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#0376: Willa Cather to Mary Rice Jewett, December 29 [1916]

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What a delight it was to me to open the beautifully printed little volume of verse4! I am so glad you had them printed. They are all too lovely to be lost. I think I like "Together," "The Top of the Hill," "Dunluce Castle," and "Star Island" best, and of course, "The Gloucester Mother."5 In re-reading one often adopts new favorites, but I am sure these will always be among the ones I like best. It is a rare and lovely book to come at Christ mas time. I am glad to find Dr. Eastmann's6 initials7 in the front. Please remember me very warmly to him.

I spent six months in the West this year, three of them with my mother8, who was ill. She was much better when I left her, and I got back to New York2 on Thanksgiving day. I am riotously well, after three months of horseback riding in New Mexico9 and Wildest Wyoming10, and three months of housekeeping in which I fairly mastered the kitchen range and became no mean cook.

Last night I dined with Arthur Foote11 and his daughter Katharine12, who sails today to join the American ambulance service in France13. I am going down to the boat to see her off. Mr. Foote looks very frail, but Katherine seems quite fired by her new purpose. I remember Mrs. Fields14 used to say of her; "It's an artless child." She seems very serious in this. We cannot, any of us be very happy while this war drags on. There is a kind of deep discouragement underlying everything. I have not heard of or from Miss Guiney15 for long, long, and I often wonder how the changes of the war have affected her life at Oxford16.

Please send me a note one of these winter days, dear Lady, and tell me how you do and how your household moves. I hope for the happy hour when I shall see you again. Will you remember me to Mrs. Tyson17? And let me send to you a very warm heartful of love. With other good things, may this New Year give us a happy hour together.

Very lovingly, Willa