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#0188: Willa Cather to Frances Smith Cather, February 22, 1911

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My Dear Aunt Franc1;

How many times I have wanted to write to you this winter! But life drives us all pretty fast. Elsie5 came down from Northampton6 and spent two weeks with me at Christmas time, and we had such a happy Christmas. It was her first visit to a big city2 and she seemed to enjoy the stir and excitement of it. We were a good deal worried about Mother7, who had had a fall and was very miserable at Christmas time, but we began to get good news from her before Elsie left me. Elsie seemed to like my little apartment8 and my way of housekeeping and my excellent colored maid9. This last named person is my chiefest treasure. I She has been with me for more than a year now and my flat goes like clockwork and I have very little bother about it beyond doing the marketing. I have been ever so much better in health this winter than last, and I think it is partly due to getting the bother of housekeeping off my mind. Mr. McClure10 was ill and abroad all last summer and I had to stay in the city until late in September. It was a a terrible summer, and I was pretty well fagged when it was over, but I went away in the fall and by the middle of December I had got my energy back again. Then Mr. McClure went abroad again, and since then I have been keeping the shop alone.

Several weeks ago I went to dine with Mr. Charles Weiner11 and his wife12. They have lately come back from a long stay in Europe13 and they have a beautiful house house up on 124th street, where they own a great deal of real estate. Mr. Weiner looks very little older than he did twenty years ago, and a great deal of money has not made him hard-hearted or changed his simple manners. He had been ill with grippe, McCLURE'S MAGAZINE
and his wife telephoned me that he wanted to see me. I had a great many things on hand that week and it was hard for me to go, but I was so glad that I did manage it for he seemed to enjoy having me there. He is very fond of his old friends. He asked about all of my family and enquired about you and your health and about Uncle George14 and the boys15. Yesterday his wife wrote me that he is still confined to the house and I am going to see them again soon. She is a good woman, and I th like her very much.

You remember my friend Isabelle McClung16 who went out to your house17 with me once? She is here making me a month's visit, and she begs to be remembered to you. We are enjoying every day of these weeks together.

I had a letter from Howard Gore18 this morning and he tells me that he and Lillian19 are going to see the new king of Siam20 crowned21. Howard went about the country with the new king when he was crown prince some years ago. I love Howard, but I wish my family wouldn't strive strive to get mixed up with kings and move in the highest society. But really, all Washington22 people are like that more or less. It seems to be in the air. A little vanity can undo a really big man.

Bessie23 writes me a good long letter every few months, so and keeps me informed as to what goes on in the neighborhood. She and Auntie24 seem very happy and contented. You are well this winter, she tells me, and Uncle George had wonderful crops last year. Sometime when you have an empty hour—I know you don't have many—and are not tired, please write me all about yourself and the children25. I may have to go to London26 in April, and I'd love to hear from you before I go if you have time. I send a world of love to you, my dear Aunt.

Mrs. Franc Cather1 Bladen3 Nebraska MADISON SQ, STA.N.Y.2 FEB 23 1911 10-AM BLADEN NEBR3 FEB 25 1911 6 PM REC'D.