#1856: Willa Cather to Elsie Cather, September 5 [1934]

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My Dear Sister1;

Your long kind letter is worth hundreds of dollars to me, to my soul and my peace of mind. How kind you were to tell me all the things I so wanted to know; about3 Dr. Creighton4 and the house and the trees as well as about Bess5. The news about Bess is so good6 that it is almost a shock! Now when she goes home, please take out to their place a good supply of canned fruits and vegetables from Mrs. Burden7, coffee, sugar etc. so that Mrs Kourtner8 will have something to cook with. If they need new bedding and blankets or furniture, buy them out of the money you have ahead for Bess and let me know when you need more. I enclose a check for forty dollars to help you out with your own taxes on the home place. Give Kitty9 all the work you can, she needs the money and the more you save yourself the better pleased we will all be.

I am almost as glad as the Bishop10 that you saved the church11 trees. He is one grand old man. I wish I had seen him at the funeral. I am always proud of him.

If West Virginia12 is going to be at the University of Chicago, why don't you plan to go one there for you Christmas vacation and go to a lot of shows and hear some music? I always stop over a day there at the [illegible] La Salle hotel13, which is central and where you can get a room with ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩running water for almost nothing a day.

I don't see how you ever found time to have the house14 painted, with everything else you have had to do. But certainly this was a good summer, as workmen and materials must be cheap. Now that it is done I know you will take great pride in it. The Nebraska15 climate has always been a little doubtful, but the drouth in Michigan16 and Wisconsin17 seems to be almost as bad, and it's very bad in England18! This tiny island2 seems to be the only cool green spot left on earth. How many hundreds of times I have wished that I could transport all of Red Cloud19 here for a week.

An old friend of J.M.Barrie20 has written me asking me to inscribe a book for Sir James, as that would please the old gentleman very much, since he has read the Archbishop21 and Antonia22 through so often. Now how to write an inscription to Barrie? He's too clever and too witty and too wise to want compliments. I'd rather write a new book than this inscription, but I suppose it has to be done.

Now be lazy, Sister. Don't write to me or to anybody else. Sit on the porch and read. It will take you sometime to get over the effects of the strain of that long heat--it simply burns up one's vitality. I wish you thought you could take a winter off. You ought to go on a Norway23-Sweden24 cruise after such a summer. I will write to Walter25 about Barta26, and I will write to Bess when she gets back on the farm.

DevotedlyWillie