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#0287: Willa Cather to Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant, [September 28, 1914]

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ Dear Elsie1:

I'm back again after an adventurous but not very restful summer. As I seemed to need adventure more than repose, I'm not complaining. I have brought with me my kid brother5 and put him in the Carnegie Technical School, and it is great fun to get him started. He is just off the farm and has never before been out of Nebraska6, but as he is candid and honest and has not a particle of vanity, his initiation is very jolly and not at all painful. He will tell people the names and weight of his big work horses, and all about his Bohemian neighbors, and he never tries to talk about things of which he knows nothing, so there are no difficulties. He is over six feet, rather good looking and twenty years old. I think you would like him, though he will say "yes mam" to older women—older than twenty.

The war7 broke in on things a good deal. Even when I was up in the Sangree de Cristo mountains I felt rather restless. One can’t get away from the pull of it because somehow everything one most cares about seems in danger and under test. Before this no one knew how much they cared. I don’t believe we’ll hear much about suffrage and tea-party legislation8 for awhile. Now, as always, the power to take determines the extent of possession, and that is as far as we’ve got.—Have you seen the last six or eight numbers of Punch9? Don’t miss them. It’s like going back to Henry Esmond10 after reading Galsworthy11. You feel that the old rock is still under your feet, the rock that is different from any other. Lord, they are a game people, and so orderly in their habits of banking and war. Wasn’t Kipling12's Breighton13 speech14 a fine one?

I shall go to New York15 for a week in October, but after that I hope to be here until January 1st, working on my story16 and playing with my brother. I did no work while I was in the west, but now I am taking it up easily and have done a lot in the three days since we reached Pittsburgh. How and where are you? Have Have you any friends in the French army? You must be kept busy writing to France17 these days—not that many letters reach their destination—but send me a word, I beg of you.

Yours Willa
Miss Elizabeth Sergeant1 4 Hawthorn Road Brookline3 Mass. PITTSBURGH, PA2 SEP 28 1914 12-M