As spring rolls in, things are actually going pretty well. Susan is enjoying life and has even received word that Augusta has had a second child.
Susan and Oliver receive a surprising number of visitors to their home, and Susan quickly becomes the talk of the town. Mary Prager even visits and is blown away by the picturesque locale.
Susan hasn't been working all that much, though. Whenever she tries, she finds that "she could hardly sit in a chair for ten consecutive minutes" (2.4.21).
To Susan's surprise, she receives a letter from Thomas requesting that she write a short piece about her life in New Almaden. He's been reading her letters to Augusta and is blown away.
Susan hastily writes a piece that night and sends it out the next day. Thinking that this effort isn't good enough, however, she writes another piece, this one about her experiences on Mexican Independence Day, and sends it out several days later.