The reference to James Bryden having his back "painted" must be about a medical treatment--painted with a topical medication, I assume. Any idea what the phrase "he never liked the dodders" means? I've looked in a few dialect dictionaries, and dodders has several given meanings, but none of them really fits this context.
August 21st 1873
My Dear Friend
You will be thinking me long in writting but you will likely have heard the great ado that has been about Tom and if you have you will think I was not in very good trim for writting for I can tell you it was a queer time about the Bogg when Tom was away at the Jail but Tom was like you he never liked the dodders and I am sure he will think less of them now as ever he did and no wonder for it was such an ado to make about nothing I think Aunt will never get over it and for Tom he cannot think to see a person. you may tell Marion from me that John Hunter was not such a great man about the bogg as he talks about but it is best just to hear them and never speek
My Dear Friend I must say that I am very much obliged to you for your kind offer and I have no doubht but I will execpt of it if spared and well till the spring but it is getting to far in the season now for me to set out but I will change my mind greatly or some thing come in my way that I dont know of if I don't come out in the spring but you need not say anything about it to make a great talk so long before the time and if you and Marion waits till then I may have a dance at your wedding and tell Marion that she is to write me a long letter and tell me all about her new house Aunt sends her kind love to you and wishes you had been here to cheer her up since Tom was away Anthony sends his kind love to you but he has not been well but is on the way of recovering I hope your back is got quite better now I know what your back would be like when they were painting it we are busy with the hay but it has been very bad weather for it and Tom is wearing to get it past now I must come to a close hopping this will find you well and all the rest of our friends well and be sure and write soon and execpt of kind love to you and all friends from your loving friend Marion Brown
Ps be sure and write soon