D O C U M E N T 1 2 5 M A R C H 1 9 2 2 2 2 1 TRANSLATION Florence, 31 March 1922 Dear Mr. Albert (this way if I’m thinking of Michele’s friend) or Illustrious Professor! (if I’m thinking of the very famous scientist) I am writing to you to give you news of Maja, who will be unable for some time to write to you and is worried by the thought that you have heard almost nothing of her for a long time. I can tell this to you even better than Paul,[2] who had to go away from Florence just at the most serious point of the illness, that was about three weeks ago. At this point Maja had already been ill for 15 days, the thing began as a small crawling on the neck—but I think that it was poorly treated because it spread in an incredible way and turned into a boil that had to be cut four times.[3] I went to visit Maja at Fiesole on the 13th of this month (Paul had left on the 11th) and I found her very ill, with an enormous open sore on the nape of her neck from one ear to the other—so that it really frightened me. I saw the doctor, who consid- ered it to be truly dangerous. Maja was cared for by a nun who, however, did not stay there the whole day and by and large it seemed to me that Maja was quite poor- ly looked after for such a serious illness—(she had a fever over 39 every day)—So I found her a room right away in a nursing home here, near my house. Maja was happy about that and after two days was moved there, and since then I have seen her every day. At the nursing home she had the 4th cut right away, and was again very bad for some days, she suffered a lot, but around the 20th she started to feel better. It was exactly the day when her husband returned, who fortunately fully ap- proved of what I had done, having her moved to the nursing home. Meanwhile the doctor was not at ease for a few days more (he said that he had never seen such a boil in the 30 years he had been a doctor). The fever continued high.—Finally since only three days ago Maja has been completely out of dan- ger— the fever has gone down and the wound is starting to heal. Before being com- pletely cured, however, it will be yet another month, and I think that it wouldn’t be advisable for her to leave the nursing home before then, even if Maja is very wor- ried about having to stay there for so much time and not being able to go right away to put her new house in order. I think that you would make Maja very happy if you wrote to her soon she has been through a terrible time with this illness coming immediately after her husband’s[4] —she is a little sad and I know that she would very much like to have your letter. I send you Maja’s greetings—and mine—very cordially— Bice J. Rusconi Besso
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