#0022: Willa Cather to Mariel Gere, March 12 [1896]

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My Dear Mariel1;

You are about the worst person about writing letters I know, here I am in bitter exile and you have not even written to tell me about Paderewski4 or anything else. Why am I thus cut?

As for me writing to you theres prescious little to write. Its lent now and the mad festivities of the Province5 have ceased. Roscoe6 comes in once a week7 and Douglass8 is sent home from school daily for mis- behavior, I get the mail and read the newspaper and eat and sleep, thats about all that happens. Occasionally to vary the monotony I try my hand at cooking, and when the weather is decent I ride my bicycle. Jess9 rides it more than I do though, she is not so much afraid of the cold.

Tell the girls10 that my fair cousin11 the "heiress" was married to Hugh Miner12 last month13 and that your humble servant engineered the wedding breakfast. My cousin has plenty of that which procureth all good things and if you give me money enough I can get up quite an affair. I was proud of that wedding breakfast, it came off at 7:30 and I never went to bed at all the night before. I had strawberries and fresh tomatoes and water cresses from Chicago14 and they are difficult things to procure in the Province in the middle of February.

After the bride and groom returned from their wedding trip we had receptions and dinners until I for one was tired.

Mamma15 was up at Hastings16 last week with Papa17 and I was left the mother of a large and turbulent family. During her absence Jack18 swallowed two copper pennies and Jim19 cut his upper lip wide open by a fall from a turning pole of some kind. I felt more like a hospital matron than any thing else.

Douglas and I have awfully good times in a quiet way. He is quite a model brother. When Roscoe comes in town we call on our friends and have small card parties and are generally sporty in a small way. Elsie20 goes to school rain or shine. When we dont go anywhere I read to the kids in a most virtuous and seemly way. I am putting James through the "Arabian Nights21" which is a rest from Sinbad the Sailor and "Alice in Wonderland22" at least. Please write to me.

Yours as Ever Willa
Mariel C. Ge[missing]1 D & 9th str Lincoln3 Nebraska RED CLOUD NEBR.2 MAR 12 1896 8 PM 1896 LINCOLN NEBR.3 MAR 13 1896 8 AM