I returned Friday evening 24 having been absent since Sept. 1. After I came out of the woods I went up to Hillsboro to visit Gussie and her family where I remained until last Monday having had a very pleasant visit. I came to College Hill where I spent a day and a night. Alice and I went in to Boston to call on Mrs. Wil[?]ngton but she was ill in bed and could not see us. On Thursday I started for Nantucket to visit Eastman who was expecting me but misled by an advertisement in the paper I was too late for the boat, and [obscured] went again until Saturday I got [obscured] to N.Y. by the Fall River boat [obscured] morning. Breakfasted at my studio [obscured]. Mr. Wells told me he had let my parlor to Henry the artist if I did not object. Came home by the 4. P.M. train where all were glad to see me and where I am glad to be again after my long absence. The weather is cold and there is snow in the mountains. It snowed here Friday and we had the first severe frost of the season. Yesterday I was over at my house and spent an hour or two putting the wood in the wood house which was cut from the place this summer when I had the trees trimmed out. Julia, Nannie and Annie Lee who visiting at Johns were here at tea and spent the evening. Old Pach was very glad to see me and came out the house and lay on the floor looking at me with the greatest satisfaction. In all my welcome back there is still the vacant place which darling Gertrude filled and which is to know here no more on earth. Her memory grows tender and more sacred to me and my sense of her loss was never more sharp than it still is. Every thing connected with her grows holier in my eyes and the secret tears and the longing for her never forsake me. Today at the dinner table we were talking about growing old and I could not help giving expression to my dread of growing old with no children to interest themselves in me and no darling Gertrude to follow me into the vale of years. I never used to think much of these things but the sorrows of the past year have turned my thoughts in that direction. In New York I learned that John Weirs brother a lieutenant in the army had been killed by the Indians while out hunting. John was in New York the day before looking for me and Gifford. I went to his fathers house and saw Julian who told me that John and his brother Charles started for the West the evening before. I wrote to Mrs. Weir from my studio. Today has been a lovely cool bright day but I have been in the house most of the time except this evening when I went down to Johns with Julia. I wrote to Booth, to Pell and Mrs. Wellington and a note to the department of the Interior relative to a pension for Mr. Arnold one of my men in Co. H. Wrote to Janette in the evening.