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#0285: Willa Cather to Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant, August 10 [1914]

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ Dear Elsie1:

I am just back from a two weeks driving trip up in the French and Bohemian country5—all day on the road or in the thrashing fields with the thermometer often up to 110 and never lower than 90. It was all very fine, but one had to go a stiff pace. I saw many old friends and many places that I often get hungry for. Only the intense heat drove me home at last. I would like to have gone 2 on for two weeks more. All those people are like characters in a book to me. I began their story when I was little and it goes on like “War and Peace,”6 always rich and various, always so much stranger than any invention of man. Whenever I go back there there is so much to catch up with. I have some friends up there who save all the details for me, of all that happens in my absence.

I suppose it’s been hot every where, and you seem not to have escaped. I’m not working at all. It was not my plan to work any out here. It’s a waste of time to write when there’s so much doing. If you go abroad in the September—but you can’t, now, certainly, with the Kaiser7 in this high Napoleonic mood8. You’ll simply have to stay at home, and maybe that will be good for you!

I’m not much interested in “letters” just now, but I suppose I shall be when I go back in the fall. Let me hear what you are going to do in case you cannot go abroad. I expect to fall to work in Pittsburgh9 about a month from now. Fremstad10 is working hard and firing one cook after another. What a woman she is to look for trouble. Peace is where she is not, and yet it is peace that she’s always looking for. May you have cool weather by this time, and good energy.

With my heartiest greetings W. S. C.
Miss Elizabeth Sergeant1 c/o Mrs. Broe3 St. Huberts4 E Essex County New York RED CLOUD NEBR.2 AUG 11 1914 1 PM