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To Mrs. James J. Winn
October 29, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]
Thursday morning at 6:30 (October 23d) your mother slipped on the floor near the door of the poolroom and fell backwards striking her back against the corner of a chair, which being against the wall did not give to the impact. She broke four ribs, the 8th to the 11th, and bruised a nerve in her back badly. Fortunately Clifton heard her fall and had the good sense to leave her on the floor with a pillow under her head. [The doctor came?] over at once, but he kept her on the floor for about two hours. Then they got her on a stretcher, took an X-ray in the house, and later that afternoon moved her to Walter Reed.
She has had a very painful time up to yesterday, but the possible complication of pneumonia did not develop. Yesterday morning they bound her up in tape and she was even able to sit up in a chair for a brief period. Up to that time, however, she could not move even a few inches without agonizing pain.
I have delayed writing to you until she was well out of the woods. I see her at noon each day, and Clifton goes out at night. She has had a day and night nurse, [but?] now only has a day nurse. Since yesterday’s taping she has made rapid improvement and is very cheerful, because of the relief from so much acute pain. I imagine there will be a great change in the next twenty-four hours. She had a good night last night and has cut down on codeine and things like that. I think that from now on it will be a matter of impatience to get away from the hospital, though I doubt if she leaves there for another ten days or two weeks. She has been deluged with flowers, but we have protected her from all visitors. [Malin] Craig got in to see her last night, with a very dainty negligee he had shopped for, and she is very proud of. I understand he is taking some satisfaction in informing kindly women who telephone him on various rumors, that he knows nothing about it.
I will keep you advised, but there is nothing now to worry about except the fact that she has had such hard luck.
For your own [sake?]—which you will ignore—the moral of this tale is, get rid of those damned high-heeled bed-room slippers with leather soles. I talked to you and your mother about this [week?] in and week out for years, and all I get are broken ribs. She gave me the devil on the subject just a week before the accident when I made them take up an Oriental rug in the living room where you step off to the porch from the dining room. She told me I was very difficult to live with. (Miss Young is defending the women now with a cynical smile.) However, you were worse than she was along these lines and you have ribs like she has—also expectations. This is a very hasty note.
With my love,
Document Copy Text Source: Research File, Family Folder, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr.(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 653-654.