Page 14 Benjamin Lafayette Smith letters, etc.
                 Cousin Mack I reckon I can tell you the reason why you do not write to me; I ex-
                 pect it is because you pay a little too much attention to the boys up in that
                 neighbourhood, do you not?
                 Mr. Woods stopped teaching week before because the measles were about to get in-
                 to his school and he was afraid that he would catch them.
                 Generally I believe we all have been well except the baby, it has been sick about
                 2 months, and was very sick for awhile, but I believe it is going to get well
                 now, at least I hope so.
                 It is getting bedtime cousin and I believe I have told you all of the news, so
                 good bye. From your affectionate cousin
                                                     Benj L. Smith
                 I believe I have a little more to write you yet. Tell cousin Martha that I
                 have been looking for a letter from her a good while, but have not received any
                 yet. Tell her if my notion strikes me to write to her l will do it and if it
                 does not I will not do it, so she had not better wait.
                 I Was at a fine wedding about the middle of September. It Was Mr. Edmonds and
                 Miss Carrie Harnesberger [Hornsberger] that were married.
                 I suppose you have heard in this time that uncle Berry’s youngest child was dead.
                                                  Lovndes Co. Miss Dec. 6th l857
                 Dear Bob (Toland)
                        Before you started off you asked me to write to you and tell you how
                 Woods got on teaching. He is just about such a teacher as Smith I think, only
                 he does not whip half as much as he did. Two boys left him last week. Last
                 Wednesday Joe Howorth & Charlie Baskervilie had a sort of fight and Woods told
                 them that he would settle up with them that evening. When the time came he
                 called them up and told them that he did not know how to settle it, whether to
                 give one ten and the other 15, or give both of them 15. He asked Charlie how
                 many did he think that he ought to have he told that he did not know. He asked
                 Joe how many could be take — Joe told him none. He asked him could he not take
                 15—no, 10-no, 5-no, and then Woods told that he would settle with them Friday.
                 He dismissed and after he got off a little, Tom Maya, Penn & Thad Hollowell
                 about five times apiece (hollered) "I knowed he would not whip them."  Next
                 morning Woods came in and asked who it was. The boys told him, and he called
                 them up and whipped them. When recess came, Tom like a fool left, instead of
                 leaving before he whipped him. Friday Joe took his seat by the door and just
                 before playtime, he told them that he would settle with them. Joe took his hat
                 and left. Joe had said all the time that he was not going to take a whipping.
                 Wood got hold of it, and told him that if he runned that he would catch him.
                 When Joe ran he never did a thing. He played shinny with us all the time most,
                 and when he got on the rong side the boys would say shinny Roods [Woods?]. 
                The boys would not call him by his name nor Mr. him either. So many of the boys got
                 hurt that he stopped us from playing. We played chicky-ham last week and he
                 played with us. When he could not catch anybody to ride he would run and jump
                 on somebody that was riding one, and somebody would jump on him. I could set
                 here and write to you all day about Woods, but he is so no count l will not say
                 any more about him. The rail—road is finished nearly to West—point and they are
                 taking cotton from the Depot in a hurry. As far as I know all of your folks are
                 well. I do not believe that they have heard from your Pa yet. I am sorry to
                 tell you that Aunt Selety died not long since. When you write you must tell me
                 all about your school, and how you like your teachers and send me a pamphlet.
                 I would write you a long letter but I have no more paper. Affectionately,
                                                           lafayette Smith