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#0840: Willa Cather to Mary Hunter Austin, June 26 [1926]

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Santa Fe, New Mexico
Dear Mrs. Austin1;

A week ago today I first went up to your lovely house to see whether I could settle down to work4 there and I've not missed a morning since then! It is the most restful, quiet, sympathetic place to work in. I do not use your little study, but sit in your dear little blue plush chair in the corner of the library—I hope I won't wear that chair out—open the screened portion of your big window, and there I sit and write on my knee. I like being in that fine big room with so much space about me, and the breeze comes in comfortingly at that window.

The girl who waters your flowers is as punctual as a clock, and so far the house has not got at all dusty. What a satisfying, real sort of house it is,—and what a generous friend you were to give me permission to work there. If you hadn't had that kind thought for me, I would be up in the LA FONDA
Santa Fe, New Mexico
air now. I meant to go back to Taos5 soon after my brother6 and his family7 left Santa, Fe2, but long before that Tony8, who had been ailing all the time we were there, got suddenly worse, and Mabel9 eloped with him to the hospital at Albuquerque10. They will be there for ten days or two weeks longer, for Tony still has a temperature. For some days it was 104, and Mabel was terribly frightened. She said she'd never seen him sick before, and she didn't take it cooly at all. She has a new housekeeper in Taos, and begged me to go and stay, but I thought that would be dismal. Mary Foote11 arrives in Taos July 3d, and I will go down (or is it up?) soon afterward. Miss Foote is good company and I'm very fond of her.

When Mabel fled from Taos and the pink house there suddenly assumed a deserted and forbidding look, appears Mrs. Huey12 with the key to your house, like a coincidence on the stage!

Santa Fe, New Mexico

I hope your surgeon will hurry the time of your operation along. I've had several, and I always hate waiting for them much more than having them.

My love and good wishes to you, dear Mrs. Austin, and my gratitude for the happy peaceful hours I have spent in your library.

Faithfully yours Willa Cather.
LA FONDA Santa Fe, New Mexico2 FRED HARVEY, MANAGEMENT Mary Austin1 Missouri Baptist Hospital St. Louis13 Missouri SANTA FE N. MEX.2 JUN 27 1926 9 AM from Willa Cather357