Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Tsai Shou Kie, Tientsin, October 4, 1923

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Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Tsai Shou Kie, Tientsin, October 4, 1923


Letter from Alfred E. Stearns to Tsai Shou Kie, Tientsin, October 4, 1923


October 4, 1923
Mr. Tsai, Shou Kie
81 Council Road
Tientsin, China

My dear Mr. Tsai:

Thank you for your letter of August 29, just received. The two thousand dollars gold referred to was duly received by me from the International Banking Corporation in New York. There was no intimation, however, as to the name of the sender, and, as several of my Chinese wards reside in Tientsin, I did not feel absolutely sure that the money came from you until your letter arrived. But I assumed as much at the start and, on the strength of this assumption, credited the sum to Kuo Fang’s account and paid up a few bills that had been for some tine overdue. I wrote to the New York office of the Bank but found that they were seemingly as much in the dark as I as to the sender. They offered to cable, but I advised them that this would probably be unnecessary.

Kuo Fang is back with us once more and for the final year. He tried to gain admission to Amherst College this fall but failed by a small margin, his work in English being the chief obstacle. I talked with the Dean over the telephone and, as he agreed with the opinion expressed by my brother and those who had worked with the boy in camp during the summer that another year of preparation was really needed, I have consented to this arrangement and have urged Kuo Fang to do his best to round out his course at Andover this year in a way that will do him credit and that will bring him increasing satisfaction in the years to come. 

I am interested in the latest news of the other boys. Give them my warmest regards, please. If Kuo Tsao comes to America, as suggested, tell him that I shall certainly count on seeing him. Assure him, too, that the latch string is always out for him at my home.

By the way, can you possibly give me a little light on a puzzling problem? Last spring, or to be exact about the first of June, I received from one of our boys the enclosed clipping from a newspaper. In spite of the somewhat different name, I decided that this must be our old and mutual friend, C. L. Chow, who was so good to me when I was in China some ten years ago and whose boy I had labored over, unsuccessfully I regret to say, when he had been placed in my charge a year or two after that. Not knowing the American address of the visitor, I telegraphed to him in care of the Chinese Legation in Washington, wrote him again at that address, and did my best to get in touch with him. I offered as an extra inducement a special trip to Exeter to see the annual baseball game. This was in June and except for this newspaper clipping I have never heard a word to indicate that Chow was in this country. I am wondering whether the whole story is a myth, though it doesn't sound quite like that. If Jr. Chow did come to America, I should be disappointed indeed if he left without giving me a chance to see him and to try to repay some of the courtesies extended by him to me in China and which to this day stand out as the pleasantest memories of my whole trip.

Ever sincerely yours.


Alfred E. Stearns


Phillips Academy


October 4, 1923


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