January 2, 1892
|Siegelau, 2nd January, 1892
You must believe that I had completely forgotten you since you have not received an answer to your letter. You have no idea how that came about. I have had so much pain and sorrow this summer and have had to work so hard. Therefore I beg you to accept my apologies.
Your brother, Franz Anton, will have probably written you what misfortune he experienced this summer. On the 15th of July, before noon, around 10:30, he cut himself with the cutting knife (while adjusting a wagon*) in his left knee joint in such unfortunate manner that he almost lost his leg. The wound was deep and went into the joint, that is, the knee joint was cut too. We took him to the doctor immediately in the afternoon. When Doctor Vetter examined the wound carefully he explained it to be an extremely dangerous wound which could possibly mean the loss of a leg. He can not be taken home either; he has to stay in the hospital here. Thus we took him to the hospital after his leg had been bandaged and he had to stay there from the 15th of July to the 24th of October, that is 101 days in the hospital in Waldkirch.
You can well imagine how much he had to suffer there. For about six to seven weeks he had to lie stiffly in bed without the slightest movement. He lost so much strength that people who had not seen him for a long time were unable to recognize him. For about six to seven weeks, as often as I went to see him, he was always worse and weaker. Then he slowly improved, but his leg will remain stiff I am afraid. Now he can again do some work in the house. It would of course be very bad if the leg would remain completely stiff, particularly in the mountains and when just doing small chores.
How are you in America with your young wife? What is your little American doing? I hear that you want to lease a farm. I wish you all the happiness there is.
There is quite a scandal in Waldkirch. The Commerce Bank went bankrupt in consequence of bad management and poor investments. During the last few years the bank was in the hands of merchant Fahrenbach, who had been known as a notorious drunk for years and who died last year. The administration of the bank was transferred to the merchant, Mr. Busch, and now the fraud came to light. The bookkeeper disappeared. In all, about 400,000 to 500,000 marks will be lost, money shared by Waldkirch and its district. In Kollnau alone about 100,000 are supposed to be involved. As a result of that the mood in Waldkirch is pretty much down.
Teacher Walser of whom I have told you so much earlier, has already written again, and I had to send him you address. He will probably write you.
I wish to thank you for the photographs you sent us. I apologize again for my long silence, and now along with my regards to your wife and you as well as your little son, we wish all of you from the bottom of our hearts, a Happy New Year. May God give you happiness and his blessings in everything you undertake; health, peace and harmony, God willing. Once again, a Happy New Year from your father.
Fr. Anton Fahrlander
* Mr. Schweder thinks this involved a pole which was a means of adjusting the length of a wagon, and that the pole may have been under tension for this.