A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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Results 11-20:

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 Grace [Broady]Aug. 29, 1894 from Red Cloud, Nebr.WCPM , copy also at LincCity

Is sending clipping from the Auburn Granger, so scathing she may never be able to go to Brownsville again. Pictures were excellent, especially those of the Episcopal church after they piled the prayer benches into the aisle. Such fun! School grind starting again soon. Will be in Lincoln about September 20.   Willa Cather   [Stout #18]


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 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]


To Ned [Ellen] GereMonday [c. July 27, 1896] from PittsburghWCPM 

Presbyterian Axtells not so stern as first thought, but not much fun. Their social life limited to fellow church members! Summoned the Baptist minister from next door as soon as they learned the Cathers were Baptists. Has been to an organ recital at Carnegie music hall, which shares a building with library and art museum; theater next door. Between going to church and pretending to know Wild West stories, is losing all standards of truth. Magazine is dull stuff, but is practically the managing editor, with her own desk.    Willa   [Stout #27]


To Mariel GereAug. 4, 1896 from PittsburghWCPM 

Has received letter. How could she believe she [Cather] was really a bohemian? Only visits in Bohemia, doesn't live there. Plans to abash her enemies by showing she can succeed. Only wildness these days is racing streetcars on bicycle. Believes more firmly than ever that the one God is Art. Likes her work, though hard. Editor of Cosmopolitan admired "The Count of Crow's Nest," but must use it in Home Monthly.  P.S.: Has her own stenographer.  Willa   [Stout #28]


To Mariel GereAug. 10, 1896 on Home Monthly letterhead ; WCPM 

Sorry for previous letter. Ironic to be called bohemian, considering present hardworking life. Has been on a picnic to Erie and an excursion on the river; returning by moonlight, admired the glow of the steel furnaces and was serenaded by a Princeton boy. Recited college composition on Carlyle at an afternoon tea and was at once welcomed into the social set. Axtells are kind but not warm; resemble the Pounds.    Willa   [Stout #29]


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