[The handwriting is difficult to read at several points in this letter.]
From Birmingham [postmark]. Ludlow received Tooth’s kind present and is much obliged for the same. They were without any money at all, as is sometimes the case, so the dollar was particularly useful as were the other things. Ludlow very much wished to write back but her sister had put ‘collect’ on her return from Leamington to spend one night with the Ludlows. Her sister is in a bad state of health ‘but has returned to the old ship [Methodism] again & meets with Mr Gill’. ‘She is kept [unreadable word] or I would have mentioned her returning the 100L [libros – pound stirling] out of 300 for [unreadable word] he can neither spare his wife nor us anything’.
They have had many trials lately. During the ten years they have lived on Suffolk Street, they have experienced [physical] affliction and lack of business, so that they have built up one years rent arrears and the landlord, himself being in a poor state of health, wished the debt settled. They managed to get someone to join them in a promissory note for twelve months but when the time came, he let them down. They did not know what to do – their friend Mrs Turton had just lost more than £100 to a person who she had lent it to and everyone else had enough trouble themselves, but the Lord assisted them by sending the Ludlows plenty of work, so that within a month they were able to clear half the debt. They are now conformably settled in Exeter Row very near to ‘our shopping’ which makes it very convenient as Ludlow needs to be constantly in attendance at the shop.
Ludlow hopes to see Tooth this Spring. She has been unable to see Mr Borrow regarding the shares – she supposes that Tooth has not heard from him again. If Tooth wants Ludlow her to make any further enquiry, she should not hesitate to ask.
The woman said that Tooth has been ill with the flu. Ludlow would like to know if she is fully recovered. The flu is now raging here also.
Her children are well. The two oldest are firm teetotal and the [unreadable word] seems to ‘be striving powerfully with the second’. Yesterday he looked very sad and when Ludlow asked for the reason, he said ‘I am thinking about God. I feel he is very angry with me.’
It is time for Ludlow to go to class and she must therefore conclude. Her love should be passed to Miss Haselwood and Rebecca. She supposes that Mr Harper is close to death.
Ludlow never hears or sees anything of [Ann] Jordan. Ludlow’s husband [William] very much wants her to ‘accept of a class [become a class leader] but I do not think I am called to do it’.