The Dresden Literary American Club 71
-gay, well-educated, and very temperamental young womenthrew themselves into the work of teaching us with a hearty good will, which met with real response from us, as that kind of effort invariably does. Our two cousins, the same little cousins who had shared the happy summer memories of Madison, New Jersey, when we were much younger, were also in Dresden with their mother, Mrs. Stuart Elliott, the "Aunt Lucy" referred to frequently in our letters. Aunt Lucy was bravely facing the results of the sad Civil War, and her only chance of giving her children a proper education was to take them to a foreign country where the possibility of good schools, combined with inexpensive living, suited her depleted income. Her little apartment on Sunday afternoons was always open to us all, and there we five little cousins formed the celebrated "D. L. A. C." (Dresden Literary American Club !)
On June 2 I wrote to my friend "Edie": "We five children have gotten up a club and meet every Sunday at Aunt Lucy's, and read the poetry and stories that we have written during the week. When the book is all done, we will sell the book either to mother or Aunt Annie and divide the money; (although on erudition bent, still of commercial mind !) I am going to write poetry all the time. My first poem was called `A Sunny Day in June.' Next time I am going to give `The Lament of an American in a German Family.' It is an entirely different style I assure you." The "different style" is so very poor that I refrain from quoting that illustrious poem.
The work for the D. L. A. C. proved to be a very entertaining pastime, and great competition ensued. A motto was chosen by "Johnnie" and "Ellie," who were the wits of the society. The motto was spoken of with bated breath and mysteriously inscribed W, A. N. A. underneath the mystic signs of D. L. A. C. For many a long year no one but those in our strictest confidence were allowed to know that "W. A. N. A." stood for "We Are No Asses." This, perhaps somewhat untruthful statement, was objected to originally by "Teedie," who firmly maintained