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Written shortly before Christmas vacation was scheduled to begin, eighteen-year-old Tom Ashley (1894-1918), asks his mother to please ask his father to send money. His earlier request for ten dollars was granted and now he desperately needs five dollars more. The student is fearful he will fail in his studies and prepares his parents for the fact that he may have to study throughout his vacation to avoid that possibility, meanwhile assuring them that he is not wasting time or money in college.