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#0093: Willa Cather to Dorothy Canfield, [February 1904]

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Where are you, and what is the matter with you, Dorothy1? It's been six weeks by actual count since I've heard a line from you! Isabelle3 brought word from the Macphersons4 that you were alive some weeks ago, and on this side of the Atlantic5, but as to anything more than that, I am in profound ignorance. I've had a foolish feeling that you might be sick or something, but perhaps that is only because I've been shut up myself for some days with a wretched cold, not able to get to school6.

You probably know that Isabelle was ill with a light attack of diphtheria in Boston7 for five dreary weeks, during which I dwelt8 alone with Mrs. McClung9, the Judge10 and Edith11, a prey to melancholy fears enough. Do you return thanks to Heaven that I did not write to you during that dark period. I could'nt do it without saying things I should have been sorry for afterward. I shall not soon forget the month of January, 1904. Isabelle is home now, but very weak and not at all herself.

Do let me hear a word from you and yours. I have the most absolutely gone feeling about you. I cant just express it. I dont wonder that you dont feel much like writing to me when my own letters to you are such spiritless, unsatisfactory epistles, but do let me have a word to know that you are well and with the procession.

Someday I'll beg you to read a bulky manuscript for me, but not until the first writing is all done. I couldnt do anything while Isabelle was away, but I shall get to work again as soon as I am well enough and my head gets clear. Speak, speak, thou fearful guest!12

Yours always Willie