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#0278: Willa Cather to Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant, [March 1, 1914]

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I’m home again, came yesterday, and am perfectly happy. I can’t understand now how I ever felt as I did at the hospital5. But really, it was an ugly and agonizing business6. Somehow, when you have blood-poisoning, you feel so unclean. You pulled me out of a bad situation in Boston7 two years ago and brought me to New York2 on your back. (I seem to be a mollusck mollusk when I’m ill.) This time Fremstad8 pulled me out. Singing only three times last week,—once in Brooklyn—she came down to the hospital unannounced and unheralded, with a motor-load of every kind of spring flower, pulled me out of the mud-shallows and got me into current again. She showed me how to do my hair in two braids abov above my forehead, German fashion, and to make a chiffon thing over the bandage like Elizabeth wears in the last act9. She showed so much interest an in and so little horror of my ugly head, that I lost my own horror of it. It had taken a sharp turn for the better the night before she came, and now it’s going ahead by leaps and bounds. The moment the destruction of tissue stopped, which was not until Wednesday night, the world turned a different color, and I was sorry I’d sent you such a disgusting letter10. But while one is making poison, there’s a cloud of madness over one’s brain. I never put in any three weeks like those before. A high temperature, and consistently unrelenting pain in such an inconvenient place—well, they make a mollusk of one, that all. But now—oh everything’s so jolly. Forget the invertebrate, please, and consider me draped in chiffon, like Louise of Prussia11!

Yours W.
Miss Elizabeth Sergeant1 4 Hawthorn Road Brookline3 Mass. NEW YORK, N.Y. STA. E.2 MAR 2 1914 12 PM