Tuesday, Oct 28, 1884 It has been cloudy and warm and rained a little. I went over to my studio after I had dressed my father and commenced a picture 15x18 from one of this falls pencil sketches. While I was at work Minnie came over and a very excited voice called to me to come quick as something dreadful was the matter. I ran out in the rain without my hat thinking something had occurred to my father. "No" she said "over at Mr. Girards.["] There I found the house in a tumult and the garret filled with smoke and a strong smell of burning paper or rags. I feared the fire was under the floor and had Mary telephone[?] to Girard to send an engine up as I feared the fire would soon break out. The upshot was that at last we found fragments of burned paper and sticks near the chimney in a depression and it turned out that the children had been playing there and had built a fire in a piece of stove pipe and which they had finally trampled out themselves. It was about a miracle they had not set the house on fire. Meanwhile the fire bells rang and a wild horde of boys came pouring up our side hill and swarming all over the place, the evil birds of prey who start out on every such occasion. Girard came driving up expecting to see his house in flames, although we had countermanded the order for the engine. A hose carriage came up and the engines were at the foot of the hill. The rabble then devoted itself to the apples trees but I started it off and went to work again but it spoiled my day and gave me a shock of anxiety, for it is the second time this fall I have been called over to Girards in haste, once to put out a burning kerosene lamp which had caught fire within. Sara had a letter from Lucy the first since she had heard of my fathers illness. He seemed very despondent today, not that he is not improving but he makes no resistance and does not make the least effort to help himself. He could easily dress and undress only he will not and this makes it so difficult to take care of him. Lucy is debating about coming but I hardly believe she will. It would be difficult for her to break up her household.