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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Chapter III
After this things went from bad to worse. Everybody knew that things were all wrong at the rectory and everybody did what they could to be helpful. A very nice girl offered to come and live with me as a paying guest in order that I might have someone in the home but in due time she got scared though she stayed with me right through. The field next the rectory was constantly plowed, day after day, and when (from curiosity) I asked a man who was plowing it why it was being done so constantly, he told me that a group of men had decided that I ought to have somebody within call so they took turns in plowing the field. The girls at the telephone exchange discovered the situation and made a practice of calling me up at intervals to find out if I was all right. The doctor who had taken care of me when Ellison was born was very greatly concerned and made me promise every night to hide the carving knife and axe under my mattress. The feeling was getting abroad that Walter Evans was not sane. I remember one night waking up and hearing a man go rapidly out of my room and down stairs. It was just the doctor who had looked in to see if I was all right. So again, you will see kindness surrounded me. I was, however, deeply humiliated and my pride was very sorely wounded.

One morning a friend called me up and asked me to bring the three children over for the day, saying that she would fetch me. I went and we all had a very good time. When I got back, however, I found Walter Evans had been sent to San Francisco and put under observation by a physician and psychiatrist there in order to find out whether be was mentally right or not. Fortunately for me, the doctor [116] decided he was bad and not mad and that he was suffering from nothing worse than a completely uncontrolled temper. In the meantime, Ellison had been taken frightfully ill with "cholera infantum" and no hope was held out for her recovery. I remember so well a blazing hot summer's day, during that dreadful time. Ellison was lying dangerously ill on a quilt on the floor whilst the other two children were playing in a neighbor's yard. My doctor drove up and came into the house with a baby in his arms, followed by a tall, pretty woman looking fit to be in a hospital. He said he had brought the baby for me to care for and would I put the mother to bed and take care of her too? Of course I did, and for three days I had two sick babies on my hands and a sick woman - too sick, ill and depressed to be able to care for her child. I did all I could, but the baby died in my arms. Nothing could save her, and she had expert skill on the doctor's part and I am a good nurse. That doctor was a wise man; he knew that I had all I could handle in my own home situation but needed to learn that I was not alone in trouble, that other people had as bad troubles as I, and that I was capable of a much greater expenditure of energy than I believed. The wisdom and profound psychological knowledge of the small town general practitioner is to me completely amazing. They know people; they live lives of sacrifice; they are skilled from vast experience; they handle emergencies swiftly and adequately, for they have no one to rely on but themselves. Personally, I am deeply indebted to the doctors - in cities and villages - who have been my friends as well as my physicians.

I was advised to take Ellison after this up to San Francisco to the Children's Hospital and see if something could be done. Ellison Sanford took the two other children, in spite of the fact she had four of her own, and I went north [117] with the baby. The doctors at the hospital told me that she could not possibly live, and there I had to leave her and go back to look after the other two children. I will not enlarge upon the difficulty of that episode. Those who have children will understand. I never expected to see her again, but miraculously, she did recover and was brought back to me by her father who had also been dismissed from observation with a clean bill of health. There is nothing humorous in any of this, is there? and I don't feel hilarious talking about it.

A most peculiar and difficult year now confronted us. It was impossible for the Bishop to give Walter Evans a charge. The only funds we had were largely exhausted, and my very small income, owing to the world war, was now but a trickle of money. When Walter had gone to San Francisco I was left with three children and lots of bills. He had no sense of money; cash that I might give him, or that was part of his stipend to be spent on current bills, would be spent by him on non-essential luxuries. He would leave the home to pay the monthly grocer's bill and return with a gramophone.

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