The others , Julia, Persis and and Aunt Augusta felt disappointed, but didn't approximate the acute sorrow felt by Althea. She had been looking forward to celebrating their birthday, on April 15th, with the sisters reunited. Laura had not shared the reason for the delay, or given them any idea of when she might arrive. A great deal of Althea's upset was grief that it seemed that Laura didn't feel pulled to come home.
Augusta insisted that they write a letter , and enclose a new family portrait in front of the fireplace. The twins had spent so many hours in front of the fire; first playing with toys, then writing in journals and just keeping warm in the cold Providence winters. Althea came upstairs for the portrait in her old flowered shirt, with a pair of Father's pants underneath! She had recently become drawn to the Dress Reform movement, and had been wearing the most outlandish costumes in the fashion of Amelia Bloomer.