aunt S----, and "Sam," with his wagon, met us, and we arrived safely at Rose Hill about 5 o'clock P. M. We did not think well of Indiana. Illinois we passed over in the dark. The great prairies in the moonlight reminded me of the ocean and its vastness. There was cultivation everywhere, not unlike passing through Ohio. Some elegant residences in the suburbs of St. Louis, and richly cultivated grounds. But all this was left behind as we went on; crossed the great Missouri River in a steam ferry-boat. The face of the country is most beautiful, such rich pasture lands and beautiful wooded spots here and there. Cousin S---- insists that "Missouri is the most beautiful country she has ever seen." But I do not quite agree with her. I should put on more hills and add other varieties to suit my taste, though it is greatly superior to anything we have seen yet on this trip.Dearly as I wanted to see Aunt Sarah, I had a sort of dread of her Missouri home. This feeling did not lessen as we drove through the woods and over the prairies for six miles, and saw the rude log-houses and rude improvements. Judge, then, of the astonishment and delight when, coming through a bit of woods, her home stood before us, the very sweetest, neatest, beau-ideal of a country house ever seen anywhere. Built of wood, painted white, projecting roof, with "curly-cues" all round its edge, a portico-- 116 --in front, embowered with honeysuckle and climbing roses, with seats to lounge on after dinner. Green shutters, and all fresh and clean, as if only painted yesterday. A spacious lawn all round, ornamented with the choicest shrubs and evergreens, interspersed with clumps of native forest trees; the whole inclosed with a neat paling fence, with clean-kept gravel walks leading from the door. In front a little gate leads into the "park," and this spot is the most beautiful of all,--a real park of native forest, trimmed out to suit the taste, with here and there some native cedars planted, to give variety and greenness through the winter. Through this the carriage drives to the house from the public road, entering by a large gateway. On one side of the lawn stand old apple-trees loaded with choice fruit, the ground covered with fallen apples. Also peaches, finest "Late Heath," and large red varieties; butter pears, too,--luscious, such as I have never seen west of Philadelphia markets. Oh, how I have wanted to put some to your mouth--fill your hands and pockets.Behind the house is Aunt S----'s well-tilled garden, very large, and full of everything, from borders of choicest flowers to musk melons and onions, sage and salsify. There is no house in sight, or sound of a neighbor. Solitude reigns, yet no solitude at all, for the birds and insects, katydids, crickets and grass-hoppers, bumblebees and yellow-jackets, wasps and butterflies, are jumping, springing, flying, and singing all over and everywhere. (I took a wasp out of my bed last night, not admiring such company, though I am lonely at night.)The furniture of the house compares favorably with out door "improvements," having been transported from the Jerseys. You remember aunt's well-kept and even beautiful hair-seat sofa, working chairs, etc. There is a parlor, large dining-room, study, kitchen, pantry, wash-room, with etceteras below, and seven sleeping-rooms above, neatly finished and furnished.Such is part of the sunny side of this home. The shady side is the condition of the society around. How they all want Cyrus Platt to move his family here! There is a neat farm, Aunt S---- says, she has her "eye on for you." You must certainly all see this spot, dear husband.I feel much stronger this morning. I lay down and rested most of yesterday, and talked to uncle and all as fast as tongue could go! Paper is full, with much unsaid.-- 117 --I am so grateful for all the deliverances of our journey, and all the health and "well-doing" you and the dear children have enjoyed in my absence. I shall ever feel deeply indebted to cousin Sarah for this trip, so profitable to my health.