In previous day's letter forgot to ask if he could send her Webster's Dictionary. Not working in the office much any more and therefore needs one at home. It is the dictionary Charley Moore gave her that father rescued from the fire in Moore's office. Willa
Cherry H. Cather of Malta and Edith Cather of Vancouver, British Columbia, have written that they are working on the Cather family genealogy. Does he know the name of his great grandfather and other ancestors? These women have shared many interesting details about the Cathers in Ireland and Scotland. There was a county of Catherlough during King John's reign, and two brothers, Edmund and Bertram Cather, were granted the County of Tyrone in 1660 for resisting Cromwell. Is at least pleased they were Stewarts [sic]. Hopes he will share whatever he knows. Willa
Has taken a good while to reply to Elsie. Many friends have been dying, and has been dictating sympathy letters to exhaustion. Must take satisfaction from the nice words of the late Justice Holmes in the morning's New York Times [Henry Steele Commager, in "Justice Holmes in his Letters" (a review of The Holmes-Pollock Letters, ed. Mark DeWolfe Howe, New York Times, March 23, 1941, p. BR1, BR30), writes "Willa Cather moved him, 'unexpectedly and deeply.'"] Needs such kind comments now more than she did before. Was glad to hear about the house Elsie built in Lincoln. Agrees with Edith that it was a very intelligent decision. Also pleased that Elsie did not solicit her advice for the choice, as she understands little about the current conditions in Red Cloud and Lincoln. Willard Crowell persists in writing letters saying everything will work out and even persuaded her to let Witwer put a well in the Jewell County, Kansas, land after the creek ran dry. Ran a deficit because of it. Crowell seems to think she would be unfaithful if she did not pay the taxes on the land. This is all to illustrate how little she understands how things are in Webster County. . . . [pages 2 and 3 missing] PS: Sorry that she was so noncommittal about coming to Red Cloud for Christmas. Her hand has worsened rather than improved, and traveling is a real burden. Since she cannot commit to coming to Red Cloud soon, Elsie should do what she wants with the house. The orthopedist from Boston, who only comes to New York a couple of times a month, is the only one who has been heartening. Enjoy your new house. Willie
On September 30, 1946, the bank sent receipt of her $200 gift to the Red Cloud Hospital Fund, a little amount given to be polite. Carrie Sherwood's October letter, which lay unseen until January 22, enlightened her as to the very real need in Red Cloud for the hospital, which she did not fully understand before. Apologizes for mentioning him and the Peoples-Webster County Bank when dealing with the Stern & Reubens firm. Trusted the old man, an expert in copyright law, who used to manage her complicated taxes, but the man to whom he turned over the account, Alexander Scheer, is her natural enemy. PS: Will write a better letter to Trix soon. Dealing with foreign publishers has been grueling. Willa Cather
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
Everyone is sorely missing little Virginia, and mother requested that Virginia's tree swing be put up so it would not be a sorrowful reminder of her absence. Was sick and could not attend the circus, but others enjoyed it. Jess just learned from an eye doctor in Hastings that, despite the advice of the traveling doctor/salesman, Mary Virginia ought never to have been wearing glasses. Weather is good. Roscoe has probably heard about the Billy Bense drama through the Argus. Love to his family. Willie.
Willard Crowell has informed her that Roscoe paid $152 in taxes for her property in Red Cloud, but doesn't provide section and township numbers. Needs this information for income tax deductions. Crowell also wrote that he paid taxes on land in Smith County, Kansas, and St. Paul, Nebraska. As if that were all the tax people required! Has repeatedly told Crowell she needs descriptions and receipts, which he could certainly get from the county treasurer. Has a March 4 deadline for both state and federal taxes, as Mr. Lesser in Knopf's office leaves after that date. Would appreciate Roscoe's advice if he has any. Willie.