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For the last month I have been leading a rather frivolous and very crowded life in Paris2—so busy that I've not written to anyone, not even to my mother3. Now I have come back to the country to rest a little before sailing.
I sail on the Berengaria (Cunard) on November 17, and will carry the portrait4 with me in my cabin. I have the proper customs declaration, sworn to by the painter5.
I shall send the picture on to you within a few days after I reach New York6. If Bakst wants it for his exhibition in December, he must take the matter up with the owners of the painting. I will send it to you unframed, and will have it shipped by a responsible dealer in New York.
As to the frame; Bakst suggests a deep frame, eight or ten inches in depth, and a dull gold, or dark old gold in color. He particularly advises against a bright gold.
My father's7 address is simply C. F. Cather, Red Cloud Nebraska8; and my niece Mary Virginia Auld9 also lives in Red Cloud.
I have a photograph10 for you, taken in Bakst's studio, which I will send you from my own apartment at 5 Bank street11. Photographs sent from here are so likely to be broken in the mail. I do hope you will like the picture that has cost you so much trouble. I have taken several painter friends to see it, and they assure me that it's an admirable painting. As a likeness I think it only fair—but it does not bungle or hesitate. It presents one aspect of the person clearly and forcibly. I have enjoyed working with Bakst and getting better acquainted with you, so on the personal end I am the gainer.Faithfully yours Willa Cather Mr. J. M. Vinsonhaler1