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#0001: Willa Cather to Helen Louise Stevens Stowell, August 31, 1888

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Dear Mrs. Stowell1

When I recieved I your letter I was much pleased for I had begun to doubt your intention to write.

Grandma3 is much better now though we do not think she will ever walk again. Her son4 from Va.5 spent six weeks with us. He, papa6 & Mama7 went to Denver Col.8 and had a very pleasant time.

We do so hope that you and Alice9 will come with Mr. Stowell10, do come. You may not have the chance again, the Whites11 have moved here now & Mrs Sill12 is here and I know you would have a pleasant time.

School begins Monday & I suppose I shall go though I dont feel boyant over the prospect, I have grown so attached to my work & place in the office13 & to my little labratory & dissecting outfit & my stuffed animals it is hard for me to leave them. Then here I am "Miss Cather" & govern, there I am a child & am governed. That makes a great difference with frail humanity.

I had quite an adventure yesterday. A man came in & tried to sell papa a bogus paper on some poor farmer14. Papa could have made $50 on it but he thought perhaps the man was a snide & did not like to in any way help defraud an honest man so he told him to return in an hour. Then when we were alone told me he was going to hitch up the buggy & go see the farmer & when the agent returned to hold him at all costs.

In an hour the man returned & I never had such a time. Of course I had to talk the fellow to death to keep him. His buggy wastn ready & if he got away goodbye. Papa & the farmer returned & tackled him, the he made for his buggy & escaped. the sherif15 caught16 him at Amboy17.

Carry Miner18 has gone to college19. The Metzcars20 from Beatrice21 are visiting Anson22, the will live here & run23 the new paper24. Anson & his wife25 live where Mrs Roe26 used to live so you see we are near neighbors. I do not think they are very happy togather (but happy is a word few of us realize or are) nothing he can do seems to pleas her & she is cross as two sticks.

Fred27 & Suard28 are still happy in the blissful illusion that they love each other as no one but "Ouida's"29 heros ever thought of. They still amuse the town by their pranks, such as gong swimming togather takeing endless rides at night in closed hacks, acting "Princess Napraxine"30 on the medow by Garbers31 & spending Sunday in the woods with claret & "Ouida"

I should think there would be a good eal of ennui in such romance--especelaly on $1200 per year.

Molliee32, Bess33, Lillie Leetsery34 & Nellie Atdelshime35 had a picnic the other day.

I have been stuffing some birds lately. Tell Alice that Jess36 often speaks of her & would love to see her again. We children have a great many picnics, parties & circus' this summer & would love to have she & Jessie Moor37 to help us enjoy them.

Hoping to see you all with us 'ere another Xmas, I remain

Your affectionate friend Wm Cather