Is it true he has a diary kept by Dr. E. J. Foster that quotes many of Mrs. Eddy's sayings? May she have access to it? Would quote only with his approval. Willa Sibert Cather [Stout #132]
Sorry he found title frivolous, but would like to strike a personal note if possible. Doesn't believe the American Institute in Berlin would have wide enough interest. Willa Sibert Cather [Stout #176]
Sorry the proofs went astray, but proofed the article thoroughly herself. Can't use more than one article about the Labor Congress. Emphasis should be on developments abroad for protection of workers. Can pay $150 for article and photographs. If Sergeant gets to Berlin might visit Permanent Exposition for the Welfare of Workingmen and feature some of the exhibits there. Miss Wyatt preparing article on the working girl, so not sure they could use another on French working girls. Seems as if the whole city is being demolished and rebuilt these days. Willa Sibert Cather [Stout #179]
The four articles too much like essays for McClure's. Rejected the idea for a piece on German theater for that very reason. Mr. McClure believes German methods superior to those of the U.S. and wants something informative along that line. Perhaps after he returns, he can provide that kind of thing? Willa Sibert Cather [Stout #192]
Mr. McClure will decide about the articles when he gets back. Expects him in a few days. Willa Sibert Cather [Stout #201]
Proofs have arrived, and Dorothy's questions will help her make improvements. Is certain, though, about the independent or traveling guns of the British. Incident of the killing of the German with the locket was from something a young officer told her; she used it because he didn't seem to understand and she liked that. The little girl and the terrible baby also from something told her by a soldier. Used the diary of a physician [Dr. Frederic Sweeney, Jaffrey, N.H.] for the flu epidemic on the transport ship. Is sure of the date U.S. troops went into battle at Chateau Thierry. Claude's feeling about David's violin was from her own feeling of inferiority when they were in France in 1902. Knows readers won't give the book a chance because it is a war novel. [Stout #588]
Hand somewhat stiff from months in steel brace, but almost well. Wishing her a merry Christmas. Willa Cather [Stout #1563]
Received Roscoe's letter just as she and Edith Lewis were starting out from Denver for Taos. Wanted to come to Lander, but Edith was intent on coming back here, where they had such a wonderful week last year. Hopes that after two weeks in Taos, she can stop by Lander on the way back east. At some point, will make it to Red Cloud. Hopes Mother, whom Elsie reports as being unwell, can be convinced to spend some time in Denver. Does long to meet young West Virginia [her nickname for Roscoe's oldest daughter, Virginia]. May remain in Nebraska until well into autumn. Felt so overwhelmed by deaths and marriages of friends this past winter that she only managed to produce two pieces of short fiction the entire winter and spring. He likely noticed the one in The Century—not of much merit ["The Bookkeeper's Wife," The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, 92 (May 1916): 51-59]. McClure's bought the second one, which is considerably more successful ["The Diamond Mine," McClure's Magazine, 47 (October 1916): 7-11; 66-70]. Would like to discuss her conception for a new novel—not striking in itself. Hasn't had a really striking idea since Sandy Point [a play town Cather constructed out of packing boxes with her brothers and friends as a child in Red Cloud, Nebraska]. The challenge of the new novel, an especially difficult challenge for a woman writer, is that it must center on a man. Gets a lot of credit for her male characters, but they are successful only because a woman is always at the center of the story and the men are seen only through them. Can manage that much quite well, but is nervous to go beyond that strategy. Nevertheless, a boy and a man must be at the center of this new book. Wishes she could discuss it with him; he could give her some guidance. If only he had written a diary on his trip to Yellowstone. The book she has in mind is somewhat similar. Apologizes for the bad penmanship, but there are five Jewish salesmen in line for the hotel's one bottle of ink. Is staying at a comfortable hotel run by a dignified Mexican woman and her French-speaking parrot (her dead husband was a Frenchman). Taos is wonderful, if one is up to crossing forty miles of canyons to reach it. The population is completely Mexican and there is a lovely Indian pueblo nearby. Would be wonderful if Roscoe could come along on these adventures. Life is so unforgiving: remain independent and one feels unanchored; get bound up and, well, that's it. Isabelle's new husband is a terrible Jew that nobody likes. It's a dilemma. Plans to remain less encumbered from now on. Goodbye and hopes to see Roscoe and Meta soon. Willie.