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#0004: Willa Cather to Mariel C. Gere, July 16, 1891

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My Dear Mariel1,—

What power on earth, or rather under it, tempted you to purchase that abomanible Sappho4! I had fallen into that trap myself once,— the name of the book is both innocent and classic—and honestly wished no to save you the pain which it gave me. So you see you thwarted the one Christian effort of my life.

Kit5 persisted in leaving Monday, and we really did not get time to write the combination letter, then you know Kit's attitude toward the Pounds6 isn is not any too amorous. Say, you should have seen Kit and Mr. Myres7, they just set me in the background completely, Kit went to church twice on Sunday to hear him and they just had raptures over each other when he called, you may know they found each other interesting as he stayed 4 hours. If ever you meet Katherine again, you will her a learned and scholarly, not to say enthusiastic, dissertation apon Prof Hunt8 and Mr. Myres.

I feel awfully lonesome since all you fellows are gone, and am consoling myself with French History, Gorge Eliot9, and e endless rides over the prairie.

I B Kit and I spent Sunday evening with Mrs. Garber10. James McDonald11 still makes night hideous by wailing for Lincoln3 and Louise12, he has kissed the combination photo13 until her face is almost obliterated, he does all the caressing on her side, I wonder if the one14 at North Platte15 is not almost in the same condition by this time. By the way you must go down and demand one of those photos. Jim never said what I was afraid he would to Kit at all, he never noticed it.

Just got a letter from Katherine stating that she had lent Sappho to a good, church going maiden in Beatrice16! the ae abandoned wretch! how could she do it, I at least try to warn others from those pitfalls which I have digged for mine own feet.— Now, I flatter myself that sounds very biblical.—Why on earth didn't you ask me for a book to read on the train I forgot to give you one, it was a beastly shame! You left Mr. Kenyon's17 Coulter18 here, shall I send it or bring it up in the fall?

Kit and I drove a good deal, and I continued to punctuate my effusions with the whip apon the hor horses back, until the poor creature presents a most startling figure of one vast "homogeneous amalgamation of a hetrogeneous mass" of comas, periods, colors, semicolons, and—as our discussions were generally very rapturous—of many exclamation points. I know you will indeed rejoice to hear that the Cather family have a new lap spread!

I have been working on some frogs all morning for the purpose of getting some information concerning their circulatory systems. Both they and myself are rather tired now, so I think I shall kill the little fellows, and quit for the day. I don't know by what method to advise you to move your cruel mamma19, but if she remains inexorable, could you not get on the good side of the "devils20" down in the Journal21 office22, and make a table on some friendly "hell box,"23—are you "on" to newspaper slang, or rather technicalities?—the roar of the press would drown your victim's cries so nicely, and their blood and thunder are so appropriate in a newspaper office.

Yours Willa Cather.
Miss Mariel Gere1 C or D & 9th St Lincoln3 Neb. RED CLOUD NEBR.2 18 1891 5 PM LINCOLN NEBR. REC3 [illegible] [illegible]