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#0233: Willa Cather to S. S. McClure, June 9, 1912

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Dear Mr. McClure1;

I have just come back from a long trip in the desert3 and find your letter waiting for me here in the mountains, where all my letters were forwarded. I am alarmed and pained to hear of the state of Mrs. McClure's4 health and I do not wonder that her condition makes you very anxious. She always looks so well and self-reliant that one never thinks of her as ill, even though she has been ill so much, from what you tell me of your financial affairs, worry about money must aggravate the situation considerably for you. It seems as if this squeeze must be temporary only, and must come to an end pretty soon. Are you planning to bring Mrs. McClure home in the Autumn? It will be hard for you to be doing magazine work over here when she is ill abroad, will it not? Who is the man in the company who is actually doing the pinching, I wonder? And why did they make a contract with you that they either did not intend to keep or were unable to keep? Unless Mr. Walker5 can make better terms for you, things will certainly be difficult for you during the EL ORTIZ
the next few years. And, as you say, it is in the next five or six years that you ought to have comfort and peace of mind, and that Mrs. McClure ought to have everything she wishes. Certainly some of us will be able to plan something that will help out. I infer that things did not look promising in London6; though it is likely that you have been so worried about Mrs. McClure's condition that you have not taken time to loo look about much there. I still feel there is a chance in a fiction magazine, if you can use your name with it.

I cannot make myself believe that at your age, with such a career behind you and such a specialized ability for a capital, things can be going to pieces. You are just as much of a force,—in someways I think more—as you were ten years ago, and you are much stronger in health than you were then. So I can't believe they can keep you down long. When you get back to New York7 let me know, and I will go on from wherever I may happen to be then and talk things over with you. I am sure there is a way out. Count on me to do anything I can. You've always been so generous with other people; it makes me not only sad but very mad, fighting Irish mad, to have you tormented and devilled about EL ORTIZ
money like this. You never tormented anyone else like this.

I am just back from one of the most delightful horseback trips I've ever had in my life. I shall be in this part of the country for about six months longer—Colorado8 and Wyoming9—but my address will be Red Cloud, Nebraska10.

Please give my love and heartiest greetings to Mrs. McClure and for yourself accept my loyalty, as always.

Faithfully Willa Cather