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#0729: Willa Cather to Ferris Greenslet, April 15 [1924]

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F.G. ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ Dear Mr. Greenslet1;

These are rather frantic days for me. An old friend has been very ill. Now my maid3 is ill, and I swing like a pendulum between my desk and the kitchen, and taxi (what a verb!) about New York2 for food. None the less, I have begun the Introduction4. When it is finished I shall send it to Miss Jewett5 for her approval. If there is anything in it she does not like, I will do all I can to mend it. I do not want her to have any more care or worry6; I want to please her in this undertaking if it is within my power.

No, we have not been too hard7 on Burton Rascoe8. He has caused both me and Miss Jewett the kind of heartache that is very hard to bear. It took more out of me than many an illness has. I understand that a garbled version9 of the same luncheon party10 was written by him for a small magazine11, with many offensive statements about me, supposed to be complimentary. I have not seen it, and do not want to.

Did the Transcript12 ever publish Thomas Beer's13 letter? Or a letter written them by Professor Bates14, one of the men who heard my talk at Columbia? If not, it was very dishonest of that paper.

I inclose a list of the stories which I think would be be the best ones to use in the second volume15,which I beg you to send Miss Jewett, along with this letter. I would write to her if I were not so driven.

As I told you, I think the last edition16 of the "Pointed Fir"17 stories can stand as it is, for the first volume, with a slight change of pageing; I would strongly suggest that "The Queen's Twin"18 be placed between "A Dunnet Shepherdess"19 and "William's Wedding"20, both to suggest the passage of time, and to make less obvious the difference in treatment of William and Esther in the two stories21,- the latter, of course, is something paler than the former, as it did not have that final clarifying touch by the writer's hand.

If Miss Jewett will only trust me, I will do my best.

Faithfully yours Willa Cather
File under Willa Cather Mr. Greenslet1

What about a title, a collective title, for the two volumes? How woulsd something like "The Riverside Collection35 of Sarah Orne Jewett's36 Stories" do? Some title like that, but better.