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.
I sent two letters4 to you in Paris5 while I was in New Mexico6, but your letters missed me when I was off in the desert
on my horseback trip. I reached home yesterday and sent you a telegram explaining.
am distressed to hear of Mrs. McClure7's condition and of all the business troubles which
awaited you in New York3. You have always
been so generous with other people that it seems terribly unjust that you should be harassed and tormented about money
in this way. I cannot believe that there is not some way out. I cannot believe that
your career is over. As I told you in New York I never felt the power to do things
so strong in you as now. If this
were the end of your work, that would be much more
remarkable than your original success—quite too remarkable to happen, it seems to
me. But I don't wonder that you are tired. The original contract has undergone so
many changes and modifications that I cannot make just
what the state of your a affairs is now, or what
your actual holdings in the stocks of the company are. What ever else I am doing
this fall I could certainly give you some help on the
Autobiography8. Going to London9
would, I should think, increase the cost of producing it, both for you and for me.
think I ought to be able to do it along with other work, so that I would not have
carge "charge" you at all for my own work on it.
You would have the expense of a good stenographer anyway. My interest in the
work would be an interest of friendship, a purely personal interest, and I think I
could do it better and would feel more zest in the doing of it, if there were no
question payment at all. You have done more favors for me than a few,(more than I could count!) and
I should like to have the opportunity to do a small one for you. If I had money or
influence, believe me, they should be yours a to
command. There, alas! I have not. But if ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩my wit can help you out any, that will
be a pleasure to me indeed. Of course, I may not be able to write the articles in
the way you wish them written; the way in which one
writes a thing, you know, is not altogether under one's control. There were chapters
of Christian Science10, for instance, which I simply
could not write in the way you would have liked best. And
so it might be with these autobiographical articles; the events that sing one tune
to you might sing another to me; I might not be able
to catch step with you. As to all that, we can but try. But if, as the old song says
"a willing heart goes all the way," we shall make out very well; for I was never
more willing about a piece of work.
I have not written a line since I left New York, but I have such a head-full of
stories that I dream about them at night. I've ridden and driven hundreds of miles.
You would not know me, I'm so dark-skinned and good
humored. Ah please forget how cranky I had to be when I was tired! I hope Miss
Roseboro'11 will forget, too. I can't bear to have either of you remember me like that. It all seems so
foolish now; such an ado about nothing. But I'm never going to get fussy like that
again. I've never been so happy since I was a youngster as I have been this summer,
back in my own country with my own people. Those weeks off in the desert with
my big handsome brother12—six feet four
-, he is—and his wild pals, are weeks that I shall
never forget. They took all the kinks and crumples out. I feel as if my mind
had been fully washed and ironed, and were ready for a new life. I feel, somehow,
confident; feel as if I had got my second wind and would never torture my self about
little things (like the ART DEPARTMENT [!]) again. A thousand, thousand good wishes
to you, and loyalty and hope: