Not going to Oberammergau after all, but may see her in Paris. Doesn't know what her banker will be, to receive mail. Will have to wait for consecration of father's window at the church. Maybe at Christmas, when Elsie will be there. Paying for it herself, as care of mother is a strain for everyone. Sanitarium is best possible, but can't make paralysis anything but miserable. Comes away feeling very low every time she is there. P.S.: Hopes Evelyn Brodstone is better. Willie [Stout #1011]
Has received a copy of the Herald Tribune article and sent it to Isabelle. Is grateful Dorothy wrote about her so nicely. Nowadays is happiest if she can forget the past, or at any rate her own place in past scenes. Has always been trying to escape herself and has been happiest when she was best escaping. Where have the years gone? Is happy when she can avoid thinking. Going to Grand Manan next week. Dorothy won't be going to Germany this year, will she? Willa [Stout #1186]
Hand somewhat stiff from months in steel brace, but almost well. Wishing her a merry Christmas. Willa Cather [Stout #1563]
Has been embarrassed to write after so long. Has put off writing everyone but mother and Jack, who was ill. Is mortified that she even neglected writing Mrs. Deland, for now her sick husband has died. It is the war that is causing the problems: it even makes writing books seem trivial. Can't make progress on the new book, and will probably have to rewrite or abandon it. Houghton Mifflin people are very displeased that it will not be ready for fall publication. There are good things in the new book, but it does not seem to be working. Is going to put it aside for a while and write some short stories—needs the money. Has Elsie heard that Rudyard Kipling's son, the prototype for Dan in the Puck tales, is missing in action? It has been over a year now, and hope seems lost. Mr. Greenslet, who just returned from England, said Kipling is devastated. What a shame, as Kipling has given so much joy to so many. Edith's health was good this winter. Helps Edith with eye treatments. They plan to go to Washington tonight. The war and resulting rise in costs have hurt the magazine publishing business. Has had many wonderful musical get-togethers with the Hambourgs, and had dinner with the recently-married Olive Fremstad and her husband [Harry L. Brainard and Fremstad were married November 4, 1916]. They had a fine evening. Has already written mother describing it. People she knows in the British war department say the war will go on at least two years. When Greenslet was in London, he had trouble getting decent food and enough of it, and many buildings had to go without heat. Newspapers aren't really providing the whole story: if not for the entrance of the United States, the allies would have been defeated, for the submarines prevented proper food from getting to the army. Germany's food supply is much better than that in England and France. If the U.S. can produce enough ships and men, the allies may yet win in two years. If not, we will all be Prussian. The Russians can't hold the eastern front unless the allies keep Germany tied down in France. If not, St. Petersburg will soon fall, and then the German army will be fed from the vast agricultural output of Russia. The U.S. has a unique opportunity: we can protect or lose Democracy for the entire planet. And yet a letter from her Mesa Verde guide claims the war is taken as a joke out west. Like Russia, the U.S. is so enormous we can't get things together. Believe it: dark times are ahead. Needs to stop now, but hopes to be better about writing in the future. Willie.