Friday, 9th February, 1866

Another pretty day. Blll and Hardie went to the C. H. quite early to prepare tickets for the Ball. They did not return till some time after dark, both very hungry. Bought tickets for distribution. A very large number of persons are invited to the Ball, or rather St. Valentine’s Hop, on the 14th. I am very glad Nan has no disposition to go, though if she had, I should not consent to it. Zac returned about sunset and Brumly Martin with him. – – Capt. Shelly brought up some fine oysters this evening at $1. pr. bushel.1This is probably William T. Shelly of Ayletts, listed in the 1860 US Census as “Bay Capt.” and in 1880 as a 49 year-old “Sea Captain.” A member of a family of sailors, he likely skippered one the boats that regularly ran up the Mattiponi. I traded a bushel corn for a bushel of oysters. Got two bushels. Bill will deliver the corn on his return from Ayletts, where he has gone to see his father, who is sick. – – John has been very complaining recently. I hardly know what to do for him. He is such a cripple. Has a great many wants and notions.