Some of these features are only visible when "plain text" is off.
|passage deleted with a strikethrough mark
|passage deleted by overwritten added letters
|passage added above the line
|passage with added text above
|passage added on the line
|passage with added text inline
|passage added in the margin
|passage with text added in margin
|handwritten addition to a typewritten letter
|typed passage with added handwritten text
|missing or unreadable text
|missing text noted with "[illegible]"
|notes written by someone other than Willa Cather
|Note in another's hand
|printed letterhead text
|text printed on postcards, envelopes, etc.
|text of date and place stamps
|passage written by Cather on separate enclosure.
Your letter dated July 10 has just reached me after almost a month's delay because
you forgot to put
Ea the sacred words East
End on the envelope. This is the tony part of the town
and the people who are so happy as to dwell here have to be particularized.
Now I am just back from an excellent rendition of Fra
Diavolo4—went with a little Chicago5 chap—and I feel the spirit of battle. Tomorrow I will
write you a lot of pleasant things, but tonight I am going to scrap with you a bit.
Now Mariel, did you ever think I meditated a solid course of Bohemia6 in all its degrees? If you did you do me rather an
injustice. Of course one may think of it at times, but 2 I used to actually think about slapping
Tude Pound7, yet I certainly never would
have done it. Really, I never for a moment seriously contemplated becoming a citizen
of that "desert country by the sea."8 If I have'nt any regard for myself I have just a little for my family. I may go to
New York9 sometime, but not for the
express purpose of going to the bow-wows10, and certainly not until I get some money ahead. I can most
effectually surprise my friends and pain my enemies by
living a most conventional existence, and I intend to do it. As to T. Wing's11 words, Heavens how much or how little did
I tell you on that night of much morphine and little Morpheus12? The less I care about T. Wing and his "words" the better,
thats one reason I was so awfully glad to get away from Lincoln13. I am going to quit writing to that
gentleman pretty soon and then forget all about that conversation. 3 Only yesterday I wrote him that I had never forgiven it and
never could. He has one creed and I another. They are creeds that never meet in this
world. There is no gGod but
one God and Art is his revealer; thats my creed and I'll follow it to the end, to a hotter place than Pittsburgh
if need be. Its not an affectation, its my whole sle self, not that I think I can
do anything myself, but the worship of it. That is about all that life has given me:
it is enough. I dont ask anything more. I think I get as much good out of it as most people do
out of their religions. I love it well enough to be a failure in it myself, well
enough to be unhappy. It has been so
felt this way from the time I could like anything, and it
only grows stronger as I grow older.
Just now I find it very easy to be "conventional," I never worked half so hard
before. The only form of excitement I indulge in is raceing with the electric cars on my bicycle. I may get 3 killed at
that, but certainly nothing more. and
But as to writing, it is not likely that I will
treat more delicate subjects than "The Care of Children's t Teeth" for some years to come.
Then really I like the work, grind though it is. I really like it immensely. Its a great boon just to be of some absolute use somewhere, to be at the head
of something and have work that you must do. It does away with the tedium of life. Then the town and the river and the
hills would compensate for almost anything. And I meet so many different kinds of
I h I have met a lot of New York dramatic
critics, Amelia E. Barr14
a paid me a business call last week as she went
through Pittsburgh, and I have talked 46 minutes with Rudyard Kipling15, which alone was worth coming here for. Then my head
is so thumping full of 4 new ideas. I seem for some reason to
be able to do better work than ever before. I begin a little serial story "The Count of Crow's Nest"16 in the September Monthly17 which I showed to Harold Dundy18 one of the mss. readers f of the Cosmopolitan19, and he pronounced
it first class stuff, said he could use it and would give me a hundred dollars p[?]
for it. Of course I was'nt at liberty to sell it as it was needed here.
The artist20 to whom I sent it to be
illustrated also wrote me a charming note about it, though she did'nt know it was mine. Its so good to be in a country where there is a Caesar21 to appeal to in these things. Since my work is improving I dont feel that I am wasting time here. O if I can only make it some day and
triumph over T. Wing and the rest! I doubt 5 if I ever do
anything very good, though. I seem to lack the one thing.
I enjoy the manuscript reading and the proof reading dont bother me as I feared it would. They are very considerate of me at the
office, and let me off a day to write
wh whenever I
want it. Indeed, I do pretty much as I please, I am rather at the head of things so
long as I follow their policy.
I cant tell you how nice Mr. Gerwig22 has been to me. He is my devoted slave and I can call on
him for anything. I have met a lot of charming people and already
bel belong to the "swell" Woman's Club23 of the town. That dont look very Bohemian, does it?
Well, I have written you a long tirade about my work. Pretty soon I will get time to tell you about the picnics and boat rides and excur- 6sions and things. I have a good deal of that sort of thing and enjoy it immensely.
foget to thank your mother24—or
that those photographs.
P.S. I have a real live stenographer of my own, she is a dandy too. I dictate all my business letters.W. C.