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#0058: Willa Cather to Dorothy Canfield, October 10, 1899

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From Willa Cather
just after D.C.F. had
gone to Paris
My Very Dearest Kid1;

Here3 I am chez the Goddess and studying Greek to beat the band. Have’nt seen the Nevins4 yet, but they telephoned me a rousing welcome home and Ethelbert sent me a note and a copy of Shakespeares5 sonnets6 this afternoon. Say, do you know it is'nt half bad to be back. I had a good trip and spent a most delightful day with the Peatties7 in Chicago8 and dined with “Misther Dooley”9, the irresistable Dan. Mrs. Peattie has at last arrived, so to speak, for her story “The Man at the Edge of Things”10 in the September Atlantic11 is literature, as good as most modern French things and as elusive and artistic. She wants me to go to Chicago in the spring, and I think I shall. Dooley says there is no woman doing newspaper work there now that I need be afraid of. I guess he and the Peatties will make the venture safe.

When I arrived at the union station here, on the very train on which you used to arrive, Isabelle12 met me, looking as though all the frieze of the Parthenon ought to be tripping after her, and I began to have a better opinion of Pittsburgh. She’s so darned good to me that she’s making me positively kiddish. She’ll have me playing with dolls next. We’ve been tramping over the hills and hearing the Damrosch13 orchestra every day and having no end of a frivolous good time. I know pretty well how you are located, but small thanks to you, my Lady. I read all Mariel14's letters home and know all about your fellow voyagers, the red beared artist and the dwarf and the woman with the marquise rings, and saw her diagram of your flat in Paris15, though I suppose only a Nebraskan like myself would speak of a flat in Paris. But that all seems second hand, I want to know how things seem to you, won’t you please write me exhaustively? As soon as I get located in my new den I’ll write you young novels, I will.

Isabelle and I went down to see the Willards16 last night and had a hilarious time. It was quite a reunion, Miss May from California17, Miss Brooks18 from Europe19 and W. C. from Red Cloud20!

When my train stopped at Columbus21 I had the queerest lonesome feelings all over me. Bridge the distance in some way, and do it quickly. What are you studying, with whom is your mother22 painting, I want to know everything. I’ll keep up my end if you will yours.

Good night my dearest, I'll send my next letter by express.

Yours always Willa.

P. S.
I of course know all about your father23's great big hit24 in Bishop Potter25's church26 and advertised it the whole length of Nebraska27. Hurrah for him, which means, eventually, three cheers for you. O these haughty, prosperous, getting there Canfields!

Isabelle sends everything in the shape of regards and Alfred28—O but I’ll tell you about him next time!