A Calendar of the Letters of Willa Cather

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To Elsie CatherAugust 30, [1933], from Grand MananUNL-Rosowski Cather 

Thinks Elsie has gotten a lot done this summer. Appreciates her asking about the small house, but will be visiting not working when in Red Cloud.  Sorry Elsie had to deal with the Auld problems.  They made their own mess, and they will have to deal with it themselves.  Jess should have saved the money she got from Bess, and she needs to learn that people must earn their money by working.  Tom, Charles, and Virginia should support Jessica, not her siblings.  Urges Elsie to consult Howard Foe about the note given to Bess.  If Tom is that kind of person, it's best that they're aware of it.  Jim [James Cather, brother?] would not have done that.  All this has kept her awake—as it did Elsie; dishonor like this shows how important honor is.  Please buy Bess a new coat and send the bill, and write if she needs expense money for house maintenance.  August 30 is anniversary of their mother's death.  Thinks she is beginning to understand mother, and thinks shortly before her stroke mother began to understand herself.  Mother gave her some old pictures to keep, but the "sweet sixteen" photograph Elsie wanted not among them.  Thinks Jessie probably took it.  Attempting to stay focused on work and resist interruptions.   Willie 


To Elsie CatherJuly 9, 1934UNL-Rosowski Cather 

It would be cruel even to consider surgery for Bess.  Has spoken with her own doctor about it by telephone, and he says even young people do not recover from that operation.  Elsie should not take on Bessie's care.  It will get worse, and then she should be taken to the Mary Lanning [hospital] in Hastings.  She will need the care of nurses and doctors who will give her codeine for the pain. Will cover the expenses, along with Douglass.  Is enclosing a check to cover Elsie's expenses on Bess.  Sent William Andrews $25.  Has Will Auld paid interest on what he got from Bess for TomHoward Foe should look into it. Will Auld shouldn't get off all the time.  Feels bad for Elsie, too, for missing vacation to Grand MananElsie should send Bessie to the hospital before she is exhausted.  Is leaving for Grand Manan the 16th.  Will send another hundred dollars when needed.  Would be glad to pay for hiring a girl to help Elsie out.  Bessie would like the Hastings hospital after a few days.  Does Will Andrews need any more help now?  Can type only with one hand, so must stop.   Willie 


To Elsie Cather,  Wednesday [April 15, 1936?] UNL-Rosowski Cather 

Feels sure Elsie is exhausted after Easter, so doesn't want her to write at length about visit until after she's recuperated, but please respond to enclosed typed page of questions [enclosure not now with letter]—just the facts, not extended answers. Also enclosed is pleasant correspondence from Trix. The Mizer women are amazingly dignified in their ability to remain so positive after such a difficult life. Has been sick this Easter, but did get cards written and sent. Went with Yehudi to see Parsifal on Good Friday before the family left for the west. Roscoe has been delighting in his visit with Douglass in Long Beach. Take care, and don't be too concerned about the bleak events of Red Cloud. Carrie, Mary, and Vernon can bear it daily, so the abstract thought of it ought to be endurable. Hopes Mollie got the checks.   Willie 


To Sidney FloranceJune 30, 1945Drew U (Caspersen 54) 

Is pleased to have Mr. Foe assume her $1000 farm mortgage on the North half of Northwest Quarter of Section 22, Township 2, Range 12. For now, please just put Mr. Foe's payment in People-Webster County Bank. After July 5 will be at the Asticou Inn in Northeast Harbor Maine working on a new story. Is surprised at Will Auld's treatment of Mrs. Damerell. Thought he esteemed her, but supposes that once honor begins to be lost, eventually it is lost entirely. Father liked Will's uncle, Tom Auld, and both Tom Auld and father were fooled into thinking Will respectable because he neither smoked nor drank. From what the newspaper says, the weather in Webster County looks good for the corn. Appreciates his kindness, which has given her good feelings about Red Cloud again.   Willa Cather