A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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Results 11-20:

To Louise PoundJune 29, 1893 from Red Cloud, Nebr.Duke 

Has been feeling depressed. Has written a story about a tippling prima donna. Doubts Louise read letter sent with poem [see #0009] carefully, if at all. As to Louise's question about the word "bassoon," got it out of Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Poems of Passion. The school year was a trial. Interesting times around Red Cloud recently, with murders and suicides. Has tried a translation of "Wallenstein" [as follows; from Friedrich Schiller]. Glad Mariel and sisters are coming to visit, to cheer her up. Still disappointed Louise didn't come and will put off the Gere sisters if she might. Has been writing papers on Shakespeare.  P.S.: Has received her note. If she does not come, things will be different next year. It has been too one-sided anyway. Please come and show forgiveness or else it is goodbye.  Willa Cather   [Stout #13]


To Mariel GereAug. 1, 1893 from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM 

Has been lonely since Louise's visit. Tried to bribe James to leave them alone. Spent a few days at uncle's home near other families from Virginia. Aunt hosted a "literary" at which a truly atrocious singer did twelve songs. Climbed the windmill in the evening and enjoyed the sight of moonlight glistening on ponds and corn tassels. Had to pull off skirts to climb down when a storm approached. Roscoe away haying, but when he gets back they will go up the river to their island. Baby brother Jack has been ill. Please greet a certain blonde [Louise?] if she sees her. Drove her about the countryside with one hand or none, but she didn't object. Still dreams about it. Don't read that part to Ned [Ellen] and Frances.    Cather   [Stout #15]


To Mariel GereJune 16, 1894 from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM 

Children were all dressed up for her homecoming. Is reading Virgil and botanizing. Mr. Wiener now boarding at Mrs. Garber's. Thanks for being mainstay during past winter and spring, when she [Cather] was despairing over the loss of what she had lived for. Appreciates her patience these past years while she raved over a certain girl's beauty, charm, and talent; rhapsodized over merely touching that person's hand; and suffered through the loss of love. Loving too much is a mistake. Hopes they can meet in Crete [Nebr.] Douglass may come, too.   Willa   [Stout #17]


To Ellen and Frances GereJuly 30, 1895 from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM 

Has returned home from Beatrice [Nebr.], where she had a good time. Country around Red Cloud very green and fresh. Hopes they will come to visit. Has enjoyed riding her bicycle ["wheel"]. Needs Mariel's address.   Willa   [Stout #19]


To Mariel, Ellen, and Frances [Gere], Allie [Althea Roberts], and Maysie [Mary Ames]Jan. 2, 1896 from "Siberia" ; WCPM 

Enjoyed visiting Katharine and her brother, who is more charming than ever. Quoted Ella Wheeler Wilcox to each other. Attended New Year's dance with Douglass—a rustic event. Could Mariel retrieve her [Cather's] copy of Daudet's Sapho from Sarah Harris? Doesn't know when she will be back in Lincoln. Here in the country might as well be dead. Is indifferent to everything, even suicide.    Willa   [Stout #21]


To Mariel GereMar. 12, [1896] from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM 

Feels exiled. Why doesn't Mariel write? Cooks sometimes to relieve boredom. Rides bicycle when weather permits. Planned and orchestrated a wedding breakfast for her [Cather's] cousin and Hugh Miner. Looked after the children the previous week while parents went to Hastings. Enjoys playing cards and going visiting with Douglass and Roscoe, when he comes to town. Has been reading Arabian Nights and Alice in Wonderland to James.   Willa   [Stout #22]


To Charles GereMar. 14, 1896 from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM 

Enclosing a letter to Professor Adams. Has been to see Regent Kaley, who says decision on new instructor to replace Professor Bates rests with regents and chancellor. Please speak to them about it. Is confident she can stay in the job if she gets temporary appointment. Age and sex are against her, but would take it at lower rank and less pay than a man.   Willa Cather   [Stout #23]


To Mariel GereMay 2, 1896 from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM 

Appreciates her help getting through scrapes during years at the university. Now another one. Keeps making a fool of herself! Keeps trying on personas (the scholarly, the bohemian)! Would consider suicide but knows her stupidities spring from liking someone too well. People always watching her, waiting for her to do something unusual. Feels superficial and useless where she is. Little brother Jack is the one consolation. Has been to a dance with Douglass and actually enjoyed it. Miner girls there. Met a Miss [Anna] Gayhardt and talked all night. Can't talk like this to Katharine [Weston], of course. Hopes to get up to Lincoln soon. Professor Bates very happy in his new job.    Willa   [Stout #24]


To Mariel Gere,  Friday [July 1896] from PittsburghWCPM 

Has been in this grimy city only a few hours. Began feeling happier when she got east of Chicago and started seeing hills and clear streams and trees. Conductor asked if she was going home. Was met by Mr. Axtell. For now, is staying at the Axtells' gloomy house, where the only ornament is a drawing of someone's grandfather. At least their library has some novels (tame ones), and Mrs. Axtell has Harper's magazine. Using daughter's room while she is away; room has three Bibles and an E. P. Roe novel.   Willa   [Stout #25]


To Mrs. Charles GereJuly 13, [1896] from PittsburghWCPM 

Why don't the girls write? Is lonely, not during work days but at night. Has her own stenographer and entire responsibility for the first issue, even overseeing layout. Is arranging for material for September issue [of Home Monthly]. Wants to do article on Mrs. William Jennings Bryan and Mrs. William McKinley. Please help get personal details about Mrs. Bryan. Magazine not much as literature, but hopes to make a success of it. Is behaving.    Willa   [Stout #26]


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